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Technically paid to work with birds, generally ends with getting bitten by a cardinal. I die a little every time someone asks me about vertebrate anatomy.
#22915 · 7
>>Trick_Question Feathered fiends with free time and fickle dispositions are best avoided.
#22908 · 5
· · >>Anon Y Mous >>Trick_Question
Coolio. Wanted to give one of these a try. Let's see how it goes. Need some inspiration, after all.
#22945 · 4
For reviewers, then, in my opinion it's key for the feedback to be very honest about our reactions to the story. Of course, they should also be written in a polite and friendly way, but we had a bit of an issue a while back where some reviewers seemed to be afraid to be honest about how they felt about stories. The result was that some stories got speckled with mild/generic praise, but ended up doing poorly in the results.
Coolio. Thanks for the info. So be honest, but do so in a polite way. Seems straightforward enough.

We're happy with however long or short you want to leave your thoughts as, and in the past some reviewers had their own reviewing formats with rating systems and scores, although that style sees a little less use nowadays.
In that case, I'll probably just roll with generalized thoughts. Don't see much use for a rating system, and if it's not expected I think I can perform better without constraining myself with something like that.

I do want to say, thanks for asking! It's great to get people who are so interested in the reviewing aspect of these events!
Giving feedback is probably one of my favorite parts of writing. I'm never gonna be the best at it, but I sure can aim to get there. The more I force myself to read other works and understand what worked about them, both on a technical level and on an emotional level for me, the more it helps me realize what I'm looking to do as an author. Not looking at other works would be criminal, in my opinion, and I feel like I owe it to give others what little insight I can offer, in the hopes that they can dredge something useful out of ramblings.
#22962 · 4
Urgh. Finally got something in. Had some rough life stuff come up in the middle of today, which I'm going to use as my excuse for any lack of quality in my piece. Best of luck to everyone else- hope they get something in as well.
#22969 · 4
· on Please Mind the Gap · >>Bachiavellian
Disclaimer: I've never actually read Hemmingway's stuff, so the story's accuracy to the book is unknown to be me. For the sake of the review, I'm assuming everything is accurate and he's not intentionally misleading on it or anything like that. If that's not the case, someone please let me know so I can adjust my review accordingly.

The voice jolted me out of my trance, and I almost drop my book.
Everything else is present tense, and I had to reread the start of the story to figure out what tense it was going to be. I can't speak for other people, but for me, it did disorient me, and with the limited space these stories have, it's vaguely frustrating.

Ignoring the tense errors, however, I did like this one, a lot. If I were to describe it in a word, I'd describe it as lonely. The empty subway, the way both protagonists are really only passing through when they meet, and I love the detail of consistently mentioning the train doors and the speaker, over and over, and over. It's a phenomenal way of conveying the passage of time and the pauses in this conversation, which are never explicitly stated yet are so clear when I'm reading it.

Now for the big about Hemmingway. I like using the Old Man and the Sea as a way to connect the two protagonists. I'm still considering the relationship between the two conversationalists and the Old Man and the Sea. I'm sure there's something more insightful that someone who's read the book can offer, but even without it, I love the sense of melancholy that both characters have, which the book's tone also hammers in.

So, yeah. I'm not far into my slate, but I really enjoy this one. I think there's a lot to unpack and I might come back to this one again for a second look, after I've had more time to think on it, but for now, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this one does.
#22921 · 3
· · >>Bachiavellian

Wild. Four/five years as well? That's impressive, both for the lifespan of the joke and the fact that y'all are still around. Any other long-running trends I ot to be aware of?
#22939 · 3
· · >>Bachiavellian
>>Bachiavellian On the subject of reviews, how do folks here generally go about giving reviews for submissions here? I give feedback on writing pretty regularly, but that's more relegated to the folks I meet up with on-campus, in-person, which means I'm generally able to talk about intent and such, which gives it a more back-and-forth style.
#22968 · 3
· on Everything's Better (and Worse) with Dinosaurs · >>No_Raisin
My dearest hope is that this is referencing Land Before Time, because dang-it, I want someone else to have watched my childhood movies.

So, a few general comments about structure. This is all, inevitably, building up to a one-line payoff, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. This seems like it’s meant to be a comedy piece, but it doesn’t really feel like that to me. There’s this weird dichotomy, at least when I was reading it, between the generalized ‘there’s a dinosaur park and it’s awesome’ feeling and the final line at the end. I dunno. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t feel particularly significant in the long run.

Style-wise, I really enjoyed the prose.

I also like the characters- I like Jessie and John interacting- the story does a good job making Jessie clear, as a character, to me- I feel like I’ve got a good grasp of who she is, at least on a surface level. John less so, but at the end of the day he’s there to play the role of newbie and let Jessie talk about the park to him, which is fine, and in turn let’s us get more of Jessie as a character.

Ultimately, I thought this was pretty okay. Writing style was good, but I didn’t really feel like it particularly went anywhere, aside from the joke at the end.
#23015 · 3
· on The Torturer
I have a really hard time with this one, and I think it comes down to two key points.

1) Speed at which the story takes place. It feels too fast for me. I wish I could have more time spent getting to know Alec and Ramires before we get dumped into this big reveal about Ramires.

2) The amount of information we've been given. I understand that, since we've got 750 words or less to tell our stories, we've got to prioritize what we put in, but I cannot place this story into any kind of setting, be it temporal, locational, or even narratively. I was able to gather that these two are cops- little beyond that. I don't feel like I know anything about these two characters or their overall motives. We get something close to Ramires's motivation at the end: she wants to perfect this technology because of losing her husband to criminals, but even that doesn't feel naturally given.

At the end of the day, I just feel like this needed more. Couple hundred words more, giving me more about these characters and their general dynamic. I know In-Media-Res is something of a standard in the writing community, but this felt too far into the action.

That isn't to say there weren't some really interesting parts to this- I really like the concepts that take place in the story. The idea of interrogation using memory scans isn't one I've encountered in sci-fi before (it's probably been done before, but I've never seen it myself), and I think that there can be a lot done with this concept, especially if you've got more space to expand.
#23091 · 3
· on Creation, and What Followed · >>Cassius
So, guess it's time to talk about my piece. First, a question for anyone who knows how the site works- why does my piece have a lightbulb next to it in the results? Second, while I'm by no means defending the quality of the piece, I will offer up a rather rough weekend- I got bitten by a dog halfway into writing this piece, meaning I sorta had to get that taken care of for the second half of the writing period. Now, onto my explanations.

I was never quite sure where I was headed with this going in. I've never actually taken a hand at mythology/abstract before- when I write, I'm usually working on long form narrative pieces, so I decided to take my best shot and see where I landed. As far as the prompt is concerned, the idea was simply a case of 'nothing's perfect.' Life's fine as-is, and things can always change for the better or the worse, and we're never quite sure where it's headed.

>>Monokeras >>PinoyPony >>Flashgen >>No_Raisin >>Bachiavellian >>PinoyPony
As far as message goes, my original goal was something akin to 'life goes on.' The story wasn't originally meant to go anywhere, as far as concrete endings go. I like stories that imply that things continue after their end, and that was my original hope for the piece. Something that indicates that things have happened or changed, but at the end of the day, life is life. It's just another day, etc. Choose your metaphor.

In retrospect, that doesn't really work very well. If I had put more thought into the piece, I probably would have focused more on giving a clearer idea of the world- my big fear was, when writing, that too much info would only serve to dilute, and I think that lead to me shying away and not finding a healthy middle ground. That was also why I remained somewhat nebulous about the finer details. I wanted to paint a larger picture without getting bogged down by smaller details.

Regardless, thank you all for your feedback. I'll definitely try and do better next time. Sorry this ended up being a bit of a purple-prose mess.