A little too quirky


It seems that you have put a lot of effort into writing this, but I have to admit I did not understand what was going on at any part in the text.

Unfortunately, there are frequent errors in choice of words, many of these sentences do not follow on from each other and I frequently couldn’t work out the meaning of basic sentences.

The use of bullet points is not really appropriate in a story.

There are unfortunately too many problems in the word choices and basic sentence structure. Here are some sentences I could not understand:

He had taken heart to a holiday upon a first-class cruise liner along the Mediterranean Sea.
and they didn’t take much pleasure other than rushing him that he was trying to fiddle their finances
-Wear and tear didn’t silence Loraine to deliver her reply as
-The building stands well to those who wish to harness their skills;
-Bill Rhodes held a stocky build and his complexion was Caucasian.
-Gerald was adopting the domino-effect
-Bill Rhodes was directly affected by the crumble within his own breadline, and he felt elevated that he understood the cause of it; there were three main factors for the spiral:
-Just before his curiosity sank in,


Here are some notes – where I flag up some of the most egregious examples of confused writing:

He was adamant to go on holiday. He was on a first-class cruise liner. The ship was known for her gym-finesse. There were helpers that hoped to gently improve the physique of her passengers, and it had other recreational demands. She featured flair as the best mobile hotel along the Mediterranean, and the superb gem took the name as Princess Royale. For many passengers to board her, one had to be prepared to exchange a costly fee. Gerald Baker never looked spent when it comes to holidays and Princess Royale wasn’t an exception.
(This opening paragraph is clumsy and badly written. Please spend some time editing and rewriting it as it puts readers off)

As Gerald eased into the couch, he could easily recall his unwillingness to participate as an astronaut, yet amazingly, his membership at an executive golf club had given him a new sense of direction and determination. As a golf member, it meant that he could go out on the field to gain glory; it came in different shapes and sizes from sharing techniques at how shots ought to be swung to protecting the interests of the clubhouse. The building stands well to those who wish to harness their skills; it brings an immense belonging in wearing their green blazers on the greenway. Nevertheless, those entitled to wear such blazers are causing TV documentaries to stir up ideas that they are the people that Kennedy and Eisenhower were warning against! So in fairness, Gerald Baker was really part of the problem that was striving to make the American people their pawns.
(this really makes no sense)

During Gerald’s adolescence, he might enjoy listening to Chicago house music, and it was his norm throughout his entire childhood.
(this is so clumsy, please rewrite. I’ve just plucked this one out almost at random. There are lots of examples of clunky prose)

Not in any way did it mean that Gerald was slimmer and stood short than any average person. Yet, Bill was a close call of comparing to a buffalo, whilst Gerald a wildebeest.
(really confusing sentences. Rewrite)

It had a simple desk and chair and a cabinet on his air service personnel.
(and a cabinet that contained details/files of his air service personnel)

His journey made him become the problem he never imagined becoming as he was bound to their smokescreen.
(nope – makes no sense. All this financial stuff, whilst it may have merit intellectually is badly explained and so is a turn off)


Hi, Wayne. Well, what can I say. Although you are clearly an intelligent writer, I’m afraid I found your story ponderous and slow. Your style comes over as strange and I suspect the reason may be that English isn’t your first language. This is only my opinion, of course. May I suggest that you ask an English friend to go through the story with you to iron out some of these problems. I also found your work word-heavy. For me it was too political and at times I wasn’t sure which year I was supposed to be in. With a good edit I think you will have a much better story. Best of luck.


Hi! The story has an interesting plot, but I found it quite puzzling and not so attractive in the way it was narrated. You start with a prologue – which doesn’t really come across as a prologue, but rather as a chapter. It is quite long and there is also a sudden change from Gerald’s house to the liner – content wise it just does not fit the role of a prologue. Despite that I would say this part is written fairly well; I think the dialogues could be done better by revealing more information to make the story clearer.
After the “prologue” the story drifts back to the past and I must say the following chapters just didn’t do it for me – they were way too descriptive – like a report, slowly paced and just info feeding. As a reader I was struggling through them . I also didn’t quite get the dialogues, and there was a lot of jumping from one person to another, which made it hard to follow the story line. I think you have a good idea and plot, also the characters are quite interesting, but there is still a lot of work needed in terms of narration, structure of the story and story line. Good luck!


Hi Warren, sorry not to be able to give you a very positive review on this project. When the reader sees an error in the very first paragraph, the question is asked – how much time has the writer spent editing and reviewing his/her work before putting it up on YWO ?

I got bogged down about half way thru’ but went back and read your work twice. The story definitely has prospects but, in my view, you need to take out a lot of superfluous text. ie Do we need to have the whole Kennedy speech included ?

There are a lot of typo’s t/out and one area that you should consider reviewing is your use of the exclamation mark. The experts tell us that only one or two should be used for every 100,000 words. Basically, they tell us that having to use them shows a lack of confidence that their words are doing the job.

To finish, the book cover is brilliant. Keep at it. The story can be deveolped into something good.


Show don’t tell. Your explanation of the order was all telling. The majority of the exposition was also telling. That you provided numbered lists with nothing grounding those lists to a physical scene, is a clear sign of telling.

Ground the ‘floating heads’. “Floating heads” happens when you have large sections of dialogue with no setting. Describe the bar. Have a character pause to drink some beer. Have a drunk patron stumble out the door.

A few typos.
“Gerald wasn’t a television addict but he knew something good was on than listening to his radio.”
“No better time then now”
“were to duped their congregation”
“Its because we’ve decided”

An interesting and unusual story.

As a conspiracy theory, it’s very imaginative but as a story , it needs a little more work.

You don’t need to explain the plot in so much detail, it robs the reader of anticipating a surprise. The dialogue is a little Sunday-best in that it’s too long and too detailed. It need some shortening to feel realistic. And some of the narrative is too involved. For instance …. “In the mix, senior Christian figures, both Protestant and Catholic alike, were to duped their congregation at reprehending President Bungles too.” I know what you mean but:-

(1) You don’t need to say it, describe the effect instead.
(2) It’s too elongated.

If you cut the word count by about 30%, you’ll have the makings of a good story.


Hi Wayne.

I think first off you need to have a good read and edit of your story, which has some interesting themes and ideas, but has many major flaws. It’s never a good sign to find a mistake in the first para buy hey: After reading about half of the story I began to wonder if English was your first language, as the sentence structure is somewhat eccentric to put it mildly.

I’ve made notes as I went along, which I have attached below, but in general I found it a very confusing read, and didn’t understand what you were trying to say most of the time. Sorry to sound quite so down on this story, but it really does need a lot of work.

Gerald wasn’t a television addict but he knew something good was on than listening to his radio. (As it stands this doesn’t make much sense. Do you mean something better was on?)

the programme that evening was about President Kennedy’s warning of a military-industrial complex.(again not sure what you mean. do you mean conspiracy like you say one para down? A military-industrial complex could just be a factory producing military hardware or something)

Gerald knew that to set foot on her, one had to be prepared to exchange (pay?)a costly fee. In his case, he had enough money not to be spent.(Eh?)

You have a curious turn of phrase i.e. By the afternoon, they fancied to spoil themselves at a small cocktail bar…and…Gerald loved the bar because it served his favourite drink being Alice Paul.

You start with a couch potato, who then goes onto a cruise ship and spends hours in the gym, then you casually slip in he’s an astronaut about to fly off in the space shuttle. The start doesn’t really sit easily with the rest.
You say he’s a non-commissioned officer but then say he’s commander of the space shuttle? Later you say he has the rank of squadron leader and wants to be commander of British Armed Forces. We then find out about half way through that he’s actually Kenyan.
The Hog’s Head? You say Kaiser created it, but don’t give any clear indication about their aims or ideals.

Your spelling is pretty much impeccable. Your punctuation, however is not. I think one of the first things you need to do is to read this piece out loud to a friend. A lot of what you’ve written simply doesn’t make sense. I think a precis of what you are trying to say is needed and then the structure of the piece needs picking apart and reassembling, coherently.

I did wonder if English is your first language. If it isn’t, full marks for the spelling. The rest, frankly, needs a lot of work. One thing you could try is dictating it into a voice recorder and then playing it back.

You’re obviously trying hard, and I wish you luck in your writing development.



When I read your plot at first, it sounded really interesting. But as I started reading your novel I was expecting that gripping, fast-paced twists in the initial chapters. Incorporating such twists and turns in the initial chapters will really help readers stay glued to your novel. However, in your novel, I saw more of facts. You could have given a small intro about Bill Kaiser in the initial chapters and then explained Leo’s friendship with him in the 6th or 7th chapter. I got bored in some paragraphs, so I straightaway skipped to the 3rd chapter. Try to add some punchy and gripping story lines in the initial chapters, which will pique the readers’ interests and make them read more. Apart from that, your language and dialogues are good. This is my personal opinion, you can take it or dump it. Good luck!


Hi- this is an interesting idea but I think you need to work harder on certain elements to clarify the story. Firstly the title- it doesn’t seeme to have anything to do with the story I read. It sounds like the title of a comedy or an urban drama, not a military thriller.
You’ve set up an interesting story with the prologue – is he on some sort of secret mission? Ho does the golf club fit it? How did he get there? etc-. However, some of these mysteries turn out not to be mysteries at all and it feels slightly contradictory. For example he doesn’t obey his parents and is sent away to barding school- but there he’s suddenly not a rebel any more and does well. You say he became a fighter pilot by luck but then that it was a battle of wits and he won. In other words it wasn’t accident or chance, he was the best person.
There are some confusing paragraphs/sentences and I think you need to go through them very carefully to make it clear what’s going on. For example Bill and Leo’s coversation about the domino effect and the part when you describe Bill’s first involvement with the mysterious group (do you mean cult instead of occult?).
Generally the dialogue is clearer and quite convincing but there are a few moments where it’s suddenly strangely formal- for example ‘yet my show is starting now’, or ‘regarding that idea of being a fitness fanatic’.
I think you would benefit from somebody looking through the text for grammar problems- this is why the story is not as clear as it could be. There are commas where you don’t need them, other places where you have a semi colon isnstead of a comma and some strange grammatical constructions. Eg-
‘In his case, he had enough money not to be spent.’- I’m not sure what this means.
‘Yet, the liner did allow her passengers to spoil themselves to eat large portions of barbecued steak; the temptation to follow their noses of charred meat after a work-out.’
I think you need eating rather than to eat. Also in the second part of the sentence it sounds like they have noses made of charred meat.
‘It was impossible to imagine Leo’s involvement to being horny;’- normally it’s involemnt in something not to smething.
There’s a story here trying to get out! I just think it need a lot of structural work. Best of luck!


Unusual to say the least. I’m afraid I found the story line unbelievable. A Squadron Leader in the RAF would never reach the dizzy heights of commander of the British forces. And as for the commander of the British forces ending up on a cruise liner saying that he was going to become an astronaut – sorry. Upgrade or promote Leo and don’t start off with him being a couch potato. This is supposed to be a man of action so make him one. You can do it. The story line can be manipulated by you there’s plenty of scope there to turn it around. You have the skills, you’ve proved it here. Best of luck.


Hi Wayne
I don’t know how you will take these comments, but I assure you they are my honest, unbiased opinions.
You may have some fantastic ideas for a story. However, at present your writing is of such a poor standard it is not enjoyable to read. You really need to start from scratch. You need to get to grips with the basics of punctuation. At the moment yours is not even consistent.
Your sentence structure needs a lot of work. You have superfluous and repeated information, and overwriting throughout the piece.
You start a lot of sentences with rather random words which don’t add any meaning, as here:—- (Categorically), the joint task force was located at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, and it was a strategic location to carry out a full-scale attack.———- You need to cut this and all similar.
I’m afraid the writing makes it impossible to make judgements about characters or plot. For me there seemed no coherent structure to the piece.
These are the notes I made as I started reading your story. If I had noted all the errors I found my review would have been longer than your submission.
All bracketed items are superfluous, either because the info is repeated or it is so obvious the reader will know without being told.
Leo Bank found it most settling: His back was rubbing against the puffed-up cushion; his rear pressed softly into the armchair seat; (and) it was reclined too. He reached under himself to pull out his remote control, (which was hidden under the cushion). He (then) flipped through the television channels (with it). Leo wasn’t a television addict but he knew something better was on than listening to his radio. The ceiling fan was on too during the heat-wave in Orlando. Presto, he thought (to himself).
‘Yeah, you should really go to bed because I always catch you sleeping in that chair. (You and I know that there isn’t anything worth watching tonight).’——This doesn’t sound natural to me, a bit stiff and out of character.——Suggestion——-You know there’s nothing worth watching tonight.
It was late in the morning when he finished his session on one of the treadmills, alongside his wife, accompanying him.———This just sounds clumsy.
There were many sections like this:——– Obviously, it didn’t mean that Leo was slimmer and stood short than anybody else in the forces. Yet, it might be crude to compare Bill with a buffalo, whilst Leo a wildebeest. The Briton had his haircut short around his head with a trimmed beard. Bill Kaiser had piercing blue eyes, dark thick short blonde hair and was clean shaven.———Which I struggled to make sense of.

If you have the determination to dig deep, and keep working at your writing wish you luck with it. This review is negative, but it is honest.
Best wishes.


Well – it’s kind of a thriller, I guess. Military-industrial complex, power brokers behind the scenes, etc etc. I have no problem with the concept and I’m sure there is a good, if hackneyed, story in there.

However, Wayne, to come to the central issue; this needs a major rewrite. It has a first draft quality to it which detracts from any ability to read the story. Often sentences do not make sense, ideas are expressed poorly, concepts are lost in ill judged prose.

My advice, is to rewrite each sentence and then read it back to make sure it makes sense. That way you won’t be aoineating your reading public and they can concentrate on where you want them to concentrate ; the story.

Good luck