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shaffer40

Being Led Down the Garden Path by Susan Larson

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I love the colors described in your story, and some of the lines are priceless: "must be a rare variety," "that stuff out back," and the last line sums it all up so nicely. Well done.
Comment Written by shaffer40 on 15-Jan-2020

I See You by May 1

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

A nice starting-out-as-friends story. I think the ending, when they realize they're enjoying romance between them, is charming and even a bit humorous, the complete turnaround she experiences, even becoming jealous, as in "don't you dare admire any other ladies"...Cupid played a trick on her.

I made edits I hope you'll find useful. There are many places where I thought you needed contractions, as people talk in contractions, and there were a few word changes I suggested just for better form. Editing is awkward on here, as it isn't really set up for that, so I hope my suggests are in order.
*************************************************

I know, I know I'm just a bit on edge.
I think you mean to repeat "I know" and need a period after the second one.

I have to walk very slowly and carefully or it will be ruined.
Suggest contraction & omit "very"--usually weakens idea:
I have to walk slowly and carefully or it'll be ruined.

That is so true. I have no idea how I will dance in this thing.
Suggest contractions: That's so true. I have no idea how I'll dance in this thing.

but all I can do in it, comfortably, is standing.
Suggest: but all I can do in it, comfortably, is stand.

Don't forget I will be by your side the whole time,
Suggest contraction: Don't forget I'll be by your side the whole time.

You are the best friend a girl can wish for.
Suggest contraction: You're the best friend a girl could wish for.

That is the point of a ballroom dress.
Suggest contraction: That's the point of a ballroom dress.

By the way whose dumb idea was it, to have the ball at the island castle.
Need question mark.

A lady is never 'grumpy', as you say.
Suggest: A lady's never 'grumpy,' as you say.

I am just a bit annoyed by this whole idea.
Suggest contraction: I'm just a bit annoyed by this whole idea.

You thought you would meet your Prince Charming tonight?
Suggest contraction: You thought you'd meet your Prince Charming tonight?

Hm, well,...I think I would know. There will be a sign. Something will tell me he is the One. That he will always be by my side no matter what.
Suggest contractions & tense: Hm, well...I think I'd know. There'd be a sign. Something would tell me he's the one, that he'll always be by my side no matter what.

To tell you that you are beautiful when you need to hear it.
Suggest contraction & question mark
To tell you that you're beautiful when you need to hear it?

I have always seen you as a brother,
Suggest: I've always seen you as a brother

You are making no sense!
Suggest: You're making no sense.

I am satisfied with being the charming young lady that every man dreams of having, but knows she is out of his reach.
Suggest contraction & word changes: I'm satisfied with being the charming young lady that every man dreams of having but knows is out of his reach.

Envied on my beautiful long hair,
Envied for my beautiful, long hair

When will you stop pretending you are this shallow but gorgeous woman everyone wants?
Suggest: Contraction & reverse: When will you stop pretending you're this gorgeous but shallow woman everyone wants?

If that is not what I am, then please enlighten me. What am I?! You tell me since I don't seem to know who I am?!
Suggest contraction; no question mark after last sentence; omit "then" & last words:
if that's not what I am, please enlighten me. What am I? You tell me, since I don't seem to know.

You are a strong, intelligent woman who happens to be beautiful, as well.
Omit second comma

Why can't you just go beyond that artificial image of me as your friend, your brother, that you have created?
Suggest contraction: that you've created?

That I try to see you as a friend, a family member so that I can stay away from you!
Needs question mark.

To keep all the superficial nonsense in my life from breaking you! From breaking the most precious person, I have ever known!
Contraction; both need question marks
To keep all the superficial nonsense in my life from breaking you? From breaking the most precious person I've ever known?

As far as I understand that is what people call a kiss if I am not mistaken.
Suggest contraction & omit either the "far as I understand" or "if I'm not mistaken"
One is enough and omitting the extra verbiage will make it stronger.
Suggest: If I'm not mistaken that's what people call a kiss.

Now there is no going back.
Suggest: Now there's no going back.

Mmm, you know, you are a much better kisser than I thought.
Suggest: Mmm, you know, you're a much better kisser than I expected.

Who is all about the surface and appearances now?
Suggest: Now, who's all about surface and appearances?

That is even more inappropriate.
Suggest: That's even more inappropriate.

Oh, and Jeremy, you are my date tonight.
Suggest: you're my date tonight

I will do my best, but I make no promises. These types of parties can sometimes be truly boring, but I hope you can keep me entertained.
Suggest: I'll do my best, but I make no promises. These parties can be truly boring. I hope you can keep me entertained.
OR
I'll depend on you to keep me entertained.





Comment Written by shaffer40 on 13-Jan-2020

Chapter 3 by Sylcastillo14
Chapter 3 of the book Baby, It's You

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I haven't read your other chapters, but from this one, I would say this will be an interesting work of fiction. I made some corrections I hope you will find useful.
***************************************************

In your introduction:
Marco goes to dinner at his dad's bosses house
"bosses" is plural, not possessive
Should read: Marco goes to dinner at his dad's boss' house

"You already know how he is. He likes to get a rise out of you. Don't let him get to you." He says.
Assignation requires no capital letter and should have comma at end of quote.
Suggest: "You already know how he is. He likes to get a rise out of you. Don't let him get to you," he says.
OR Prefer:
"You already know how he is," he says. "He likes to get a rise out of you, so don't let him do it."

"Get yourself together and enjoy our dinner tonight."
Suggest: "Get yourself together, and let's enjoy our dinner tonight."

"Hi there, dinner is ready. I hope you are hungry!
Suggest contractions, as people talk in contractions.
"Hi, there. Dinner's ready. I hope you're hungry."

"She is running late from her tutoring job. So, get your ass down here right now." Tony yells back up.
Need comma after "now" rather than period; contraction
Suggest: "She's running late from her tutoring job," Tony yells back up, "so get your ass down here right now."

"Fine," She yells back.
Small "s" in assignation.
"Fine," she yells back.

I look up as she is stomping down the stairs.
Suggest: I look up as she stomps down the stairs.

Holy shit, it's the girl from the park, and She is wearing a shit ton of makeup.
Need small "s"; not repeat "shit" so close; contraction.
Suggest: Holy shit, it's the girl from the park, and she's wearing a ton of makeup.

She sees me and grins at me.
Suggest omit "at me" - She sees me and grins.
OR
She looks at me and grins.

"Katrina is home! "He shrieks.
Spacing--extra space after exclamation point; contraction; small "h" in "he"
"Katrina's home!" he shrieks.

"Oh, and Chucky is with her."
Contraction: "Oh, and Chucky's with her."

Suggest new paragraph:
I smile at his enthusiasm for having his sister come back. I can't see him, because there is a wall blocking the front entrance. "Hi, Sissy. Hi, Cousin."

"Hi, Joey." The girl's voice says. " I'm sorry, I'm so late." She says as she walks into the room.
Extra space between "says" and "I'm sorry"
Small "s" for assignation; no comma after "sorry"
Suggest: "Hi, Joey, I'm sorry I'm so late," the girl says as she walks into the room."

How was the rest of your chocolate ice cream."
Need question mark after "ice cream"

HOLY SHIT! I look between the two sisters
Suggest: I look from one sister to the other. HOLY SHIT! Karolina and Katrina are identical twins.
OR
I look at one sister, then the other. HOLY SHIT! Karolina and Katrina are identical twins.





Comment Written by shaffer40 on 13-Jan-2020

Dave and Jill by Heather L. Luke

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I laughed all the way through this limerick love story that you've cleverly put together for the contest. Some really funny lines. Good luck in the contest--it's going to be close I believe.
Comment Written by shaffer40 on 11-Jan-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

A tender trap by JudyE

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is such a nice story with a clever surprise ending. With some tweaking, it would make a good Valentine's Day story for a magazine--"Woman's World" runs such stories. Anyway, good luck in the contest.
Comment Written by shaffer40 on 11-Jan-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

Fairy Rock by Jeffrey Ford
Chapter 1 of the book Fairy Rock

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I made some edits in this exciting story that I hope you will find useful.
*******************************

but he seems too rattled to drink because he wants to make his move on, Serenity
Omit comma after "on"

He pulls out his cell phone, and he starts playing his favorite video game,
Suggest: He pulls out his cell phone and starts playing his favorite video game,

"Tevin, as shy as you are, I never seen you talk so loud. Good job, my best friend!" says Richard.
I assume you meant the grammatical error -- "seen" rather than "saw" -- maybe that's how your character would say it? If so, ignore my edit.
OR
You could also say "I never heard you talk so loud."

"Tevin! Tevin! Tevin!" says his friends cheering him on.
say his friends, cheering him on

He spills part of it on his blue jean outfit "Slow down buddy there's plenty of beer,"
Punctuation
Suggest: He spills part of it on his blue jean outfit. "Slow down, buddy, there's plenty of beer."

He blows her a kiss, and he watches her blush as she switches her thick hips and goes into his bedroom for the night. "I may not be that good at video games, but I am going to score tonight," says Richard.
Suggest: He blows her a kiss and watches her blush as she switches her thick hips and goes into his bedroom for the night. "I may not be that good at video games, but I'm going to score tonight," he says.

Tevin high fives his best friend and takes a puff of the joint that's in his hand.
Suggest: Tevin high fives his best friend and takes a puff of the joint.

"It's my first time," says Tevin.
Don't need assignation here. "It's my first time."

"I know it is amateur," says Richard.
Suggest: "I know it's amateur," Richard taunted him.

He sucks on the bong pipe and inhales the smoke until he can no longer breathe. He coughs the smoke out of his lungs and falls to one knee gasping for air. He closes his eyes to embrace the dizziness as he smiles from all the attention. They help him to a chair and take pictures of him to cherish the moment that they are having with him. Tevin sticks his tongue out to make the photo funnier.
Suggest commas after "knee" & after "dizziness"

His friends scurry to the new stained- glass windows that Richard's dad recently put in to see who it is.
Extra space between "stained-" & "glass
This reads as though Richard installed the windows to see who was outside. Maybe omit "Richard's dad"
Suggest: His friends scurry to the newly installed stained-glass windows to see who it is.

Her tight red silk dress made the boys bite their fists as they yell out, "Dang, she's fine!"
Consistent tense: Her tight red silk dress make the boys bite.....

It is Serenity!
Suggest contraction: It's Serenity.

"The guys at the window say Serenity is here,"
Suggest contraction: "The guys at the window say Serenity's here,"

trying to clean the crust from the side of his freckled filled face.
Suggest either freckled face OR freckle-filled face

Richard gives him a toothbrush so he can clean his teeth as he hopes today is the day that Serenity finally notices his best friend.
Omit phrase
Suggest: Richard gives him a toothbrush, as he hopes today is the day that Serenity finally notices his best friend.

holds on to the rail
holds onto the rail

With all the concentration his drunken mind has, he finally makes it to the living room. Looking up, he sees the most lovely and radiant looking woman that his eyes have ever seen. The aura of Serenity's beauty made his mouth water.
"sees" and "seen" too close together; tense inconsistency
Suggest compress: With all the concentration his drunken mind can manage, he finally makes it to the living room, where he sees the world's loveliest and most radiant woman on Earth. The aura of her beauty makes his mouth water.

Richard tries to interrupt Tevin from staring because he is making it obvious.
Suggest: Richard tries to interrupt Tevin's obvious stare.

He gives his favorite comrade another beer hoping the liquid courage will give his pal the confidence to finally make his move.
Suggest: He gives his favorite comrade another beer, hoping to increase his confidence enough that he can make his move.

Tevin guzzles down the beer hoping it would stop his heart from beating so fast. Richard swiftly watches his hopeless romantic friend crush the plastic cup with frustration when he sees that Daniel is at the party. "Richard, why did you invite him?" asks Tevin.
Suggest: Tevin guzzles the beer, hoping it will stop his heart from beating so fast. "Richard, why did you invite him?"
Omit assignation "asks Tevin" at the end

"I didn't invite the jerk. I just invited Serenity, and she must have brought him," says Richard pulling his braids from his long brown hair.
Comma after "says Richard"

"I gotta get him out here before they start some trouble," says Richard.
Suggest: out of here
Also: Not sure who "they" are; maybe state who might start trouble
Omit "some"

Serenity immediately goes over to him. "I was just catching up to some old friends, baby," says Serenity.
Omit assignation at end.
Serenity goes over to him. "I was just catching up on some old friends, baby."

"I don't care! Don't leave my side again!" says Daniel sticking his finger in her face.
Suggest reverse: Daniel sticks his finger in her face. "I don't care," he shouts, "don't leave my side again."

Daniel takes his shiny black leather coat off his tall body and gives it to her. He has his gray tarantula shirt on, which matches the tattoos on his well-built arms. Serenity holds his coat as Daniel continues to scold her for leaving his side.
Suggest: He removes his shiny, black leather coat and hands it to her. He's wearing his gray tarantula shirt, which matches the tattoos on his well-built arms. Serenity holds the coat as he continues to scold her for leaving his side.

Tevin paces around the party because he doesn't want to see Serenity in any pain and wants to do something about it. He has sweated through his blue jean outfit. His mind is racing trying to muster up the courage to go over and defend her.
Suggest: Tevin, sweating through his blue jean outfit, paces around the room. He doesn't want to see Serenity in pain. His mind races as he tries to muster up the courage to defend her.

As Tevin's heart beats rapidly, and he takes a deep breath and stutters out the words, "Stop it!"
Suggest: Tevin's heart beats rapidly as he takes a deep breath and utters, "Stop it!"

No one heard his words because he said them so low. "Stop it!" he says again.
This time it was loud enough for Daniel to hear. Daniel glares at him, causing Tevin to flinch, thinking that the tattooed blond-haired muscular man is going to pound his face into the newly renovated ceramic floor.
Tense consistency
Suggest combine:
No one hears him because he says it so low. "Stop it!" he says again, this time loud enough for Daniel to hear. He glares at Tevin, causing him to flinch, fearing that the tattooed, muscular, blond-haired man will pound his face into the newly renovated, ceramic floor.

He takes her by the hand, and they left the party. Tevin drops his head as his eyes start to water. He wipes the beer off the blue sleeves of his jacket while he puts it on and exits the party.
Tense: He takes her by the hand, and they leave the party. Tevin drops his head, as his eyes start to water. He wipes the beer from the blue sleeves of his jacket, before he puts it on and exits the party.

Richard comes back into the living room with his boys from upstairs, and he is holding a wooden baseball bat ready to knock the ink off all the tattooed bikers, but they have already left his house. He looks around the party and doesn't see his best friend until he finally spots a glimpse of him walking down the nature trail behind his parent's backyard.
Suggest: Richard reenters the living room with his boys from upstairs. He is holding a wooden baseball bat, planning to knock the ink off all the tattooed bikers, but he finds that they have all left. He finally spots his best friend walking down the nature trail behind his parent's backyard.

He catches up to him and puts his arm around his best friend's thin body. "Are you okay?" asks Richard.
Suggest: He catches up with him and places his arm around his thin body. "Are you okay?"

A short while later, the two reach the top of the trail, which is a mountain that towers over the entire town where an incredibly gigantic boulder called Fairy Rock resides.
Suggest: A short while later, the two reach the end of the trail, the top of a mountain that towers over the entire town. It features a gigantic boulder called Fairy Rock into which the names of various town citizens have been engraved.

Tevin takes his hand and wipes a little bit of mud off it.
Suggest: Tevin wipes mud from his friend's hand. "Are you going to be okay?"

"She kissed him right in front of me. I don't want to imagine what they're doing in the bedroom right now," says Tevin.
"She kissed him right in front of me," Tevin lamented. "I don't want to imagine what they're doing in the bedroom right now."

You have to have more confidence Tevin as you do in that video game," says Richard as he brushes mud off of his jeans.
Suggest: You have to have the same confidence you have in that video game," Richard says, brushing mud off his jeans.

The stars are shining brightly in the dark sky as the two are sitting near the famous boulder.
as the two sit near the famous boulder

Not only will they rescue you, but they will help you achieve your dreams," says Tevin
Suggest contraction; period missing at end
Not only will they rescue you, they'll help you achieve your dreams," says Tevin.

"That is just a myth," says Richard trying not to chuckle in front of his crying friend.
Contraction; comma
"That's just a myth," says Richard, trying not to chuckle in front of his crying friend.

Richard briefly takes his arm from around Tevin, and he points his finger in the air, and his mouth opens as he temporarily stops breathing. Wait a minute! You're not thinking about jumping off Fairy Rock?" asks Richard.
Quote missing from "Wait a minute.
Suggest: Richard removes his arm from around Tevin and points his finger in the air. His breath stops as he cries, "Wait a minute. You're not thinking about jumping off Fairy Rock?"
No assignation needed at end.

Suggest omit following two sentences.
"Yes!" says Tevin.
"You cannot be that obsessed with her to kill yourself," says Richard.

Take it up here:
"I can't live without her, says Tevin.

"Why there are so many amazing girls out there," says Richard.
Suggest: "When there are so many amazing girls out there?"

"None as amazing as Serenity, "says Tevin.
Move quote mark over
Omit assignation

Richard pulls his braids again. "This is so frustrating! How about you don't harm yourself, and I will help you win Serenity's heart," says Richard.
Omit sentence
Suggest: Richard pulls on his braids again. "How about you don't harm yourself, and I'll help you win Serenity's heart?"
No assignation needed

"We will start tomorrow," says Richard.
Suggest contraction: "We'll start tomorrow."





Comment Written by shaffer40 on 10-Jan-2020

Raw with Grief by duchessofdrumborg

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is a great ode to the animals tragically killed in the fires of Australia. "Furry magic" is an apt title for these adorable creatures. I hope you are doing all right since the fires.
Comment Written by shaffer40 on 09-Jan-2020

The Fam by Bill Pinder
Chapter 2 of the book Mission Possible

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is a perfectly-written chapter in what I suspect will be an interesting book. The dialogue is humorous; I especially liked the line about bagging a man and also Michael's description of football.
Comment Written by shaffer40 on 09-Jan-2020

Positive Me. by Tina Crute

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This is a poem with lots of beautiful words and imagery.
The idea that you--see pain and see healing, although not a doctor nor a sponge--is genius.
I also like the words about being tossed around but landing.
Well done.
Comment Written by shaffer40 on 08-Jan-2020

The Door by victor 66

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I love this creepy story with its possible gruesome outcomes. I like fill-in-the-blank mysteries. You did a good job with the story line and the dialogue in the police interviews.

I made some suggestions for punctuation and word changes to make it flow better and more compact.

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

We met in high school".
Period before quote mark.

"No kids. We both became teachers. At the end of the day, we didn't have the energy to raise any kids of our own. We talked about having kids for a long time. But, we both came to the same conclusion. We both felt we couldn't work with kids all day then come home and be good parents."
Suggest rearrange and trim a bit:
"No kids. We both became teachers. We talked about having kids for a long time, but we came to the same conclusion: At the end of the day, we didn't have the energy to raise any of our own. We felt we couldn't work with kids all day then come home and be good parents."

Sgt. Fritz, "Tell me, what a normal day was like for you and Karen."
No comma after Tell me
Not sure it's correct to set up the dialogue with just the speaker's name.
Suggest: Sgt. Fritz continued. "Tell me what a normal day was like for you and Karen."

work on stomach exercises till six a.m.
No need to repeat a.m.
work on stomach exercises till six.

We left our drinks thinking that a mouse or whatever, was getting into something.
Punctuation: We left our drinks, thinking that a mouse or whatever was getting into something.

Sgt. Fritz, "Then what?"
"Then what?" the Sergeant asked.

Peter's eyes got big,
Period after "big"

Sgt. Fritz, "Go on, Continue."
"Go on, continue." -- no assignation needed

Nothing, but concreate.
No comma; concrete misspelled

I threw the flashlight through the door but nothing became visible, not even the sound of the flashlight hitting anything.
Suggest: flashlight hitting something

Sgt. Fritz, intense... "Damn it, go on"!
Quote after exclamation point.
Suggest: "Damn it, go on!" Sgt. Fritz urged with a new intensity.

I reached in and someone or something, grabbed my arm!
Suggest: I reached in and someone--or something--grabbed my arm!

No one has ever got a hold of me like that
ahold one word

I'm 6 ft. 5' and weight
6 foot 5 inches -- written out to be consistent
"weigh" rather than "weight"

I have less than 7% body fat. I'm the big guy!"
I have less than seven percent body fat. I'm the big guy!"

That's what you want, right?
Missing quote at end.

Fritz, "Well, Johnson... what did you find at the Lang house?"
"Well, Johnson," asked Sgt. Fritz. "What did you find at the Lang house?"

"Nothing, Sergeant Fritz
No need to say entire name.
Suggest: "Nothing, Sergeant.

Missing Person's report
No need for caps or 's: missing person report














Comment Written by shaffer40 on 08-Jan-2020


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