Hi! This is sunshine_locks from the HPFT forums, here with your review!
I’m going to begin right away with this sentence: “The place stood as a dancing school once upon a time, so the wooden floors went throughout the place.”
This sentence could use a bit of rewording, as it was a little hard to follow. Maybe something like: “The place was once a dancing school, and wooden floors still went throughout the place.” Maybe you have better ideas because even my suggestion is a little off and chunky.
I think the word “thrived” is better replaced with “thrummed”? The sentence would then be ‘thrummed with life.’
“…for she went through her sixth pregnancy in eight years.” That is a lot of pregnancies in just eight years, wow. Isn’t the optimum wait time between pregnancies at least two years?
I really like how you bring life to such mundane things as grocery shopping, and I could see exactly what they were doing. I suppose this is what you meant by show, don’t tell?
In some places, the dialogue was a bit off, and strange. I didn’t know whether it was part of Emmeline’s thoughts or actually happening in the scene.
One such instance: “’This isn't about me.’ Jacqueline lay… towards the open door. ‘She’s still here.’” Is this just me?
“The girl bent down and tied her red trainers and twirled in her white dress with red poppies on it.” To which girl are you referring to? Emmeline? If so, I think you should add an adjective, or something unique to Emmeline that lets the reader know that it is her. Unless I missed a detail?
Oh, wow, that was sudden. I wasn’t expecting that, it happened so fast.
“She smelled blood, and gulped, horrified, when she saw her lying a short distance from her body.” What do you mean by this sentence? It seems strange that Emmeline would see her own body… because isn’t her conscious in her body?
Everything had escalated so fast. I think a bit too fast. I think maybe you should’ve taken time to like describe to us her feelings? If she was knocked out by the fall, maybe you could write snippets of it, as if she was dazing in and out of consciousness?
Overall, I think you pull off the show don’t tell very nicely, and I think you do very well with description. The only thing I’d ask you to work on is pacing, or maybe even transitioning nicely into the next topic. I also caught some minor grammatical mistakes, and some spelling errors.
To counter that, I usually change the font of the whole chapter into something I’m not used to (not too crazy, and still readable) and then look over the chapter. Changing things up a bit will bring your eye to mistakes you might not have previously caught.
That being said, did you want me to be nitpicky and point out all these grammatical and spelling mistakes out all to you? If so, I can do that on your next chapter.
Hopefully, I was of some help to you? I am not a veteran writer as you seem to be, and I might all be repeating stuff you already know…
Anyways, this was really well done, and this’ll be the end of the review, I think.
Author's Response: The piece was written at a fast pace and can use editing. Dialogue is given in quotation marks as that is when a character would be directly speaking, but you are right that the wording can use cleaning up and further editing. I edited right before you read this and missed the mark, but that doesn't mean thiscouldn't use more work because it could. Thanks for the suggestions. The font suggestion after walking away is a good one.