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Reviewing Circle 2012

writing Peer Review Grammar

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#1 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:51 PM

Welcome to Sal's Library Reviewing Circle 2012!

For the next year, this topic will be the home for all writers that wish to become better with their craft and who wish to aide others in doing so as well.

This version will work a bit differently from in the years past. First, while the standard formula of Review the Poster's Story Above You will still exist, you are also invited to review ANY of the top 25 stories listed here at any time. [The list of stories complete with a link as well as Author's Sal's Realm name will be maintained by yours truly] That way, when this topic comes to a close, we can announce the top stories and writers of the year with a larger sampling of criticism and/or praise.

Also, the topic will be ending, as stated above. At the end of the literal year, we will close this and begin a Reviewing Circle 2013. This gives everyone a clean slate to work from, making it easier for newcomers to become involved and established writers to move on from past successes.

There will be no changes to the implied statutes, but I will point one of them out here. Because of the professionalism and decency that can be found amongst our writers here, we have no long set of rules to issue. Instead, we trust each and every one of you to treat these reviews as you would expect others to treat yours. Be honest, but be helpfully honest. Think of this as one massive collaboration. We are all working together to better ourselves and our work.

There will be Stories of the Month awards given to stories with a collective rating higher than others for that period of time. Ties apply. The first Story of the Month award will be given at the end of March.

Lastly, as before, use the template that follows.

Review the story posted by the person above you and complete the following review template:

Overall rating out of 100
How much of the story did you read
Comments on:
  • Language [15 possible points]
  • Storyline [25 *]
  • Characters [25 *]
  • General [35 *]
Link to topic you would like to have reviewed

Since these ratings are inconsistent (being provided by different reviewers) - please do not take the ratings too seriously. Any stories within 10 points of one another are likely to be of similar quality.

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We also do poetry here at the Library, and it is quite good honestly. Posted Image

You can ask for a poem to be reviewed instead of a story, and Luna has provided us with two great templates for doing so.

Overall rating: Out of 100 points

Word choice: 30 possible points
Tone: 30 possible points
Structure: 30 possible points
Symbolism: 10 possible points

For verse:
Overall rating: Out of 100 points

Word choice: 20 possible points
Rhyming (subset of word choice): 10 possible points
Tone: 30 possible points
Structure: 15 possible points
Rhythm (subset of structure): 15 possible points
Symbolism: 10 possible points

Good luck!

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Tips!

Spellcheck is your friend! Many times, the simple act of correcting spelling mistakes can raise your score by as much as 10-15 points.

For help with grammar see this site - http://www.english-g....com/index.html

To help in avoiding the above two mistakes, don't write your story and then post the initial 'one pass prose' on the board. Instead, write your story, walk away from it, and then review it yourself to make sure there are no simple mistakes or errors that require revision or omission.

A proper submission piece is defined as a Short Story, Story, or Forum Serial.

> A Short Story has a beginning and an end. It is a complete thought that begins at point A and ends at point B. That ending might be a bit of a cliffhanger, or perhaps it hints at things to come, but nevertheless it completes a thought. A good rule of thumb is to make a sentence that describes your piece. For example: A knight learns of his inherited fortune and uses it to fell a demon. If all your piece does is introduce a knight, then it is not a complete work. A publishable short story maxes out at 25,000 words. Try to aim for 5,000 words as a minimum. That is a short short in the eyes of editors. 10-15,000 words should be a good sweet spot for forum story writing.

> A Story is considerably longer than a Short Story. Posting entire books of work is discouraged, as you would stand better to go ahead and send to potential publishers and/or acquire an agent who can represent you towards that purpose. However, if you are wanting to practice writing pieces longer that 25,000 words, then feel free. Just do not plan on attempting to publish said piece as it stands on the forum. (Technical term: Novella)

> Forum Serials have been popular here at Sal's in the past. They are a series of short stories that work together to form a complete story. Keep in mind that if you attempt to write one, each installment of the series must be a complete thought. Use the guidelines for Short Story above if you are uncertain. They can be fun to write and as you can criticism after each piece, you can improve as you go. They are a fascinating way to learn more about your abilities.

If you don't necessarily understand or agree with your review, please, ask our writers to explain themselves or message me. Getting a second opinion is certainly an option, but before you do make sure you understand what you can do to improve your story and that you are equipped the knowledge necessary to do so.

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2012 Top 25

Another Day at the Office by Master Neverdead

95.25 - 2 Reviews -


Memoriesby Fake

93.5 - 2 Reviews -



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Good luck!

~Hex

Edited by Master Neverdead, 26 February 2012 - 10:01 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   Samsara

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:50 PM

Is it possible to provide a more clear-cut definition of what is acceptable to submit for reviewing and what isn't? So far, all we have is this:

Quote

Please, do not ask for someone to officially review a supposed 'story' that really is only one or two scenes. These are not stories. They may be the beginnings of an excellent masterpiece, but they are difficult to review and the scores will be inaccurate. Reviewing sequential parts of a larger 'epic' as they are termed is suitable, just remember to follow-up and finish the story so that it can later be reviewed in its entirety.

And I think that in itself is pretty vague. If I understand correctly, short stories are not eligible for submitting?

#3 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:55 PM

Sure. Posted Image

I can go ahead and spell out something more clear.

And you did not understand correctly. A short story is more than just one or two scenes. Nevertheless, I will edit that, for easier understanding. It is no problem.

Edit: Tis done!

Edited by Master Neverdead, 20 February 2012 - 07:16 PM.

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#4 OFFLINE   Linux

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:15 PM

I feel dumb because I'm not sure about a few things, so there might be a few mechanical errors which I didn't want to call you out on :s

harder when she realized that they were gone, “please… don’t take her…”  Please should be capitalized.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!” he angrily yelled back, “just calm down and” Should be -
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!” he angrily yelled back, “Just calm down and -” The dash is a little iffy, I'm not the best with those. Normally it's a long dash followed by closing quotations.
“Get off of me!” The husband now roared at his, once beloved, wife. This is awkward wording. I'd write it like:
"Get off of me!" The husband roared at his once beloved wife.



Overall rating out of 100 98
How much of the story did you read Entire thing
Comments on: Excellent, few mechanical errors
  • Language [15 possible points] 14 See above
  • Storyline [25 *] 25. Ending seemed a tad cliche (a small bit, mind you) however I liked how the flashbacks told the story. This is definitely dramatics beyond all measure.
  • Characters [25 *] 24 I'm being a little harsh here - but I honestly thought that the daughter could be more developed. The main thing I know about her is that she has the face of her mom, and thus she looks like a goddess. I think a reminiscence about something about the daughter (first birthday party, where Bryon could reflect on her looks) would be quite in place here :)
  • General [35 *] 35, without a doubt. This is powerful writing with great similes and metaphors.
I'm not sure what else I should say. I'll try to edit this post with a writing piece as soon as I get a short story working.

Oh, and Master Neverdead - could you pretty please edit first topic with some prompts? Like each review would have to provide a prompt?
~Matthew
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A big thanks goes to Prodigy :D

#5 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:31 PM

I am not sure I understand exactly what you mean by prompts. I'd likely be happy to do so, if I did though. Are you talking about the writer prompting the potential reviewer with a fast synopsis of the story he has asked to be reviewed? If not, clarify please.

And thanks for breaking the ice on the reviews, Prinze.

You've made me want to read his story as well. I think I will do that should I find the time. That, and I need to get something written up as well. It will be a nice breath of fresh air to attack a project that is free of pressure.

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#6 OFFLINE   Linux

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:21 PM

View PostMaster Neverdead, on 20 February 2012 - 11:31 PM, said:

I am not sure I understand exactly what you mean by prompts. I'd likely be happy to do so, if I did though. Are you talking about the writer prompting the potential reviewer with a fast synopsis of the story he has asked to be reviewed? If not, clarify please.

And thanks for breaking the ice on the reviews, Prinze.

You've made me want to read his story as well. I think I will do that should I find the time. That, and I need to get something written up as well. It will be a nice breath of fresh air to attack a project that is free of pressure.
By prompts I meant something to write about. I decided on Fire and Ice (clear opposites, and saw what I could make of those) but a prompt can be anything. Words, I s'pose.

In 6th grade, for writing journal, we had to write about a specific thing. If you could provide a quote which people respond too, a certain set of items (much like Rawgoyle's topic) to write about, would be much appreciated :)
~Matthew
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A big thanks goes to Prodigy :D

#7 OFFLINE   Luna

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:17 AM

Well, that means that most of what I write is out.

#8 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

Are you referring to poetry Luna?

Thinking along those lines for a moment, is there anyone here who excels at poetry? We really should create a new template for rating poetry or lyrics. I wouldn't know where to begin.

If not poetry, then why are you eliminated from participation?

Prinze: That might be a good idea. I might create a list of ideas for spurring your muse forward.

Also, as soon as you do get something up that you feel is ready, be sure to put it in your post so that we can keep the chain going. :P

Edited by Master Neverdead, 22 February 2012 - 09:51 AM.

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#9 OFFLINE   Luna

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

I'm currently too lazy to write a complete story. I'm mostly doing exercises in setting, characterization, etcetera these days, but I did put up a poem some time ago.

Come to think of it, yes, we should have a separate set of criterion for poems. Rhythm, flow, cadence, plot, the like, to encourage aspiring poets.

#10 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:29 PM

Agreed. Care to write up a template for me to include in the first post of this topic?

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#11 OFFLINE   Luna

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:59 PM

For freeverse:
Overall rating: Out of 100 points

Word choice: 30 possible points
Tone: 30 possible points
Structure: 30 possible points
Symbolism: 10 possible points

For verse:
Overall rating: Out of 100 points

Word choice: 20 possible points
Rhyming (subset of word choice): 10 possible points
Tone: 30 possible points
Structure: 15 possible points
Rhythm (subset of structure): 15 possible points
Symbolism: 10 possible points


Something like that?

If it's acceptable, you're welcome to try and review my poem with it as a test run.

Edited by Luna, 22 February 2012 - 11:01 PM.


#12 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:38 AM

I will edit the first post of the topic to include this, but I could also use a bit of advice (to be quoted as being you) or tips for writing poetry if you wanted to write some up for me to include. Posted Image

Also, I rarely touch poetry, but I can do my best.

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Ode to Arrogance by Luna

I usually do not touch poetry with a yard stick, but as I like you a great deal, it can't hurt me can it? I just hope that I am right in guessing that this is not free verse and I am using the correct form to review your vibrant work.

I did notice a mistimed series of words in the second stanza, fourth line.

Quote

For her will, she obeys

Maybe just adding another word like "For her will, she must obey". Additionally, obey rhymes with today better than obeys.

Third stanza, fourth line:

Quote

Where he goes, he's no say.

Doesn't seem to fit at all. I would never presume to tell a poet how to write a poem, but "he's no say" doesn't seem right to me no matter what form of writing is being used. And the timing feels off as well. Everything is so well metered, aside from this one and the other quoted excerpt.

I am sorry that I have little else to comment on. Posted Image This just isn't my forte. To me though, it seems like a nicely written and carefully considered poem that belongs with the best of them on this forum.

Overall rating: 93 Out of 100 points

Word choice: 18
Rhyming (subset of word choice): 9
Tone: 30 (consistent throughout)
Structure: 14
Rhythm (subset of structure): 12
Symbolism: 10

Review This please. Posted Image

Edited by Master Neverdead, 23 February 2012 - 09:42 AM.

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#13 OFFLINE   Luna

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:26 PM

Another Day at the Office by Master Neverdead

Overall rating out of 100: 91
How much of the story did you read: All of it.
Comments on: I really think this story could use some extra detail in the beginning to ground the characters in their setting. Your grammar and spelling are good, so technical errors are few and far between, although a few incomplete sentences break the flow of the story. Overall, it's a good story and a pleasant read, as far as productions from the Library go.
  • Language 14/15 (Your language is engrossing, but there are parts where some detail is extraneous and sentences half-finished or too long. There's also the part, "they send someone after your buddy Ted I think to", which not only confuses 'to' for 'too', but, if taken into context, forms a rather awkward sentence. Otherwise it's okay.)
  • Storyline 24/25 (The storyline is pretty solid, although I would have enjoyed more enumeration for our new shooter. Otherwise, it's a sort of story that hands over the symbolic torch. Quite nice.)
  • Characters 20/25 (Lawrence was a solid character, with relatively consistent characterization. The dialogue of the ordinary people was realistic. Our shooter, though, is young. It gives me pause to think he wouldn't be freaking out.)
  • General 33/35 (Otherwise, it's a good, solid piece, although I think there are some abrupt changes in tone (most notably, the part where Lawrence realizes he's been duped) and incongruous moods (following the duping; he can't have that much sangfroid) that detract from the overall effect. It's very well-written, though.


#14 OFFLINE   Fake

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:30 PM

Luna, you forgot to put one of your stories for the next person to review. :P
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Posted Image Posted Image
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#15 OFFLINE   Luna

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:07 AM

Hmm, none at present, although I'm working on one.

#16 OFFLINE   Fake

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

So should I just put a story then? In that case I would like to have this reviewed. (Unless Luna changes her mind in which case you can review hers instead).
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Posted Image Posted Image
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#17 OFFLINE   Master Neverdead

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

Overall rating out of 100 - 89

How much of the story did you read: Entire Thing

Comments on: Commas! My friend, this piece hangs on the edge of greatness, only repetitive comma misuse holds this work back. Well that and some mixed connotations caused by some incorrect word choices. Overall though, the imagery is vivid and interesting and the story is chock full of emotional drama. I was genuinely entertained by this piece, so I found it hard to take too many marks off for the grammar, mechanical, and syntax mistakes.
  • Language [13] - As mentioned above, the comma misuse is nearly painful. I've posted examples below. Aside from that your vocabulary is strong and word usage almost perfect. Just pay slightly more consideration to context agreement of your word choices.
  • Storyline [25] - Emotional and intense. This is the strength of the piece.
  • Characters [22] - The only reason for the lack of a perfect score is that these 'almost there' characters are missing that one big piece of characterization. You can see them fighting about a potential affair and the husband is upset for some reason with her, but neither of these is ever made clear. I am left with questions and I should be feeling satisfied that I know exactly what is going on with all of them.
  • General [29] - As already mentioned, the readability is damaged by, in many places, poor sentence structure, misplaced commas, and some rare word usage errors. Other than that, this is a read I will recommend in the future to someone looking for a fascinating, detailed piece centered around emotion. Well done Fake!
Please Review - Another Day at the Office

Examples of comma misuse that you should fix. I will post three and you can find the rest. Doing so though will lift the piece up and make it far more readable.

Quote

The laugh suddenly stopped as he realized the cold, brutal, truth of the situation.

The laugh suddenly stopped as he realized the cold, brutal truth of the situation.

Quote

“Oh yeah, I’m, I’m… I’m fine, it’s just that, that,” the man said, not realizing that he was talking to himself, before he walked off, staggering.

More than just commas with this one, it is a run-on sentence as well but you used commas to justify it. Here is how this sentence should read with proper grammar.

"Oh yeah, I'm...I'm fine, it's just...th-that," the man said without realizing he was talking to himself as he staggered off.

Quote

He continued to walk down the street, moving in diagonal lines, trying to keep his balance.

He continued to walk down the street, moving in diagonal lines in an attempt to keep his balance.

Good luck!

Edited by Master Neverdead, 26 February 2012 - 09:56 AM.

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#18 OFFLINE   Luna

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:22 AM

If it's not too much to ask, I'd like someone to review this




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