• Hi Maria,
    I remember reading about Nala and Bijou and how much I enjoyed that story, I’m intrigued you decided to bring it to modern times and I love the idea of serpents living underwater around Manhattan. You change points of view and we get to see the inside of Sizzle’s mind and Luca’s mind which is a little jarring but I grew used to it.…[Read more]

  • Hi Nina,
    I love the descriptions of the setting. Your coastal setting is dreamy and serence and i loved this line: “Laughing gulls flapped their wings across a misty gray sky and filled the cove with raucous shouts. ” and the description of the smell of the air. Also those of baby Amy while she slept. I also thought that baby Amy was lost…[Read more]

  • So a whole new story. We see that the sisters have some history, but overall, they’re nice to each other. They miss their dad which is why they’re doing this scavenger hunt. You’re dialogue has a smooth and natural flow that makes reading the story quite easy. I like that the details are small -you get a real sense of the atmosphere. I loved the…[Read more]

  • HI Becky,
    Grandma is a well developed character and I felt like I was traveling with my mother. As Ben stated, Cindy’s motivation is harder to understand and hopefully, you’ll use that direction in our next scene. I definitely feel like Cindy sometimes and its so hard sometimes to let go and let the person be their cranky selves.
    The story…[Read more]

  • Hi Preston,
    That was intense, especially when the attending started putting needles into the foreskin. I’ve seen that done and its barbaric. I have to tell you the first time I put in a catheter, the guy cursed me out some really awful words-I wanted to stop but he needed emergency surgery, so I had to do it.
    I totally understand the…[Read more]

  • Hi Sharon,
    It’s a fine line to be repetitive to show that the MC is stuck on an idea or confused yet not be so repetitive that your reader gets lost. I’m wondering if that’s what you were trying to do when you had Shelly ask herself so many questions. And as Jennifer said, I didn’t understand why he was in control, when she seemed free to think…[Read more]

  • Hi Sharon,
    You’ve gotten some great critiques, especially Georgiana’s about dialogue. I appreciate how you created a beautiful, peaceful woods, into something more sinister after Shelly gets lost. I thought that the pan flute may have been played by a modern-day “Pan”-god of the woods who inspires panic, but that is my guess for now. The change…[Read more]

  • Hi Rachel,
    This scene was really well done. I would suggest only that perhaps you change the tense of the interaction with Karen, because I think that her interaction with her is a flashback while she is with Advocate Maria Marshall. I was so tense about Zelda having to go through the photos of her dead husband that I could barely read it at…[Read more]

  • Rachel just the packing scene was so heart-wrenching. The part where our MC focuses on the movements so she doesn’t have to think about the items and why she’s doing it, really got to me. My mom still won’t pack away my father’s stuff and he passed away 6 years ago. So that was quite an emotional place to take us at the start and I think it was…[Read more]

  • Hi Jens,
    I learned more about Mike in terms of the details that interest him-like the many types of red- and the details he needs to hide-like his real purpose of going to Paris.
    The very detailed description about the ordinary pavement above the cathedral in Cologne is fascinating as is the observation that Alphonse makes about “tiny tremors…[Read more]

  • Hi Jens,
    I really liked your character. He’s either absent minded but because of that he notices what others don’t or he’s got some kind of attention-deficit issue and again, notices what others don’t. I love the repetitiveness of the red book showing up in the luggage despite his best efforts to keep it out. And yes, I’m cursed with luggage…[Read more]

  • Hi Carolyn,
    So I thought Joe was her son but it turns out it was Jeff. The revelation of the conflict was done well. Henry and Jeff had decided that they would take their time before they told Tessa what was going on-they created their own silo. I found the fact about Henry and Tessa’s marriage counseling inserted as it was done well, except, I…[Read more]

  • Hi Carolyn,
    I used to love the video store. There was a small video store near my apartment in Manhattan in the early 90’s and I still have the tag on an old keychain. I hated the sterile, modern, overly smug Blockbuster, where the salespeople didn’t help you. And I paid my share of late fees!
    You lay out the details of losing the store, the…[Read more]

  • HI Sharon,
    Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate the feedback.

  • Hi Ben,
    So I looked up Stanley Weber-this is a good inspiration for a character! I did like the line about the infinite sky and intense sea, but I take Adam’s point that you could push it more, if you wanted. You did a great job in characterizing the Captain by showing us what he won’t do-drink with the expats, date the women of the town, shake…[Read more]

  • HI Ben,
    This felt like a story that was written with ease. I was sucked in right away. I love the setting,-these tourist supporting businesses are such interesting oases of activity in the middle of the tourists’ leisurely vacation mindset. And although you spend time with them, depending on the staff for all sorts of things, including your…[Read more]

  • Hi Marilyn,
    The dead body in the shed is certainly an intriguing twist. I liked the description of the “scene with moving parts” it was a great way to give the readers an “aerial view” of the commotion taking place. I was a little confused at this line, “For some unknown reason, my mind thought she had said, “They found a dead mouse in the s…[Read more]

  • Hi Jan,
    You’ve honed in on the aspect that I am struggling with the most-and incidentally something you do quite well-that is, exploring the emotional side without feeling like you are telling rather than showing. Your idea to focus on questions running through her mind is helpful, I see how it would get the reader to feel closer to the MC as…[Read more]

  • Hi Carolyn,
    I got the lipstick idea with the prompt.
    I was looking up synonyms for red and came across these names, which fascinated me so much that I put them in the story and ordered them (They just arrived yesterday and the packaging is as amazing as it appears in the ad!). So yes, sometimes a prompt can not only affect the direction of the…[Read more]

  • Hi Martin
    I really appreciate your suggestion to “take the pressure off”, take half of what’s there and stretch it out in order to explore the character, setting, situation. That is very helpful and today, I am focusing on it as I work on the next chapter.
    Thank you

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