David M.

United States

I'm just a regular wannabe writer. If you recognize the character from my profile picture, I just might love you. I think it may be my goal in life to try to answer the question "why?"

Message from Writer

Hey! I'm here to improve, so any and all feedback (even/especially negative) is fantastic!

Peer Reviews

The Thread Master

PROMPT: Doorbells and Dogs

I really like this story! It flows quite well. There are only a few grammar things that I see right now, and your description is great. I'd warn you to watch out for repetitive sentence structure, but beyond that, you've done a great job with this story! Well done!

almost 5 years

Nalani

FREE WRITING

Very interesting! You do a good job of introducing your character, establishing an idyllic scene, and then shattering that in a way that makes me want to learn more about the world and about the characters and forces involved. There are few grammar things to look at, but please continue writing this story!

almost 5 years

Tension In The Car

FREE WRITING

This is actually a very nice story. I ended up nitpicking a lot of grammar things, but that's because you don't have any larger issues for me to focus on! You really do a great job of capturing the feeling of "tension in the car" and all the worry and stress and anxiety that comes out of that. Look at the grammar stuff, and some redundant words, but overall, very well done!

almost 5 years

Second Star to the Right

PROMPT: Personal Narrative Competition 2015

I'm sorry I don't have more comments to offer... but this piece is just so good, I don't see any way to comment! I could color it yellow with "this image is incredible," but I don't think you need that. Rest assured that you've written a truly incredible piece!

almost 5 years

Lunch with the Devil

PROMPT: Open Prompt

Overall, I'd say this is pretty good! The characters are about as well-developed as you can expect them to be in a story this short, although it's never quite clear why the devil has such a personal interest in this woman. Your dialogue is really good, and the story flows nicely. And I felt carried along and invested until the very end, where I just became confused. Watch out for tense switches, but overall, nice story!

almost 5 years

Umbra

PROMPT: Invisible Cities

Okay, here's the thing. You've written something is SO COOL. But I want/need so much more. Like, this city has such an interesting dynamic! But I have no idea what it looks like. All I know is that there are walls that people huddle behind at night and that it's on top of a mountain. You've showed an ability to write good imagery... use it on the city! And some elements of how you describe the Shadow are confusing and seem contradictory, which I think takes away from the power of your otherwise vivid and gripping description of these people's terror and of the story of this family. This city seems so cool and I want to know much more... show me!

almost 5 years

Elaria

PROMPT: Invisible Cities

This is a really cool image! The whole piece seems dedicated to delivering one image, that of a city shaped of amber. And the second-person narrative is a cool device for delivering that. That said, there isn't very much narrative. This isn't surprising; it's a piece focused on image. But if you're going to have so much narrative framing one image, I think you need some more detail, some more description, some more images and perspectives of this city made of amber. I marked some spots where I think you could use more imagery as well as some grammar and phrasing things. But overall, you've imagined a very cool image and delivered it well with some very cool imagery!

almost 5 years

I Remember This

PROMPT: Story of a Scar

This is a touching and sad story. And the reflection is also well-structured: you go from broad reflection, to background information, to the specifics of how the scar was formed. There are some small things to pay attention to: tense things, comma/semicolon usage, selection of detail. But overall I applaud not only the manner in which you've expressed this story, but also your bravery in doing so. And please, never give up... scars heal, people change and mature, and things tend to turn out well in the end!

almost 5 years

Just a speck of dust

PROMPT: Personal Narrative Competition 2015

You've written a very courageous piece! Statements like these are not easy statements to make, and yet you boldly write them out. The piece certainly could use a bit of work -- expanding it out, incorporating a scene from your life, clearing up some confusing sentences and phrases -- but overall I applaud the work you've done on this piece.

almost 5 years

I Never Made It to the Interview

PROMPT: Polar Opposite

You do a good job bringing several different elements together in such a short piece. I've marked some of the times where you can work towards streamlining it more, stripping out redundancies and clarifying some things. But overall your piece is short and to the point. You have something you want to demonstrate (vulnerability to predation on better instincts) and you demonstrate it will. The story is heart-wrenching because of the depravity and injustice of the events which take place. If you really want to hammer this home, I'd add in some more comments about the theme of appearance -- in particular, the guy focusing on her appearance -- and some more characterization of Guadalupe as someone who is eager to help and optimistic about the future. But overall you have a good piece that works well!

almost 5 years

It's Come for Daddy

PROMPT: Other World

You did a great job with this prompt! You really did capture the sense of being in "Another World." Your writing is artful and filled with rich imagery. I did leave some comments on places where I thought you could pace things better or make it flow better, but that doesn't hurt your overall very good short story. Well done!

almost 5 years

Wild

PROMPT: WILD

I like this poem! You use a lot of cool imagery only to just set up a stark contrast at the end, and I really like the effect that creates. The image of the little boy wandering in the middle of this wild windstorm and then just tumbling over and falling asleep is a pretty powerful one. Is he so confident that he thinks he is more mighty than the wind? Or is he just lost?? It's a very cool way of ending your poem. I did leave some comments in places I think you can tighten up your phrasing, but overall, I think that this is a very cool, well-executed poem!

almost 5 years

man on the moon

PROMPT: Lunar Phrases

I personally love the "taper off into one word" style, and I love how you used it here. This is a really cool poem! Very simple, but that's not a bad thing at all -- you elegantly express your idea and convey it to the reader. Well done!

almost 5 years

Blurb

PROMPT: 10 Second Essays

Taken together, I feel like these "10 second essays" almost work as a philosophy, a manifesto about how to live your life. And, I have to say, I think it would be a pretty good one! You have positive elements, advice and reinforcement, but you don't forget to warn your reader about the pitfalls of life. I think this is a good set of ten second essays!

almost 5 years

Home Stretch

PROMPT: Borrowing Voice

This is a very fun story! It's not much more than a vehicle for your main character's sass, but we don't need much more than that, because your main character's strong voice really carries us all the way through and keeps us entertained until the end. Well done!

almost 5 years

The Floral Messenger Bag

PROMPT: Inventory

This was actually really fun to read! That isn't a slight against your work; I went into the prompt thinking "how interesting can a list of items be?" But you really managed to make this simple list very interesting. I kinda want to meet Thisbe now! (p.s. I love the title... I have my own messenger bag (not floral though) and I love it)

almost 5 years

Alchemical Dream

PROMPT: Fantasy Writing Competition 2015

This is pretty good! You have a few things to be aware of but that aren't necessarily bad depending on your intentions (tone, sentence structure, ambiguity), but overall you have a pretty good story arc with all the essential elements: exposition, character development, tension, and resolution. That's not an easy thing to do in 1,000 words! Working from an established world probably helped you a bit, but that doesn't take away from your story in the slightest. Well done!

almost 5 years

Ramona's First Apparition

FREE WRITING

This is a great short short story! You manage to simultaneously develop your character and plunge us into an intense action scene. You're definitely helped by the fact that you're writing in an established universe, but that shouldn't take away from your accomplishments in this piece. There are a few grammar things to watch out for, including your heavy use of commas (not a bad thing! just be aware of it), but at that point it's just refinement of an already good piece of writing. Well done!

almost 5 years

Borrowing Voice: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult

PROMPT: Borrowing Voice

You do a lot of work in this very short story! You introduce three characters and through only a handful of lines of dialogue establish them about as well as we can expect characters to be established in a piece of this length. There's a good bit of conflict in both the first and second parts between the different characters' expectations and desires. You have a few grammar things to watch out for, of which I marked some, especially tense, but overall this is a good piece and I hope you continue to practice borrowing voice like this!

almost 5 years

Like Hope in Darkness

PROMPT: Lunar Phrases

This is a great poem. You harness the power of grammar, association, and the reader's preconceptions of the ideas discussed to create a new, powerful idea in only eight words. Very well done!

almost 5 years

The Assassin's Mercy

PROMPT: Fantasy Writing Competition 2015

Okay. Overall, this is a pretty cool action scene, and I was definitely drawn in by it. But there are some ways you can improve it. The very first thing is that you need paragraph breaks. I don't know if you had them at first and they were lost in formatting, or if you wrote it without them, but paragraph breaks are essential. They separate out your ideas and your moments, they guide the pacing of the action, and they help the reader process the text by breaking it down into bite-size chunks. One big long block of text, like you present to us here, is very daunting and hard to read all at once. If you can ably use paragraph breaks to help guide the reader through the pacing of your action scene, this piece will be greatly improved. Beyond that, I hit some grammar things, but those aren't the crucial things. The big thing to remember when writing action scenes, and the primary thing I always struggle with when writing them, is the age-old bit of writer's advice "show, don't tell." When revising this, try to look for places where you can cut down on declarative statements of action and insert more details that really put your reader into the main character's head (if that's what you want) or into the world, so that they feel that they have enough tangible material to really recreate the scene from themselves fully, instead of just knowing the blow-by-blow. It's impossible, of course, to fully and perfectly communicate your own mental movie to someone else through the page. But the closer you come to that ideal, the more and more gripping, heart-pounding, and intense your action scenes will be. And the more intense your action scenes are, the more we will identify with the main character's terror and exhilaration, and the more we will be rooting for him to succeed. That is of course the most important part -- you set up such a cool world here, and deftly drop hints about your main character's troubled past and complex personal history. The stronger your reader's personal association with the character, the more they will feel connected to him. The assassin is the central piece of this story (it's right there in the title: "The Assassin's Mercy."), and using this action scene to get us interested in him is a fantastic way of writing a self-contained fantasy story in just 1,000 words that nevertheless connects to a larger fantasy world.

almost 5 years

Mother's Tale

PROMPT: Fantasy Writing Competition 2015

Perhaps think of changing the title? "Magic and Dragons" is a bit vague and clich├ęd. Perhaps something that relates more to the story itself, like "Mother's Story" or "A Night in the Cave" or "A Tale of Dragons" or something along those lines? But, like most of my comments here, that's just a nitpick. I'm reduced to nitpicking because your story is a great one! You use great imagery to draw the reader in, then woo them into stepping into another story, another timeframe, another perspective, only to launch them back out into the consequences of that story. You certainly hooked me, and I'm very curious about what happens after your thousandth word! In terms of grammar, I hit a few things I thought were typos, caught some comma splices, and pointed out some things to be aware of and possibly change, but overall, pretty good. In terms of flow, just great. No concerns whatsoever on that front! Best of luck with revisions, and I hope you return to this story.

almost 5 years