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Reviews from
Spirit in the Wind


Newlywed homesteaders arrive in Nebraska territory 1862

  11 total reviews 
Comment by
thaities, Rebecca V.
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  Rank:  25
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  Rank:  12
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  Rank:  67
 
Excellent
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I'm hooked. This is definitely worth working up into a novella or even a full-fledged book. Great beginning. I read For Land's Sake first and just had to look for the first installment.


 Comment Written 09-Mar-2020


Comment by
JudyE
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  Rank:  146
 
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This would be a great novella. The story could develop in any number of ways. The characters are well drawn and the dialogue is authentic.

I picked up a few points. Please ignore any you don'g agree with.

My husband Josh Taylor and I were wed in 1862. - commas needed either side of 'Josh Taylor'

Despite the drifts of snow and wind that howled, he mounted our only horse for town six miles yonder into the sandhills. - comma after 'town'

He promised to be back before the sun broke like yoke - spelling - yolk

"Geez Jane, I swear you like hibernation - comma after 'Geez'

When daylight broke and the yoke of the sun melted across the flatland - spelling - yolk

Jarred awake by the sound of wagon wheels on the crust of snow, I floundered about and spied through the frosted window of the afternoon to see two men riding in with my husband's horse tethered behind. - I would delete 'to see'

Unlatching the door with no shawl around me, I tripped over - I may not have used 'tripped', maybe 'hurried/tottered/stumbled'

"Ma'am the sheriff asked our help. - comma after 'Ma'am'

Shane, the younger one spoke up - comma after 'one'

"The gambler was a card shark with winning hand, but from what we know, he didn't like the way your husband looked at him, with a boyish smirk than a smile." - should be 'a winning hand'. And did you mean 'a boyish smirk rather than a smile'. Or maybe 'he thought your husband was laughing at him'.

clenched my fist over the thought of his death from a brazen smile than a cheating hand. - I'd have written 'a brazen smile rather than a cheating hand.' but maybe that's dialect you're trying to convey.

The pair admitted they were Johnny come lately to the scene - I might have hyphenated 'Johnny come lately' although hyphens seems to have gone out of fashion.

During the prayer, I caught Shane looking at me with pity or dumbstruck love. - I might have led into Shane's glance a little differently. Maybe consider 'I caught Shane looking at me with an expression hard to define. Whether it was pity or dumbstruck love I couldn't decide'.

The men took to covering the grave under the cold and gray. Before they bid farewell, I argued with them over fixing a meal before they left. When they saw my pride was greater than my grief they relented. But after the cornbread and stew, it was time to bid farewell.

Shane stood first and looked at his father and then me - Maybe 'Shane stood first, looking at his father and then me'

I felt a thick tear slip down my face. - I don't really like 'thick tear'. I think you could come up with something better.

I would not be moved no further - should be 'I would not be moved further' or 'I would be moved no further'

When it was safe I unwrapped my son, - comma after 'safe'

Congratulations on a well-written story
Judy


 Comment Written 03-Mar-2020



reply by the author on 05-Mar-2020
    Thanks for all your help with this deep review. I made some changes. I can't believe I had the word yoke. "Yolk" wrong. My self-editing skills not so good. So needy.

reply by JudyE on 05-Mar-2020
    And I'm just looking at my opening sentences and I've put 'don'g'! The small slips happen to us all.

reply by the author on 06-Mar-2020
    How about those smart phones when you quickly hit send before you realize it changed a word?

reply by JudyE on 06-Mar-2020
    They're the pits. Imagine how many arguments there've been over some misunderstanding due to this feature.
Comment by
CrystieCookie999
 
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  Rank:  167
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  Rank:  121
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Six stars for sheer content and poetic, descriptive devices and language in general. Favorite lines: I was left alone with the wind to whittle at my worry through a sleepless night. And also: I wailed like a cat caught in a claw trap. I fell into a restless sleep, as the ghostly wind mocked me.
I think there might be a minor motivation to change one character's name, in that "Jane" and "Shane" might be a little bit too much of the same sound after already have Jane and Josh. Maybe Shem, if you like the Sh sound. Mid-drift should be midriff, if someone hasn't already pointed it out. There are more fixes, but you said you might be expanding this soon. Great read.


 Comment Written 24-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 25-Feb-2020
    Thanks Crystie. I'm humbly grateful with how folk have connected with this story idea that I thought needed to be a western novella. It's really encouraging, and you actually caught some critical edits that others didn't see! And also the name with Shane needing a different sound.
Comment by
Mistydawn
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  Rank:  11
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  Rank:  77
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
This is a very interesting piece. It's so well written that your character really comes to life. You make us have empathy for all the hardship that she's been through. Let us see her determination to continue on. Yes, I definitely think this storyline is worth pursuing. This is coming from someone who isn't big on westerns.


 Comment Written 24-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 25-Feb-2020
    Thanks again Misty. Blessings ahead.
Comment by
Robert Zimmerman
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  Rank:  85
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  Rank:  10
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  Rank:  38
 

#10 Ranked Author
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Hello Stan. I truly enjoyed this story. It was well-written and your descriptive narrative is excellent. The descriptions of the emotions as well as the interactions between the people is easy to read and compelling.

I like the "reader decides" ending to this story to see where it goes next. It's well done and I enjoyed reading it.

a suggestion: "boyish smirk than =>[then] a smile"

Robert


 Comment Written 24-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 24-Feb-2020
    Thanks Robert!

reply by Robert Zimmerman on 24-Feb-2020
    You're welcome
Comment by
zanya
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  Rank:  94
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  Rank:  65
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  Rank:  61
 
Excellent
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It's enthralling - heart-rending, harsh, vibrant throbbing with life and earthy - no half-backed emotions to be guessed at lurking around here - raw - keep going !


 Comment Written 23-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 23-Feb-2020
    Thanks so much. I was hoping that this Character and land would resonate.
Comment by
BethShelby
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  Rank:  56 (+2)
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  Rank:  34
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  Rank:  10
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  Rank:  15
 

#10 Ranked Novelist
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
You are an excellent writer. I don't know were you picked up that unique language that sounds like it came from 1800's but you certainly used it to tell a great story. You created a wonderful spunky character and I love the way you ended this tale. It certainly held my attention.


 Comment Written 23-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 24-Feb-2020
    Thanks again Beth. Blessings around the bend...
Comment by
Shirley McLain
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
This was a great story. Your characters were strong and dialogue was good. I did not see anything to comment on. You did a wonderful job. You deserve the extra star. Shirley


 Comment Written 23-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 23-Feb-2020
    Thanks again, Shirley. That golden plus is always a blessing to see.
Comment by
robyn corum
Word Twister
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  Rank:  2
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 Rank:  6
 

#2 Ranked Poet
Excellent
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Stan,

Well, I for one, enjoyed it very much. It was different than your usual storyline and offered a whole different outlook on the West. I am not sure the women's angle is covered as often or as well, so I appreciated this.

I wish you the best of luck with it. No nits!


 Comment Written 23-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 23-Feb-2020
    Thanks Robyn! Coming from you means much, because you don't hand out stars like chocolate stars. A nice morsel of words.

reply by robyn corum on 23-Feb-2020
    hahaha No, you are right. I'm pretty evil. I just gave someone a two and I expect to hear about it. --sigh--

    I really liked this. TY
Comment by
Y. M. Roger
FantasyGirl
 
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  Rank:  29
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  Rank:  56
 
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sounds like a wonderful prologue, Forest -- great job! ;) You've presented a wonderful frontier setting with some strong characters... thanx for sharing! ;)

husband Josh Taylor and I were wedded in --> husband, Josh Taylor, and I were wed in

child and we wanted --> child, and we wanted

me, I'd forgot --> me, I forgot

just naive smile --> just a naive smile

smile than a cheating --> smile and not a cheating [or else... it seems awkward as it]

your land child --> your land, child

darkness my healthy son, Joshua brought --> darkness, my healthy son, Joshua, brought

with babe on his --> with the babe on his

Goldenrods of wildflowers blanketed the prairie and the ground --> Goldenrods and other wildflowers blanketed the prairie, and the ground

shotgun, kept it to --> shotgun, keeping it to

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


 Comment Written 23-Feb-2020



reply by the author on 23-Feb-2020
    Thanks so much. I keep trying to work hard on my self-editing. And this type of review is helpful. I made changes. Stan
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