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Joe Ehret

Deadly Threat by Tegan1311
Chapter 74 of the book Finding Truths

Good
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I'm always a little wary of jumping into an ongoing story that's already so far in, but I decided this one seemed interesting enough to take the risk. And this story definitely made me curious enough to read some more. You have some interesting descriptions of the knife and its background. You gave me a good impression of all the characters, even though I just met them. And you kept the tension high throughout.

One thing you need to work on is your wordiness. It's a really common problem that can be worked out fairly easily during second drafts, but it does require that you take the time to look for it. Sometimes you pile adjectives on like "Red whispers to me, a mixture of fear and awe and disbelief in his voice." You don't need all three, you could probably cut it down to just disbelief and I'd understand what you meant. The dialogue conveys most of those things already.

The wordiness gets in the way of an otherwise very engaging story's flow. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it and will definitely take a look at some of the previous chapters in this story. Good luck and keep up the good work.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 01-May-2014

The Gauntlet by L.A.Matthies

Excellent
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I'm always impressed that people can so thoroughly express a concept in only three short lines and you do so admirably here. I can practically see the challenge being laid down. Well done.

And while it doesn't impact the quality of the poem, I like the striking image you chose to accentuate the piece.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 30-Apr-2014

Swan Lake by RodG

Excellent
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Rock solid as always. This poem has more layers than lines and most of them are easy enough to grasp without being painfully simple. Made for a really fun read.

I also like the little detail about your son taking the photo.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 08-Apr-2014

The Crying by Dean Kuch

Excellent
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An interesting story. Most evil painting stories end up with the creep little girl murder-izing everyone or at least trying to, so it's nice to read something that takes a turn away from the usual. You do a good job of not rushing the punchline. The phone call between Chelsea and her Grandma, for instance, could easily have been cut down to just Grandma saying something and Chelsea suddenly freaking out, but you gave it time to breath and develop.

My only complaint is that you sometimes get a little wordy. "she would angrily castigate him", for example. Castigation is already a harsh act, so doing so angrily is a bit redundant.

However, all told, it was a fun story. Good luck in the contest.

As for the basis in truth, is this your story or did someone else tell it to you?
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 21-Mar-2014
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

Are Writer's Dismissive (239 words) by dejohnsrld (Debbie)

Excellent
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It's interesting to get another person's perspective on this. My experiences with fellow writers has been similar to yours, but I've received much less attitude from non-writers. In all likelihood it's because I'm still in college so people who might otherwise disapprove think it's just a phase or that I'll "grow up and grow out of it".

I appreciate the thought you put into this because I've found it more common for writers to think about how non-writers will perceive their work and less about how non-writers will perceive them.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 15-Mar-2014

Sucker Punch by RodG

Excellent
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As always, you've got some great turns of phrase. "I aimed my face in her direction" was one of my favorites. And the ending was great. Cool, gritty detective starts screaming bloody murder. Nice.

One nitpick I had was the background. While you don't belabor the background, I'm rarely a fan of getting it at the beginning. Seeding it in through the story usually feels smoother to me. You don't have many words to work with, so I doubt there's much to be done. It's really more of a pet peeve than any real flaw. Still a thoroughly entertaining romp.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 06-Mar-2014

The One Armed Bandit by evrenios

Excellent
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Ha! Fun little poem. I like the feeling of kinda being in the head of this supposedly inanimate object and listening to how it occupies itself. It's just our foul-mouthed friend kinda muttering to himself until the end there when something catches his attention and really sets him off.

Fun. Clever. It's nice to read something like this.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 10-Jan-2014

Apache Vengeance by RodG

Excellent
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I like some of the details you lace through your story for verisimilitude. Pinion trees, greasewood, and the bits of history throughout.

You do a good job of establishing your main character. His rage, his pride, his determination, and even his slight alienation from the tribe that sees him as something of an outsider, it's all shown effectively.

You're also very descriptive, setting the scene and painting an effective picture of the characters without getting bogged down in details.

Good story overall, very engaging.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 07-Jan-2014

Enchanted Forest by RodG

Excellent
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I like the alliteration you started this off with and the very simple imagery you present. I can really see what you're talking about here even without the picture. I can hear the crunch of snow beneath my boots, feel my hands brushing over the branches to loose fresh barrage of snow upon the ground, and even the thin tendrils of a breeze that slip through all the branches.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 03-Jan-2014

Delta Elegy by queenv
Chapter 8 of the book Mississippi Bound

Excellent
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This look at the dark history of Mississippi reminds me a bit of Faulkner. The style's different, but the subject matter itself reminds me of some of his work.

I like this a lot. There's a richness to the wording, stained and crimson and remains. They have a very particular feel to them that lends your poem texture.

I also like your rhymes. They're not very heavy handed so they give the poem flow rather controlling it.

Good job.
Comment Written by Joe Ehret on 17-Dec-2013


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