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  1. Payton, your story "The Unfortunate Pheasant" is incredibly unique and definitely not what I expected when I initially read it! I also agree that having animals as main characters just adds something to the overall piece without even trying. Likewise, the fact that you chose a pheasant was unique in itself, as I would've never even thought to take it in that direction. I don't necessarily have any suggestions as the story flows pretty well on its own, but maybe you could do something about the people of Troy burying Fredrickson's body in honor of what he attempted to do for them. Maybe the people also get revenge on Achille's for killing the pheasant who only wanted to help his friends, the people of Troy. I just think it'd be cool to see what the people of Troy do in turn for Fredrickson risking his life, even if he did die almost immediately. They still have to pay respect for his attempt!

  2. Hi Payton,

    I like the simplicity and neutral tones of the homepage of your portfolio! It is very calming and relaxing. I also like how you encourage people to leave comments and constructive criticism here on your comment wall. I really respect that you are truly trying to become a better writer. Your portfolio is also very nice and organized, making it easy to navigate, which I really appreciate.

    Your first story was very well-written and very entertaining! Good job. I like how you incorporated your image into the text so readers could look at it while reading rather than after the story at the bottom. I like how you took the Iliad and told it from the point of view of a bird (pheasant) with a narrator sort-of tone. It is hard to give criticism to something that is already so good!

    I am looking forward to reading more stories from your portfolio this fall!


  3. Hi Payton!

    I just wanted to start by telling you I thought your story was so precious! I loved how you told the story through the eyes of Fredrickson the Unfortunate Pheasant. I loved how your story began with such detail and imagery. I felt it really painted a picture in my head of what Troy looked like and how the Greek army appeared like. I have read Homer’s Iliad in high school, so I loved the take you took on this story of basing it around the spear that missed Achilles. I think using Fredrickson as the main character brought such a lighthearted tone to the story along with humor. My only question is I would love to have been informed on what the other stories are going to be about. Are you writing three separate stories on different topics, or are you building off of this one? Overall, great job and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!

  4. Hi Payton!

    I think your homepage is very bright, warm, and inviting. I love the hazy cover photo; it feels very comforting when I see it.

    I loved how you included "please leave constructive feedback" instead of just leaving a link to the comment wall. People are usually afraid to give feedback because they don't want to hurt feelings, but I think it's very inviting that you're specifically asking for people to give feedback.

    For your story, I love the confidence that Frederickson has. Your imagery of the villagers moving out of his way and gathering in the town square just to be near him really shows how beloved he is throughout the town. Their admiration made me wonder: where and when did the love begin? Did Frederickson show up in the village one day (maybe injured or something) and everyone worked together to bring him back to health? Is he the pet pheasant of some human royalty, and everyone in the village has the notion that they need to worship Frederickson as well? Are the villagers highly religious and believe in the power of pheasants in general, and Frederickson is the one that they have in the village?

    Great job on this, I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us!

  5. Hi Payton!
    It's cool to see someone else doing a portfolio!
    Your story about the pheasant was nice, and it was well-edited to make sure it was free of any grammar mistakes!
    As such, most of my feedback is going to be on cosmetic stuff.
    I might recommend trying to spruce up your home page to make it look a bit more clean and interesting.
    It's a little empty right now, so adding in some images, graphics, layouts and color might go a long way to really making that homepage shine!
    For your actual story page, I'd recommend changing the page title so that your readers can tell what story it is they're clicking on in the navigation, that way if they want to navigate back to it, they can do so easily.
    For the formatting on the story page itself, I'd recommend being consistent about that indent, either doing it on all of them or none of them.
    You might also try centering and enlarging the image of the pheasant, and maybe cutting down on some of the empty space above and below it, since it's a really big gap.
    Separating the author's note from the story might also be good, since at first glance, it isn't obvious the last text block is your author's note.
    Best of Luck with your portfolio!

  6. Hello, I really enjoyed how you put your own spin on this story. I will always root for the under-dog, so I thought it was really cool how you incorporated a pheasant to be your main character in this story. I feel so bad for the pheasant though because all he wanted to be was a hero and he tried so hard but did not succeed. One thing I might add was why Achilles threw the spear in the first place. Was he aiming for Fredrickson? Was he just throwing it because he was mad or excited? Overall, I really enjoyed your story and the unique twist that you incorporated into this very well known story. I am excited to continue reading your stories.

  7. Hi Payton! I really loved the look of your homepage. I think it was very well designed and definitely was very pleasing to look at. I loved the soft colors, I think they made the page look very soft and eye catching while not be overly too much. I think your story was great. There was a lot of imagery in it which I loved. I think it is very well written and intriguing. The way your write it makes me want to keep reading so that is great! I think it would be awesome if you tole more about the people who lived in the town too. I love how we get to hear a lot about the pheasant but I think it would be super awesome to know more about the placed that he lived and what the people who lived there specifically were like. But I really like your page so good job!

  8. Hi Payton!

    I love the character you've created here with the pheasant. His stretch in the beginning was very comical to me and I love that you used the word 'violent' to describe the stretch. It was a new and inventive way to use the term without negative connotations.

    What would have been great to see more of in this story was physical description of the pheasant because that is where this story's strongest point is. For instance, what does the pheasant do when he does his dance? Do his wings stretch up above his head and then flutter down below his bird knee caps or is he more smooth, bobbing his head around? More physical descriptions of the pheasant would increase the tangibility of this story.

    I would also suggest that you let your audience linger in the pheasant's death a little longer. Does he die swiftly or slowly? How does the arrow pierce his body? Does anyone mourn his death? His death felt a little rushed and impersonal so adding more descriptive elements here would allow your reader to process the end of a character that has entertained them throughout your story.

    The pheasant was a pleasant character to read. Great job!

  9. Hi Payton! I loved your second story even more than your first one and that's saying something! You are such a creative writer and I am truly inspired by you! Plus the baby mouse image was so cute and adorable in every way! It is so clever how you took a twist on the story and made the main characters into animals. I have never read the original story, but I understand the plot perfectly because of your attention to detail and imagery! I would have loved to see a little more information about the baby and mommy mouse to set the story up! Like how did the mice end up there? What do they look like? What are their personalities? I also feel the story left a bit on a cliff hanger so I would have loved to see a bit more closure. Overall, I love the spin on the story you took and I love how you gave human features to animals! Overall, great job!


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