Reviews for White Gate's Fall
Silvercrystal.ct chapter 1 . 2/17/2015
There were a couple of spots where the ways of English failed you, or perhaps Twas you that let it down with missing letters "y" and fractured lines between thought and screen.
Seriously though it was a great little story, but alas as I am not an English Major nor Minor my saying you should have gotten an "A" means no more then a hill of beans.
AppealingToHeaven chapter 1 . 5/13/2012
This is a really good poem. It seemed to me that General Washington was included in it, just not directly. Definitely didn't deserve a C. I also like the prophetic vibes at the end. Awesome, awesome.
Guest chapter 1 . 11/5/2011
Remasa chapter 1 . 8/13/2011
Okay, I don't know what the exact premise of your assignment was, so I cannot take a side on whether or not you deserve a C on the reason you give me. If a teacher told you to write about any general/warrior/soldier/wartime hero, that's fine, but if a teacher told you to write about a significant person in the history of America, then you failed. Your question is a loaded question, and I cannot answer that based on what little information you have supplied to us.

What I can review is the poetry taken as you've given to me. I don't normally like poetry in general: I think it's weak and pointless and stupid and tries to create a story in about ten words. That being said, I've been subjected to some poetry through my years of schooling and one thing I am fairly decent at is analyzing it. I've even read one or two poems I've liked, and I'll share with you the reasons for liking those poems.

First off, you did a great job of showing to us (the reader, an assumed complete stranger) who exactly Rughadjeen is in relation to the peons of the city. He is a mighty general; the leader of a band of heroes tasked with safeguarding Al Zahbi during Besieged.

I won't go into detail on the spelling and grammatical errors in your story as a previous reviewer already mentioned them. However, I should point out that most numbers (especially short numbers and ESPECIALLY numbers at the beginning of sentences) should be spelled out. It should have read “Five generals” not “5 generals”. Again, a lot of your sentences were chopped short when they could have been gently paused with a comma. A period is abrupt. Always. It signifies the end of a thought. A comma, however, represents more of a brief pause in thought. A slight mental inhale as the reader prepares for the next part of the sentence. Periods are used for emphasis. Action. Fast-paced action. Battle scenes. Perfect for battle scenes. However, you have periods used everywhere and erroneously. Be gentle on your readers, especially in the beginning of your poem with your introductions.

Okay, moving onto the meat of your poem. Your attention to rhyming is spectacular. You attempt to follow a pattern and stick with it through the majority of your poem. However, your desperation to rhyme often leaves the reader feeling out of sync with the rest of your pacing. Read a passage or two of Shakespeare: he has a near-perfect pattern called iambic pentameter. It puts the reader in the sense of a flowing rhythm. I'll point out examples in your work. Most of them could be fixed with a word change. While I'm on word changes, a lot of your vocabulary could be improved. I'll combine these two points into one since they really go hand in hand. I don't know if you've had the “lecture” yet in English, but passive voice is a big no-no. Active voice! Always! Especially in a poem where your word choice is limited. You must say a lot with little, which also ties into imagery, which I'll address later. I would have even changed “Rughadjeen” to something else, because “Rughadjeen” is such a jumble of syllables that it halts the reader's mental river of thought. You do this a lot in your poem, where you are abrupt and incoherent with your rhythm.

“As children sleep and are having peaceful dreams.

Around them is defiantly not what it seams.

As a great general walked the city streets.

Everyone saluted him. For nothing he could not beat.”

Off the top of my head, I can fix this to:

“As children sleep and dream in peace,

the city around them defies beliefs.

A great general walks the streets.

Everyone salutes; for he cannot be beat.”

Again, can use some work, but this is off the top of my head. I would change the word “great” to something else and also probably “walks”. Also the last line bugs me (would reword the “everyone salutes” part maybe to say something different, but I'm not going to dwell on it). You get my point.

Poetry is about imagery. All about imagery. You must take a single word and convey the nuances behind it. “Great” is such a passive way of saying something. How was he great? Was he tall? Commandeering? Imposing? Domineering? Fiercely gentle? True of heart? Brave? Stout? See my point? Consider the beginning of this poem by Robert Frost, entitled “Fire and Ice”:

“Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.”

I won't repost the entirety here, but consider the first two lines. The first is long and narrative, the second abrupt. He has made his point. The world will end. In one extreme (fire) or the other (ice). Not from cold or nuclear war or the sun melting or any other such descriptions. Fire... and Ice. Such juxtaposing!

Which leads to my next point. You flow between instances too fast with little description. First the kids are sleeping peacefully, now they're attacked. How do the kids not hear this? Now there is a Besieged happening now (point aside, I think it would have been neat to include the mention of a Besieged with the capital letter at some point in the poem, maybe not call it a Besieged, but perhaps have said “Besieged the city” or some other description). Okay, now they're fighting... did they fall? You mention “if” they fall, but then go on to talk about the city lying in shambles. You say “if” they die, then all the sudden are they dead? You flip between “what if” and “yes, this happened” way too often for a reader to form a coherent narrative from your poem. To me, I almost felt like I was reading the latest script for an Old Spice commercial.

For your narrative, you taper to a point quite nicely, though I would have cleaned it up a bit.

Everything will vanish.

And their souls will be banished.

Never to return.

Never to fly once more but burn.

This was very powerful. Very powerful imagery and abrupt loss. I liked it. I still felt it could be improved because you slowly taper your words down to a few, but then contradict yourself with long narratives in there. Again, here's how I would have improved it:

Everything will vanish.

Their souls, banished.

Never to return.

Never fly again

but burn.

See how I tapered that down from long slowly to short, where I have my final powerful statement at the end? I could then taper back up if I wanted, but to me this could have ended the poem quite nicely.

So I feel that there was a lot that could be improved in this poem. Again, I probably would have given you a C based on your spelling alone: there were several misspelled words and out-of-place words in there that would have been easily caught on spellcheck alone. And I'm one of those people that despises a story for a single misspelled word. It's pure laziness or last-minute procrastination and it shows in the work. However, you have potential, if you'll allow yourself to learn. Again, this is not intended to be a flame or to douse that so-called inspirational fire you have burning to write (after all, I'm signing this as my penname), but merely to offer a bit of critical advice, which you need very badly. I don't even expect you'll answer this, but for the record I put in about ninety minutes of writing this review, because I felt that you needed a solid critiquing.

Keep writing but please take the advice from those around you. They've been in your shoes and cringe over the writings they produced at age 13.
Abysia chapter 1 . 4/18/2011
For this work, I think a C is generous. Here's why: Firstly, the poem is riddled with spelling errors. Secondly, you have periods after fragments and questions. There are hardly any correctly structured sentences. Thirdly, you use improper metaphors. "A prayer in his hand"? Perhaps "A prayer in his heart" would have been more appropriate. I hope you'll take this as constructive criticism instead of merely writing me off because I didn't compliment your work.

From your Author's Note, it seems you may have an attitude problem. Consider that you may not be the absolutely perfect writer you seem to consider yourself to be. 13 years old is much too young to have an arrogance problem.