Peer Review by Angelina Nguyen (Australia)

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Maggie Magnolia

By: casual.ties

Magnolia trees bloom in autumn,
and die the very next day. First they flower, but in a moment, all that's left are white petals on the ground. It's sinister, Maggie thought. Living, dying. That's supposed to take a lifetime.
Magnolia blossoms live and die forever. 
Maggie was named after that tree, but she couldn't remember ever been called Magnolia. Maggie, Magnolia. Living and dying forever. 
Magnolia's are difficult trees to climb. 
The first time Maggie climbed the tree to the top, she was 12 years old. It was also the last.
Magnolia branches are strong.
But not strong enough. 

Peer Review

I was first drawn to the title because it was a clever alliteration and I'm easily amused by simple things like this. However, it was the first sentence itself that drew me in and piqued my interest. I was interested in seeing how your story would unfold and I was not disappointed! The initial elements that caught my attention, particularly the magnolia motif, was maintained throughout your story to keep me reading.

The overarching metaphor of magnolias successfully presented the truth about life and its fragility. You were most successful in delivering your story with this metaphor which paced your narrative and centralised it to one major idea of the value of life. It produces delicate imagery and was able to sustain this throughout the entirety of the piece.

I've mentioned it in the annotations but one other suggestion I have would be to explore more of the meaning behind the flower. What can this show about your character who clearly mirrors magnolia without having to say it explicitly? How can you enhance the tone of your story with the flower's meaning in mind? This would definitely shape your story differently but it could give it more depth and make Maggie almost an embodiment of the flower.

I have provided some suggestions but I would like to remind you that as the writer, it is up to you if you wish to take it on board! I am merely offering an insight to your piece from an outside perspective and encouraging you to continue drafting this piece for the competition. Whether you revise with my feedback in mind is up entirely to you! I absolutely adore this piece and would love to see you develop it by experimenting with the flash fiction genre more. It is certainly a contender for the competition!

Reviewer Comments

What impressed me the most was the manipulation of your story into what seems to be a lovely amalgamation of a prose paragraph and a poem. Its structure was one that enhanced the effectiveness of certain sentences and is worth commending. I also appreciated how you have utilised the bold and italic functions that WTW has in your story to highlight key messages that you wish to bring to the attention of the reader. I was overall captivated by your flash fiction piece that has great merit to it and how well it reflects you as an emerging writer. I wish you the best with the competition and look forward to reading more of your work on WTW in the future. Happy writing!