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jpduck

The Balance Sheet by Spiritual Echo

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I have been planning to rejoin FS soon, but at a less frenetic pace. I was having a little previous brouse when I came across this story and started to read. The start continued seemlessly to a finish.

My God, your writing has become even better in a few months. I thought this was perfect -- very accomplished -- beautifully balanced. I would swear this could be published in a trice in a dozen different magazines. I will certainly bookcase it.

May blessings be yours, Ingrid.


I have a couple of jobs to finish before I return properly to FS. See you soon.


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 16-Jan-2017

Darkness by giraffmang

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

I suspect I loath Halloween almost as much as Jasper. But I enjoyed this; it was well done, I thought.

'Rap... rap... rap... incessant, insistent, impatient.' (Great alliteration).

'The darkness oozed through the bedroom door, stalking him, tasting his fear.' (Excellent).

A suggestion. (Square brackets indicate suggested deletion):

'He ambled over to the staircase, turned on the [upper] landing light and flicked off the downstairs one' (I don't think the 'upper' is needed. On the face of it, this sentence appears to mean that he turned on the higher of the two landing lights, whereas, presumably you mean he turned on the upper of the two switches at the foot of the stairs. This isn't really needed. 'turned on the landing light and flicked off the downstairs one' works fine).


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 19-Oct-2016

Peter by barkingdog

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

Very interesting. Like the curate's egg, I thought it was 'good in parts'. I loved the opening concept -- the multi-personality protagonist who portrays different persona in different circumstances. I wished you had maintained this a little longer -- or even throughout.

There was one common howler which never works, in my opinion.
You had the two paramedics talking about their patient's history. Two characters telling each other, in some detail, about what they both know already. Presumably this is for the benefit of the reader, but this never works.


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 18-Oct-2016

When I'm Sixty-four, A Memoir by Ulla

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

With great respect to your natural sense of honesty, I think I would have been very inclined to omit the first three paragraphs. The borderline between fiction and non-fiction is always blurred in any case, and you are also a natural fiction writer.

You conjure the period well.


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 18-Oct-2016

Crossed Dimensions by mfowler
Chapter 33 of the book Valerie: Through the Looking Glass

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

A great episode, with lots to puzzle about -- especially the i/d of Cassius Quay, whom Valerie half recognised. I'm wondering if he might be her one-time 'boy friend' of tree-house fame (forgotten his name).

'The coffee redefined her morning' (Nice one).

A couple of suggestions. (Square brackets indicate suggested deletions, and asterisks, suggested insertions):

'He was a tall man, athletic maybe, [except that]*although* his dark tracksuit hid him like a foreign spy' (Just a suggestion; I think 'except that' feels a little clumsy).

' 'Pssst! Val, here!' called a voice [from behind a clump of nearby trees]. Valerie looked about until she recognised the curly hair showing from behind [the]*some* trees.' (This eliminates the 'behind/trees' repetition).


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 18-Oct-2016

Sally - Part Seven by Ulla
Chapter 7 of the book Sally

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

Another well-written chapter. You really make the characters come to life.

'God, what have I done to them both? They've visibly aged in the short time I've been here today. It breaks my heart.' (I feel everything is much clearer if you use italics, without quote marks, for Sally's thoughts here. Single quotes are too easily confused with double quotes).


Adrian

Comment Written by jpduck on 17-Oct-2016

How To Rob Banks~by Rob by humpwhistle

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

One of the best. But I do have to point out an omission from your learned treatise. I think you should address the issue of timing -- specifically, bus-timetables. I mean, it's no use trying to make good your escape if your bus isn't due for ten minutes. Attention to detail, my man, that's how it crunches, cooky-wise.

One typo. (* * indicates suggested insertions):

'you might want to determine where your next-door neighbor*'*s bank *is,* and scratch that one off your list'


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 17-Oct-2016

I am back - Sort of... Part 1 by Sasha

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

I may be a slow learner, but has only just occurred to me that Mexico is a place of true madness.

'(not sure if I need the ' before the 's' in the name)' (Yes, your do. 'Car Jr's' means 'the shop of Carl Jr; so it is possessive; so it needs an apaotrophe. :-))

Welcome home,
Adrian

Comment Written by jpduck on 16-Oct-2016

The Smug Clock by Realist101

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

An interesting piece of prose poetry. It works well, but I think you introduced a few too many loose ends. I loved the smug, implacable clock.

One typo:

'before the killing frost blankets *of* the world they share'


Adrian
Comment Written by jpduck on 15-Oct-2016

Marie's Story by robyn corum
Chapter 1 of the book Home Base - the real one

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

What a nausious little creatue Dennis was -- almost too bad to be true (LOL).

You gave the story a neat ending.

'She couldn't wait to get a glimpse at those cameras' (Technically it will be the screens or monitors she will be looking at, not the monitors).


Adrian

Comment Written by jpduck on 15-Oct-2016


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