Peer Review by purplpeanut (United States)

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Touch of Death

By: AprilStorms

I was walking in the park like every other day. The wind was making the trees dance and I put up my hand to feel the breeze. But the wind parted around my outstretched hand and I pulled it back, the smile falling off my face. Continuing to walk on the gravel path I watched as my pristine sneakers repelled the dust swirling like fog in the air.
"Hey," I had been concentrating so much on my shoes that I hadn't noticed two guys approaching me. The one that had spoken was standing so close that I jerked backwards, tripping over a tree root I fell on my butt.
"Oh, sorry," he held out a hand to help me up, "I didn't mean to scare you."
I stared at his hand that was outstretched towards me.
"Are you going to let me help you up?"
"No thank you. I prefer it down here."
"C'mon, let me help you up." he reached for my hand but I cringed away.
"No, please don't."
The guy's friend stepped forward and dragged the pushy guy backwards, "I'm sorry. Carter, here, seems determined to press his chivalry on everyone he meets."
I nodded, still shaken. He had nearly touched me!
"Okay. Well, have a nice day."
The two boys walked away but before they were out of earshot the Carter guy commented, "What do you think her problem was?"
"You have no idea. So don't judge."
Warmth blossomed inside of me at that comment. It was true, he didn't know my name or my problems and I didn't know his.

Message to Readers

This is the beginning of a longer piece I'm working on. Any feedback would be helpful.

Peer Review

Carter. And his friend. they seem interesting. As well as the sentence he nearly touched me! what is that about? I really want to know!

She seems kinda flitty, and paper thin. She doesn't have any description to herself, and sometimes the way you write her seems like an outline. Try positioning yourself in the shoes of the character. How would you react? How would you see? What would you feel? As a first person sort of writing, you need to do things from her viewpoint so include the five senses.

Don't know the weather. Park wasn't described. There weren't any sounds. Remember the five senses. Does she smell anything? Taste? Touch? Hear? Smell? See? What do the men look like?

When she meets the guys. Explain what do they look like? How does she feel? If she is shaken, does she shake? When she says "no please don't," does she look to the other guy with fear in her eyes as if asking for him to help her out?

You've got a nice outline. Now keep adding to it. The worse you can do is be too descriptive. And even if you are too descriptive it makes little difference to the reader. Because we read what you write and make a moving picture in our heads, and since your style is one of the best I've ever seen, (the dialogue is spot on man!) if you add description it'll make it even better.

Reviewer Comments

If you need help with description, try reading one of your favorite artists, or even Lord of the Rings! Watch how they describe the scenery, how the characters interact. It'll help you insert your context clues into your own piece. And remember, writing is magic. So in a sense, you are making magic that is awe-inspiring and powerful and your students (your lovely readers) want to see you make more.