Trudy Knowles

Westfield, MA

Retired professor. Five kids. Four grandkids. Author of The Kids Behind the Label: An Inside Look at ADHD for Classroom Teachers. Co-author of What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know

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Stalked

I love how the story comes full circle with the gun. Throughout, one feels the terror of the victim. The stalking is real but not enough. I'm not sure the injury to the chiropractor is necessary. I would love to have her call the police about the stalking and have them ignore her, not believe her. Then the ending becomes much more dramatic. Keep writing. You've got a good style.

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More Than This

I love the structure of this story, how the voice moves from one person to the other. You really understand young high school love, how the heartbreak seems so permanent, how the truth is often misunderstood, how feelings are so incredibly intense. I think this short story could certainly be turned into a novel that middle and high school students would love. It's their lives you are talking about and you've nailed their feelings.

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In the Gap

This book provides interesting insights into the lives of people who believe strongly in the power of prayer. The main character, Tyler, is imperfect as he strives to be true to himself. What is wonderful about him as a character is that he never claims to be perfect. In fact, he tends to see himself as a fraud yet always striving. His visions and dreams are described vividly and one gets a true sense of the terror that he feels. Despite his terror, he continues to do what he is called to do.

This book provides a powerful look at the forces of good and evil as they work in our lives. It also focuses on the power of prayer to heal and demonstrates how prayer can be a transforming force in our lives.

The scene with Meredith at the park is particularly graphic and well-done. Descriptions throughout the book are strong.

The author definitely has a sequel here.

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DEAD OR ALIVE

DEAD OR ALIVE offers an interesting and unique look at numerous existential questions. What is real and what is fantasy? Are we dreaming or is this real? If given a chance, would we relive our lives? What would we do for love? Are we scared of growing old?

There are some interesting ideas that emerge from the novel. For example: If we had no dreams we would be forced to confront reality and be able to create and grow. On the other hand, people need their dreams. I love the line, “Imagine, dreams and the persons within the dreams becoming real.”

There is a love story intertwined in this fantasy. The protagonist realizes he needs people in his life to make it meaningful.

Scenes are vivid but at times move from one to another without being developed completely or advancing the plot (I’m thinking of the scene when they are surfing). Sometimes the transitions from one scene to the next are too quick. (For example: the slide to chaos and violence comes very quickly – it could use more development).

The writer has a good first draft but could use editing to look for sentence structure, use of capital letters, punctuation and spelling, use of numerals instead of the written words for numbers, etc. (Example: The sentence, “Parker and I finished the Whiskey, and slurred out the words, “let’s go Clowns, off to the cemetery.”)

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