Unforgettable Memories Review

2/24/2010 06:54:00 AM

LaurenLCD

[Title]: Unforgettable Memories
[Author]: SaMaNtHa
[Main Characters/Pairings]: Shim Changmin; Choi Minho; Yang Haeri
[Rating]: G
[Reviewer]: LaurenLCD @ Novice In Tomboyism
[site]: http://novicetomboy.blogspot.com


[Title: 3/5] Criteria: Is it eye-catching & unique? Does it draw the reader to the story?

Reviewer's note: This title is rather common and and I must admit, if I saw this on the front page, I may glance at it, but not click on the link because it's something I've seen (at least in variation) all too often. On the flip side, it does make the reader curious as to what those memories were and what made them unforgettable in the first place.

[Forewords 9/10] Criteria: Does it give information about the characters/story? Is it organized?

Reviewer's note: You cover basically everything I look for in a forewords. You give the title, rating, genre, characters involved (you lost a point for not giving a bit of back story in at least a couple of sentences for said characters), and credits. You give a paragraph that provides a bit of foreshadowing for the female character as well as whoever it is that's providing the dialogue, still providing a bit of mystery since the reader doesn't know whether it's Changmin or Minho having these self reflecting thoughts.

[Plot/Originality 13/20] Criteria: Is it more complex than "boy meets girl?" Even if it's cliche', does it bring a different twist?

I know that the plot is one of rejection, but it felt forced due to the short time span I'm allowed to meet and get to know the characters. If there was more time given in the period after Changmin's death (after only two days, both Minho and Hyeri reach a breaking point and Minho confesses), and more characterization given to Changmin and Hyeri (we know how they met, but that's about it) then I would have understood the 'why' in their love dynamic. I also wanted to see more development in Minho and Changmin's family dynamic. It's revealed that Changmin knows his brother's feelings as he dies, but I don't know how he came to the conclusion or whether either brother felt any hint of betrayal, jealousy, etc.

[Flow/Pacing 6/10] Criteria: Does the story go too fast that the reader can't keep up, or too slow that the reader gets bored waiting for something to happen?

Reviewer's note: I felt that some areas went too slow while others went to fast or were too sudden. The pace should be evened to be consistent. Don't let the fact that these chapters are one shots inhibit you from writing at an even pace.

[Grammar/Spelling 15/30] Criteria: Does the writing make sense in and out of context? Does the reader have to reread something to understand what the author's trying to get across? Is the author's writing descriptive? Are there too many glaring typos?

Reviewer's note: Your spelling is fine, but the main source of your problem areas lie in grammar and tenses. Particularly pluralization and switching between present and past tenses. There is also problem in dialogue. All dialogue should have their own separate paragraphs, especially if there are multiple people speaking.

Original: “Hyung what are we going to do now?” I looked at little Minho and touched his greasy hair.

Correction: “Hyung what are we going to do now?”

I looked at little Minho and touched his greasy hair. “I don’t know.”

Reviewer's note: This same paragraph as a whole has issues in tenses. You switch between present tense and past tense and it's confusing. Not only this, but the sentences after: 'I truly didn't know what to do. I’m only a 16 year old boy. How am I supposed to take care of my 9 year old brother without parents?' should have been a separate paragraph and not linked to that last sentence.

Original: “I don’t know.” I truly didn't know what to do. I’m only a 16 year old boy. How am I supposed to take care of my 9 year old brother without parents? I looked at their lifeless body and scavenged through the messy house for the phone. I kicked the sofa cushion with my right feet; in search for the phone but it wasn’t there. I bent down and threw the scattered papers aside where I found the house phone. I dialed 119 then went upstairs to pack my clothing and Minho’s. Grabbing the blue suitcase from Minho’s closet I began to place his clothes in the suitcase. He sat on the floor and looked at me, but he didn’t ask what I was doing; instead sat silently and watched.

Correction: “I don’t know.” I truly didn't know what to do. I was only a 16 year old boy. How was I supposed to take care of my 9 year old brother without parents?

I looked at their lifeless bodies and scavenged through the messy house for the phone. I kicked the sofa cushion with my right foot in search for the phone, but it wasn’t there. I bent down and threw the scattered papers aside where I found the house phone. I dialed 119 then went upstairs to pack my clothing and Minho’s. Grabbing the blue suitcase from Minho’s closet I began to place his clothes in the suitcase. He sat on the floor and looked at me, but he didn’t ask what I was doing; instead sat silently and watched.

Reviewer's note: I felt that half of this sentence:

'I kicked the sofa cushion with my right foot in search for the phone, but it wasn’t there.'

This was unnecessary and redundant. It was stated in the previous sentence that Changmin was search of the phone so there's no need to mention the phone again until he's in possession of it. I also felt that you should have made the following sentences short and choppy, as well as adding more places Changmin could have looked to give a frantic/rushed atmosphere since it seems apparent that the boys (or at least Changmin) is in a rush to leave the house for whatever reason.

Correction: I kicked the sofa cushion with my right foot. I bent down and threw the scattered papers aside where I found the house phone off the hook [Reviewer's note: I assume the phone is wireless since a wired phone is likely to not be moved]. I dialed 119 [Reviewer's note: This should be 911.] then went upstairs to pack my and Minho’s clothing. Grabbing the blue suitcase from Minho’s closet, I began to stuff [Reviewer's note: 'stuff' feels more appropriate than 'place' since I can't imagine Changmin taking his time to fold everything neatly unless he suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.] his clothes inside. He sat on the floor and looked at me, watching silently.

Original: I grabbed a couple of towels and some blankets; it occupied most of the space in the suitcase but its okay. I don’t need a lot clothes, as long as we’re warm and dry I’m okay. Walking towards my dresser I grabbed my wallet and went down the stairs with the suitcases in my hands, I grabbed my father’s wallet from the floor before leaving with Minho.

Correction: I grabbed a couple of towels and some blankets. They occupied most of the space in the suitcase but it was okay. I didn't need a lot of clothes. As long as we were warm and dry I was okay. Walking towards my dresser, I grabbed my wallet and went downstairs, suitcases in hand. I grabbed my father’s wallet from the floor before leaving with Minho.

Original: “Let’s go Minho. We’ll go live somewhere else where no one will bother us anymore.” Minho looked up at me then linked his arm around mine.

“Changmin hyung, where are we going to go? Shouldn’t Mom and Dad drive us there?”

Correction: “Let’s go Minho. We’ll go live where no one will ever bother us again.”

Minho looked up at me, then linked his arm around mine.

“Changmin hyung, where are we going? Shouldn’t Mom and Dad drive us there?”

Original: “No, they can’t they’re…they’re sleeping.”

Correction: "No, they can't. They're... They're sleeping."

Original: We walked further away from the house and never looked back again.

Correction: We walked further away from the house, never looking back.

Original: After hours of walking we reached a busy street where small stores sat on either side of the streets, I looked at the glass window and saw my house with police men’s rolling my parents on a gurney through the small TV sitting on the shop's window sill.

Correction: After hours of walking, we reached a busy street where small stores sat on either side. I looked in one of the glass windows and saw my house with surrounded with police men. They were rolling my parents out in body bagged gurneys on the small TV sitting on the window sill.

Original: “Hello, this is Park Kyungmin. I am here with today’s news. Today I am here at the Shim resident, there has been a homicide, there are two people are dead. A mother and father, the parents has a record of gambling problems so maybe they were killed by the loan sharks, but we are not certain. At the moment we are searching for their lost son’s, they are 16 and 9 years old. We don’t know if they were kidnapped or not but we need to find them quick before anything bad happens to them.”

Reviewer's note: This is more nitpicking than anything, but I felt the news report very inauthentic in many ways. This is not what a real life reporter sounds like. Not to mention that there's the returned issue of redundancy. There's no need to say there was a murder because it's assumed that the average news viewer knows what a homocide is without it being repeated in a different way. Second, the reporter makes the assumption that the Shim parents were killed due to their gambling addictions and loan sharks. Real reporters speculate the cause of death. They wouldn't know the reason why someone died without weeks of investigation by the police.

Correction: “This is Park Kyungmin. We are here today at [Reviewer's note: Insert address here] where there has been a homicide of a husband and wife. After thurough investigation, it has been revealed that they were survived by two sons: 16 year old Shim Changmin and 9 year old Shim Minho. The son Shim Changmin is a prime suspect in the case and if charged and found guilty, he could get life in prison for first degree murder, kidnapping, and child endangerment. There is however speculation that the parents were involved in gambling and were killed as a result of unpaid loans. More will be revealed as this story unfolds..."

Even though I only covered 1/4th of the first shot, these issues are prevalent throughout. As you write, use a word processor such as Microsoft Word, Open Office, or AbiWord (the last two are open source and free to download and use) so that you may save and make corrections as necessary. Do not write your first draft in winglin. Write your first draft in a processor and when you finish, leave it alone for a few days. Have an outside source such as your friends or teachers read it and give feedback. Ask them to check and double check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. because as the writer, you yourself will be prone to skim your work and not really read and look for mistakes.

[Characterization 10/20] Criteria: Are the characters complex? Are they cliche Mary/Gary Stu's? Is the reader able to differentiate their personalities?

Reviewer's note: As a two part one shot, I don't expect as much development as a full length fiction, however, I do have to dock points simply because everything feels too rushed. While we do get to know Minho, it feels as though the moment Changmin enters is the same moment he's shot and murdered. I would have liked to see more development with Hyeri's character. I get the fact that she's the love interest of both brothers, but the declaration feels rather tacked on. I don't get a glimpse into how either boy feels about her aside from the fact that they enable her to live with them doing nothing while they go to school and/or work. She feels more like a plot device to keep the story going than anything else. I must confess that neither her death, nor Changmin's death have an impact for my emotions- simply because as soon as the appear, ready to be given potential development, they're gone. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare, but there could have been more to the other characters besides just Minho.

[Bonus 10/5] Criteria: Favorite pairing? Does the poster (if there is one) look professional & not like it was made in Microsoft Paint? etc.

The poster is well made and the text was easy for me to read throughout. You get an extra point because this review is from a fellow affiliate, a 1.5 because the poster is made by an affiliate of ours, and another 2.5 points because stories that are Minho-centric are hard to come by.

[Grade 68/100] Criteria: 100-90 A; 89-80 B; 79-70 C; [[69-60 D]]; 59-0 E

You came close, but not quite a C yet. You did ask for honesty (and I wouldn't have held back punches anyway ;) ) and that's what I gave you. Improve your grammar (This is a must.), secondary character development, and pacing of plot development. You were brave to ask that I not sugar coat it, because all too often many winglin writers expect that reviewers kiss their feet and hail them as literary gods to stroke their egos and comment count. Good luck as you make more improvements and feel free to request from us anytime in the future.

WARNING

Best viewed in Chrome; Incompatible with IE, Opera.

TWEETS

CBOX