In this tomorrow, workers are constituted as needed for jobs and dissolved thereafter.

Overall



Ran into issues reviewing Shadowmen: Linebreach - site's misbehaving. Here's my review, in case I lose the data: All in all, a great piece. I got immersed in the setting, the characters, and a tease at the rules of technology and society that drove the plant. I wanted to learn more, which is the best thing I can say. You got my attention. Thanks for that. The idea of programming a crew to solve a problem was especially cool - not to mention buying a team member third-party. At first I was thrown by the long, running sentences of the first section, but they grew on me. I'd suggest starting with a smaller "break-in" sentence, to guide the reader into the pace. It takes a certain trust to travel down long sentences - if this is meant as a first line hook, it may distract. "If you approve, we can but" - can buy? The controller's speech may need a second run for punctuation. I eventually got the gist, but with speech especially, commas and periods at the right point let me simulate. There's some intentional breaks from style in the structure of the piece, but dialogue's a more delicate animal. Experiment with it; I'm not sure of the best balance to strike. Thank you, well done, and keep writing!


I got a call at work. It was busy and cold. I didn’t hear the message until I got off work. Dad wrecked his bike. He’s in the hospital. I ...

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Overall



I both like and don't like this piece at the same time. All of the right elements are there. The pace and presentations are a bit disassociated. Separate. Matter-of-fact. It feels like the kind of voice someone develops the hard way, not trying to flaunt itself. That said, it doesn't quite get up to a reactive level.

I see all the pieces, but they don't move. Even in something brusque or dirty, I've got to be moved. I need jarring glimpses of what's underneath, maybe sudden sharp turns mid-paragraph. I need to get a glimpse in.

Here are a few niggling points that threw me, but they're secondary:

"I didn’t hear the message until I got off work" - Repeats 'work' from the first sentence. Is this intentional?

"I spent a week up in LA taking care of him." - repeats the idea of going to LA. Is this intentional?

"I fellow at work-" A fellow

I noticed the proletkult tag, so you may be going into style territory I'm not familiar with, but I've never been swayed much by that sort of thing. A piece moves or it doesn't. I think you've got the content you need, but I'd take a second look at how to present it with emotional content without going the opposite direction into purple prose.

Thank you and write on!


The inner working of a child's brain and actions during and after a traumatic event.

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Overall



Thanks for writing this. You've got all of the set pieces for the right story, or at least for the story that needs to be told. That said, the presentation needs polish. It needs timing. It needs practice. Normally, I'd go line-by-line with some key points, but all of your words are in the right places - they just don't have room to breathe. Your sentences are long and carry too many clauses, I think. Experiment with cutting one sentence into three. See how it flows. See how it changes how you read the words aloud.

Compare:

"Life as you know it can turn upside down in a split second or in my case it turned upside down once and never exactly stopped."

To:

"Life as you know it can turn upside-down in a split second. In my case? It turned upside-down once and never exactly stopped."

One has tighter control and flows from one idea to the next. I can see this applied to most of the piece.

I'd also recommend breaking it into two or more paragraphs. "Things happened and the story takes a violent turn." could stand by itself as a whole paragraph. It's jarring and distinct from what comes after or before. That'd be my best recommendation.

Thank you for writing this. I'm not sure if it's your biography or just a story you need to tell. Either way, it takes a bit of courage to step into that space, to tread that ground. Polish it and you'll be golden.

Thank you and write on!


He is still shifting on the mattress, finding the perfect way to lie down, as I slowly walk towards the pool. I take my gun out of my jacket and ...

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Overall



I like the concept, but I feel like there's something awkward in the delivery. Short pieces are really hard to do well - there's almost no time to establish a voice or a tone, so every word has to work. Here are a few areas where I was pulled out of the story, areas that can be turned into solid wins with revision.

"He is still shifting on the mattress, finding the perfect way to lie down, as I slowly walk towards the pool" - This feels a bit like a mouthful. Every period is a mental moment to breathe and refocus. It might be the progressive tense, though. -ing verbs always stretch a sentence out.

"I take my gun out of my jacket and point it at him, closing my right eye for a better aim, but suddenly he sees me." - This feels like a run-on, definitely. I'd cut it into two sentences, with 'I close my right eye'.

"My ears start to ring and my head starts to ache." Another opportunity for two short, punchy sentences that leave a deeper impact.

"A thin red circle grows around him, rippling along with the water." - the 'with' felt odd her. I can see it, but 'rippling along the water' sounds good, too. Not sure.

"Now it’s my turn." - This feels like it warrants its own paragraph. I'm not sure if you were constrained to one paragraph, but you could also break it up at 'Pop.' if you want to guide a reader into switching gears.

All in all, I think this is a good early draft that needs to be read aloud a few times and reworked. Again, I'm not sure if there were rules or constaints preventing style choices, but if not? Play around with it.

Thank you and write on.

- Hawk


I conversed with a man behind a mask He though himself hidden but I knew who he was. I knew not his name nor his face But I knew who ...

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Overall



I think this is a good piece that could be a great one. I love the concept and the word choices are all solid, but it's the packaging that left me wanting here. With poetry, timing can be everything. It's not as grammar-bound as prose, but that makes every grammatical choice meaningful... or costly.

 

"He though himself hidden but I knew who he was." - 'thought', I think? Also, a comma before the 'but' would really help the rhythm - otherwise the eye might run right on through. Breaking rules is fine, if it adds value - does it this time?

"I knew not his name nor his face" - another opportunity for one or two commas. At the end, it'd be using the rules. Before 'nor', it'd just be a potential style choice to sync up the rhythm (if you add one above)

"But I knew who he was." - excellent use of repetition. That echo makes the piece.

All in all, I liked it, but I think I could have loved it. I think there's solid potential here for a piece that leaves a lasting impact. It's a piece that wants to be spoken. Thank, and write on!

- Hawk


what is the differencebetween rainfalland a shower?both are meantto cleanse the filth.perhaps we are only willingto be clean on termsof our own control.

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All in all, a good piece. It says what it says, without messing around or trying to throw flowers around. Short pieces are so difficult, since it's very easy to drift. I think you've almost got it, but the ending made me stop and re-read - not in the intended fashion.

"perhaps we are only willing
to be clean on terms
of our own control." - These three lines feel like they should be two. Like maybe you were worried that 'on our own terms' would be cliche. Right now, you've just got a dangling mouthful in an otherwise tight piece. I'd vote to trim it. In a small piece, every word needs to work for a living.

 

I'd recommend a rework of that end, but it's still pretty good if you don't. Thank you and keep writing!

- Hawk


Sun-Dreams-Dying I’m so worn out from walking with the kids along the wharf all afternoon. Legs throbbing, feet beating with my heart. The sun is so bright, its rays lash ...

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Overall



I really love this piece. Repetition is a hard card to play, but you used it in just the right way for the best possible impact. The change in style and format as the piece transitions is a great way to force the reader to change gears - all in all, just a great piece. I've got some nitpicks, but they're easy fixes or personal calls.

"it’s rays lash my corneas like whips." - its. If you wouldn't say "it is", it's not it's.

"At every intersection I wait behind thrumming exhausts and red brake-lights." - May want a comma after 'intersection'. Not strictly required, but your pace comes from a lot of short sentences so far. Why break it?

"The kids are thirsty, the baby’s crying." - the comma here feels awkward. Maybe best to make them two short sentences.

"My god we’re like sailors lost at urban sea." - might want a comma after 'my god'.

" I sit in the car and lean against window" - lean against 'the' window?

"I’m at a light. the engine drones." - Is the lack of capitalization intentional? If so, 'I look down at my lap' throws off that concept.

Thanks for putting this up - I had a lot of fun with it. Write on!

- Hawk


Bloodshot eyes with no remorse Determined to stay their final course They look down to ad infinitum, all they see Is the joyous man they wanted to be Tears well ...

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I really love the first and last lines of this piece. They had me, but I feel like the middle struggles to live up to them. Breaking the piece down into a meter to match those lines (you'd have to cut "and" from the last line - no great loss, it's pretty much implied) would catch the almost musical feel of that language.

 

I'd consider looking deeper into this - each line feels like seven beats that got a bit muddled and flabby. There's solid potential here, though. Thank you, and write on!

 


It was a dark and dreary night. The weak flame of a candle barely succeeded to light up his face, gently moving on the rhythm of his breath. For a ...

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Overall



All right. You've got a short piece, which means every word and punctuation choice has got to count. There's a good story here, but I think it needs to be dug up and polished a bit. Here are a few things that threw me off:

"The weak flame of a candle barely succeeded to light up his face,"- 'barely succeeded to' is an awkward line. succeed is often tied to 'at', 'managed' and 'to' work better together. Might want to change this phrase entirely to focus more on your desire for eerie tension. Start early; finish strong.

"Again, the flame flickered by a breeze," - this reads oddly, like the flame moved and the breeze didn't. May want to rephrase.

"He stood up and walked to the window, the candle went out." - no need to clarify that he stood. Also, you might want to leave 'the candle went out' as its own sentence, even its own paragraph. It's the big THUMP at the end - make it count.

See what you can do with it. Read it aloud to get a feel for the tension. Then write on!


The giant stretched his gigantic body and let out a yawn. The wind escaping from his mouth made the leaves rustle and windmills spin. After scratching his head, he was ...

Overall



I liked this piece. It leads you at a lazy, wake-up pace into something rather lovely - I was surprised, in a good way. Here are some suggestions of areas to build on this foundation, though.

 

"The giant stretched his gigantic body and let out a yawn." - giant and gigantic sound so similar, it might feel repetitive

"The waterdragon had already spilled her tears and at that moment the mighty Sun was shining her rays on the world below." - this sentence runs on a bit. I'd break it into two different sentences. You could/should also use commas with "and, at that moment,"

"The giant shook of the last bits of his drowsiness before arching his back, forming half of a circle with his multicolored body." - shook "off". This sentence also feels a little long and awkward.

I also recommend separating the last sentence into its own independent line and not part of the paragraph. It separates what they know from what the kids see, thematically.

 

I think it needs a bit more work before I'd call it 'done'. Short pieces have to be tight and focused, after all. It's a great start and write on!

- Hawk