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My Comments & Reviews:


StevenHunley
Tue Jan 16 19:55:30 2018

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My Review of Infatuation by bickerstaffe
Great short story
It's a pleasure to read such high quality work here. Love almost won but lost. Like how all of this seems authentic, even the southern accents. And it's more than getting the accents and pronunciation right, it's using local southern words and phrases too. Good mix in the proportions of dialogue and exposition too. All in all the details were spot on too. Didn't I read you were a Brit? how does a Brit know so many details about the US? I didn't read enough of your bio obviously. At any rate, it was a good story, realistic and well placed in time and space, but really now, come on, do they still say genteel down there? LOL. Maybe they do, as I know nothing about the South. The only thing I',m expert on is Southern California! Well done. To say it in my finest southern drawl, "You Sir, are no amateur!"
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StevenHunley
Tue Jan 9 19:41:32 2018

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My Review of Foxy Friendship by matelotrod
I liked it.
The imagery was good and the setting (man on a walk) too. And it does have a rhyme scheme of AA BB. It has all that. What it doesn't have is meter. I suggest iambic pentameter, which could give it good rhythm. Poetry when spoken has aspects of ;music, and rhythm adds to that. W. Sommerset Maugham said language should be "sonorous." Study Poe and read him aloud. Then read yours. I haven't put any stories on this site for 4 or 5 years. Now I have my five points. I'll put a story in today. If it's terrible I don't know what I'm talking about. If it's good you may consider this further.
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StevenHunley
Sun Jan 7 16:51:27 2018

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My Review of Overdosed by MayfordVC
Needs better details
You're writing a piece where someone is dying from drugs as if it was an overdose. But to be honest, your descriptions don't hold water. The only drug mentioned was a drink of some sort, but it seems to be alcohol. If so, the other effects, the IV the legs, the breathing the blood pounding, don't match up. In other words, you're going to fail convincing the reader that you know what you're talking about. If the reader is convinced of this, then he stops listening to the rest of the story. So decide what you want your protagonist to OD on. They will (cocaine, heroin, any narcotics will have much the same effect.)(Even cocaine slows breathing) Speed (amphetamines) or MDA (Ecstasy) will be different. I imagine what's happening is this: You want sympathy for your protagonist so the only "drug" you mention is alcohol. To you, alcohol is acceptable. If your protagonist did any other drug (heroin or coke for instance) you feel the reader would have less sympathy for your protagonist. You almost paint him or her as a victim. A victim of pain who makes her or his escape through drugs. This is understandable, but it's only a generalized concept. You need to be more specific. I'm so sorry about this critique, but if you want a better story, and that's not easy to do with such a few words, you need to revise this. The sentiment is true, but the details are false. To someone who is familiar with drugs (of almost any sort) this doesn't ring true in the details. Research more and be more specific. Not talking to your father, his disappointment, your disappointment with yourself, these are what's good about it. Work on these aspects .Good you put a copyright on your stuff too. Remember, much of good writing is in the revisions.
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StevenHunley
Sun Mar 17 22:59:37 2013

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My Review of The beginning by jphally8
need work
This need more work to properly critique. It has punctuation errors and what has on the run got to do with climbing mountains. Unless this is an example of foreshadowing, and I doubt it. Give us more stuff and let's see where this is really going.
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StevenHunley
Sun Mar 17 22:51:15 2013

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My Review of Rain by kfinley2
good stuff
All in all this was a good read. You have good details but too many details often add to your problem. It's overwritten. Too bad, but easy to fix. Whatever details you include ask yourself 'do they contribute to the mood or the plot?" Then they are not necessary and you're free to cut them and tighten up your prose. Also, watch out for long paragraphs of information dumps or backstory. This is a short story-not a Russian novel to kick your feet up with over a very long and frosty winter. But now the good stuff.

Your sentence length variation is good but could be better. Try some really short ones too. Your vocabulary shows you're a well-experienced reader. Most of your style is free and easy to read. You have subtly in certain of your images, that's always good. Too many time I hit my readers over the head with information. It's romantic too, and enjoy something romantic and seemingly sincere. Simplify and this could be first-rate.
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StevenHunley
Mon Mar 11 01:51:19 2013

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My Review of Within Temptation - Memories by TheCritic
needs work
All in all this isn't very poetic. The meter isn't consistent, and the rhymes aren't either It's broken into stanzas, and even those are disjointed. I have the impression this was dashed off in a second, on impulse, and not looked at again, in other words there seem to be few rewrites or revisions. If you want readers to take your work more seriously, spend more time on it, and it will show. Right now it shows no care at all.
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StevenHunley
Sun Feb 24 02:15:24 2013

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My Review of Chasing the Dragon by CloverBlackheart
good stuff
Where this is strong is in the writing itself and in your ability to express the relationship between the boy and girl. The Cupcake name itself was endearing. The Chasing the Dragon part is not so convincing. One's eyes don't exactly glaze over, the lids lower as they relax and the pupils shrink to mere points. All narcotics have this effect, You might want to make your rushing waterfall of blood to be a warm rushing waterfall as well. It would be better to be specific about your "tools 'too. Since many people use simple straws and a piece of creased aluminum foil, that would more specific than the word 'tools'. The dream-like state is a great image and accurate. For more research try Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil. Good images there too. Good job and well done.
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StevenHunley
Sun Feb 24 01:53:19 2013

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My Review of Island Of Dreams by NatureBoy
needs work
Well, what we have here is a short story that reads more like a poem. That's not to say it's poetic, because it doesn't rhyme or have any consistent theme or themes like a poem would. All in all there arte plenty of images, I agree with that, but there are few connections between them. It's a bit on the random side. If you want it to be a real short story-give us a narrative. I think however, it would make a better poem, but either way it's going to take work. Read more and write as much as you can. You like to write, but you need more structure to make this an actual story.
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StevenHunley
Mon Feb 4 00:03:09 2013

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My Review of A Story Within A Chapter * Part One by Aspiring_Angel3
Very good.
Now I don't know much about poetry. This has the look of poetry (the stanzas) yet it is not poetry. If this is prose, which I'm sure it qualifies as, it's better than some of your poetry. In other words, your poetry, an careful choice of suitable and provocative wording, is strengthening your prose. Your words choices, the intimate down to earth style of telling a story, is highly effective and some of the best I've read on the site. Well done.
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StevenHunley
Sun Feb 3 17:44:07 2013

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My Review of The Saga Of Grandpa Miller by Aspiring_Angel3
good work
This was well done and touching reminiscence of an older southern man. The layout was superior. The only thing I found distracting, we the meter of the poetry. If it were common poetry, the meter would be iambic pentameter, which is an emphasis that stresses every other syllable. If you could re-write with that in mind, the rhythm would be consistent through out. The rhyme scheme is ab ab, but then sometimes its (like in the last stanza, abcb. it's not. This also has an effect on the overall strength of the poem.

Most of all though let me compliment you on the great photographs, which look totally authentic. They match the poem exactly and give it strength. Good work.
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StevenHunley
Mon Jan 28 13:17:23 2013

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My Review of Both sides of the shot by jaredczech
needs work
Well, it needs work. First of all, the believability factor. If this is a mountain forest or jungle it must be in central or south America, since you mention a jaguar. Since there are no wars going on there at the moment that strains the believability of the piece. Stylistically you have other problems. Some of your sentence fragments work and others don't. Quotation marks should be used to set off internal dialogue or dialogue.
This needs to be proof-read too, take this sentence:

Eyes processing the the landscape examining every tree, slight movements it the under growth.
or this one:
Bugs crawling flying around to provide food for some. Some what? We're never told.

When composing, put the manuscript aside after you're satisfied that you're finished. Let it sit a while, then go back and read it again. Read it to a good friend or family member. As an author, you have in your head what you meant to say,but sometimes it escapes you when you're writing it down. Your readers see it differently and can point out mistakes.

One more point and I'll demonstrate it here:

Running up with open arms to caress him and it fills him with love and happiness. In all of the happiness he is still tainted and changed forever. Every happiness brings up the image of the bod falling limply to the dirt.

The word happiness is repeated three times! That brings too much attention to it. You're gonna hafta rephrase like:
His girlfriend is ecstatic and runs to him with open arms, her touch fills him with love and happiness. (something like that with complete sentences)
By the way, marksmen don't feel much for the men they kill, they're thought of as merely targets. It's all in their training.
I see what you're attempting to do with this story, show both sides of the picture, but use proper grammar, and punctuation,and making it easier to read wouldn't hurt, and always re-read and revise. There's more work to good writing than you can imagine and much of it is in revisions. Good luck!
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StevenHunley
Sun Jan 27 00:36:19 2013

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My Review of spooky night by rosiekerr83
Rosie,
So you're only eight! Well, actually this is pretty good for an eight year old. It could use some punctuation and that's about it. But maybe, at the end, you might want to say you ran OUT of the forest and never went back. That would make more sense. But all in all, you did a great job. Thank you for posting your story!
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StevenHunley
Sun Jan 27 00:27:29 2013

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My Review of Gentleness by bethske
Good
It's short and evocative,and the last line ties up with the beginning. For an erotic poem, I'm surprised and delighted. I didn't expect this quality at all. So much erotica is trashy and badly done, and this was straightforward and well done Thank you.
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StevenHunley
Sun Jan 27 00:21:31 2013

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My Review of ch1 of forever gone by reptarpickle
needs work
So yes, it needs work, but you already knew that. If you have trouble with spelling, then try working with a spell checker. You can even try trial versions of WORD for a month or two for free. When you spell a word incorrectly, it underlines it in red, and even gives you possible choices for spellings. Grammar is usually learned in school, and punctuation is another thing that WORD can help with, but let's get down to the real story. The story is basically this, an orphan girl wakes up from a bad dream and walks down the hall with a worker she's doesn't like. That's not much of a story now, is it? On the other hand it's only a beginning of a chapter,and even in some well known books, first chapters are often introductory and don't say much. Actually, yours beginning is good and captures our attention, even though we find out it's only a dream. Now you have our attention, what do you plan to do with it? If you decide to continue, then try outlining your story first. Then you'll know where you're going and the writing will be easier for you. read like crazy and look for how they tell their stories. Also, one point. I'm not sure, at this point anyway, if the characters are revealed enough to use such strong language, maybe save that for later,as it always has its place. Good start.
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StevenHunley
Thu Dec 6 23:27:44 2012

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My Review of Blue Tag by Alleykittyn
good stuff
I liked the way this was written, in a familiar tone, like normal speech. You move the story right along, and have good realistic dialogue too. And that's another point. The piece is realistic and therefore authentic. Why watch vampires and zombies when there's real life drama in the world? Great stuff.
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StevenHunley
Thu Dec 6 23:21:53 2012

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My Review of Quick Little Love Story by Katelegreat
cute
This is cute although not much goes on. You may think about changing the pronoun They for he or she or my lover or use some other word besides they, which sounds alright in some cases, but not in others where it sounds plural, The theys and thems at the end make it sound plural, even though we understand they're not. That draws attention to itself stylistically, and away from the simple story. Nice work.
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StevenHunley
Thu Dec 6 23:05:39 2012

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My Review of The Unlikely Guest by fellociusboille
good stuff
The only thing I can say about this is that's it's a long piece, and that it's a vocabulary lesson at the same time. For a person that has English as a second language, the vocabulary is terrific. One thing though, when writing we some times decide that to make a more exact or even flavorful expression, we should use many adjectives. Many of your verbs and nouns are described with adverbs and adjectives. But rather than making them more effective, they weaken them. One exact word is worth far more than an endless string of adjectives. This is almost unvaried and draws attention to itself instead of the story. It needs some tightening up and simplification. Less words need to be more evocative. But it shows effort and vocabulary, and that's coming from a native speaker.
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StevenHunley
Fri Nov 23 15:02:27 2012

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My Review of The First PART by jowescofield
needs work
This could be an interesting story with work. I can easily see that English isn't your first language. The word-choices and phrasing aren't English. The names show that too. Although I have read numerous Indian writers that have standard English, this is because English it taught to them at school at a very early age. I feel this is not your case though. But let's get to some examples:
The first time I had fallen in love, it won't be forgettable

You most likely meant, the first time I fell in love it won't be unforgettable. OR,

The first time I fell in love it wasn't unforgettable.

So in general there are many examples of grammar mistakes, and verb tense confusions.
The story is another thing. What I seem to read is, a guy sees a girl from afar. He thinks he may love her, but has to look up the word in a dictionary to find out.
A story should have a well defined beginning, middle, and end. It must lead the reader somewhere. This is more like a narrative, where this happened, and then that happened, and the other happened after that. It doesn't show any particular direction.

Still, it shows promise. You have some good phrases like in the beginning you may like to try "The reality of love is far from our expectations."

This has taken some effort to write, especially considering English is not your first language. I think you'll improve as time goes by. Practice in writing makes perfect. Good luck.
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StevenHunley
Mon Jul 9 18:51:01 2012

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My Review of C- 47 by ShadowWriter
great story
This was a completely enjoyable read. It was short and to the point. I don't wonder the officials were running after her and screaming. They may have been because it was a dangerous situation because the train was pulling away, or because she was on the wrong train. Either works for me. It's a truly short and deceptively simple story and the ending is a real surprise. See O. Henry for stories with switch endings, like "The Gift of the Magi" a favorite of mine. In the United States, this story is taught in many English classes around 9th grade and it's a classic!
Great job on this- I was truly surprised and yet satisfied at the end.
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StevenHunley
Sat Dec 24 01:07:46 2011

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My Review of Monster by Dgray94
needs work
This needs some help. English is not your first language and that makes it difficult to judge. The firs thing is to be consistent. Some places you capitalize your Is and some times you don't. It needs more structure to be a story and I mean by that a beginnng middle and end. Grammar mistakes are here in abundance too. It''s so full of errors that the mistakes get in the way of what little story there is. Writing is a skill lke any other and can be taught and learned, but you need to practice. So work on it. I don't mean to seem harsh, but that's the reality.
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StevenHunley
Mon Aug 29 00:13:57 2011

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My Review of The Lonely Wanderer by ShadowWriter
super great stuff
One elderly woman drew a sheet over the reposing figure lying there. The most ...commom way to express this would be :

....drew a sheet over the figure lying in repose.

And this one:

He went, a shadow stretching behind him, into the dying sun.


Shadows never stretch into the sun. Evenis there is a comma for clarity, it's not quite crystal clear. If that makes sense. Try having some one read it aloud to you and see how it sounds. This can be read that way so you might try instead,

"The walked (away) into the dying sun, his shadow stretching behind him."

I realaly can't make up my mind about this one. I understand how you mean it, but am not sure everyone will.

Anyway, it's a great piece, well written, good sentence length variations and good descriptive writing too. Great job.
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StevenHunley
Thu Aug 25 12:03:29 2011

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My Review of Ketchup Time (Part One) by Writergirl36
real good stuff
Wendy had always slice had

With the TV as background noise, one of those (Wendy, or her mother Terry) try one of the two and you can eliminate the perenthethis

domino-like trail of pejorative laughter great line


Midwestern hicks that SHE had warned HER MOTHER (about?) when she return

no linguistic ignorance no show of linguistic ignorance?

But she had stuffed her anger and resentment for years, stifled? not stuffed?


Beverly had made an unuttered pact with herself that Wendy and Terry were safe from a tongue lashing as long as the rattling glass didnít break. But even ONE crack in the panes, and Beverly promised that she would go next door and let those two have it. But, luckily for Wendy and Terry, while the rattling was a more than regular occurrence, nothing had been broken except Beverlyís spirit. great descriptive paragraph with effective metaphors


Wendy emphasized hoping that her firmness would alter Sarahís next sentence by osmosis. But no such luck. clever and effective line

to Sarah. not needed, we already know whoís tslking


in ill-confidence and the sudden realization that she was the target of festering and undiscussed venom that lie dormant in Wendy. how about with the sudden realization?

Sarah sheepishly asserted her power at having the last word and gave up. perhaps you mean relinquished her power?


Oh, now I see why this is called Ketchup! I liked this, it was clever and insightful. Good read, and you know Iíll come back for more. Thanks know that these are only one manís opinions and suggestions.
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StevenHunley
Wed Aug 24 22:36:07 2011

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My Review of Mr. K-O-D-I-A-K by Writergirl36
good potential
This is good as far as it goes.The trouble is it doesn't go far enough. The humor is fine and shows you have a sense of humor. It really is funny,and reflects an typical first day in a language class.Many students and teachers can relate to this easily. So you have a good start and you might even have a middle. What it needs is a conclusion. Think of another incident that might happen in class and give it a proper ending. This really shows potential. I'd just like to see more. Good job. No- great job.
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StevenHunley
Sat Aug 20 12:04:11 2011

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My Review of Myrna by Christy
absolutely great
This still has many structural similarities to poetry. Saw your review on Roarke's piece, and knew right away you had an extensive vocabulary. Now that I've read this, looks like you're clever too. Problem is, I don't do poetry much but for only one reason, on sites, most of it's not too good. Your may prove to be an exception. People like myself who do prose, read people like you who do poetry and always wonder, "Can she do prose?" It may be because in poetry you have more freedom. Maybe you just don't like the structure of short story and the constraints it puts on the writer. This piece, I feel, is poetry disguised as prose. Hemingway's prose is much the same, as a lot of it is what I call linear poetry. It has the form of prose but the tightness and evocative characteristics of poetry.
Still, I wish, when I read a piece like this, that you'd give prose a try. I'm sure you have your reasons. But I'll suggest you try prose anyway. The rapport with the reader, in a style using conversational English, and it's accessibility cannot be discounted.

Good work and good luck.
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StevenHunley
Sat Aug 20 11:21:38 2011

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My Review of ~Re: The Cemetery~ by Mastema01
good stuff
This was great. At first I made no connection with Thriller, then after a few more sentences it became as clear as azure skies. What a fun piece. It must have been fun writing it too. Well done.
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