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runaway revisited - an exert.



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Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:20 pm
Wolf says...



Okay, so the whole plot of R U N A W A Y is changing, and I decided that I didn't want to start writing it at the beginning. I wrote this a couple nights ago and yes, I'm aware that is sucks. That's why I posted it. So you guys could tear it up and help me turn it into something good. :wink:

And yes, these are true events, so they're probably very clichéd. But right now I'm not really focusing on that; what I really want feedback on are the characters. Critiques are hugely appreciated and I'd love it if you could answer the questions at the end :P

---

Wind blows across the rain-slick street, sliding through my open coat. I shiver but don't zip it up; it makes me look fat. Instead, I hunch my shoulders, put my hood up and slit my eyes, dialing up the volume on my iPod. (As if being hunched over like a cripple makes me look better than fat.) Somehow, when my head's filled with someone else's thoughts, someone else's noise, the cold doesn't matter as much.

There's a scatter of eight-graders on the curb -- huddling in groups because the concrete's too cold to sit on or hustling money out of one another. My fingers slide over the toonie in my pocket and I decide to escape the damp cold, which even my music can't block out completely.

It's warm inside the store. Seeing Noah, a boy from my class, I make my way to the back aisle of the store.

"Hey homie," he says, "Can I have a dollar?"

"Sure thang biaaaatch," I say, laughing, and tell him to give me some change from the toonie. But he probably won't.

"What are you gonna buy?" I ask. And then I see him.

He comes out of nowhere; I didn't even see him come in. I freeze, my thoughts knocked away. Later, I will wonder how my face looked then, but ... now all I can think of is how perfect his face is. I see his lips move.

"Hi Camille."

My mind shakes violently back into thinking. "Hi," I say automatically. Everything around him looks blurry. Out of focus, like the planes of light and colour are sliding together, overlapping like when you shuffle cards. Queen of Hearts, I think crookedly. I'm sure my eyes are staring.

My lips tremble when I'm sure he's not looking; my shoulders heave and I tip my head back so that it rests against the refrigerator behind me. I scrunch my eyes closed and focus on breathing, but it catches, clawing air back into my lungs. Behind my eyelids I see his face and how it looked the second before he said hi.

His skin milk-pale, slashes of dark brown hair hiding his forehead. He looked almost ... amused, as if saying hi to me were his own private joke. But his eyes were clear and unreadable to me, the same penetrating blue as always. Not blue-ish, or blue with yellow around the pupils -- just blue.

Slowly, I open my eyes. He's with a friend at the back. Not trusting my legs, I keep a hand on the smooth cold glass of the fridge door.

Outside, the air is bare and shockingly cold, somehow feeling wet in my throat, like I can taste the promise of rain. The whole scene looks bleak and unpromising; the last of autumn's leaves swirl along the sidewalk in strange patterns that speak of coldness and despair.

What are you doing to me?
I'm so into you...

The lyrics echo around in my head longer than necessary. I see my friends down the road to the school and think, I should leave before he comes out of the store.

"Meg! Anya!" I call, and run up to meet them. And this time, I really don't feel the cold. I feel like hot metal; I feel vulnerable and edgy and so alive it hurts.


* * *

We're all watching the clock, ready to jump out of our seats as soon as the bell rings. The way the teacher talks makes the silence seem loud when she pauses, her words dropping like stones into a still pool. It sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to grind my pencil to a stub against my paper to ruin the perfect whiteness.

Twenty more minutes. My head slumps against my arm and I stare at my notebook, which should be filled with notes about algebra but isn't. Lazily, I let my pencil guide my hand around the page until the shape of an eye appears, staring at me through outrageously long eyelashes, the pupil not quite black enough to be real.

"Anya!" the teacher, Madame Cardinal, calls out suddenly. Uh-oh, she's in her question-asking mode.

I watch with amused sympathy as my friend jolts awake. "Oui?"

"Tell me, how would you find the area of a triangle? Come on, you should know this. C'est la revue!"

Anya half rolls her eyes and says, "Je n'ai aucune idea, Madame."

Cardinal nails her with a look and starts prattling on about how more than half of us are doomed to fail math in high school. I wonder how it is that she's only 25 and already forgotten what it was like to be young.

My pencil scratches over the paper, adding a sprawling tattoo across the face that is taking shape. I make the lips full and sculpted, the cheekbones pushing up like blades under perfect skin. When I'm done, I realize that I'm looking at the face I wish I could have.

"Camille!" Madame Cardinal is glaring at me, her mouth twisted into a scowl. "I hope those are notes," she says significantly, gesturing at my paper.

I smirk. "Depends on what you call notes."

Her fashionably thin eyebrows disappear under her haphazard, not-so-fashionable bangs, which are highlighted a champagne blonde (which looks terrible because the rest of her hair is black). "Would you care to show them to the class?"

You know you're in trouble when she starts talking in English. "Not particularly." No way in hell, I add in my head.

"Well, that's just too bad. You know I like you to listen when I talk," she says in a harder tone, punctuating the emphasized words with a sharp rap of her knuckles on the blackboard ledge. "I have told you countless times that if you expect to do well in this class, you will pay attention."

I sighed. Why does it feel like I hear this every day? Oh yeah -- because I do hear it every day. She makes it seem like high crime to be disinterested in this week's lesson of algebraic equations. Well, in my opinion, it's high crime to even teach that crap. Like seriously, who gives half a damn what x equals?

When I don't reply, she glares at me and yaps, "Please bring me your notebook, Camille." Her flat, dark eyes allow no refusal. So, spotting a ballpoint pen on the ground a couple feet away, I stretch out my leg and use my foot to slide it over. I rip out the page with my drawing and scrawl 'screw you' on the next page, then get up and place it in her bony hand.

The class is watching. She raises her chin and begins to read aloud: "Sc-" A flush of anger rises in her cheeks. "You can report here at 3 o'clock sharp for detention," she spits at me before tossing the paper back on her desk.

"It'll be my pleasure," I say sarcastically. The bell rings.

---

1. Do you start to get a feel for the character and her personality?
2. How do you feel about the details? Too much? Not enough?
3. Are you interested?

Thanks you guys, I really appreciate it. <3

- Camille

PS. let me know if you want me to PM you when I edit this/post more! :)
Last edited by Wolf on Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
everything i loved
became everything i lost.


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Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:10 am
Stori says...



Are you kidding? Of course I'm interested!

I can't find any mistakes, so I'll just say that this is a good beginning.
  





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Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:12 am
Wolf says...



Awee, thanks muffin. :)
everything i loved
became everything i lost.


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Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:24 am
JFW1415 says...



The promised critique!

Nit-Picks

huddling in groups because the concrete's too cold to sit on or hustling money out of one another.

The part after 'or' doesn't fit with the rest of the sentence.

My fingers slide over the tooney in my pocket and I decide to escape the damp cold, which even my music can't block out completely.

What's a tooney?

Seeing Noah, a boy from my class, I make my way to the back aisle of the store.

"Hey homie," he says.[s],[/s] "[s]c[/s]Can I have a dollar?"

I scrunch my eyes closed and focus on breathing, but [s]my[/s] it catches, clawing air back into my lungs.

The way the teacher talks makes the silence seem loud when she pauses, her words drop[s]ping[/s] like stones into a still pool.

"Tell me, how would you find the air of a triangle? Come on, you should know this. C'est la revue!"

Air? Do you mean area? And why are they speaking French?

You know you're in trouble when she starts talking in [s]e[/s]English.

Her flat, dark eyes allow no refusal, [s]S[/s]so, spotting a ballpoint

I rip out the page with my drawing and scrawl 'screw you' on the next page, then get up and place it in her bony hand.

She didn't notice this and say anything about that?

Overall Comments

Not too cliché, as you seem to be worrying. :)

I guess I may as well just answer the questions…

1. Do you start to get a feel for the character and her personality?

Actually, not really. She's too weak to look at a guy, then she tells her teacher 'screw you'? No. That doesn't happen.

Maybe try sketching out a chart? Figure out how she's gonna act. Is she shy and timid? Brave? Outspoken? Of course, everyone goes against their personalities, but it has to be for a good reason, which you don't seem to have. Right now she's just… semi-bi-polar.

2. How do you feel about the details? Too much? Not enough?

She's admiring the boy, so it's okay that you went into that a lot. I'd like a bit more work on the atmosphere though. Is the store cold? Crowded? How's it feel to have the eyes of the whole class on her? Does she freeze when the teacher calls her name, her chest squeezing? What's the cold air smell like? Sharp?

3. Are you interested?

Nope. At the moment, all I'm looking forward to in a detention – boring much? Let something a little more exciting happen. Hook us!

Haha, wow, those were the things I was going to mention! If you're wondering if you did something right, I guess you probably didn't – you have a sixth sense or something! :)

Other than that, pretty good. PM me for anything! (But leave updates and such in my thread if you'd like more critiques.)

~JFW1415
  





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Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:57 am
Squall says...



Yay Wolf! Welcome back. I get to see more of your writing.

It's warm inside the store. Seeing Noah, a boy from my class, I make my way to the back isle of the store.


"Hey homie," he says, "can I have a dollar?"


"Sure thang biaaaatch," I say, laughing, and tell him to give me some change from the tooney. But he probably won't.


I would like to get a better understanding of their relationship and the reasons why the narrator is willing to give money to this boy Noah. I think I should tell you this: I seldom give money to these freshmen that are in my house group when they ask me nicely. I think I do it because 1) I'm a nice guy 2) I want their respect 3) They do help me out at times too. I sort of have a complex relationship with them. They would often pester me when I'm at the computer pods, messing around with my keyboard and turning the computer off at the main switch. Other times, we would be like mates talking about what did during the weekend, etc etc. So yeah, I would like to see more interaction between them. It also does well in characterizing your narrator more. Trust me on this.

[i]I'm so into you...


You messed up the italics my dear.

Queen of Hearts, I think crookedly. I'm sure my eyes are staring.


Try to bring this idea more into context. It's a neat idea, but seems a bit detached from the narrative.

My lips tremble when I'm sure he's not looking; my shoulders heave and I tip my head back so that it rests against the refrigerator behind me.


Refrigerator? Where is this exactly? Describe the setting more.

Slowly, I open my eyes. He's with a friend at the back. Not trusting my legs, I keep a hand on the smooth cold glass of the fridge door.

Outside, the air is bare and shockingly cold, somehow feeling wet in my throat, like I can taste the promise of rain.


The transition here is rather sudden. I think you need to be a bit more specific as to what's happening. It's like the narrator randomly teleported outside or something.

Like seriously, who gives half a damn what x equals?


Wait till you do calculus and physics, it actually has quite a lot of uses. Algebra is pretty much the foundation needed to even be able to attempt these subjects.

Overall impressions:

Pretty interesting and well written. I like it. Here are some of my suggestions as to how you could improve this.

Firstly, you might want to describe the weather more. Believe it or not, the weather itself has quite a strong hold on how someone acts and thinks. The scene that you created at the start seems depressing and lonely, but doesn't really connect with the narrator that well.

Secondly, I think the hinted romance does very little to move the story forward. The narrator has a crush on this guy, so what? Yes it does reflect the idea of teen romance, but there isn't much for the reader to explore and seems rather stereotypical. You would have been better off expanding on the money transaction scene, expanding this more or draw a link between the money transaction scene. At the moment, the middle section of the piece seems a bit weak because there are two ideas that have little depth to them fighting over the attention of the reader, but eventually cancels each other out like in a neutralization reaction.

Thirdly, the scene with Madame Cardinal is pretty realistic, but lacks the psychological factors to make the scene much more compelling for the audience. If you have watched how teachers act in class, they will actually telegram subtle signs of what they actually think about you as a person. I'll use my real life experiences as an example. In my English class this year, my english teacher (who is Head of English, yet a medicore teacher) doesn't actually like me as a student. She may seem nice and all, but it's just a facade to mislead you. In class, she would talk with the Pakehas in the class more than the Asians. She would try to avoid making eye contact with me as she walks pass. When she talks to me, there is this nervous sort of tone in her voice as though she's scared of me. She won't even go into great details in helping me to improve my work, whereas with others, she does.

Another example: My media studies teacher. Now I actually quite like him. He is smart, intelligent and actually teaches well and willing to help others. I think he likes me too. He talks to me at times when I'm like the only one in the class still packing up my gear, gives great reviews on my classwork and asks me as to how I'm coping with the classwork. He even gave me an effort award at the end of the year. :D But at times, I feel as though he is annoyed at having to cope with me. For example, when I was doing an assessment, he would say "Are you done yet Andy?" I replied "Almost sir." Then he said "Well work faster." When I am contacting him via email, he wouldn't reply back to about 30 percent of my emails.

Prehaps I'm being paranoid here, but you need to work in subtlety into the interactions between the narrator and the teacher. What you have at the moment is only what one sees, not one thinks. It is these subtle signs that allow you as an author to be able to explore more deeply and be able to open the eyes of the audience to ideas/themes which they normally won't consider in their lives due to its hidden nature.

Anyways, I hope my life experience has helped you. Overall though I quite liked the piece and I hope that you will make improvements to it.

Good luck Camille.

Andy.
"To the edge of the universe and back. Endure and survive."
  





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Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:07 am
Wolf says...



Many thanks to your both! :D

I'm actually really surprised that it's not as terrible as I thought. I will be fixing the grammatical mistakes right away, and thank-you both for telling me what I need to improve on. I'll work on fixing it over the next few days and hopefully the edit will be up soon.

Air? Do you mean area? And why are they speaking French?


Ha, yes I did mean area. :p It's in french because I take school in french immersion and most of my subjects are taught in french ... I was gonna explain that later on, but if it stands out too much I might just somehow add in the fact that the narrator's in immersion.


Again, thanks so much you guys! Your critiques were very helpful. :D

Cheers,
Camille<3
everything i loved
became everything i lost.


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Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:50 pm
Gwenevire says...



gnaat!
nang that was awesome.
anywho, imma crappy ass writer so i dont got shit to say but keep goin!
i wanna see what else happens!
larvyou<3
  





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Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:18 pm
Ducati says...



Wolf wrote:
Wind blows across the rain-slick street, sliding through my open coat. I shiver but don't zip it up; it makes me look fat. Instead, I hunch my shoulders, put my hood up and slit my eyes, dialing up the volume on my iPod. (As if being hunched over like a cripple makes me look better than fat.) Brackets aren't necessary, just pu tina commaSomehow, when my head's filled with someone else's thoughts, someone else's noise, the cold doesn't matter as much.

There's a scatter of eight-graders on the curb -- huddling in groups because the concrete's too cold to sit on or hustling money out of one another. My fingers slide over the toonie in my pocket and I decide to escape the damp cold, which even my music can't block out completely. What's a toonie?

It's warm inside the store. Seeing Noah, a boy from my class, I make my way to the back aisle of the store.

"Hey homie," he says, "Can I have a dollar?"

"Sure thang biaaaatch," I say, laughing, and tell him to give me some change from the toonie. But he probably won't.

"What are you gonna buy?" I ask. And then I see him.

He comes out of nowhere; I didn't even see him come in. I freeze, my thoughts knocked away. Later, I will wonder how my face looked then, but ... now all I can think of is how perfect his face is. I see his lips move.

"Hi Camille."

My mind shakes violently back into thinking. "Hi," I say automatically. Everything around him looks blurry. Out of focus, like the planes of light and colour are sliding together, overlapping like when you shuffle cards. Queen of Hearts, I think crookedly. I'm sure my eyes are staring.

My lips tremble when I'm sure he's not looking; my shoulders heave and I tip my head back so that it rests against the refrigerator behind me. I scrunch my eyes closed and focus on breathing, but it catches, clawing air back into my lungs. Behind my eyelids I see his face and how it looked the second before he said hi.

His skin milk-pale, slashes of dark brown hair hiding his forehead. He looked almost ... amused, as if saying hi to me were his own private joke. But his eyes were clear and unreadable to me, the same penetrating blue as always. Not blue-ish, or blue with yellow around the pupils -- just blue.

Slowly, I open my eyes. He's with a friend at the back. Not trusting my legs, I keep a hand on the smooth cold glass of the fridge door.

Okay, no offfense, but he sounds totally Edward Cullen to me. Been done to death. Don't just say he's perfect, describe his little quirks that make him stand out.

Outside, the air is bare and shockingly cold, somehow feeling wet in my throat, like I can taste the promise of rain. The whole scene looks bleak and unpromising; the last of autumn's leaves swirl along the sidewalk in strange patterns that speak of coldness and despair.

Love the description!


What are you doing to me?
I'm so into you...

The lyrics echo around in my head longer than necessary. I see my friends down the road to the school and think, I should leave before he comes out of the store.

"Meg! Anya!" I call, and run up to meet them. And this time, I really don't feel the cold. I feel like hot metal; I feel vulnerable and edgy and so alive it hurts.


* * *

We're all watching the clock, ready to jump out of our seats as soon as the bell rings. The way the teacher talks makes the silence seem loud when she pauses, her words dropping like stones into a still pool. It sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to grind my pencil to a stub against my paper to ruin the perfect whiteness.
I know that voice! Haha. Excellent description once again.

Twenty more minutes. My head slumps against my arm and I stare at my notebook, which should be filled with notes about algebra but isn't. Lazily, I let my pencil guide my hand around the page until the shape of an eye appears, staring at me through outrageously long eyelashes, the pupil not quite black enough to be real.

"Anya!" the teacher, Madame Cardinal, calls out suddenly. Uh-oh, she's in her question-asking mode.

I watch with amused sympathy as my friend jolts awake. "Oui?"

"Tell me, how would you find the area of a triangle? Come on, you should know this. C'est la revue!" Why are they speaking french? This is maths. Is it set in france?

Anya half rolls her eyes and says, "Je n'ai aucune idea, Madame."

Cardinal nails her with a look and starts prattling on about how more than half of us are doomed to fail math in high school. I wonder how it is that she's only 25 and already forgotten what it was like to be young.

My pencil scratches over the paper, adding a sprawling tattoo across the face that is taking shape. I make the lips full and sculpted, the cheekbones pushing up like blades under perfect skin. When I'm done, I realize that I'm looking at the face I wish I could have.

"Camille!" Madame Cardinal is glaring at me, her mouth twisted into a scowl. "I hope those are notes," she says significantly, gesturing at my paper.

I smirk. "Depends on what you call notes."

Her fashionably thin eyebrows disappear under her haphazard, not-so-fashionable bangs, which are highlighted a champagne blonde (which looks terrible because the rest of her hair is black). "Would you care to show them to the class?"

You know you're in trouble when she starts talking in English. "Not particularly." No way in hell, I add in my head.

"Well, that's just too bad. You know I like you to listen when I talk," she says in a harder tone, punctuating the emphasized words with a sharp rap of her knuckles on the blackboard ledge. "I have told you countless times that if you expect to do well in this class, you will pay attention."

I sighed. Why does it feel like I hear this every day? Oh yeah -- because I do hear it every day. She makes it seem like high crime to be disinterested in this week's lesson of algebraic equations. Well, in my opinion, it's high crime to even teach that crap. Like seriously, who gives half a damn what x equals?

When I don't reply, she glares at me and yaps, "Please bring me your notebook, Camille." Her flat, dark eyes allow no refusal. So, spotting a ballpoint pen on the ground a couple feet away, I stretch out my leg and use my foot to slide it over. I rip out the page with my drawing and scrawl 'screw you' on the next page, then get up and place it in her bony hand.

The class is watching. She raises her chin and begins to read aloud: "Sc-" A flush of anger rises in her cheeks. "You can report here at 3 o'clock sharp for detention," she spits at me before tossing the paper back on her desk. Don't say spits if she isn't actually spitting. Sounds weird.

"It'll be my pleasure," I say sarcastically. The bell rings.

---

1. Do you start to get a feel for the character and her personality?
Seems pretty normal to me. Nothing special. Hope that's what you were going for.

2. How do you feel about the details? Too much? Not enough?
Just enough details!
3. Are you interested?
I was at the start but by the end not so much, it sounds like my typical day. When I come home from school I don't really want to read about how sucky algebra is. I know it.




Work on making the school scenes special, different and personal. Make me interested.
When you look at your life, in a strange new room, maybe drowning soon, is this the start of it all?
  





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Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:37 pm
Wolf says...



Thanks! I appreciate your review, especially the part about Edward Cullen. ;P I'll work on that.

Why are they speaking french? This is maths. Is it set in france?


No, she's just in french immersion. I really should mention that somewhere.
everything i loved
became everything i lost.


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Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:37 pm
ashleylee says...



Hey, Wolf :D Thanks for posting on my “Will Review for Food” thread. I feel honored =) hehe

I rip out the page with my drawing and scrawl 'screw you' on the next page, then get up and place it in her bony hand.


Holy cow! This girl has got a lot of guts standing up to a teacher like that… Whew! =]

~ ~ ~ ~

All right, as you can tell, my review is pretty pointless when it comes to quote-by-quotes. But that’s because I didn’t find really anything wrong with this. However, I will answers your questions because I did notice a few things in the overall feel of the piece.

1. Do you start to get a feel for the character and her personality?


In the beginning, she feels like every other teenage girl with a crush. But then, in class, she turns into this bada** with a point to prove :P which is a welcoming change. However, I think you should display this more in the beginning or maybe explain why she suddenly becomes soft around this guy.

2. How do you feel about the details? Too much? Not enough?


I would have to say not enough. The only time you describe the scene is in the beginning with the rain. I would have loved to see more of the guy she likes—what really catches her attention, and more about the classroom and such.

3. Are you interested?


Yeah, I think that you did a good job. I would enjoy reading more :D

Well, I think answering all your questions helped me get across my concerns, so I guess just let me know if you want me to review any more of this =]
"Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love—and to put his trust in life."
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Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:20 pm
Manzanna says...



1. Do you start to get a feel for the character and her personality?

I like her! Especially with out she stands up to the teacher. That made me laugh. Its nice to read about a girl in a romance story who doesn't come off as completely consumed by her object of affection.

2. How do you feel about the details? Too much? Not enough?

There were a good amount. Actually, pretty much, the exact right amount.

3. Are you interested?

Yes! This girl seems interesting, and I like her already. I'd definitely read more.

**

Really well written. Really interesting. I feel bad not posting anything that should be fixed up with this, but everything was already pointed out, and I got way to into the story to pay attention to things that need fixing up.

Good work :)
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Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:22 am
canislupis says...



Hey! Here is your promised review.
I really liked this! Nice job. :) It feels like it has been edited, even though I think you said it was a first draft. Here are some things I’d thought I’d point out:
I shiver but don't zip it up; it makes me look fat.

Hah! I love this line. It feels real.
Someone else’s thoughts,andsomeone else’s noise.

Add the and. ;)
give me some change from the toonie. But he probably won’t.

Wait… What? Change from the toonie? I don’t really know what you are trying to say, especially since you just mentioned the “toonie” in her pocket.
... now all I can think of is how perfect his face is.

Axe the ellipses. Also, how perfect can his face be? I understand that she’s admiring it, but just saying it’s “perfect” isn’t the strongest description in the world.
Queen of Hearts

I loved this.
yellow around the pupils

I don’t recall ever seeing anyone with yellow around the pupils of their eyes, but then again, maybe you have. :)
What are you doing to me?

I’m not sure I like the italics for the lyrics of the song, since it is easy to confuse them with her thoughts.
She’s only 25

“25” should be written out as “twenty-five” IMO.
(which looks terrible because…)

You don’t need the parenthesis here.
So, spotting a ballpoint pen on the ground…

Not sure exactly what happened here. How would she achieve this without the teacher noticing? I am slightly confused. :)
So… On to the questions!

1: Sort of. It’s rather a short piece to develop a character, but I felt like I got a good feel for her personality.
2: I like it the way it is. Sometimes I’ve seen stories where the authors put in too much description, and it ends up taking away from the story. However, you could use one or two more descriptive words in, especially describing the buildings, etc.
3: yes. Kind of. A detention isn’t that much to look forward to, but I do want to find out what happens to your MC, which would inspire me to keep reading.
Add me to the list!!!!!!!!!
~Lupis
  








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