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The Fall (Part One)



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Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:10 pm
austenite says...



People were scattered throughout the house. The music pumped through the speakers, shaking the walls and coursing through my veins. Everywhere people laughed and danced around. The living room had been transformed into the dance floor. The DJ a guy I knew by sight but not by name. I was pretty sure he was in my Biology class, always doped up on something.
Red plastic cups and empty bottles littered every available surface. I pushed my way through the crowd, looking for a particular familiar face, unable to find him in the throng of dancers grinding against each other in time to David Guetta's Sexy Chick. The double French doors had been left open since this afternoon, letting my school friends to spill out into the massive garden. The night was cool and balmy, a nice welcome from today's unusual heat.
A group of people had commandeered the outdoor furniture, and I saw Amanda on the hammock with a guy from another school.
"Amanda!" I shouted over the noise of the music, trying to get her attention. She looked up at me, annoyed that I had taken her attention away from the guy.
"What?"
"Have you seen Seth?" I asked. "I can't find him anywhere!"
Amanda shook her head as the guy she was with started to nuzzle her neck. He pushed her brown hair away, biting her earlobe which caused her to burst out in a fit of giggles. I looked away uncomfortably.
"Have you tried upstairs? I saw him go up there with a few people earlier on." She winked at me, turning back to her guy. Our conversation was over.
I sighed. I don't know why I had even agreed to come to the party. Something Katy had said about needing to 'get out more'. Since the fall, all I'd done is stay at home and mope, according to her.

Pain shot through my left leg as an evil reminder that I shouldn't be here. I'd only just rebuilt the muscles in my calf, able to walk again without such a mean limp. Trying to squeeze my way through teenagers who had taken one too many hits of 'Barbara', Will Anderson's bong, was not what the doctor had ordered. The staircase too, was jam-packed with people, either just gossiping or making out with another.
This was not what the doctor ordered, I grimaced, pushing off some frat guy from a neighbouring college. My parents had thought I'd gone to the movies with Cassidy Harrison, one of the girls I used to dance with. According to them, I'd been going off the rails a bit ever since I'd fallen, and it was best if I started being chummy with the dance girls again. That way when I went back to the Academy it wouldn't be so hard. Like usual, they hadn't taken one notice when my doctor had told them I wouldn't be dancing again - not professionally at least. That's why they'd gotten me a new doctor and paid God knows how much to get my leg reconstructed.

Upstairs, the house was divided into bedrooms and two bathrooms. All of the bedroom doors were closed, either in use or earlier locked by Seth. The main hallway opened out into a giant loft-like space, where Seth and his sister had rule of the roost. A couple of couches, including one big 'L' shaped sofa were set up in front of a large plasma screen TV. Currently it was being occupied by a group of guys playing Seth's Xbox, the massive screen divided into four as the guys battled it out in some sort of war game. The room smelled heavily of weed, despite the window being opened wide.

Katy sat down in between the legs of the one the guys - Chris, one of Seth's friends, and Katy's man of the moment. Her eyes were bloodshot and red, a stoned smile playing on her lips as her hand ran up and down Chris' legs absentmindedly. Anyone would think she was watching what was happening on the TV, but I knew she had no idea. Chris was holding the console just above her head, swearing and screaming along with the guys.

"Hey Boo," Katy said languidly, flipping her hand up at me in recognition. "This is fun, isn't it? Told you we'd have a blast." She giggled, causing Chris to pat her on the head.
"Quiet babe," he said, totally baked as well. Katy picked up the bottle that was sitting next to her.
"Drink?" I shook my head. No alcohol was one rule I was definitely abiding by. All the medication I had to take each day would see me in the Emergency room of the local hospital if I added alcohol to the mix.

"I'm just looking for Seth," I said. "Have you seen him? Amanda said he was up here."
Katy's nose wrinkled in disgust. "That slut is here? Who invited her?"
I shrugged. "Well, Seth's outside being all broody," Katy said. "You should go and join him and be broody together." This was apparently funny to Katy, who burst out into another fit of giggles. I rolled my eyes, shaking my head. The comment just rolled off my shoulders. Katy and I had been best friends since the dawn of time, and though were two completely opposite people, she of all people knew the suffering I had been going through over the last few months.

I smiled sarcastically at her and made for the large window that was wide open. It was one of those types of windows that sat on the slanting part of the roof, which made for great escapes from all sorts - dinners, parties, studying. There was a small balcony, if you could call it that, which could comfortably fit two not too far away from the window. It was here I'd tasted my first sip of wine. I'd inhaled my first joint of marijuana here. It was where I'd also had my first kiss, with the boy who was now sitting on the balcony, gazing at the stars.

"Hey," I said, alerting Seth to my presence as I clambered through the window. I wasn't as agile as I had used to be, and looked uncoordinated trying to pull my left leg through the window.
Seth, who was sitting cross-legged with his knees up by his chest and arms hanging loosely around his shins, looked up at me, a smile forming on his lips. My stomach dropped a little, as it always did when I saw him.
"Hey," Seth replied back. I came and sat by him, my legs stretched out as far as they could and my back against the wall. Seth's gaze returned to the sky, where the city lights twinkled in front of us. The music from downstairs floated up, but it wasn't as overbearing as it was downstairs. My body was touching his ever so lightly. I shivered, but not from the cold. I gazed at him. When the moonlight hit his face, you could see the light brown streaks in his normally black hair.
"Not feeling the party mood tonight then?" Usually Seth was the life and soul of these parties. And it was his house.
Seth sighed wistfully. "Nah. Can't be bothered really."

I understood what Seth meant. My relationship with Seth was kind of strange. We'd known each other for ages. Our parents were on the school board, they threw dinner parties at each other's houses. Our mothers went to the same yogalates classes and played tennis at the same Country Club. But my bond with Seth was more than that. We'd never officially gone out, but we'd definitely fooled around. Nothing more than heavy kissing and light petting - sort of like friends with benefits without the sex. I knew Seth had sex before with a couple of girls in our year - with him, there were no secrets between us. Our friendship was open and honest.

It wasn't until Seth had fallen sick that we'd really grown close. A bad case of pneumonia had kept him out of school for three months. That wasn't the worse part. He'd also lost his spot on the soccer team because of it. Now, he had only just won that place back. I'd spent weeks and weeks convincing him it wasn't the end of the world. I'd make him listen to stories of players who had gone through far worse and still played today. I told him what sort of mischief and mayhem we'd been up to at school and around town, keeping him filled in on the gossip. I'd moan and complain about the homework we'd been given and how lucky he was he was exempt. A couple of months had gone by and we were on Spring Break, and Seth was better. We spent every day down at the lake - with a group of friends or just by ourselves. Then April ended and everyone went back to school - Seth included, and we were back to just being friends.

And I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted.
Last edited by austenite on Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.
Chaucer, A Knight's Tale

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
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Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:16 am
EliteHusky says...



Very good! As a male reader, who is not really interested in romance stories, I found this piece captured my interest throughout. The writing style was flawed at times, such as when you said,
I knew Seth had had sex before
. Usually one "had" is enough here. Additionally at the very beginning, one sentence needed improvement, of which I have included my suggested "fix" below.

The living room had been transformed into the dance floor, the DJ a guy I knew by sight but not by name.


Good. I can understand what you are trying to say but how about this?

The living room had been transformed into a dance floor. The DJ - a guy I knew by sight, but not by name.

In the above suggestion "a" is replaceable with "the" although it depends on how you mapped out the entire setting, and whether or not dancing will take place elsewhere. I believe this captured my attention because of your writing style. You wrote in the first-person sometimes providing much-needed details on the surroundings and who was where. I enjoyed this immensely. However, with this being a romance story mentioning drugs, sex, and I believe some bizarre kind of new age music called "Rock", I would have increased the rating if possible to perhaps 12+ if not 14+, just to define your target audience.

I also like the characters you have created. Chris is not to my liking because of his apparent attitude once saying, "quite babe" to Katy. And while Seth appears to be the strong and silent type so far, he has potential. I hope this review has been helpful and believe me when I say that it I thoroughly found part one of the The Fall intriguing to say the least, and Hollywood-worthy to say the most.

Warm Regards,
-Elitehusky
  





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Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:58 am
austenite says...



I have one quick thing to say first before thanking and talking about your review. Sorry if I cause any offence here - OMG YOU ARE A GUY. AND YOU IDENTIFIED A PRIDE & PREJUDICE QUOTE. I so didn't realize that. You are my new internet lover!! haha

Okay, freak out over.

I've changed the rating to 16+. I thought I had chosen that, but considering it's 2am in the morning and I've edited it a lot before posting, I'm gonna say that I thought about it but didn't do it.

I knew Seth had had sex before

I put the second 'had' in because I thought in this case it was allowed, but I see what you mean. I thought the sentence was too short, so I created a bit of grammatical licencing (which I like to call The Hannah Way To Spelling and Grammar). I'm just going to add to the sentence, such as I knew Seth had sex before with a couple of girls in our year...

The DJ I've changed to 'the' as well. I think here I wanted to add something more as well about his description to set the mood, but I couldn't describe him properly. Basically he looks like the DJ from Zoolander.

I'm glad you like the characters. I've had fun 'designing' them. You'll get to hear more about the MC in the next parts as well, I just need to give her a name first. (It's not Boo, if that's what you are thinking. Drugged up nickname :D)

Once again, thank you very much!
I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.
Chaucer, A Knight's Tale

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
Oscar Wilde
  





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Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:24 am
lilymoore says...



Aust! How are you doing? *snugs* I think I shall review this!

The DJ a guy I knew by sight but not by name.


This here is a fragment. All you really need to do is put ‘was’ in there after ‘DJ.’

letting my school friends to spill out into the massive garden.


You don’t need ‘to’ in here. I’m guessing it was just a typo.

either just gossiping or making out with one another.


I don’t think you have to have ‘one’ here. In fact, I’m pretty sure what you have here is right. But it seems that the way it’s normally written has ‘one’ in there.


"Hey," Seth replied back. I came and sat by him, my legs stretched out as far as they could and my back against the wall. Seth's gaze returned to the sky, where the city lights twinkled in front of us. The music from downstairs floated up, but it wasn't as overbearing as it was downstairs. My body was touching his ever so lightly. I shivered, but not from the cold. I gazed at him. When the moonlight hit his face, you could see the light brown streaks in his normally black hair.


I LOOOOOVE this! I mean, It’s not overpoweringly wordy and fancy, but it’s so simple that it’s touching and that made me love this all the more than I was already loving this.


Now I won’t lie, I can see that this might become a little cliché if you aren’t careful not to turn this into a Twilight-like story minus the whole vampire/werewolf thing. *hates Twilight*
And I can relate, at least to this type of relationship with characters and stuff. Actually, that’s what my first piece on YWS was sort of about. Friends, but they really do kind of love each other as more than just friends. I’m rambling. I’ll shut up now.

This is good!
Please write more!

~lilymoore
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Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:04 pm
austenite says...



Thanks for the review lilymoore!! You seem to pick up all the stuff that I don't even if it's a sentence I've read over ten times and think its correct.

I never thought it might turn into something Twilight-esque without the paranormal before you pointed it out. I'll keep the thought in the back of my mind though. The more I think about this now I want to turn it into a novel, but I put it in the short stories section, that this bit wouldn't be the start. Thanks again!
I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.
Chaucer, A Knight's Tale

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
Oscar Wilde
  





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Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:55 pm
JustACanvas says...



I thought this was really good, I can relate to Lily's point of a cliche coming but not from twilight but Noughts and Crosses : best friends, kiss, fall in love. However, just because it has a generic love story pattern doesn't mean it isn't good or it does have more to it. I am excited to read more as the almost climax towards her seeing seth intrigued me to get to know them as characters.

I also like the dynamic you have created between the characters - a true party atmosphere.

:)
Anything different is just an invasion of your livelihood and you will fight to protect it. Answer me this; shouldn’t you be fighting to get out, to be something more? Or do you enjoy being just like the rest? - J.A.C 23/11/10
  





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Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:19 pm
canislupis says...



The night was cool and balmy, a nice welcome from today's unusual heat.

A nice welcome? What? Awkward sentence here, I think.

This was not what the doctor ordered,


You just said that in the previous paragraph, so this can be deleted. ;)

And I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted.


Ok... As you can see, I didn't really find any errors here. I love it when people proof-read their works. :)

I also like the characterizations--they felt very real and there was just enough detail that I knew what was going on without being bored. This was really a joy to read.

I really only have two criticisms:

1. Sentence structure. (This was minor)For example:

People were scattered throughout the house.


This is a boring opening line, in my opinion. You could show her bumping in to someone to show how crowded it is, or mention passing people in all the rooms. But having a simple, slightly 'telly' sentence right up front kinda pulled me up short. Throughout the whole piece, I did notice quite a few places where you had lots of short, simple sentences in a row, which is sometimes good, but in some places was a bit choppy. This got better as I went along, probably because I was getting drawn into the story more.

Moving on.

2. So. I like your character, setting and descriptions. This piece could easily fit inside a published book :). The only thing I'm having qualms about is the plot.

Bascially what we've seen so far is that she's a dancer who's been injured, and she's best friends with/in love with this guy. The conflict is that her parents (and maybe her as well) want her to dance again but she can't, and that she's unsure as to what she wants with regard to this guy.

This is pretty good, because at least there is a conflict, but the ending felt very contrived to me. Let's look at the last paragraph:
It wasn't until Seth had fallen sick that we'd really grown close. A bad case of pneumonia had kept him out of school for three months. That wasn't the worse part. He'd also lost his spot on the soccer team because of it. Now, he had only just won that place back. I'd spent weeks and weeks convincing him it wasn't the end of the world. I'd make him listen to stories of players who had gone through far worse and still played today. I told him what sort of mischief and mayhem we'd been up to at school and around town, keeping him filled in on the gossip. I'd moan and complain about the homework we'd been given and how lucky he was he was exempt. A couple of months had gone by and we were on Spring Break, and Seth was better. We spent every day down at the lake - with a group of friends or just by ourselves. Then April ended and everyone went back to school - Seth included, and we were back to just being friends.


Not only is this a huge info-drop, it's also completely telling us about this backstory. If this is intended to be a longer work (And I have the feeling it is) then maybe you could save these details about how she kinda likes him, but is unsure until later? And instead of saying it outright, just mention that she feels a little awkward, or ask how he's feeling, or something. You know your characters better than I do, so I'm gonna leave it at that. Let us see how she feels, and don't give us all this information until later.

Ok. I think I've rambled long enough. I hope this helps you at least a tiny bit. I really did like this story.

Definitely ask anytime you need another review!

See ya,

Lupis
  





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Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:38 am
Rydia says...



Hey hey :) Loving the characterisation in this piece and the realism of it, that was very nicely done. Your characters are easy to connect to, the scene easy to visualise and it has a lot going for it. However, I felt that your writing could be stronger in a few places so I'll start with nit-picks and then a few explanations:

People were scattered throughout the house. The music pumped through the speakers, shaking the walls and coursing through my veins. Everywhere people laughed and danced around. The living room had been transformed into the dance floor. The DJ was a guy I knew by sight but not by name. I was pretty sure he was in my Biology class, always doped up on something.


Red plastic cups and empty bottles littered every available surface. I pushed my way through the crowd, looking for a particular familiar face, unable to find him in the throng of dancers grinding against each other in time to David Guetta's Sexy Chick. The double French doors had been left open since this afternoon, letting allowing my school friends to spill out into the massive garden. The night was cool and balmy, a nice welcome from today's unusual heat.
Does she feel relieved that he isn't grinding with some other girl? That might be something worth mentioning?

I sighed. I don't know why I had even agreed to come to the party. Something Katy had said about needing to 'get out more'. Since the fall, all I'd done is was stay at home and mope, according to her.


"Hey," I said, alerting Seth to my presence as I clambered through the window. I wasn't as agile as I had used to be, and looked uncoordinated trying to pull my left leg through the window.


Nothing more than heavy kissing and light petting - sort of like friends with benefits without the sex.
It's lines like these and the dialogue with Katy which really make your piece. I love the little flickers of her personality that keep coming through.

First Paragraph

I think your introduction is weak. It's all short sentences, all very factual and other than that last sentence there isn't any character or enthusiasm to it. I'd like to see more vivid description, like what sort of people? Scantily clad teenagers? In all honesty as far as the reader is aware at this point, they could be old people in formal dress. The way you've described the music is rather typical so the mind just skims over it. That's fine but you need to make an impression somewhere. The people are laughing and dancing. Later you show us that your narrator isn't too big on this so feel free to have her sound condescending or fed up when she describes the scene. Maybe talk about the mingling stench of pot, cigarettes, vomit and alcohol. Maybe the music is too loud for her and giving her a headache?

Monologue

Okay so your main character has this long monologue at the end there about her relationships with Seth. I don't like it. I think it's well written and answers a lot of the questions I'd been thinking but it's too much too soon and some of it just isn't needed. You should leave your audience wondering what's going on between these two so early on. There's a lot to be said for a little mystery. I'd like to see them talk more instead, have a conversation that means something to them and maybe hints at a past or establishes that they're just friends at this point.


Annnnnd that's all :) If you have any questions or further requests, feel free to get in touch,

Heather xx
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Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:35 pm
austenite says...



Thanks everyone for all the comments and feedback, I've taken it all down and using it to make this better. Watch for Part Two coming soon!! :D
I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.
Chaucer, A Knight's Tale

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
Oscar Wilde
  





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Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:31 pm
ToritheMonster says...



Hai, here as requested. :smt003

So, I couldn't find much to nitpick that hadn't been covered by other people. Here's what I found overall:

You characters aren't that... exiting. They don't show much emotion, and nothing really makes them different from other romance stories. Also, I honestly couldn't tell if your main character was a boy or a girl until later on in the installment. Please clear stuff like that up early on. It's okay if you don't want to give a name right away, but we need some way to picture who they are.

That leads me to descriptions. You don't use them much. We have little to no idea what anybody looks like. Seth has dark hair, the MC's a cripple. That's about it.A huge part of romance novels is descriptions. People, places... stuff like that. Your only really good description was of the atmosphere- a sleazy party.

That said, there were lots of good parts. You style of writing is very good, we automatically become attached to the MC. It's smooth and fast-paced. You write realistically- we can believe the party's real. I'm interested in what will happen.

This is a great start. To quote my old English teacher, "juice it up!" Add descriptions, feelings, stuff like that.

-Dreamy
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Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:14 am
Maddy says...



Hey austenite, here as you requested.

Anyhow, your grammar is fine, which saves me a whole lot of ranting. Hooray :)
Things I liked
>You're dialogue's fantastic. It flowed really well, and I had no trouble trying to dislodge meanings from them.
>Really good characterisation. Things like this:
I sighed. I don't know why I had even agreed to come to the party. Something Katy had said about needing to 'get out more'. Since the fall, all I'd done is stay at home and mope, according to her.

and this:
"Hey Boo," Katy said languidly, flipping her hand up at me in recognition. "This is fun, isn't it? Told you we'd have a blast." She giggled, causing Chris to pat her on the head.

make or break a character's intriging and interesting reading levels. (<-I probably didn't make sense there)

Things I disliked:
No! You have heavy dialogue! :K
It wasn't until Seth had fallen sick that we'd really grown close. A bad case of pneumonia had kept him out of school for three months. That wasn't the worse part. He'd also lost his spot on the soccer team because of it. Now, he had only just won that place back. I'd spent weeks and weeks convincing him it wasn't the end of the world. I'd make him listen to stories of players who had gone through far worse and still played today. I told him what sort of mischief and mayhem we'd been up to at school and around town, keeping him filled in on the gossip. I'd moan and complain about the homework we'd been given and how lucky he was he was exempt. A couple of months had gone by and we were on Spring Break, and Seth was better. We spent every day down at the lake - with a group of friends or just by ourselves. Then April ended and everyone went back to school - Seth included, and we were back to just being friends. And I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted.

Get rid of it immediately! We don’t need to know this just yet. In fact, I believe this whole paragraph can be summed up in three sentences, if you really want to tell us in the first chapter.
We didn’t grow close until he got a bad case of pneumonia and was kept out of school. We spent loads of time together afterwards, because he recovered at the start of Spring Break. But April ended, and so did his sickness, and now we were back to being “just friends”.
Only have something resembling the above if you’re that desperate to explain the reasoning behind their complicated relationship this early in the story. I don’t even want you to have that, even. It sucks the reader in when something as mysterious as their relationship is presented early.
That’s all I have to say, really.
Nice job!
-Maddy

P.S I imagined Katy exactly like a drunken Katy Perry. :P
Last edited by Maddy on Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:46 am
Jas says...



Oh my god. Wow. I am amazed. To be honest, I thought this would be a typical teenage boring story, where Seth is either her jerkface boyfriend who she will catch making out with some random girl or her friend who she is in love with but he's to much of a dumby to realize it. The story flowed seamlessly, there wasn't any dead spots or info loads. ONLY problem is description at times. We have no clue what our MC or Seth or even Katy looks like. As Dreamy said, 'juice it up'. You better have chapter two up. That was just great!

~Jasmine Bells
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apologies that roll of my tongue, smoothquick, like 'r's
or maybe like pocket candy
that's just a bit too sweet.

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