Peer Review by seaomelette (United Arab Emirates)

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The Virus is Spreading

By: Yie


You need to be careful these days, you never know who has been infected. 

It started ten years ago, the robots began taking over. We've had to go back to the old days; pens and paper, fires for cooking light and warmth, and we tend to use the waterfalls and rivers for washing and swimming. Electricity is now illegal because the reliance on them is what caused this. Technology kept being developed and developed and developed until humanity lost control of it, the technology started to take over, and now we live our lives in fear. We have to be home as soon as we've finished work. We can't trust anyone, because the virus takes over the soul, you aren't even safe with a friend or family member.

The virus began to spread through radiation waves that attacked the brain. Sort of like a cancer. And it's impossible to tell who is infected with the virus, other than the fact their eyes have a yellowish glow around them. We don't even know how many have been taken over now. All we know is we hide.

There isn't a cure yet. It's either kill or be killed, because you can't spend the rest of your life hiding, scared out of your mind. I'm not sure what it's like in other countries, but here in America we are full of the infected. I guess in less economically developed countries where technology isn't relied on permanently, there wont be so many viruses, because if there's nothing for it to feed on, how will it live. 

We thought taking electricity out of our lives would save us, but because we've grown up where electricity is constantly around us, our immune system is weak, we have nothing to fight of the virus.

No one's safe 

Message to Readers

any sort of feedback that can help me improve and highlight what i have done well :)

Peer Review

This piece was fantastically eerie, especially since there is a very real pandemic making waves around the world. And technology getting out of hand? That was a fear expressed by late physicist Stephen Hawking, and I loved how you incorporated that into your piece and interwove it with an overarching virus. Absolutely captivating.

Considering the 300-word limit, I think you did an amazing job on this piece. You've condensed so much compelling information, and the overall flow created a terrifying climax at the end.

However, I think this piece could be even more impactful if you considered expanding your descriptions of the virus' effect on the world. You mention how the virus' effects are signified by the yellow glow around victims' eyes, and how it substantially alters people's souls. These sentences are gripping, but I'd love to know more! How about a horde of victims, spitting code, screaming at the narrator? A description of the narrator's horror at finding his/her friends' faces among the blind horde? Despair, desperation, terror. That's totally up to you to explore! The key thing to remember is to "Show, not Tell." It's a phrase I've learned from Grade 1 while writing awful, awful "picture-books" with gibberish scribbles and stuff, but it's stayed with me ever since. Rather than telling the reader outright, try showing the reader your mental image through powerful sentences backed up by vivid imagery. You can find fantastic examples in Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man, which is a collection of scary sc-fi stories absolutely jam-packed with eerie, frightening details.

I've also noticed that there are multiple run-on sentences throughout the piece, where you have independent clauses cobbled together with commas, rather than separated. Don't get me wrong, run-on sentences, though grammatically incorrect, can be very powerful, especially since you appear to be using a narrator's thought process to convey this story. The conjoined phrases simulate the narrator's thoughts, as they melt and flow into each other. Yet, I would suggest being cautious in your use of run-on sentences, as overuse can be a little disorienting to readers.

Don't feel discouraged! We've all been there. Writing is hard! I really loved this piece, and I think if you tried some of these suggestions, this story could be even more amazing than it already is. Writing's a process, and we can steadily improve our drafts through revision and a lot of snacks.

Reviewer Comments

Keep writing! I'd love to read this piece again if you choose to revise it. I notice that this is your first piece on WTW, so welcome! I hope you have an awesome time here, and I'm excited to read more from you!! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I'm here to answer them. :)