Peer Review by HelpMe512 (United States)

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Paula and the apple tree chapter 1

By: Madge


Chapter one:
The mud was thick, and stuck to her polka dot wellies like barnacles to a rock. Climbing up the steep hill was a battle.The wind dancing and whistling around her, creating its own symphony. The sun beating down, bouncing off her wavy brown hair, as she finally sat with her back resting on her best friend. An old apple tree. Her piercing blue eyes fixed on its branches towering above her, that twist and turn. She began to draw. That was her passion- that and writing. Hours passed by, and the beating sun became softer, just an orange wash of light was left. The winds stopped dancing, and began singing a gentle lullaby. She added the final details to her drawing. Paula, she signed it. 

She flopped down beside the giant and lay peacefully for a while. The calming aromas of dirt and freshly mown grass along with hints of cider encompassed her. This was her happy place. Her safe haven. The only time to escape from the troubles and turmoil of everyday life. She propped herself against her tree and sat looking out at the distance. The rolling hills jumping over one another, and the lights of the far away cities flickering. It was so quiet. All that could be heard was the crickets and grasshoppers, and her short sweet breaths. 

After once again loosing track of time, she looked down to her olive skin to see that there was a ladybird sat upon her watch. She counted its dots one by one, and for each dot told herself something she was proud of about herself. She managed five things before it extended its wings and flew away. This was a game that her mother taught her before she passed away. It helped her to see the positives in her life, and every time she saw a ladybird Paula believed that it was a visit from her mother. She believed it was true luck. 

The sun had now completely vanished, and the full moon was now the queen of the night sky. This meant that it was time to head home. She carefully placed her sketch pad and pencils into her Khaki rucksack and stood tall beneath the tree. She said her goodnight to it, before turning away and rolling down to the bottom of the hill. From here, it was only a ten minute walk back to her house. She skipped along the long gravel pavement until she saw her cottage in the distance. Her father and sister running towards her to greet her. They embraced, before all walking back towards the house. 

This is a draft of this chapter. I hope to write more chapters and make this into a full story. Any feedback would be very helpful. 

Message to Readers

This is a draft of the first chapter of a book that I hope to write. Please let me know what you think, and ways to improve it. Thank you very much :)

Peer Review

I really liked the description in this piece. I liked how you used more than two senses, like a lot of authors do, and included smell as well. You also did really well setting the scene and giving little details about the character without info-dumping. Excellent job; I look forward to reading more!

Mostly, the issues I really had with this were grammar-based. Apart from a few inconsistencies, I thought your writing was very well developed. I am curious as to where this story might lead, as you haven't really set up much of a plot other than the tree. Usually in a story the author might give hints to the plot in the exposition. What's the conflict behind this tree? I'm excited to find out.

Reviewer Comments

Apologies for the amount of grammar edits; I'm a little bit of a grammar snob. Although my review might be perceived as harsh, I really did enjoy reading this! I am really looking forward to chapter two!