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WHAT AM I?: Nephilim WHAT AM I?: Nephilim
A teen boy gets killed, but trades his soul for another chance. He changes. A girl notices the new boy with silver eyes.
Chapter 2 - FWU

Chapter 2 - FWU

A Chapter by MaliKate

Music thrummed loudly in her ears, sending vibrations through her body. It had been three days since Marion had picked up another glass of Bacardi. The glass was clenched tightly in her hands as though it would slip from her life in a matter of seconds. She brought it to her lips and let the cool liquid scorch her throat, breaking a rule that she would surely suffer the consequence for in due course. But for now, she had missed this too much. Three days was a bloody long time and right now she needed the release. One glass turned into four and her head spun. She grasped the bench before her. Every single person in the club, Marion realised, looked like they were having the time of their life as if every individual was the life of their own party, drinking to accentuate their bubbly personalities rather than to drown their sorrows. It embarrassed her, and she thought that perhaps it was time to go home and call a friend. But who could she possibly call? No, she needed another drink and she needed it now. She raised her hand and caught the bartender’s attention. At least there was somebody out there willing to cater to her needs. Cater? That was such a daft way to put it. No wonder she was such a lonely woman. She consumed two more drinks before the bartender gave her a good look to measure the level of her intoxication. She proved herself to be highly, inexorably sloshed by misinterpreting his intentions.

“I know you think one dirty look will sweep me into your bed, mister,” she had to clear her throat before continuing. “But I’ll have you know that I’m not easy.”

“I understand clearly, Miss, and I also understand that you’ve had one too many drinks.”

“I think you misunderstand, Mister Bartender.” She pulled out a wad of cash from her bag and waved it in front of him. “To prove my point I would like another glass, thanks.”

“Yeah, no I don’t think so,” he said and moved on to a new customer who sat a few seats down from her.

Smoke from the dance floor blew towards her, engulfing her in an ocean of white cloud. She coughed at waved it away from her. Thus, it took moments before her view cleared enough for her to see her rival. When it did clear, she found she’d turned to see a scruffy haired man in a leather jacket that the bartender was talking to. Being just a few seats from her, she could make out his rugged jaw, his light but masculine tuft of dark blond facial hair, and wavy hair that fell down his back. He was unlike anybody she had ever seen. He had a nice face, she supposed. Too bad the hair ruined it. All in all, he certainly didn’t look as though he deserved the attention over her. She would have to sort that problem out for herself. With little grace, she slid off her barstool and had her skirt caught around the seat. The woman beside her had to help release it. But Marion was too drunk to care. She flicked her hair and stumbled her way over to him with cash still in hand.

Donny noticed eyes on him and watched as a woman caught her skirt on her chair, much to his embarrassment. Sure he liked women, just not so much on display. A grave frown casted over her expression like a shadow, her eyes reflecting the strobe lights back at him like something otherworldly. She played the accident off like it didn’t happen and began walking towards him. A bright light hit her and caused her to halt and squint. When it left her, her features relaxed and she looked absolutely brilliant.

But then that expression appeared again. He watched her with a profound curiosity as to what her nature was; a troubled woman with too many complexities in life or an attractive woman only upset due to an underlying circumstance? His question was immediately answered the very second she sat herself down and opened her mouth.

“Oh look my bag matches your jacket, that is so cute,” she said and patted him on the shoulder. “Order me a drink and we can celebrate.”

The answer was neither. She was an ordinary woman who consumed more than even an Irishman could handle. Rather puzzled by her attempt at a greeting, he brought his hand to his head and scratched an imaginary itch.

“Yeah, how cute is it that we both have the same leather materials on us tonight,” he attempted to joke. But her face screwed up so he figured wasn’t as funny as he hoped. His comedy classes sure didn’t pay off.

He stared hard at her smooth, creamy skin. It looked delicate until she crumpled it up and looked like a school girl who couldn’t have the last chocolate muffin for breakfast. Her dress embraced her voluptuous body quite nicely, immodestly covering her chest. She had silver studs in her ears and a thin, silver chained necklace with a single diamond in the centre. She wore high silver stilettos with intricate diamond sculptures embedded down them and looked as though they lifted her quite high off the ground, indicating that she was much shorter than she appeared. Her blond hair fell over her shoulders and a big strand over her face that she kept trying to pull out of the way. They stared at each other.

Her gaze flickered over him a few times, singling out certain spots that seemed to catch her attention; his hair in particular. He didn’t feel scrutinized because he knew he wasn’t unattractive, though he wouldn’t exactly call himself Paris Hilton’s dream guy. They met each other’s gaze and her face crumbled in what he assumed to be embarrassment…or whiplash. God, he thought. She was the angriest, most self-conscious drunk he’d ever met. Didn’t her expressions ever relax?

“Stop staring at me!” she spat. “It’s not like I’m going to sleep with you!”

“Hey, I didn’t mean to come off that way. Sorry if I gave off that impression,” he raised his palms in defence. “But try not to forget who approached who first.”

“Do I look like I’m about to crawl into your lap, you jerk?” she spat her words ferociously. Her head was leaning out towards him and her eyes were almost squinting. She must have been a feminist.

Okay, the woman is deranged, he thought. He needed to get himself out of there before he got kicked out of the club for an accusation of trying the unspeakable on her. He only wanted to enjoy a night of solitude. Despite how pretty, this woman made the experience slightly less enjoyable.

“No, but I’m sure it isn’t a crime to look at someone,” he emphasized the word someone while pointing his fingers at her, “who just approached me.” He flicked his fingers back towards himself.

As people danced with and against each other, uncaring of anything but the loud music, a square faced man pushed through them and appeared behind the woman. He had a distinctive look of a gym junkie which indicated his position as bouncer. Donny wondered if he used steroids. His black shirt was branded with his name, Blair Buckley, and he ran his hand through his hair as he sighed. He looked dishevelled, as though he just woke up to the wrong person in his bed. The woman pretended not to see him and continued to stare at Donny, who glanced awkwardly between them both.

“Really, Marion, you’re back to this?” he asked. “Three days you were out of my sight. We were doing so well.”

“Get lost, Blair, can’t you see I’m trying to have a good time?” she rolled her eyes.

Donny turned to face the bouncer as he spoke. “You haven’t looked like you’ve been enjoying your night for the hour you’ve been here and you already look half dead. Marion, do us a favour and get yourself out of here.”

The woman looked hurt, but she covered that with her trademark expression. Donny chuckled but stopped when both Marion and Blair glared at him. He shrugged and turned back towards the counter and raised his arm for the bartender’s attention again.  

“I’m not doing you any favours, Blair. You get a kick out of seeing me like this, don’t you? It sickens me to think I even considered being with you.”

The bouncer wasn’t enjoying what he was hearing. Every crevice in his skin heightened as he grew tense. Marion knew she was barking up the wrong tree, he could throw her out at any given second. But she didn’t want to give him that luxury so she blew him off and turned away again.

“Marion,” he called for her attention but was ignored. Who wanted an overly attached ex-partner giving them unwanted attention on their night out? “Marion, I wasn’t asking you, I was telling you. Walk away. I will escort you out with my own bare hands if I have to.”

Donny watched from the corner of his eyes as Marion shot around and slapped the bouncer. He smacked his hands to his mouth to hide his laughter. He’d been here for barely ten minutes and already the night became interesting. The look of bewilderment on the bouncer’s face was priceless, but a look of anger replaced it. Donny’s laughter died immediately.

Blair grabbed Marion’s shoulder and lifted her from the seat. “I’m getting real tired of you, Marion. It’s time you leave, no more playing around.”

It looked like the bouncer was on the verge of hurting the woman who, despite how annoying she was, definitely didn’t deserve to be man handled. Donny thought it best to step up. Marion made it easy for him too.

“My boyfriend here will not tolerate you touching me like this,” she snapped and slapped his hand away. Donny grinned as the part he was prepared to play came right on cue.

“This true, Sir? Are you Marion’s mysterious boyfriend?”

The guy didn’t look happy and Donny’s grin died as he realized he was setting himself up for a game of squash. He would be the one getting squashed. But then the look on Marion’s face indicated that she’d be in real trouble if he didn’t. So he shrugged.

“Ah, yeah, guess I am,” he said.

The bouncer raised his eyebrows, suspicious.

“Wasn’t really sure but this settles it!” he clapped his hands together and grinned. “I’ll take care of her, man. Thanks.”

Blair nodded but his jaw looked like it would crumble with the amount of tension he forced on it. Donny held out his arm and Marion linked with him, snubbing her ex-boyfriend as he watched her walk by with contempt. She was laughing by the time they were out of the doors, finally able to hear each other more clearly as the blasting music now silenced.

“Nice save!” she gleamed.  

But all thoughts of the episode became a distant memory when Marion took a hard look at the man beside her, and decided that he reminded her of a homeless dog. Her hand scooped up a lot of his hair and patted it hard. She ruffled his hair again and he slapped her hand away. At first he ignored it because she clearly couldn’t have been herself right then, but even drunk people usually had the capacity to control themselves.

Her fingers kept toiling with his face and hair, accidentally smacking him in the nose and cheek every so often. Then she grabbed a heap of his hair and pulled; hard. He winced and pushed her away, then caught her before she fell to the ground.

“Damn it woman, keep your hands to yourself, would you?” he growled.

“Bad dog, talking to a lady like that!” she slurred, reminding him of just how drunk she actually was. Her father’s words echoed in her head, reminding her that he was a threat.

People who are miserable only want to make you miserable too.

Her hand delved into her purse and rattled the contents around as she searched for her keys. She kept stumbling and bumping into Donny who had to hold her up each time.

“I think it’s better you call a taxi,” he suggested.

Was he joking? She thought. She wasn’t going to take orders from some homeless guy she met at a bar who couldn’t afford so much as a damned haircut. He’d done his dash in getting her out of there and making Blair jealous, but now she had no use for him. It was true that homeless people were so clingy after all.

“I’m not calling no goddamn taxi,” she spat. “Drive me if you’re so worried.” Of course she was being entirely sarcastic, but the party killer took her seriously.

“No can do, ma’am. I have a bike here.” Ah, she thought. He probably stole it.

“So you’re a biker!” Her mood was beginning to change. It must be the alcohol. “No wonder your hair is so long and ratty. Here I was beginning to think you were Jesus Christ.”

She patted his head again as she spoke. God, the woman was irritating to no ends. All he wanted was to drink, flirt and head home for the night. Not take care of some intoxicated blonde with a dress that rode up too far whenever she so much as stumbled, though she looked rather sophisticated otherwise.

“I have a bubble that separates you from me and right now you’re invading it. Stop.”

 “Jesus, I didn’t mean to insult you. I’m leaving now so goodnight…” she paused then added; “And I’m drunk. Goodnight.”

She stumbled a few steps ahead of him to a red SUV parked between a very expensive looking yellow mini and a white Ute. The stranger watched her fiddle with the keys and miss her every attempt to fit the right one into the lock. It was getting embarrassing just seeing her like this. She stumbled back and landed against the mini, scratching it with the keys in her hand. Before she wound up with a bullet to the brain, he jogged over and took them from her.

“Hey, give them back!” she yelled. “You crook!”

He ignored her and raised his arm out of reach when she tried to jump for them. She stumbled again and grasped him at every chance she got, nearly pushing him over or pulling him down more in the process. Donny wasn’t a small build. He had a good stature, had a good work out in his daily routine, and drank loads of protein milkshakes. But this woman’s strength was ridiculous in comparison to her size. Talk about adrenaline.

“You’re drunk and you can’t drive,” he tried to convince her. “I’ll drive you.”

“You’re drunk too!” she droned because his hypocrisy was unnerving. And he couldn’t seriously expect her to just get in her car and allow him to drive her home. He was probably going to drive her to a dark alley and crack onto her because that’s what men under the influence of alcohol did sometimes. She knew only too well.

You know I’ll always make you happy, Princess.

“I didn’t get so much as a sip having escorted you out of the place with what little dignity I could offer you. Now shut up, get in your SUV, and put on your seatbelt.” He couldn’t see how he looked like such a threat, especially to someone who could kill a man with one glare. Not to mention her ability to work up a fight. He was sure to be bruised by the morning. She must have begun to see this because she hesitated for a moment.

“Your bike…”

“I’ll pick it up later,” he interrupted. “Now do as I say.”

“You sound like my mother.” But she did as he said and allowed him to help her into the passenger’s seat of her car.   

The woman was no help finding their way home. Luckily there was a GPS in the glove compartment. He switched it on, selected Home, and pulled out of the parking lot. Marion pulled out more booze from her handbag while they drove at 90 kilometres per hour. There was no way he could stop her and she knew it. He didn’t bother opening his mouth as she took the whiskey to her lips. He merely rolled his eyes. Why was he doing a good deed for someone who insulted him as if being Jesus was a bad thing? He was bored though and decided to strike up a conversation. He’d start with the basics.

 “What’s your name?” he asked.

“Marion Catrinova. Who are you?”

“Donny,” he answered. “Donny Hughes, and apparently your knight in shining armour.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. Jesus wore rags,” she mused.

Donny thanked whatever Gods existed when they finally pulled into her driveway. By this stage, Marion was even more of a mess than before. So much so, that every ounce of gibberish that escaped her lips was a cryptic message that not even Da Vinci could have deciphered.

He lifted Marion out of the car and carried her to the front door steps where he sat her down. He went back to fetch her bag and lock up. He found the house key in her bag and carried her inside and when he asked where her room was, she flung her arms in different directions, amusing herself with his frustration. By the time he did find it, she was gone; completely passed out.  

By all literal means, he dumped her on the bed and pulled her blanket over with shoes on and all.

He punched in his best friend’s number and waited for him to pick up. When he did, Alex admitted to being completely drunk and in the company of a woman. There was no one else he could call in this kind of situation. It would take a couple of hours to walk back to the bar. God, he should have thought about this before!

He went to Marion’s bedroom to ask permission to take the couch, but she was sprawled over her bed. He closed his eyes and turned around, not being pleased at having caught a second glimpse tonight.

He found a spare bedroom, which was a luckier find than the couch. He figured that after her constant insults, her hospitality was the least she could do to make up for it, even if it wasn’t exactly to her knowledge. He undressed, put his aids on the bedside table and slept. And by morning, he almost tore his hair from his head.  

“What do you mean you can’t pick me up? Alex, you don’t get it. I’m stuck at a strange woman’s house after the saddest excuse for a night out! I want to get home.”

Donny couldn’t hear his friend over the phone very well so he told him to hang on while he put one of his hearing aids in. When it was in and switched on, he heard footsteps at the door and turned around to face his host. She looked completely stunned. He wasn’t sure if it was because of a random man in her house or the fact that that man was mostly deaf.

“Damn it, I thought that was all a really bad dream. Oh God, no wonder you have such ratty hair! You’re trying to hide your hearing things!” she gasped and pointed at his face.

Okay, so he would have understood her surprise at a deaf man being in her spare bedroom, but was the comment really necessary? “Alex, I’ll call you back,” Donny said and snapped his phone shut. He walked towards Marion and tried his best to fight his temper. The nerve!

“Actually, I’m just not a fan of barber’s all that much. But good guess anyway.”

“As if,” she snorted. “You’re a guy that clearly likes to impress women. What woman is going to be impressed by a handicap? It’s obvious you’re trying to hide them.”

“Screw you,” he muttered. “No wonder you got booted. What the hell was I thinking?”

“I don’t know, but I definitely don’t appreciate the heroic act. I don’t have time for guys with problems. I don’t need guys making me as miserable as them.”

The things her father said still echoed in her mind. She couldn’t believe one of the very people he warned her against was standing right there in front of her as though she was some charity worker. What did she look like, Mother Theresa?  

 “Excuse me?” Donny couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “And what problems might they be?”

“Being deaf, obviously! I mean come on. You can’t seriously think that life without hearing is going to be a breeze.”

“I’ve had hearing impairment for fifteen years so actually, lady, I think I’m good.”

She pulled a rude face. “Get your things ready, I’m taking you back to the bar.”

“Ah, no you’re not. I’d much rather walk that seven kilometres but gee, thanks for the offer. How gallant.”

“Suit yourself. You can find your way out, can’t you? You don’t need hearing for that.”  

What was she, a child? Donny put his other hearing aid in his ear and tidied himself up before finding his way out of the house. He didn’t hold back from slamming the door shut.


He hoped it broke.

* * *

No more scenes that involved anything to do with that night. That confrontation with Blair never left her head since she woke up that morning and remembered it. It wasn’t as though Marion would find any decent men in any of those environments anyway, she knew that just from dating one. They were all drunks, perverts or apparently handicapped as last month had proved. There was no room for men in her life anymore anyway. Not if history had the habit of repeating itself.

If they’re not like you then stay clear of them, Marion. F*****s, hobo’s, loonies and retards; they’re not your friends. Their lives are s**t and they’ll find ways to bring you down with them. Me on the other hand, you know I’ll always make you happy, Princess… always.

Marion shook off the thought before unwanted images of what later progressed appeared in her mind. Whenever she allowed herself to think about it, it would haunt her and not go away for a considerable length of time. She wanted, no, she needed to forget about her father.

Beside the couch where Marion sat rested her phone. There was a list of numbers she could dial to seek some companionship, but she felt too lonely for company to do anything for her. She thought briefly about contacting her mother, but let the notion wash away. It wasn’t as though she could depend on her anyway.

For almost an hour, Marion sat at the couch contemplating what she would do. Her hands folded over one another, she crouched over her knees. Her foot tapped wildly. She couldn’t decide what she wanted now or what she wanted to do with herself. What she was supposed to do with herself. It was a mystery that she needed solving. So, what she needed was the will of God.

What she needed was alcohol. She turned her head to stare at the cupboard in which her numerous bottles rested. What she needed was to test her place on earth. What she needed was to be reckless and to test whether God wanted her dead or alive. Marion looked to the ceiling then closed her eyes. “Dead or alive, God,” she whispered. “Nowhere in between.”

The line wouldn’t stay in the centre of the road as she drove at 80km per hour. Marion was more intoxicated than she could have imagined but it was too late to turn back. She wouldn’t know how to stop the car now even if she did decide to change her mind. The line was at the far left of her windshield, and then it was the on the far right. There were horns sounding, swear words shouted, a car tailgated her with bright lights beaming in her eyes through the review mirror, and then she woke up on the side of the road.

“Please God,” she whispered. “Nowhere in between.”

And then she watched the world turn black.

© Mali Papirany 2013
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Author's Note

MaliKate
Opinions, please!

My Review

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Featured Review

Alright, let me review your first chapter initially. Here are my first impressions:

So I think this is extremely well-written and I loved every minute of reading it. Something about the descriptive style really got me. It delved into what every character was thinking, while still keeping my interest. Here are my suggestions.

The first thing I noticed was the descriptive style. The first three paragraphs alone don’t have any dialogue, and though this is done well due to the balance of description and action, I still think that the description throughout the story was a bit too much. BUT WAIT! Part of your style IS description. In fact, it is a descriptive style that I find very unique and interesting. I loved it, but at times I did find myself becoming bored, and missing details.

When you write description, you want to make sure that a reader is picking up most of the details you’re writing down. If you surround important details with too much description, the important details get lost because the reader starts to zone out of the story or, worst of all, begins to skim it. You definitely don’t want precious plot points to be skipped by the reader, so make sure that they are emphasized so that the description doesn’t completely overwhelm it. BUT, like I said, don’t get rid of this descriptive style. It is amazing, but here’s how I think you could make the descriptive style better.

Make…every…description…count. I am not a believer in completely unnecessary description because I think that some writers take the school phrase “show, don’t tell” way too seriously. They show more than telling, and that’s not necessarily a good thing when it comes to keeping a reader engaged. Unnecessary description also takes away from the meaning of your story, or the symbolism, theme, etc. Take a look at this:

“The smoke machine’s placed at every corner of the dance floor sent excess smoke towards her, engulfing her in an ocean of white cloud that could have made her claustrophobic had it not been for the contrasting sense of freedom. Thus, it took moments before her view cleared enough for her to see her rival. When it did clear, she found she’d turned to see a scruffy haired man in a leather jacket that the bartender was helping.”

The smoke machine smoke does not serve much of a purpose here. Sure, you could say that it symbolizes the drunkenness of the character, but that’s going a bit far unless you want this to be a reoccurring symbol. What you want to do is replace unnecessary description like this with description that serves a purpose, like it does here:

“Three days was a bloody long time and right now she needed the release. (Shows that she’s an alcoholic and makes reader wonder why she needs a release) One glass turned into four and her head spun. (Shows drunkenness) She grasped the bench before her. (Shows how drunk she really is) Every single person in the club, Marion realized, looked like they were having the time of their life as if every individual was the life of their own party, drinking to accentuate their bubbly personalities rather than to drown their sorrows. (Shows difference between character and other people while also highlighting a reason she drinks) It embarrassed her, and she thought that perhaps it was time to go home and call a friend. (Shows another personality trait of the character; embarrassment about who she is. Low self-esteem?) But who could she possibly call? (Shows a trait of a tragic life) No, she needed another drink and she needed it now. (Shows how bad her alcoholic nature is)”

See how every bit of description means something here? Well, at least that’s what it meant to me. Simply describing that a table was silver or that a carpet was red doesn’t do anything for the story. Try replacing all of that unnecessary description with more meaningful description, and see if the quality soars or not.

So I also noticed a few errors happening here and there that had to do with the flow of the story. Here’s an example in the first paragraph:

Music thrummed loudly in Marion’s ears, sending vibrations through her body. They were more electrifying than static or the prospect of drinking again. It had been three days since SHE had picked up another glass of Bacardi. SHE clutched the glass tightly in her hands as though it would slip from her life in a matter of seconds. SHE brought it to her lips and let the cool liquid scorch her throat. SHE broke a rule that SHE would surely suffer the consequence for in due course, but for now SHE had missed this too much.

The frequency of the word “she” is very evident here. This is especially evident when it starts off more than one sentence in a single paragraph. This sometimes happens throughout the story. Make sure that you don’t have words that are too frequent, or else the flow is interrupted. This is a problem that is easily fixed with a few reviews of your story though. Read it a few times, correcting every area that doesn’t seem to flow right. This adds polish to your story.

You wanted information about the dialogue, characters and storyline, so here are my thoughts:

As far as dialogue goes, Marion’s dialogue is phenomenal. I thought it was very realistic, and really showed her drunken personality. It was witty, unique, and funny at times. Now the problem is that when she woke up in the morning, the dialogue did not seem to change much. Make sure that her drunken dialogue is much different from her sober dialogue, and definitely make it change during her hangover dialogue. Three different dialogue styles will really make the character.

As far as Donny’s dialogue goes, I didn’t find it to portray the character all that well. Instead, the descriptions he gave, and the thoughts that he had formed his personality. Make the dialogue reflect whatever personality you want to give him, and pair it with his thoughts, and you’ll have something really special here.

Next comes minor character dialogue. I thought that was good. You were able to give personality to even minor characters. Nice.

Characters!

The main character, Marion, is very interesting. You describe her perfectly. Take that paragraph I posted where all of the description mattered for example. You gave her background and mystery and personality and did it in a really effective way. As for the other character though, I think he could use a bit more of this. Now, this is where things get complicated and hard for me to explain.

The *** in the first part of the story seemed unnecessary to me, not to mention a bit out of place since the point of view started moving back and forth throughout the story afterward without the use of a ***. Donny could use a bit more of that description you use with Marion, however, the point of view switching should not be taken lightly. It is good to describe both characters with their own thoughts, but it must be done right. You must make sure that you are describing both characters well enough, and not making one so well thought out that the other seems weakly put together in comparison. Now, I don’t want you to take the 3rd person view and only focus on one character for the entire story as an easy way out from this. That 3rd person focus on more than one character is what makes your story really unique to me. Just work hard on making your characters shine equally. Otherwise, I think you have really great character development skills.

Storyline!

I really did love the story. Alone with the writing style if perfectly sets up how the two met in an interesting way. Two things though. The ending is a bit sudden. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really interesting and catches the reader’s attention, adding mystery. But it happens too fast, and is a bit confusing. “No in-betweens” could use with a bit more explanation for example. Also, I was a bit confused about why Donny just decided to sleep in Marion’s house for the night by finding a guest bed. That seemed a bit off to me. That’s really all I have for the story though. It progressed at a good pace for me, and was always interesting.

I think I’m going to have to keep reading this one. I’m really intrigued by the writing style.

-Storyworker


Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

I couldn't agree more with the she she she things. I've tried to change it a few times but found tha.. read more
TLK

4 Years Ago

I found Storyteller's review so useful that I didn't try to replicate it -- my own focuses on the fi.. read more



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TLK
You may have noticed that this 'site is more about reviewing short writing (esp. poetry). I am also active on scribophile.com -- you earn karma by reviewing and then use it to post your writing. This system ensures 3 long critiques for everything you post, and a high number of people are novellists who are looking to be published. This makes the critiques generally quite useful in terms of this aim.
I am going to review you in terms of basic readability and holding reader engagement. However, I can only talk about myself as a reader, so please understand that everything which follows is subjective (even if I say that I think my feelings would be shared by others -- I could well be wrong).

First para: I find the first sentence to be cliched, and about as powerful as "The music was loud in the club". From the top of my head I've thought of a first sentence which makes a strong emotional statement: "This song reminded her of her ex-boyfriend, and she couldn't help but feel that the people dancing to it were her enemies to." (I don't know if Marion is supposed to be bitter/cynical, so this might not be suitable at all. However, it starts to indicate a character very strongly, and potentially invites the reader to make a connection with her).
Second sentence: "Marion had picked up *A* glass of Bacardi" -- another doesn't fit when referred to in the past tense. Her CURRENT drink is 'another', the previous one is not.
Third sentence: this is meaningless to me. The "in a matter of seconds" is superfluous. This leaves "...clenched tightly... slip from her life...". This seems to be ridiculously melodramatic. When not coupled with any internal monologue or external stress it is hysterical. If someone first walked up to her you could then indicate dislike and anxiety with her grip. On its own, without any insight into Marion, she seems to be acting ridiculously (of course, this might be the point -- I don't know yet).
Fourth sentence: it is too long, making it hard to read.
Marion is now drinking four drinks without any social interaction whatsoever. This doesn't just indicate that she is lonely in the club, she seems to be magically alienated. I also wonder why she has come somewhere so loud just to get drunk. Her motivation would more likely lead her to drink alone, or to visit friends/family to talk, or at least to find a quieter establishment. Why is she torturing herself?
This first paragraph ends with Marion seeming to be massively unhappy. This is clearly your intention, but it is done in such a way that makes her hard to sympathise with -- she is just acting like such a loser. (My perception is coloured by the fact that I don't drink at all because my father was alcoholic, so my attitudes are likely to be somewhat abnormal).

What is this paragraph trying to say? I would sum it up as "Marion is lonely and self-hating". So here is how I might say this more directly:
"Marion was enduring the music of the nightclub out of sheer spite. She refused to move to it, refused to be like the jerking puppets on the dance floor who were already beginning to move like they would be later on, in bathrooms and taxis and unknown motel rooms. It was unusual for her to be sober for three days, so each of the too-many glasses of Bacardi was special celebration, even though they were the only aspect of the night she was enjoying."
Then you could include the bartender, and have him ask why she doesn't leave and find a friend. Her spoken dialogue will have more weight than internal dialogue, as the reader will understand that there is some amount of 'social desirability bias' behind what she is saying. Allowing the reader to gauge the veracity of what Marion is saying is a great way to have them flesh out the character psychologically.

When you move on to Donny, I felt that it was a rather jarring jump of perspective. At this point I'm too invested in Marion and her attempts to destroy herself to want to know about some placid meathunk. The way that you introduce him contributes to this feeling -- you go from a 'scruffy haired man' and a 'him' to 'Donny'. I'd introduce his name in the dialogue first, as I found it odd that I knew his name before Marion (who was the focal point of story so far).

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

You make a LOT of awesome points. I'll go through and edit this all in. I do admit that this chapter.. read more
TLK

4 Years Ago

"The jump from Marion to Donny was necessary and intentional though I'm not sure how to edit it to m.. read more
This is very interesting. :) The dialogue is great! :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much! :))
Damn good knowledge of structure and pacing. You have developed the characters to be unique people with differing personalities, though I swear I want to club Marion upside the head. With a truncheon.

I will be reading your other chapters in anticipation of what's to come.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much. Haha yeah that's the point with Marion. But as the story progresses, we learn t.. read more
I really enjoyed reading this. It's always useful to read through what someone else has written to see how they do things and I'm glad I did that before embarking on my next chapter. Anyway...

One thing I noticed when I was reading through and trying to take note of the technical side of writing, I kept getting distracted by the story. At first I wanted to see how you handled description and by the end I was all "What the hell is this lunatic doing?!"

All in all, some really good storytelling. I'll take a look at chapter 2 in a moment.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'm not particularly a fan of the Slice of Life genre unless it's accompanied by Comedy as a sub genre,
but I find this interesting and definitely feel that it's going somewhere.

I'm not very accomplished in the way of reading, so the best explanation I can give is a lay man's point of view.

Personally, I found the description of Marion confronting, but well justified with the scene and what's going on.
Confronting in the sense that I didn't know what direction the chapter was taking it.

I find Donny easy to relate to, kinda like one of the awkward characters with a big wide grin in an anime, or the underdog from love stories.

It may just be the genre, I know slice of life is particularly slow moving, but I kinda want to see where this is going FASTER, I want to see what lies in store for them.

On the subject of writing, I can't fault a single line, I should start taking notes actually.

I give this an eighty, because I recognise it as a good piece of writing, I just don't know on a personal level if it's right for me.

Posted 4 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

Haha, thanks Tim. Apparently it's classified as "Drama" according to Jake Botha, the guy below. Read.. read more
Timothy W. Rees

4 Years Ago

True that :P
This is extremely well written and have so far enjoyed it although I have merely read one chapter, I am looking forward to your updates as it has intrigued me a lot xoxo

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much I am absolutely pleased to hear that :)) xx
I'm really making notes as I go along, and keep in mind, a lot of this may just be preference of style:

I liked the way you kept us pretty in the moment. I see a lot in writing that there are times when the writer just glosses over an event, while it may not be an important part of the story, there are graceful ways to carry us out of the scene.

I did think that in the bar scene there was a little bit of an imbalance between what was going on internally for these characters and what was going on externally. It's a tricky thing to do, but not impossible.

I like the rather snarky tone you've set for Marion.

Donny seems conflicted about Marion at first, but i don't feel we really get a hint as to why or what his process is in terms of thoughts and feelings. It seems that one minute he's engaged and enjoying her company, and the next he's not.

I don't know if it was an error in pasting over the content, but "You know I'll always make you happy, Princess" line would be great in italics.

I felt that towards the end, the little confrontation between D and M was a little glossed over as well. But, I'm compelled to read on into further chapters.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much! The line "You know I'll always make you happy, Princess" was in italics on Micr.. read more
This chapter captivated me.
Well done,Mali :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Zainul! I'm so glad about that :) And thank you for shelving the story!
zainul

4 Years Ago

You are most welcome,Mali!
I am really happy for having a nice story to read.
Adore y.. read more
Alright, let me review your first chapter initially. Here are my first impressions:

So I think this is extremely well-written and I loved every minute of reading it. Something about the descriptive style really got me. It delved into what every character was thinking, while still keeping my interest. Here are my suggestions.

The first thing I noticed was the descriptive style. The first three paragraphs alone don’t have any dialogue, and though this is done well due to the balance of description and action, I still think that the description throughout the story was a bit too much. BUT WAIT! Part of your style IS description. In fact, it is a descriptive style that I find very unique and interesting. I loved it, but at times I did find myself becoming bored, and missing details.

When you write description, you want to make sure that a reader is picking up most of the details you’re writing down. If you surround important details with too much description, the important details get lost because the reader starts to zone out of the story or, worst of all, begins to skim it. You definitely don’t want precious plot points to be skipped by the reader, so make sure that they are emphasized so that the description doesn’t completely overwhelm it. BUT, like I said, don’t get rid of this descriptive style. It is amazing, but here’s how I think you could make the descriptive style better.

Make…every…description…count. I am not a believer in completely unnecessary description because I think that some writers take the school phrase “show, don’t tell” way too seriously. They show more than telling, and that’s not necessarily a good thing when it comes to keeping a reader engaged. Unnecessary description also takes away from the meaning of your story, or the symbolism, theme, etc. Take a look at this:

“The smoke machine’s placed at every corner of the dance floor sent excess smoke towards her, engulfing her in an ocean of white cloud that could have made her claustrophobic had it not been for the contrasting sense of freedom. Thus, it took moments before her view cleared enough for her to see her rival. When it did clear, she found she’d turned to see a scruffy haired man in a leather jacket that the bartender was helping.”

The smoke machine smoke does not serve much of a purpose here. Sure, you could say that it symbolizes the drunkenness of the character, but that’s going a bit far unless you want this to be a reoccurring symbol. What you want to do is replace unnecessary description like this with description that serves a purpose, like it does here:

“Three days was a bloody long time and right now she needed the release. (Shows that she’s an alcoholic and makes reader wonder why she needs a release) One glass turned into four and her head spun. (Shows drunkenness) She grasped the bench before her. (Shows how drunk she really is) Every single person in the club, Marion realized, looked like they were having the time of their life as if every individual was the life of their own party, drinking to accentuate their bubbly personalities rather than to drown their sorrows. (Shows difference between character and other people while also highlighting a reason she drinks) It embarrassed her, and she thought that perhaps it was time to go home and call a friend. (Shows another personality trait of the character; embarrassment about who she is. Low self-esteem?) But who could she possibly call? (Shows a trait of a tragic life) No, she needed another drink and she needed it now. (Shows how bad her alcoholic nature is)”

See how every bit of description means something here? Well, at least that’s what it meant to me. Simply describing that a table was silver or that a carpet was red doesn’t do anything for the story. Try replacing all of that unnecessary description with more meaningful description, and see if the quality soars or not.

So I also noticed a few errors happening here and there that had to do with the flow of the story. Here’s an example in the first paragraph:

Music thrummed loudly in Marion’s ears, sending vibrations through her body. They were more electrifying than static or the prospect of drinking again. It had been three days since SHE had picked up another glass of Bacardi. SHE clutched the glass tightly in her hands as though it would slip from her life in a matter of seconds. SHE brought it to her lips and let the cool liquid scorch her throat. SHE broke a rule that SHE would surely suffer the consequence for in due course, but for now SHE had missed this too much.

The frequency of the word “she” is very evident here. This is especially evident when it starts off more than one sentence in a single paragraph. This sometimes happens throughout the story. Make sure that you don’t have words that are too frequent, or else the flow is interrupted. This is a problem that is easily fixed with a few reviews of your story though. Read it a few times, correcting every area that doesn’t seem to flow right. This adds polish to your story.

You wanted information about the dialogue, characters and storyline, so here are my thoughts:

As far as dialogue goes, Marion’s dialogue is phenomenal. I thought it was very realistic, and really showed her drunken personality. It was witty, unique, and funny at times. Now the problem is that when she woke up in the morning, the dialogue did not seem to change much. Make sure that her drunken dialogue is much different from her sober dialogue, and definitely make it change during her hangover dialogue. Three different dialogue styles will really make the character.

As far as Donny’s dialogue goes, I didn’t find it to portray the character all that well. Instead, the descriptions he gave, and the thoughts that he had formed his personality. Make the dialogue reflect whatever personality you want to give him, and pair it with his thoughts, and you’ll have something really special here.

Next comes minor character dialogue. I thought that was good. You were able to give personality to even minor characters. Nice.

Characters!

The main character, Marion, is very interesting. You describe her perfectly. Take that paragraph I posted where all of the description mattered for example. You gave her background and mystery and personality and did it in a really effective way. As for the other character though, I think he could use a bit more of this. Now, this is where things get complicated and hard for me to explain.

The *** in the first part of the story seemed unnecessary to me, not to mention a bit out of place since the point of view started moving back and forth throughout the story afterward without the use of a ***. Donny could use a bit more of that description you use with Marion, however, the point of view switching should not be taken lightly. It is good to describe both characters with their own thoughts, but it must be done right. You must make sure that you are describing both characters well enough, and not making one so well thought out that the other seems weakly put together in comparison. Now, I don’t want you to take the 3rd person view and only focus on one character for the entire story as an easy way out from this. That 3rd person focus on more than one character is what makes your story really unique to me. Just work hard on making your characters shine equally. Otherwise, I think you have really great character development skills.

Storyline!

I really did love the story. Alone with the writing style if perfectly sets up how the two met in an interesting way. Two things though. The ending is a bit sudden. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really interesting and catches the reader’s attention, adding mystery. But it happens too fast, and is a bit confusing. “No in-betweens” could use with a bit more explanation for example. Also, I was a bit confused about why Donny just decided to sleep in Marion’s house for the night by finding a guest bed. That seemed a bit off to me. That’s really all I have for the story though. It progressed at a good pace for me, and was always interesting.

I think I’m going to have to keep reading this one. I’m really intrigued by the writing style.

-Storyworker


Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

MaliKate

4 Years Ago

I couldn't agree more with the she she she things. I've tried to change it a few times but found tha.. read more
TLK

4 Years Ago

I found Storyteller's review so useful that I didn't try to replicate it -- my own focuses on the fi.. read more

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Added on May 14, 2013
Last Updated on July 9, 2013


Author

MaliKate
MaliKate

Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia



About
I'm Mali. I'm 18. Please do not send me poem read requests as I will no longer review them. I am happy to read and review your book under the condition that it is appropriately formatted and sized... more..

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