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giraffmang

Ways Of The World - A Prolog by Jason Polliard
Chapter 1 of the book NOT OURS TO KNOW - A Rime In Prose

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Hi there,

I enjoyed this opening salvo. t has a distinct tone and it's hard to settle into, which I think it the intent.

I made some notes as I read through-

A chapter in the book NOT OURS TO KNOW - A Rime In Prose- should rime be rhyme here? Rime is a word in its own right (frosty) which doesn't seem to fit the context. As the title and description line are the first things which folk see, they really need to be spot on.

a thirty-something year-old first lieutenant- Ii would tend to be a bit more specific abut the age. There's a world of difference in nine years. Even early or mid 30s would be more revealing.

Watch your sentence structure. you use a lot of long-winded and lengthy sentences which carry a lot of information. too many of these, especially close together can set a cadence in the read whereby the reader doesn't really take in what has been written but just sort of goes with the flow or rhythm.

Some of the lengthy descriptions draw more attention to the writer than the write.

plain where the albino (corpse?) said to meet.- the significance of corpse is lost on the reader.

and his new reality begins to dawn on him as his eyes adjust to the virtual twilight:- may be better to end here with a full stop / period rather than the colon given a new paragraph follows.

"Come now, Phil," Carlton begins, waxing indignant, "I have no need of filthy, stinking animals! It's bad enough I have to deal with your kind. Look around in case you missed it, lieutenant.
"Miss Liddy always provides."- probably no necessity here for a new paragraph. (few other places too within Carlton's dialogue)

There's a tendency in some places to rely on adverbs. Not too bad in itself but when they come, they tend to clump together which makes them stand out. Just something to be aware of.

There's the occasional slip into cliché - devil in the details, money has money, greed is king - which sits at odds with the rest of the piece.

Thanks to the windborne dust and a spooked burro, Jorge was separated from his travelling companions earlier that morning, and he had travelled alone all day along the old carriage trail, planning to meet his brother in Organ on the morrow after sheltering here for the night. - this feels like a sudden change in perspective here. Up to this point, it's all centred on Phil and now we're with Jorge. It's a little jarring.

The 'knowing' attitude of the narrator is a little grating and lifts the reader out of the tale when it occurs.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 04-Jun-2020

Visitors by K. Olsen
Chapter 3 of the book Light of the Heavens

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Hi there,

it may be an idea to include a previously or background section at the beginning of the post. Members read a lot of stories on site and it can be difficult to keep story-lines straight. This would aid the memory of existing readers and maybe entice new readers to the work.

I enjoyed this post. There is strong characterisation and the dialogue for each remains consistent within that. The pacing is also nice.

A few things I jotted down as I read through you might want to consider-

The air even inside hinted - perhaps invert this to inside even.

There were people chattering in a dozen or more different languages, - you could omit 'different' here as the number given infers this.

Vassa flicked her fingers, almost conjuring a gold coin from nowhere.- I would maybe alter 'almost' here too something like seemingly. As it is, it reads that she almost conjured it rather than where it came from.

Vassa said pleasantly. She leaned in slightly.- be careful with adverb, especially close together. It makes them stand out and can expose weak choices in the verbs.

pleasantly is used quite a bit in rapid succession, especially around dialogue in the earlier sections.

looked without obviously looking. - you could say something like 'surreptitiously glanced'.

ithout obviously looking. She could see the three men over Vassa's shoulder, since the masked woman was several inches shorter. "Which first?"
"We will start with the least obviously - be careful with the repetitious adverbs. (others such as quietly recur frequently as well. I would check through with this in mind)

testing the fit of the door in the frame. It was solidly built and would dampen sound, perhaps by intent. The floor had creaked ever so slightly when Seben followed her into the room, so it would betray anyone heavy standing near the door, if only for a split second. - this section doesn't completely tally up with Seben's actions a little while earlier - here was no sign of any pursuit from the noble or his guards, even when Seben pressed her ear to the door to the hall and listened. The thumping of many feet going to and fro as people moved to their rooms, but none that stopped and lingered near their door.

It was a touching comment to come from the acerbic woman, - I'm not sure acerbic is the best description based on this chapter. Vassa tends to answer questions with questions as noted buy Seben, this is not sharp and forthright.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 01-Jun-2020

He Has Lost His Sloth by Bill Schott

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Hi there,

Some nice inventiveness here but I'm not sure it totally works due to lack of consistency. The lisping aspect... would it not apply to sloth as well as the other 's' sounds'?

Fun piece though
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 01-Jun-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

Twist of Fate by Casper 1

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Hi there,

I'm pretty sure using other people's characters for the competition isn't allowed. As this is a site competition, you won't be notified if you've been disqualified but I would think this would be the case.

That aside, there's not much of a story going on here, it's just a snippet of an opening. I get there's only 75 words but even so.

and blame all it on Magneto's Daughter, The Witch." - it all.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 28-May-2020

A Night Like No Other by Vanna1

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Hi there,

Nice tone to the piece and the pacing is good. Great feel to it.

A few notes I made as I read through-

Stan sat on a bar stool cognac in hand.- perhaps a coma following stool.

Eighties hits set the mood of the scene.- you could omit of the scene.

Cherry blossom lips, complimented with black hair - in this instance it would be complemented.

Her tanned long fingers swept - I would suggest swopping tanned and long around for a better flow.

After placing a fin on the bar, - fin?

and walked toward her chest out advertising his strong build. - consider adding a comma after her. otherwise it could read as he walked toward her chest.

Following speech tags are generally lower case unless a proper noun or name.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 28-May-2020

Thee Stone by LaFrance

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Nice creativity for this piece you've crafted for the competition. I was wondering where it was going at one point but it all came together at the end.

I was used to the culture of the place I had been living there for over a year,- this feels like a run on and could probably use some punctuation after place or split into two sentences.

to get agitated from his loud and vulgar mouth.- consider 'by' in place of 'from' perhaps.

I dared not to take shit or shower - take a shit.

I dared not to take shit or shower until one evening, Stone's older sister visited him - I don't think the comma is necessary here.

Right away noticed I was not intimidated and withdrew into his room away he noticed.

reckless behavior of not carrying what women thought about his disability. - not caring.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 27-May-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

The Merciless Killer by pome lover

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Hi there,

I liked this piece. The reveal at the end is good and quite satisfying. I have to say though that everything that comes before the last few lines feels like filler. More like a 'character study' than an actual story.

The other aspect which is misleading is the term husband. Cheetah's don't usually mate in that manner and whilst it is misdirection it is inaccurate.

Just some thoughts!

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 27-May-2020
Read and reviewed with blinders on.

Twenty Percent by Mia Twysted

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Hi there,

I enjoyed this piece. The tone is good and the pacing is spot on. Solid characterisation throughout and consistent.

A few little things I noted down as I read through-

leaving Norris with feeling in his gut that somehow this was all a bad idea. - either omit with or insert 'a' after it.

"I have a bad feeling about this?" - this feels more like a statement than a question. Why would he ask his brother about his own feelings in this way?

the men settled themselves, against the side of the car. - unnecessary comma here.

"You her?" Aaron sniffed, "you Twenty?" - second piece of dialogue here after the tag should start with a capital. the previous dialogue is closed off by the ? so it's a new sentence.

"That's me?" she paused before pulling - again, she's replying to their question with a statement.

There's no mention in the initial description of Twenty of her wearing glasses. Maybe that should come earlier?

"This is him?" she confirmed. - maybe change the tag. She's asking for confirmation, not confirming it by the use of the question mark.

twenty-twenty vision is the norm. it's not anything out of the ordinary it's just good vision.

Twenty looked at Aaron while motioned her gun toward Norris.- either motioning or she motioned.

. Putting her gun back in her jacket, she took the money and disappeared into the sunset."- delete the speech marks from the very end here.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 27-May-2020

AmaZing Animals - I by sandramitchell
Chapter 9 of the book AmaZing Animals

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Hi Sandra,

Very nice. It's always tough when the kids are very aware of their own capabilities and can be very frustrating. This is good.

They are black in colour, this helps to keep them warm whilst swimming in the cold ocean. - maybe change this to which (perhaps in danger of a run on here)

All the best
G
Comment Written by giraffmang on 27-May-2020

THe Twenty Vision by Francis Pillman

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Hi there,

it looks like the description line is unfinished - should it read story after humorous? If not I would suggest removing the 'a' which precedes it.

Also the first two letters of the title are capitalised rather than just the first.

As these are the first things a prospective reader sees, they should be correctly presented as many folk will skip based on this alone. First impressions of the write.

Also, it may be an idea to incorporate some line breaks into your work. Inserting clear lines between paragraphs can make for a cleaner write which is more readable on screen. Again, many folk skip over blocks of unbroken text.

I like the quirks for the character but needs a bit consistency in applying them.

. Each of his siblings had names - delete the period from the start of this paragraph.

Tabitha, for example, was a bjblical name - biblical.

and "Thomas" was associated with many famous - you use the quote marks for this name here but not anywhere else. It's usually best to stick to the same presentation.

Be careful of filler. Phrases such as 'from time to time' and 'for the most part' are suchlike and don't really add anything to the story.

There's no real explanation early on for the counting past twenties thing. There's no context given for why this does not occur other than his name, which is a little bizarre. Why would he be happy to count the lower numbers and not the higher ones?

If he was only bothered by ice hockey, why would he be watching basketball?

I think you've given the character quirks but they're not consistent throughout and sometimes a little contradictory.

The coin thing doesn't add up with the rest of the attitude to money. Twenty coins in change but what if they didn't add to twenty?

the development of his talents They pondered ways - need a period after talents.

keeping a good social distance apart to respect the rules for countering the coronavirus pandemic.- would he have insisted on a 20m gap rather than 2?

The coronavirus reference doesn't really need to be there. it just comes out of nowhere and isn't particularly germane to the story.

wenty's companions passed him while others lagged far behind. However Twenty kept to his own planned schedule, moving faster at times but faithfully for 20 minutes and then resting for his 20 minutes whether others did or not- would this have not annoyed him or stressed him out given the conditions set down for his involvement?

The ending comes very abruptly. Feels rushed and I'm not sure there is a proper conclusion, certainly not a strong one. If he's thinking about changing his ways because someone hurt their knee then surely someone at some point must have had an accident before, especially given his fondness for ice hockey. Or was it an epiphany how his girlfriend treated him. Neither are these are particularly strong finishes given the length of his obsession, if you see what I mean. It makes the story a little weak.

All the best
GMG
Comment Written by giraffmang on 27-May-2020


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