livingchallenged recent comments

written 17 days ago

Thanks for your comments and rating. Most people begin with Towers of Dust - The First Year, though. view book

written 53 days ago

The first sentence is confusing. Is the man whispering or is the ceiling. I think you are trying to paint the picture of a grimy ceiling, but I'm not sure. For me, whispering does not work, and I think you have a dangling participle at the end there.

"... the world seemed to fall off his bones." Very visual and there are plenty of other examples that paint a vivid picture.

Thanks for backing my book. view book

written 188 days ago

'Sue looked at me. Emma was too.' Should that be either Emma looked at me too or Sue was looking at me? view book

written 673 days ago

Thank you for commenting. When I begin the editing process, I will take your suggestions into consideration. :-)

I love the storyline. Anyone with imagination has no doubt speculated about this state of affairs happening. How creepy and yet exciting would it be to wake up in a world empty of people. How it would look, work, change... How would we react, survive...? Would it be even feasible without a community of support?
You've done a splendid job of creating some very real characters, ones you have made us instantly care about, to put into this challenging scenario too. I especially think the character of Adah is realistically drawn.
Your writing is superb, so as far as suggestions;
You could condense (or leave out for this format) the front pages - so readers don't have to go all the way to chapter 4 to actually start chapter one. The prologue is good though. The second paragraph could be use some clarification perhaps. After 'those few left on Earth puzzled about it (leave off 'for awhile) you could put the last two sentences in question form, Would those who had left come back to help them rebuild? Would the aliens reveal their purpose (in this deception) The last sentence in your prologue is excellent.
I did wonder if you might try to slowly build up the chemistry of the budding relationship between the last man and woman alive. There are opportunities for some real romantic tension in this situation.(but perhaps I haven't read enough?) After the dam broke and the city was flooded for instance, that 2nd paragraph from the end of that chapter might be stronger, or elicit more emotion if you draw it out a bit or use some dialogue and show us the interaction rather than tell us what Gabe does.
You've done an admirable job painting us a very realistic world here and I'm totally invested in what comes next. Are you still offering the next chapters through your email address of will you be posting them soon?

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written 695 days ago

I read chapter one and stopped midway in chapter two.

Biker soon to be ex-military meets angry but determined military widow - good premise for a romance. The writing is well-paced and easy. I will not ask about the spelling of chotchky since someone already has. Great simile in that sentence by the way, comparing her removal of clutter to an exterminator.

At the beginning of chapter one, a lot of sentences begin with 'she'. There is at least one comma error, but the sentence reads fine without it. I wouldn't even bother fixing it. I would change 'a relic' to 'the relic' when you are speaking about Wendy's father-in-law since it is a specific "relic" you are talking about, but that is just my personal preference.

You made the transition from Wendy to Leo and back again very well. There was a little confusion on who Fish-Eye was. You mention black man and African American twice and do not mention anyone else's race. Is there a reason for that? Is it important to the story to know? If not, I would remove references to race unless you are going to note everyone's race.

Why did Wendy suddenly decide to pay for the repairs?

You repeat yourself unnecessarily when talking about Cory being in Colorado in chapter two.

Overall, the writing is crisp and easy, in my opinion. view book

written 719 days ago

Where are the zombies? I backed this thinking there were zombies.

But it's ok. This made me laugh so hard, and I don't even do facebook. Even the pitch made me laugh. You are like the only sit down comedian I know.

Still, a few zombies wouldn't hurt. Maybe an almost apocalypse. You know like, oh is that a just a really tired guy walking in the street. Or a picture of a really tired guy walking down the street that someone put on facebook. view book

written 729 days ago

In return for the comments on my book.

This is a very well written story, as far as I have read, Jeffrey. The poem at the beginning is excellent. There are a few minor punctuation violations, but I barely even noticed them.

There is one thing you might look at. On occasion you use words that seem out of place with your style of writing. The one that springs to mind is the use of the word 'quack', which jarred me out of the narrative.

Other than that, it is very smooth read and you are pulled right into the story. I felt as if I were there. It is just the right style for this type of novel, I think. view book

written 813 days ago

Thank you for commenting. It is greatly appreciated. I'm glad you liked the stories. I will take a look at the beginning paragraph of Dwarven Logic based on your suggestion. (Yes, Gibbers has traps all over the forest and he forgets where they are sometimes. :-))

This is absolutely whimsical and naughty fun! Makes me wish I had kids, just so I could read it to them. So much made me laugh! The notes I took mostly highlight my favorite parts.

Dwarven Logic - Maybe there should be a paragraph break between the first and second sentence because I got confused between the number of people and stars. That is my only suggestion btw. Love the wink-wink for adults on the joke about "high lords."
The Ambassador - Good suspense when Emeline wanders off to find the little dragon. Made me look forward to hearing more about those two.
Between a Rock and an Ettin - Love the description, "ruddy wrenne eggs tucked lovingly in a fuzzy nest." And those poor elves fearlessly wading through dwarven flatulence.
Awe Nuts - There were some winner sentences here. Especially - "wet the rock all over as quickly as we can." and "Hello to you, short one about to die!"
Dinner and a Dragon - Eek! Scary.
Taking Home the Prize - Glad when it turns out that Emeline and the dragon got away. Wonderful that they rescued one of the pixies. Satisfying when Gibbers falls into a trap at the end; I hope it was his own.
Ready Your Weapons - I cringed and laughed about the vomit in this one.

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written 825 days ago

I was not fond of your cover at first, but it has grown on me and I would not like to see it changed.

I find the short and long pitches very well written, and it very much sounds like literary fiction to me.

The writing is very good and interesting. I am easily able to feel and see what the MC is experiencing. I do not usually like present tense or first person, but I think both work well for this story. Present tense adds a bit of tension, and added to the first person perspective, where the reader is not able to know the intentions of other characters or see around corners, increases the feeling of suspense. I think first person also allows the reader to more quickly develop a relationship with the MC, again working in this story's favor.

I have not read everything that is posted, as this is not a genre I am normally attracted to, but what I have read is well paced and well written, and if I had more time, I think it would not take long before I was enjoyably - is that a word? - lost in this story. view book

written 828 days ago

There are numerous punctuation problems, none of which, as far as I read, detract from the story-telling.

If you tidy up your short and long pitch, it will make a better impression on potential readers.

How is Esmeralda's cottage run down? This is a case where you can flavor your story telling, by helping your young readers to visualize it. Maybe it is not important to your story, but personally, since you told us so much about how she looks, I would also like to visualize where she lives as well. What I have read of your story is like a base recipe, all of the basic ingredients so far, but maybe needing a little spicing up to become a tasty dish.

I think the story has potential, but for me, it is not quite there yet. I am backing, in exchange for the shelf time that you gave my book, based on the story idea.

I hope this does not discourage you in any way. It is just one person's opinion, and I have not read everything that you have uploaded. view book

written 862 days ago

Thank you for commenting. Actually, it is the first day after people have been taken that Adah and Rona are wandering around. That is why the fruit is still good. I don't want the story to focus so much on why the earth didn't explode in a fiery collision as they were told it would. The main focus is on how things fall apart as time goes by and how they come together and cope, how they interact with each other in a changed world and how they themselves change over time. The story is not a day by day account, there will be much of their lives left out, but even so, there are times they will sit and ponder about why they are still alive when they should have been the ones to die. Remember, some of these people chose death, not because they wanted it, but because they didn't want to leave a loved one behind. They are just happy they and their loved ones are still alive. I hope that clears things up a little. I'm glad you like it so far. :-)

This is a great book. I was only going to read a couple of chapters, but you sucked me in and I read 16. Just one comment, in the begining of the book when Adah and Rona are wandering around it seems like they have been there for years. However, since the fruit is still good at the supermarkets I would say they would only have been left behind for a week two weeks tops. I think if you had them still confused as to what is going on that would be a little more believable. Just my opinion and very minor.

I am going to back and I will finish soon. I need to work on my book a bit tonight.

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written 867 days ago

Your book cover is nicely done.

I would take out the word 'seemingly' and 'seem' in your pitch to add more tension and adds certainty to the suggestion that she has no choices in life. I would also take out the reference to a bright future. It appears you've given away the ending. For instance, you could say something like this:

Destiny is a funny thing, and something extraordinary happens when Lordessa's fate intertwines with that of others. Bonds will be forged and broken, etc etc.

Something like that, but it is just my opinion. As it is now, you have told me she has a bright future and so I have no need to read the book, because I want a struggle that I don't know the outcome to so that I stay interested.

I love the opening of the first chapter. It's silly and I like it. Your writing is wonderful so far.

'When the trolls had come home' maybe should be 'when the trolls came home.' There is no need for a comma in the next sentence.

It's a wonderful story so far. :-) view book

written 873 days ago

Thank you for commenting. I hope you enjoy it. I am still cleaning it up, so I apologize for that.

This is a very intriguing idea. I've read most of what you've posted and will continue.

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written 874 days ago

Your cover accurately represents the title of your book. Your short and long pitches are clear and to the point.

You have some punctuation errors, but they do not detract from the readability of the story, and they are journal entries, so it is entirely appropriate to have spelling and punctuation errors, in my opinion.

I like the diary/journal format. Where I am from, men have journals and women have diaries, but perhaps that is a regional difference.

I can't really comment on the quality of writing in journal form because they are suppose to be journal/diary entries and those should be personalized for each person. I would expect to find quirks in the writing because it is suppose to be individuals writing their personal thoughts without regard to anyone reading them later.

I find reading someone's diary interesting and entertaining. The content is not dull or boring. view book

written 899 days ago

I lived in Colorado for a bit of my life. I have been through the Eisenhower tunnel many times. :-)

"Comfort, Colorado was a picture perfect, a paradise on" A picture perfect what?

Too many doors too close together. Maybe a few entrances are needed. She smiled at the wood barrier maybe. A pile of unread newspapers waiting at the entrance maybe.

Wichita instead of Wichata, unless you meant for him to be mispronouncing it

I remember this from FFF, so I will skim and go onto the next chapter. :-) view book

written 901 days ago

Thank you for backing my book and for commenting.

A land exists and a time exists, but a land and a time exist. If you rearrange the sentence, you will better be able to see that exist is the proper form of the verb. But I can see how that first line can be confusing. As another commenter pointed out, it's a brain teaser. Again, thanks for your support. :-)

Lovely prologue. I think "exist" should be "exists" in the opening line.

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written 903 days ago

Welcome to my bookshelf!

I like your book cover.

The blurb makes me think this is science fiction since it says he was catapulted by a machine from one city to another. But your category only says thriller. Maybe that sentence does not mean what I think and now I am intrigued. What kind of machine has he found that should not exist? I want to read to find out.

The last sentence in the first paragraph is a bit awkward for me. Personally, I would leave out 'bottom' of the box and just say he fumbled and dropped the box, spilling the contents. The lid remained firmly in his grip. Something along those lines. Was he gripping the lid tightly because he was frustrated? For me, that is not clear.

The next biggest paragraph, the one that begins "As the men talked", is confusing to me. No matter how many tiimes I read it, I cannot make out what it is talking about.

I will come back later and perhaps it will read differently to me. view book

written 919 days ago

I'm glad you liked what you read and I will take a look at the dialogue based on your suggestion. :-)

Hi Charles

I laughed out loud reading your prologue and opening chapters. You have a great writing style! (Not to mention, sense of humour!). And it's all so vivid. Just one observation if that's okay - from time to time I had to stop and take a double take on who was talking. I wonder if including a 'said Pips' / 'retorted Gibbers' etc here and there wouldn't go amiss - I'm sure you'd find a way to take the edge of this with your amusing descriptions... I think just a few sprinked here and there might help. That said, it may be the time of day here and me not concentratig hard enough! A great editor you have in your son, by the way :-) I'm new on here so will now find out how to 'back' you :)

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written 919 days ago

This doesn't count as backing my own book, does it? :-P view book

written 935 days ago

You are not the first person to mention that the first paragraph in the prologue is confusing. I may end up rewriting. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. :-)

I really like the prologue - the very beginning I thought was a tad confusing but then it kicked off and grabbed me with all those descriptions of the oceans and forests and rain quenched plains, and I love the conversational tone after about the moons (like two sisters in childbirth) and I loved the end of it, so I'm looking forward to settling down later to read more. Then I'll come back to you on my further (no doubt) delighted reaction.

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