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The Boy Who Broke Mirrors (Chapter One)

by Sins


The Boy Who Broke Mirrors

(Chapter One)

.

Sometimes I’ll be standing somewhere and realise that everyone around me will be dead one day.

I know that sounds morbid, but I really can’t help thinking it. Whenever I’m looking in on a crowd they begin morphing into blurs of colours until they don’t even resemble human beings anymore. They become these nameless creatures, and the idea of them having any emotions or personalities seems absurd because they aren’t people. They’re just unrecognisable masses, filling up space until they die, and all I can think about is how they'll be rotting underground some day.

Holy shit, I need to lighten up.

“Hello? Effie?” The sound of Aiden’s voice snaps me out of my thoughts. “This is a lovely door and everything--heck, I wouldn’t mind having a door myself one day. And that window... dang, that is some nice shit... but I do fancy--and this may stun you now, so be prepared--actually entering the house as well as staring at it.”

I glare at his sarcasm, but he’s too busy bouncing with excitement to notice. This is the biggest results party there’s ever been, and as we both received our GCSE results last week, I can’t say I blame him. The only downside is that it’s Robbie Morrissey’s party: a boy whose life revolves around basking peasants such as myself in his superficial beauty to remind us all of how irrelevant we are, and how magnificent he is. Aiden would walk the earth to merely be graced by his presence. I, on the other hand, think he’s an egotistical arsewipe. I’m just here so Aiden didn’t have to go alone.

I step onto the porch with Aiden standing so close that I fear he might start morphing into me, and as I open the door and enter the house, the sound of an intense dubstep song almost deafens me. Aiden pulls me inside while he pushes his way through the crowd of people I was gazing at moments ago. He leads me to the kitchen, although it takes him a good ten minutes to actually find the kitchen due to the fact this place is enormous.

As we enter the room a few recognisable faces catch my eye, but none of them are friendly. All of my friends besides Aiden think parties such as this one are merely ‘an excuse for the Neanderthals of society to wreak havoc’. While I generally agree with that statement, I've never been all too close to any of them, and so here I am. I figure that's why I've chosen to study my A-Levels at a sixth form college with Aiden rather than stay with them in school.

It’s only now I realise Aiden has left my side, but it doesn’t take a second to notice him practically standing inside Robbie Morrissey’s fridge. He’s rummaging through it as if he’s lived here all his life. I scurry towards the fridge and yank him out, shooting him a scowl. His mouth is seeping with some kind of pinkish coloured foam, and I’m just about to question my own sanity when I notice a packet of marshmallows in his hand.

“Want one?” Aiden asks me absentmindedly as he shoves another pile of them into his mouth. He’s gazing around the room with intrigued eyes.

“Aiden, you can’t just come into a strangers house and eat all of his marshmallows!” I snap. “Who keeps marshmallows in the fridge anyway?”

“Hmmm...” Aiden’s still scanning the room.

I follow his gaze, but see nothing except a bunch of indistinguishable teenagers flirting with each other so vulgarly that I sort of want to throw up. All the girls are dressed in clothes at least two sizes too small for them while the boys stare at them with desperate, hungry eyes.

I sigh. “You’re already looking for him, seriously?”

“Calm your mackerel, I’m just curious is all,” he mutters. I only just manage to hear him over the music in the air and the marshmallows in his mouth. “I’d swear you’d never seen Zack Maddox in your life. I mean, dang, I’d tap that. I wouldn’t mind a bit of Robbie too.”

“Aiden, you’d probably have sex with a toaster if there wasn’t a risk of you being frazzled.” I shake my head as he continues searching the room. “Besides, Zack Maddox and Robbie Morrisey are complete pricks. They use people like disposable toys.”

“They can use me any way they want,” Aiden mutters with a smirk.

Ugh.

Zack Maddox is Robbie Morrissey’s best friend, and… well, let’s just say that while I’ve never met this kid, if I ever did, it sounds like I’d want to ram his head down a toilet bowl and repeatedly slam the lid down onto it.

“I’m going to use the bathroom a sec,” I say to Aiden, who’s still hopelessly scanning the kitchen for Zack Maddox as he drowns his lack of success in marshmallows. “You might want to move on to the next room.”

Aiden only just hears me because by the time he responds, I’m already heading towards the kitchen door. The electronic music is still pumping loudly around the house, and so Aiden shouts his reply.

“Don’t forget to wipe!”

I disassociate myself from him, naturally.

It’s only when I leave the kitchen that I realise I have no idea where I’m going. I peer around the hallway in hope of spotting any indicator of a bathroom, but have no such luck. There are crowds of people surrounding me and it’s impossible to hear myself think, let alone figure out where to go. My bladder feeling like it’s about to burst isn’t helping my concentration either.

“You could always just ask someone where the toilet is, babe.” 

I spin around to see a figure leaning against the wall behind me, and I immediately recognise exactly who it is from the countless photos and videos I’ve seen on social networking sites. There’s a subtle smirk on Zack Maddox’s face as I gaze at him, and his amber eyes are noticeably bloodshot from what I figure is alcohol and lord knows what else. His light hair is messily shaped into a quiff and the only glimmer of tidiness to it is the way it’s trimmed on the sides. He’s dressed in a pair of ripped jeans accompanied by a baggy white shirt at least five sizes too big for him, and covering that is an equally oversized plaid shirt. Or to simplify things, he resembles a tramp.

“Last door on the left,” Zack says as he smirks again. “Or you could just go to the empty bedroom I’ve got upstairs.”

I would rather saw off my own limbs. ”I think I’ll pass, thanks.”

I don’t give him a chance to respond. Instead, I rush down the hallway because, quite frankly, what Zack just said to me makes me feel slightly sick. I’ve no idea how Aiden can be the mildest bit interested in someone so pretentious.

Before I enter the bathroom, I briefly look inside. It’s small with just a toilet and a mirror above a sink, but it’ll do. There's no lock on the door, but I'm desperate so I'll have to risk it. Once I’m done using the toilet, I turn to the mirror and cringe. My hair makes me look as if I’ve been standing in the middle of a wind tunnel for an hour, and geez, Aiden could’ve told me about the gigantic gap in my fringe. He was probably too busy looking for his fantasy boyf--

“I ain’t interested!”

The bathroom door bursts open as someone barges into the bathroom. The door slams shut and I hear ecstatic laughter. Just when I thought I’d gotten rid of him, I see Zack Maddox with his back against the doorway. Before I can say anything, he shouts something else at whoever’s outside.

“What do you think you’re doing?” My mouth drops open in disbelief.

“Sorry babe, someone's trying to hit on me, real ugly, we're talking a low three at best.” Zack’s still pushing himself against the door. “Don’t worry, I’ve seen plenty of those before,” he says, nodding at my crotch.

How charming. All of a sudden, Zack erupts into another round of ecstatic laughter. He’s still shoving all of his weight against the door, and I don’t think he realises that there’s no one pushing against it. He hasn’t stopped laughing by the time I ask for him to move so that I can leave.

“Yeah, yeah, sure, sorry. Sure. Yeah, sorry,” is his reply.

Zack steps forward to make room for me, but before I get the chance to move, his face is inches away from mine. It’s only now I realise how strong the smell of alcohol is on him. I try to step to the side, but he puts his arm out against the wall, blocking my path. My palms are beginning to sweat.

“How about a quick ten minutes?” he whispers, inching even closer.

I go to push him away but he grabs my arms. My heart’s racing as Zack’s cold lips press against mine, and I squirm. I shove him off me. What the hell does he think he’s doing? My stomach is twisting and I’m beginning to feel sick as I stare at him. His eyes are deeply bloodshot, his dry lips parted slightly. Both of us are silent, Zack’s face vacant of emotion, and the dark shadows under his eyes are enhanced by the dim lighting in the bathroom. He glances at me and his skin is so pale it looks transparent.

He looks ill. Really ill.

Zack’s face suddenly distorts with any trace of vacancy vanishing from it, and an enormous smirk replaces it. His dark eyes scan every inch of me, and not in the way a boy looks hungrily at a girl, but in a way that’s dripping with ridicule. He laughs. He laughs even more loudly than he did earlier, so much so that it makes my ears ring. My jaw clenches as I focus on his lopsided grin, and his lips begins to move.

“God, what is wrong with me? You’re hideous, I must be more wasted than I thought!” He’s still laughing.

“How about you piss off?” I snap at him.

My voice cracks slightly as I feel a hard lump forming in my throat. What’s wrong with me? If I even dare get upset over this, I’m being stupid. Ridiculously stupid. This boy is a complete jerk, and I know that every word he speaks has as much substance as thin air. My jaw is still clenched.

Zack hold up his hands defensively. “Hey, don’t get pissy with me for being honest! You shouldn't be such a frigid bitch.”

He laughs again but this one sounds more hollow, and for a moment, I almost think I see the emptiness return to his face. My palms are sweating as they shake with frustration while my heart’s swallowed up by my gut. The lump in my throat is growing. Zack throws another insult at me, mutters something inaudible under his breath, and then without warning, he turns away. He turns away and disappears, leaving the door open behind him.

All I can think about when I step out of that bathroom is finding Aiden and getting the hell out of this place. My hands are still shaking with anger. I try ringing him, but there's no answer. I try again, and again. Nothing. Screw this. I shove past a crowd of people standing in the middle of the hallway and run into the kitchen. He’s not in there. I run into the next room and find nothing. The same goes for the next room, and the next one, and the next one. Once I’ve checked every room on the bottom floor, at least half an hour has passed and I’m no closer to finding Aiden. I have no choice; I’m going to have to get out of here on my own.

As I make my way through the crowds and head towards the front door, all I can think about is Zack Maddox. Why didn’t I punch his lights out? I bloody wanted to. How dare he speak to me like that? Who does he think he is? I’m sweating and the heavy dubstep music is giving me a headache. There’s a chocking sound, and it isn’t until my eyesight becomes blurred that I realise it’s me. What on earth are you doing? Don’t cry! Why am I letting Zack’s word stab themselves into me so bluntly? Since when was I so damn weak? I bite my lip and try to swallow the lump in my throat. No, I’m not upset. I’m not. I’m just angry. I don’t get upset, I just don’t. As I finally reach the front door and go to grab its handle, something barges against me, almost knocking my heart out of my throat.

“Effie! There you are.” I’ve never been so thankful to hear Aiden’s voice in my life. He pauses as he scans my face. “Are you all right?”

“Aiden, he--he… I don’t know, I’m just angry, I’m--Can we just get out of here?” I choke.

Aiden doesn’t ask any more questions. He nods, grabs my hand and leads me outside.

I need to stop this. I’m embarrassing myself. Zack is just a mindless pig who was stropping because for once in his life, he got turned down. I just need to forget about him, about the whole situation. It’s as easy as that. So why is the world whirling so violently I feel I could fly off any second? I can’t let myself cry, I can’t even let my eyes water. I need to distract myself, and so I gaze down at my feet as they stumble down the road.

“Hey!”

We’ve only been walking a minute when the sound of a deep voice causes Aiden and me to stop in our tracks. I hadn’t noticed until now, but Aiden has his phone in his hands, and the voice causes him to look up from it.

“Excuse me, hey!”

Aiden glances at me before narrowing his eyes and searching the darkness around us. That’s when a sudden thought hits me. What if it’s Zack? What if he’s going to start all over again, and embarrass me in front of Aiden? I’m about to say something when a figure emerges from behind some bushes a few hundred yards away, and starts jogging towards us. What on earth…?

As the figure approaches, as well as realising that he’s running bloody damn fast, I realise that he has a striking resemblance to Zack Maddox. I swallow. It’s him, it has to be. You know what? I’m glad it’s him. I want to tell him where to shove it. I’m being stupid if I let him upset me, and the anger bubbling up inside of me needs to be released. The figure’s yards away now, and I realise I was wrong because it’s not Zack. It’s Robbie Morrissey.

“I need to use your phone!” he’s yelling before he even reaches us.

Robbie doesn’t even stop, let alone wait for an answer. He grabs Aiden’s phone right from his hand, and sprints back towards the shrubbery he came from. What the hell? Aiden’s stammering and before I know it, I’m sprinting and shouting after Robbie. As I make my way behind the bushes to find him, I spot another recognisable figure. There he is then. Zack Maddox: half-lying, half-sitting against a bin. I stop and Aiden arrives behind me, gasping for air.

As my eyes grow accustomed to the light, I notice how Zack’s appearance is even worse than it was in the bathroom. His eyes are shut so I can’t see if they’re more bloodshot, but his face is far paler, his eyes are drowning in the dark shadows underneath them, and his lips look scaly. He’s eerily silent, and as what previously happened in the bathroom replays in my mind, I realise that the lump in my throat has gone. Now I’m just angry. Really bloody angry.

“What’s your phone’s password?” Robbie demands, turning to Aiden. He swears as he enters an incorrect pin. “I think he’s taken too much of something. He’s not--”

“Like hell are you getting his phone password!” I scoff before Aiden can even think to say something.

“Just tell me what it is, you twat! I need to call for help, he--”

I cut him off again. “No, we don’t even know you! It’s his fault if he’s gotten himself completely hammered, and he deserves the crap he gets into because of it. He’s vile enough to deserve it. It’s his problem, not mine, so no, I won’t let you steal my friend’s phone to help some conceited idi--”

“He’s not breathing!”

And with that, Robbie finally gets Aiden's password.

* * * * *

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Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:31 am
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Gravity wrote a review...



Hey! Gravity here for a review!
I saw the second chapter of this in the greenroom, so I decided to check out Chapter 1
I'm reviewing as I go along, so the positive stuff will come last.

Whenever I’m looking in on a crowd from the outside
This is a minor mistake tons of people make. Using the words "Whenever" or "Anyways" or "Anyway" comes off (to me) as unprofessional and awkward sounding. So maybe try using "When" or "Sometimes when"

As I’m staring through an enormous window at the herd of teenagers laughing and grinding against each other like animals in heat, all I can think about is how they’ll all be rotting underground some day.
Another minor mistake. You have a run on sentence that's difficult to piece apart. Try separating the two ideas. "As I stare through the enormous windows at the herd of laughing teenagers outside, they grind against each other like animals in heat. All I can think about is how the'll be rotting underground some day."

I step onto the porch with Aiden standing so close that I fear he might start morphing into me, and as I open the door and enter the house, the sound of an intense dubstep song almost deafens me. Aiden pulls me inside as he pushes his way through the crowd of people I was gazing at moments ago. He leads me to the kitchen, although it takes him a good ten minutes to actually find the kitchen as neither of us have been in this house before.
You repeat the word "as" several times here. Try replacing some of them with "while he" or "He simultaneously does this and this" etc.

“Aiden, you’d probably have sex with a toaster if there wasn’t a risk of you being electrocuted.”
YES. PERFECT!

“Last door on the left,” Zack says as he smirks again. “Or you could just go to the empty bedroom I’ve got waitin’ upstairs.”
I'm not homophobic or everything but it seems like everyone in this story is gay or bisexual. There isn't any problem with this but wouldn't one of the most popular guys in school be ostracized for being gay?

“God, what is wrong with me? You’re freakin’ hideous, I must be more wasted than I thought!” He’s still laughing.
Can. I. Please. Punch. Him. Now.

I’m no closer to finding Aiden. I have no choice; I’m going to have to get out of here on my own.
Wouldn't he have a phone to try and call Aiden?

As for that, I found now more mistakes. Your novel is amazing, I'm intrigued and you can pretty much plan on getting a review from me for every other chapter. I loved this, it was funny and awesome and your characters and imagery were so realistic. I loved it. I also want to applaud you writing this novel, I never could do anything like this.

XOXO,
Gravity




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Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:26 am



Hi I just wanted to tell you that I love you're story and I'm going to catch on the other chapters to.Keep it up c:




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Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:20 am
Renard wrote a review...



Whoa!

Great opening line. I love it, you really know how to hook a reader. You obviously have a great sense of humour and that really shows in your writing.
Best line: “Who keeps marshmallows in the fridge anyway? That’s just weird.” :) As a fan of marshmallows, I completely agree.
Your observational comedy (especially of teenage boys) is amazing: “Aiden, you’d probably have sex with a toaster if there wasn’t a risk of you being electrocuted.”
The ending is really dramatic; and you've left me desperate to know: does he die? Dun, dun, dun.
No faults in grammar, punctuation etc. from what I can tell.
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G
I'm off to read the other chapters. :)




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Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:38 am
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MiaParamore says...



Hey!

I know I am like really late. But then I had to comment. Basically, I won't review since you've got bucket loads of them already.

So, I would just like to say that I actually liked the chapter. I am not sure where this story is headed, but knowing you, I am sure it will be something fantastic.

My only problem maybe was identifying the MC's gender. I know he's a guy and maybe that was somewhere at the back of my mind, but if I had no inkling there were instances it was hard to guess since his name doesn't really pass a hint, at least not for me.

Otherwise, you're a rockstar so need I say more. Looking f'ward to read the next chapter. :)




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Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:59 am
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Iggy wrote a review...



Hey bby, Iggy here to deliver Secret Santa reviews that were never given! <3

My first note is that you started this off so perfectly, like, I laughed so hard. I think I have a a favorite character!

and everyone I know have come up with theories.


Have? Has? Hmm.. I feel like "has" would be a better substitute, by I suggest you play around with that and see what you like best!

Hecouldtone it down a bit though.


Ahh.. There we go again with the evil italics. Fix 'em all. ;)

Andrea’s shooing Aiden away, and once he’s gone, she leads me to a door in the corner of the library.


What? You just said her name was Angela. Typo? :P

Miss Euphegenia Evian


Hey, at least she wasn't saddled with "Ben Dover." ^^

Call me Preston, by the way.


I like Zack better.

#


Hashtag YOLO.

I loved the way it ended! You have an excellent way of starting and ending chapters, Skinz. I'm jealous.

Yeah, I was right. Aiden is definitely my favorite character. He is making me die, ohmygosh.

So! Zack - Preston? - is definitely waaaay different. For one, when sober, kinda sexy. Two, seems he actually has some intelligence, and class at that. Who knew? I hope we will grow to like him. And let me guess, he's the one who saved her, yes?

As usual, few errors. A steadily written flow, great imagery, and excellent humor. I love how you are making the readers laugh, so keep that up! Just fix those nitpicks. :) On to chapter three.

Remember - just keep writing!

~ Iggy.




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Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:44 am
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GryphonFledgling wrote a review...



Pssst. Hello darling, remember me?

I realize I'm very late to the game, but I want to read your new chapter and I can't do that without reading what came before and while I'm here, I might as well review, no?

I'll try not to overtly repeat anything in the reviews, but bear with me. Again, late to this party.

And that window... dang, that is some nice shit... but I do sort of fancy--and this may stun you now, so be prepared--actually, like, entering the house as well as staring at it.

I love this. I love this so much. The way it just completely breaks the angst and tension of the first few paragraphs. Very style-defining, very tone-setting. Just... gwah. Love it.

I just think they’re damn good fun

So wait, just a few lines ago, Effie was talking about how she was only here so that Aiden didn't have to be alone. Is it only this party in particular that she doesn't want to be at? If so, clarifying that a little would be awesome. As is, the beginning makes Effie seem like she didn't like parties as a rule, but then this line allows her to genuinely enjoy them. Which is it? Just a little more fleshing out or clarification, that's all.

Similar issues with the whole Zack confrontation in the bathroom. We get so little of Effie and what we do get is pretty much cold indifference/morbid-almost-depression, when she suddenly is very strongly affected by Zack's intrusion. Anger and hurt, which just seemed out of character. Perhaps a little more reaction and development of Effie? I really liked that you pretty much went with the physical reactions the emotions produced, but since they are really the first inklings of strong emotions, they just came out of left field. Before, it's just been bored observation and maybe a bit of annoyance, feeling very detached from what was going on. Then her insecurity kicks in and it's so unexpected that I was a bit jarred out of the happenings. skolir mentions that the bathroom scene is the best in the chapter, and I would agree (though I still love the beginning so much) because we are really seeing what is happening to Effie as it is happening, instead of that filter of bored detachment she was oozing before. I'm not saying you can't have both, but the visceral nature of the bathroom scene was what made it so intense - because you could feel what was happening, instead of just watching it.

Also, is there a reason everyone but Effie and Aiden are referred to by their first and last names together? Is it like how we always call celebrities by their entire names (like, when was the last time you heard Robert Downey Jr. referred to as anything but)? I'm not really criticizing, just more trying to parse out. If so, it's a really neat idea.

Long story short, I liked this. I'm curious, which is always a good thing, about these people. I want to know what led up to all this and where it is planning on going.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line.

~Gryph




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Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:27 pm
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EmilieHaugaard wrote a review...



Hello :)

This is so good !!! I felt completely drawn into the story. It is beautifully written. I like the humorous parts, very funny, but everything thing else is sooo good too, the drama the characters, THE ENDING ! I should really start reading the next chapters :) Well done!!




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Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:58 pm
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skorlir wrote a review...



Take with salt; mind the edges.

I can't read this without starting to review, so I'm just going to chronicle my adventure as it unfolds.

First thoughts: Your narration reads, so far, like an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Which is an excellent show (and hilarious, and Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame makes it big on that show).

I've digressed already. -_-'

Editing notes:

Strikeouts are suggested removals; green things are insertions and (asides); red things are moved to blue copies; asterisks denote small grammar insertions/changes; things surrounded in brackets are single letter corrections.

Sometimes I'll be standing somewhere and realise that everyone around me will be dead one day.


I'm an American. "Realise" and "recognise" and other words may be spelled with an 's' instead of a 'z' by old British authors, but my browser and Microsoft Word (admittedly both American software) do not recognize them as words. Not necessarily to say you must revise, but I perceive these spellings as mildly pretentious; my two (American) cents.

Otherwise, good pull; good introduction. I like it. A lot.

It's just that (consider an ellipsis?) whenever I'm looking in on a crowd of people from the outside, they begin morphing into blurs of colours until they don't even resemble human beings anymore. They become these nameless creatures, and the idea of them having they have any emotions or any form of personality seems absurd because (consider if you like adding emphasis to this bit:) they are not people. They're just unrecognisable masses*,* filling up space until they die.


"Colours" with a 'u' is British spelling. And "recognisable" too. America! (If you're British, it's excusable. But Anglophiles beware, we still tar and feather suspected Tories.)

Anyway. Watch for egregiousness in your sentences. There are some words in the above paragraph which are truly unnecessary - such as "that," the third word. The text reads fine - and faster - without. Drama necessarily focuses on speedy narration and detailed dialogue (unless you're frickin' Tolstoy).

I won't mock-up every paragraph, but I focused on this one to show what corrections I might make throughout the piece in order to speed the flow.

Jesus Christ, I need to lighten up.

"Hello? Effie?" The sound of Aiden's voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "This is a lovely door and everything--heck, I wouldn't mind having a door myself one day. And that window... dang, that is some nice shit... but I do sort of fancy--and this may stun you now, so be prepared--actually, like, entering the house as well as staring at it."


Your follow up is excellent. (Your characters and narration are very British. Welshish. Whichever.)

I glare at his sarcasm, but he's too busy bouncing with excitement to even notice. This is the biggest results party there's ever been and*,* as we both received our GCSE results last week, I can't say I blame him. I asked the girls from school to come as well, but they responded by staring at me as if I'd just suggested they snack on a pile of dog crap.(?) This is Robbie Morrissey's party though: a boy whose life revolves around basking peas[a]nts such as myself in his superficial beauty to remind us all of how irreleve[a]nt we are, and how magnificent he is. Aiden would walk the earth to merely be graced by his presence*.* while I, on the other hand, think he's an egotistical arsewipe. I'm just here so Aiden didn't have to go alone.


"even" is not necessary.

Second sentence needs a comma.

The transition between the narration and the bit about Mr. Morrissey is incredibly poor - if it exists at all. You could do something so simple as a paragraph break, or extend the efforts into a full-on all-stops locomotive interchange. Smooth it over somehow. It's up to you.

Altogether, the latter part of the paragraph feels a little less than satisfactory.

I step onto the porch with Aiden standing so close that I fear he might start morphing into me, and as I open the door and step inside, the sound of an intense dubstep song almost deafens me.


Run-on. Also, why didn't she hear the dubstep from outside if it is so loud?

Aiden pulls me inside as he pushes his way through the crowd of people I was gazing at moments ago. He leads me to the kitchen, although it takes him a good ten minutes to actually find the kitchen as neither of us have been in this house before.


Again, a bit of a run-on. Your structure could be greatly helped here and before with a few well-placed commas - and perhaps more periods, separate sentences entirely.

As we enter the room a few recognisable faces catch my eye, but none of them are friendly. All of my friends (consider parentheses) (other than Aiden) think parties such as this one are merely 'an excuse for the neanderthals of society to wre[a]k havoc'. I just think they're damn good fun, and I figure that sums up why I've chosen to study my A-Levels at a sixth form college with Aiden rather than stay in school with everyone else.


Your sentences are long and stretchy in some places, but not quite run-ons. Mmmh... It reads fine. Better if you make the bit about Aiden an aside with parentheses.

Pretty sure by "wreck" you mean "wreak."

but it doesn't even take me a second to notice him he is practically standing inside Robbie Morrissey's fridge.


You have a lot of long sentences. Not necessarily a bad thing - but intersperse short and long for greater effect. REMOVE unimportant words.

The revision in the second half is in favor of active voice.

I only now clock on to who he's looking for.


"Clock on." That could be a British idiom, but I'm not acquainted. Seems awkward wording to me.

“Calm your mackerel, I’m just curious is all,” he mutters, and I only just manage to hear him over the music in the air and the marshmallows in his mouth.


Run-on, just a little. Punctuation is a beautiful thing, and you only use a limited number of marks.

Personally, I love dashes. en-dashes, em–dashes, super—dashes... They are versatile and incredibly useful. Acquaint yourself with them more intimately.

“I’d swear you’d never seen Zack Maddox in your life. I mea[n], dang, I’d tap that. I wouldn’t mind a bit of Robbie too.”

“Aiden, you’d probably have sex with a toaster if there wasn’t a risk of you being electrocuted.” I shake my head as he continues searching the room. “Besides, Zack Maddox and Robbie Morrisey are complete pricks. They use people like disposable toys.”

“They can use me any way they want,” Aiden mutters with a smirk..


Welp... Interesting turn. This bit's rather well written. The little homophobe in me is mouth agape; the rest of me is just sorta grossed out by the idea of sex with a toaster. You have one too many periods at the end of "Aiden mutters with a smirk," and "meam" should be "mean."

I remove any inappropriate images from my head before they can injure me too seriously...


This is very passive. Excite it.

Zack Maddox is Robbie Morrissey's best friend, and… well, let’s just say that while I’ve never met this kid, if I ever did, it sounds like I’d want to ram his head down a toilet bowl and repeatedly slam the lid down onto it. Aiden, on the other hand, would do just about anything to simply see him and Robbie in person.


That's quite the reaction. Goodness. Good imagery, for sure. We already know Aiden's all sycophantic super-gay for Robbie & co., so the second sentence is a bit redundant.

Aiden only just about hears me because by the time he responds, I’m already heading towards the kitchen door.


Awkward structure.

“You’re vile,” I say, failing to not to laugh as I leave the the room.


a door that indicates a bathroom.


Perhaps "a door in any way bathroom-like". Currently awk.

There are crowds of people surrounding me though and it’s impossible to hear myself think, let alone figure out where to go. My bladder feeling as if it’s about to like it will burst isn’t helping with my concentration*,* either.


Mmmh. Run-on. The second sentence has poor flow.

Or*,* to simplify things, he resembles a tramp.


“Last door on the left,” Zack says, reminding me of my current dilemma. He smirks again. “Or you could just go to the empty bedroom I’ve got waitin’ upstairs.”


Unnecessary to state the reminder reminds.

I would rather saw off my own limbs. “I think I’ll pass, thanks.”


Yep.

towards where I was indicated to go

it sort of makes me want to violently shake her into the reality of how ghastly the receiver of her admiration is.


Whoo. Both of those quotes can be far more succinct, stronger. Excite them; emphasize verbs. Activate the voice.

the door Zack said


-_- Your reader is not entirely an idiot (usually). Therefore, you do not need to keep mentioning that the door was pointed out by Zack. We get it already. It's just breaking flow now.

the gaping gap in my fringe


"Gaping gap" is... hm. Alliterative. But almost awkward. My brain cannot reconcile its appreciation for alliteration with the awkward "feel" of the descriptor. It's a weird sensation. Probably won't bother everyone else, but... Just so you know.

Just when I thought I’d gotten rid of him, I see Zack Maddox with his back against the toilet doorway.


Wait, wait, wait. Did he just barge into the bathroom? This is unclear. It took me until the next paragraph to get the inkling.

“How about a quick ten minutes?” he whispers, inching even closer.

I go to push him away, but he grabs my arms. My heart’s racing as Zack’s cold lips press against mine*;* so I squirm but he doesn’t let go. My body’s shaking and it feels like my heart’s ballooning inside of my chest as I push against him, but he won't budge. His grip tightens. Even when he finally removes his lips from mine, he doesn’t let go. I try to shout but the words are clogged in my throat, so I try again. I try again and I get nothing.

“C’mon, babe, five minutes then? Please?” He shoves his lips back against mine, this time along with his body, but I refuse to let it last longer than a second. “C’mon! Just five minutes!” he yells this time.

“Get off!” I finally scream, writhing one last time.


Best written, best flow, most excitement... This sequence gets the "superlative award" for your work.

and his dry lips are parted slightly.


He glances at me and his skin is so pale that it looks transparent.


but the rest of my body is trapped in the same position while my heart is swallowed up by my gut.


Awkward wording.

I want to run, to get out of this bathroom that now reeks of alcohol, but it’s hard to even breathe.


Excite your descriptors. "alcohol-stinking bathroom" versus "bathroom that now reeks of alcohol."

. Zack mutters something inaudible under his breath *-* and then*,* as suddenly as he appeared, he vanishes, slamming the door behind him.


Flow. Get with it. ;)

I can’t even understand what happened. My mind’s spinning so manically that I can’t remember clearly, and the longer I try to make sense of it, the more my body trembles.


Pah. Consider: "My mind is spinning manically; I can't even remember clearly. The longer I try to make sense, the stronger my body trembles." Your structure in the action sequence before was faster, better.

As I go to grab the door handle though, something barges against me,


almost knocking my heart out of my throat.


Yes. Yes yes yes. I like this clause.

So why does the world feel like it’s whirling so violently that I could fly off it any second?


Too passive. Excite. Consider: "So why is the world whirling so violently I feel I could fly off any second?"

both Aiden and me to stop in our tracks.


You don't understand how much I love you for getting your pronouns right here. They actually teach in some elementary schools that one should always say "someone and I," even as the object.

Aiden and I are both gazing into the bushes now and when I both see and hear them rustling*.* I squeeze his hand tighter.


Aww... You were doing so very well. I show a possible revision to fix the flow and bring back the magic. Do something to clarify the sequence. The tension is lost in the toilet swirl that your flow just fell into.

The both of us near the bush the figure is standing beside, and as we walk closer, I realise who the figure is.


his eyes are shut so I’m oblivious to whether they’re more bloodshot


Ex-cite! Just speed this up. Consider: "his eyes are shut - can't see whether they're more bloodshot". Removes "I'm oblivious to," still follows, generates more focus on the poor guy and puts less on Effie - all good things.

I realise that I must be stopping the blood flow in Aiden’s hand because I’m squeezing it so intensely.


Emphasize the verb - the action - by bringing it forward. Consider: "[as the replay yadda yadda], I squeeze Aiden's hand so hard I must be stopping his blood flow."

“I think he’s taken too much of something, he's not--” Robbie's speaks with immense speed before I cut him off.


When you see it...

Also, "speaks with immense speed." Consider: "shoots off." Just that. Then, to avoid redundant redundancy, you would need to change "cut him off" to "interrupt." What do you think? It's faster, it focuses entirely on the verb, even introduces metaphor.

“Really? I wouldn’t have guessed.” A bitterness I didn’t know existed arises in my voice as I watch Zack in his unconscious state.


Mmh... A few things here. Just remember what I've said before.

And with that, Robbie finally shuts me up.


Strong ending. Make it better.

Okay. This story? Excellent. It took me a very long time to really get into it. That's mostly my fault, but check your beginning paragraphs for... slower bits.

The way you detail the bathroom scene is extraordinary. Tap into it when revising other important scenes, because they just are not as good.

Be forever hortatory,

~Skorlir




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Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:42 am
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Blues wrote a review...



Hey, Skins! Bluesy here :D Sorry for being really late - I've been really busy lately. Anyway!

Firstly, there's a remarkable improvement from last time - the writing itself feels fairly polished and reading it is a joy. Anyway, onto the review.

This is the biggest results party there’s ever been and as we both received our GCSE results last week, I can't say I blame him.


Biggest results party? But they haven't had any exams like that before year 11, right? Or if it was last year's party, how come she went/knows?

This is Robbie Morrissey's party though: a boy whose life revolves around basking peasents...


Since I haven't been to a party, I want to ask whether the guests can invite others is standard protocol? But if it's pretty big, then most people in the year would be going, right?

“Aiden, you can't just come into a strangers house and eat all of his marshmalllows!"


One thing - there's not that much description on the actual party itself. You mention the dubstep music and the crowds of people, but I didn't see that much on the actual house or its surroundings or what people are doing. The setting doesn't come alive as much as I'd have liked to see it, so I don't really feel like I'm there when I read it.

Also, Robbie seems remarkably calm for the situation - I would've expected him to cut straight to the chase and asked them for a phone before explaining why (I'm surprised that he doesn't have his phone on him at party, to be honest...). Or maybe he'd be all over the place, panicking and flailing because he doesn't know what to do.

Anyway, that's all from me! Sorry about being so late. xD If you have any questions, feel free to PM me :3

Keep writing,

~Bluesy




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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there!

Sometimes I’ll be standing somewhere and realise that everyone around me will be dead one day.

I really like this opening line. It's so simple, but so powerful at the same time.

Alright, so since I was such a freaking slacker, everyone else has seemed to take care of the structure of your story so I'm just going to focus on content and the overall feel of the piece.

Aiden is a great character. Like, seriously. He's like the comedic relief of the story. Everything that comes out of his mouth is either sarcastic or hilarious. I think he's a wonderful character. Of course, no one is perfect so he could always be a bit better. No one, of course, can be sarcastic 100% of the time. So although I do love the sarcasm, you might want to tone it down a bit. Maybe do 75% and 25%; 75% sarcasm and 25% "normal" dialogue. That way he's just that bit more realistic. And it won't annoy the readers after a while. Some people can only take so much sarcasm.

Just out of curiosity (I'm not being sarcastic here), is there some reason that whenever you mention Zack and Robbie you use there whole names? Aiden is Aiden, but Zack is Zack Maddox and Robbie is Robbie Morrissey. That's fine for the first time a character is introduced, but it gets a little repetitive after a while. And it's not very realistic. Maybe it's just part of your character's personality, but I don't know very many people who go around using someone's first and last name almost every time they talk about that person. So I'd suggest toning down the two names thing. Just stick to first names after the character's are introduced.

If I'm to be completely honest here, I know absolutely nothing about the main character. Sure I know her thoughts and all that, but that's about it. I know that she has a friend named Aiden. But who is Aiden to her exactly? Are they best friends, casual friends? Does Aiden drag her places even though she doesn't want to go? If you give just a little more back story, it could change a lot. I also don't really know what she looks like. I know that she fixed her hair in the bathroom mirror, but what color is that hair? How does she like to wear her hair? These are all questions with wonderful and intriguing answers. So take advantage of that and give us some more back story.

Along those lines, I don't know much about the other characters either. So for later chapters I would suggest giving a little more detail. Really try and get into your characters and show us who they really are and why they are that way.

Overall this is a good story. I can tell already that it's an improvement from the last time you posted this. Two giant thumbs up! :) Your plot is great and I can't wait to see where the story goes.

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




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Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:18 pm
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LadySpark wrote a review...



Yo, Skinsy! Figured I'd review this since you reviewed all of Days for me :3

Since I didn't really spot any grammatical errors, I'm just going to talk about the story in general. Starting with the icky nitpicking.

Okay, so this is going to sound odd, but I'm not 100% sure on the characters gender. I feel like it's a girl, because her name is Effie, but we never get a definite. When I was just skimming it a few days ago, I thought it was about a boy, because of the title. So you need to make it very clear, even if it's subtle, that it is a girl. With the title, it's kind of confusing because you instantly assume it's a boy's POV.
Just food for thought.

Moving on. I feel like it's really far fetched that the MC hasn't ever seen Zack. I mean, they go to the same school, don't they? She may not know him, but she'll have at least seen him enough to know what he's like, don't you think? The whole exchange about Aiden tapping Zack and everything felt off, and I feel like it's really cliche that the MC hates the jock so much. It'd be much more believable if she felt pity for him, or some other emotion besides straight out hate. Maybe even a little jealousy? That someone so lousy can be so popular? She also doesn't seem to have a reason for hating him. I mean, obviously, he's a jerk, but the hatred you're spelling out here makes me feel like there's some more underlying cause. Yet, it says she's never met 'the kid'. It's very contradiction almost, to have the MC hate this character so much, yet never met him.

Also, I feel like the death of Zack happened much to quickly. We need to become attached to the character so we feel his death, yet, I don't feel it here. I just know that some jerk is dead, and his best friend wants to use the MCs cell phone to call 911. It didn't affect me in anyway, and you want it too. Even if it's a 'I'm glad he's dead omg he was such a buttwipe kind of way'. Which means the part before Zack's death needs to be dragged out just a teensy bit more. Maybe Zack tries to apologize before he leaves the bathroom and she won't hear anything he's saying, just pushes out of the bathroom and leaves, causing him to follow? Maybe she races out and Aiden finds her outside, and Zack pushes past them and they watch him die? There needs to be more interaction, because we're going on so little, and Zack's already dead.

Which leads me to my final nitpick. Zack's best friend's reaction to him not breathing. It is not believable. I don't know about you, but if my best friend was found outside, not breathing, I'd be freaking out just a little more than Robbie. He seems almost calm, and he's not panicking. I feel like if you switched it to where he raced after them, screaming about his best friend, asking if either of them had a cell phone, I'd feel Zack's death a lot more too. Cause right now, I'm kind of like, 'well is he dead? no one's acting like he's dead'. Which obviously isn't the right feeling to have.



No matter how mean I sound about your story up there, the truth is that I love it. You could leave it alone and never touch it again, or ignore my critiques and I'd still love it. You've got a great base, so keep building! :)

Let me know if you have any questions! x
Sparks




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Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:07 am
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AmeliaDay wrote a review...



The beginning really drew me in, but as I kept reading, I got a little bit confused. The back story, I feel could have been better explained. I'm American, but I'm going to assume you're not, since you use 'sixth form' and 'A-levels'. Our system is different, and I don't really understand that. Maybe explain it a bit more?
I do enjoy the humor, and I like the relationship between Aiden and Effie. However, the more I read, I got a little bit bored. The pacing was a bit strange. The ending however, was quite good. I want to read more!




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StoneHeart wrote a review...



Hey Skins, Black here for your requested review!

Oooookay! First off: I'm impressed! Your grammar is REALLY good; it really seems to go well with your story. Overall it seems to have some kind of a plot to it as well, starting with a relatively normal couple of college-age people, then going on to introduce action (well written action too), lots of great, powerfully advancing dialogue, and in the end offering something different. Original. It definitely has a lot of prospectivity!

And most important, it made me want to read more. Be careful with endings such as you used in this chapters. Yeah, hang-ups like this one are really cool, they make readers (me included) want to go read more, but if you overuse them then they'll lose their effect.

The main problems with this piece, I think, were in the amount of back-story you gave up, your spelling, which really needs help, and your characters. I'll do my best to explain exactly what's up with each of these areas, but you have to remember that it's up to you to do the hard work of taking my advise when you're done. Also, remember, this isn't an attack against your writing. I'm trying to help you (a lot of the time I get people who reply to my reviews all violent like, defending themselves against all the problems I pointed out).

So, one of the things I want to comment on is your chapter size. Now, as happy as I am to finally see properly sized novel chapter, I would like to give you a quick piece of advise. As you may well know, people on YWS tend to give much better reviews to pieces that are around 8 to 15 hundred words long. They're easier to handle, and there's usually lots to say about them! Something that I've done that I've found to be incredibly helpful is to take my chapters and break them up into pieces that are about 1200 hundred words long, on average.

I'd advise you to do the same. This chapter'd be about 3000 words more or less. You'd probably profit greatly from breaking it up into two or three parts. You could just try it on the next fairly large chapter that you post. But good work on writing a chapter this big! It's a good size.

Now, for the next problem! Your back-story. Back-story, just in case you don't know, is your character’s history. In this case I'll change the definition to just 'character information' for lack of a creative word to use. When I read this chapter (keeping a special note on the fact that it's a FIRST chapter), I can't help but notice that you write it as though you're writing a middle chapter of the book, already having already told us about your characters and given us all the time we need to get to know them.

But obviously that's not the case. I don't know what Effie's last name is! I don't know where she's from. I don't know where she is. I don't know what she studies. I don't know what colour she likes. Actually, thinking about it, I don't know of anything she likes, not even Aiden! Now yeah, you can save up the information for later on, feel free to, but at least give us some hints. Where she is at least. What her last name is for sure. If I don't know anything about your character's then its a bit hard to get to build a mental profile for them and get to know them.

And obviously, if I don't know them then I won't emphasize with them, and your story will not give me the emotional kick I want!

Okay, so another problem. From what little I know about your character's, some of the actions they do are . . . unrealistic. For them. Of course, I'm probably wrong, but some things they do just don't go with what I would think of them. I think of Effie as somebody different, not going with the flow, liking all the popular guys . . . kind of thoughtful, but serious. Smart. A powerful character, full of her own willpower. But she has weaknesses, I feel, though undefined.

Okay, so look at it this way. She starts off really thoughtful about the world, looking out at the people, she looks DOWN on them. That helps show how different she is, and powerful to be willing to do so. Then her friend jumps in (is he gay or something?), violently, and she kind of treats him as someone she's known for a long time but looks on as a kind of friendly pet. Not very smart. More willpower showing through here.

Then there's the incident with Zach in the bathroom, at first she's scornful about him, and then she gets afraid as he advances. What I don't like is the way she isn't more active in her resistance. It goes against her willpower. Her smartness (mind you here that this part of my review is just a personal opinion, a comment if you will, feel free to disregard it if it does not apply!). Then later on she starts showing her weakness, running out of the house, ready to leave her friend behind. Finally she runs into Robbie. Here it feels wrong.

She's just seen what these kind of kids will do, but she's still bitter and scornful toward him and Zach. That's going against her running and not fighting. Is she somehow more confident with Aiden around (he doesn't sound like the comforting type to me -in way). It seems like she should be more afraid for him. Just a comment, as I said! Feel free to disregard it if I'm wrong! (But you've got some great characters! Different! Nice work!).

Okay, now I'm going to get to your spelling (and few grammar) problems! What I'm going to do, as I usually do, is give you examples of problems that you have, then I'm going to solve them on a base level, and I'll wind up by giving you a general solution to the problem! Mind you though that I'm only going to be pointing out a few of your spelling problems – you've got quite a few! Here goes!

Sometimes I’ll be standing somewhere and realise that everyone around me will be dead one day.

I know that sounds pretty screwed up and morbid, but I really can’t help thinking it. It’s just that whenever I’m looking in on a crowd of people from the outside, they begin morphing into blurs of colours until they don’t even resemble human beings anymore.


Okay, first off here: Something you should realize is that there are a number of variations of the spellings of different words . . . you spell 'realise' with an 's' and I've only ever seen it spelled with a 'z'. Something you might want to be aware of. Also, you're starting this chapter sloppily. The opening lines of a novel are very important, because many people thinking of buying your book will flip it open at read a few opening lines, and then maybe a few random lines from the middle. Beginning lines should always draw people in! Make them want more! If they don't then you may well lose a prospect . . . and that won't do.

The subject of this chapter's beginning is really good! You just state it in a boring, emotionless way. Your way of being so withdrawn from things just kills the intrigue. What do I mean? You use 'Sometimes', 'and realise', 'a window'. You have to be more personal, and use stronger words. Let me re-write it for you and see if I can show you what I mean.

They're all going to be dead one day.

I stare through the dusty window at the mass of surging kids in the room below me, dancing madly to a pounding dub-step beat. I can't help thinking about that fact, as morbid and screwed up as it is.

Whenever I look at those people down below me, alive and violent as they are, their bodies all just seem to blur together in my vision, turning them into one, massive, surging mass.


Okay, I said the same thing as you did, just with different words and a more personal style. Try it!

"Hello? Effie?" The sound of Aiden's voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "This is a lovely door and everything, heck, I wouldn't mind having a door myself one day. And that window... dang, that is some nice shit... but I do sort fo fancy--and this may stun you now, so be prepared--actually, like, entering the house as well as stare at it."


Okay, so your style here isn't at all bad, neither is your way of presenting it . . . but you have to give us something about Aiden before you have him take off droning on and on about the house. Don't refer to him second hand! Be on top of what he's saying! 'Aiden says behind me', not 'Aiden's voice' -did I mention that 'Aiden' is spelled 'Ayden'? (In my version anyway!). Be more personal! More on top of what's going on . . . possibly a bit less attached to your character!

As we enter the room, a few recognisable faces catch my eye, but none of them are friendly.All of my friends other than Aiden think parties such as this one are merely 'an excuse for the neanderthals of society to wreck havoc'. I just think they're damn good fun, and I figure that sums up why I've chosen to study my A-Levels at a sixth form college with Aiden rather than stay in school with everyone else.


Again, keep an eye on variations of words. To me, 'recognisable' is spelled with a 'z'. And another thing. You should always put a space after a period before you start a new sentence. :P What's with the apostrophe's on the end of 'havoc' and the beginning of 'an'? . . . they don't make sense. Look into it! And another thing, she scorns Zack and Robbie, she seems a serious smart person, but she thinks these parties are 'fun'. She doesn't really seem to go with the flow! This goes against what I think of her! And isn't college a form of school?

“I’m going to use the bathroom a sec,” I say to Aiden, who’s still hopelessly scanning the kitchen for Zack Maddox as he drowns his lack of succsess in marshmallows.“You might want to move on to the next room.”


'succsess' isn't a word . . . I believe you mean 'success'. Right? Watch your spelling, you have a lot of problems with it – I only don't point them out because it's a bore to do so!

I remove any inappropriate images from my head before they even get there, and then turn away from my friend.


How can you remove something from your mind before it's even there? You need to re-phrase this here sentence!

“Aiden, he--he… I don’t know, he wouldn’t get off me, and I--I…Can we just get out of here?” I manage through a choke.


Okay, if I grabbed her from behind and began to squeeze her throat then he could 'manage through a choke'. In this case I think you mean to say 'I manage to choke out'. It's always a good idea to read your work aloud to yourself before you post it . . . it helps to find mistakes that otherwise go right over your normal read through! Make sure you concentrate on exactly what you want when you do!

My advise to you is that you be careful to read your work out loud to yourself before you post it, get a good grammar and spelling checker, and be sure to revise. Doing that should eliminate pretty much all of your grammar and spelling mistakes. The other 10% you can leave for me.

For your other problems. It really helps to try to define what you want your characters to be, even writing a profile for them if you want to. When you're writing a scene make sure you view at as a SCENE not a chapter, and plan what you want to happen in that scene. Do you want the story plot to advance a step? Do you want it to recede a step? Do that and your character's will improve significantly.

For your description it really helps to make a habit of putting little add-ons in paragraphs. She's walking down the street, make her 'glance' up at the houses, or notice a 'startlingly blue newspaper with the date 2/12/3201 written across the top' . . . doing little things like that really help to build up the story world, and they help to show what your character does and does not see in the world.

Anyway, I think this review is big enough! Good work on it, many of the aspects of your writing are EXEMPLARY, and you have a great idea going here. I think that, if you're satisfied with this review I might move on and spend a bit of time reviewing some other chapters. I liked it that much, yes! Remember: KEEP WRITING – Writer's advance by practising their craft. Don't expect classes and books to get you as far as real field practice can!

Good luck!

P.s. If you want to reply to this review, or would like another, feel free to PM me or post on my WRFF thread!


~Black~






XD< it looks like twit took care of looking up all of your mistakes!





XD< it looks like twit took care of looking up all of your mistakes!



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Twit wrote a review...



Hello, my Skinsuit.


Sometimes I’ll be standing somewhere and realise that everyone around me will be dead one day.

I’m glad it’s not just me that has these thoughts.


As I'm staring through an enormous window at the herd of teenagers laughing and grdinding against each other like animals in heat, all I can think about is how they'll all be rotting underground some day.

Typos, my strange child.


"Hello? Effie?" The sound of Aiden's voice snaps me out of my thoughts. "This is a lovely door and everything, heck, I wouldn't mind having a door myself one day. And that window... dang, that is some nice shit... but I do sort fo fancy--and this may stun you now, so be prepared--actually, like, entering the house as well as stare at it."

Have a dash instead of a comma after ‘everything’.
Fo=of
Stare=staring


I look at him plainly in an attempt to show him my lack of amusement towards his sarcasm, but he's too busy literally bouncing with excitment to even notice.

Should be ‘excitement’. This sentence feels like you’re tripping over yourself with excess wording—the first clause could be just ‘I glare at him’. (I’m not sure exactly what looking at someone plainly signifies, but glaring shows displeasure—or, if that’s too strong, frowning or scowling.)


It is just about the biggest results party there’s ever been though and as we both received our GCSE results last week, I can't say I balme him.

I’d cut the ‘though’ as it’s draggy. And typo.


This is Robbie Morrissey's party though, whose parties Aiden would walk the entire length of the earth to attend, not that either of us have actually met the boy before.

There’s too much in this one sentence and it’s cluttered. You introduce Robbie Morrissey, but remember that I’ve no idea who he is, so you could end this after the second comma and give more detail on Robbie. Like, But this is Robbie Morrissey’s party, and Aiden would walk the entire length of the earth to stand in his shadow. (Or similar, because I’m not sure why Aiden is so desperate to attend—is it because he likes Robbie and Robbie’s a really swell dude, or because he throws parties the Mad Hatter would envy?) Not that either of us have actually met Robbie Morrissey. He tends to float above lesser mortals like a holy star, bathing in the light of his own excellence and surrounded by adoring angels who remind him just how great his hair is. If you give us detail now, we learn not just about Robbie, but also about Effie and her attitude towards him and this whole escapade.


I step onto the porch with Aiden so close beside me that I think he genuinely may end up morphing into me, and as I open the door and step inside, the deafening sound of an intense dubstep song intrudes my ears.

Repetition.
‘Intrudes my ears’ sounds awkward. ‘Intrude’ is too passive for what I imagine is really loud music, and even if you kept it, it should be ‘intrudes upon my ears’, but that doesn’t sound much better.


Aiden pulls me inside as we push our way through the crowd of people I found myself gazing at moments ago, and among several unskilled dancemoves, he leads me to the kitchen.

Sentence is too long and windy. Also, how is Aiden pulling Effie while they’re both pushing other people?


Although, it takes him a good ten minutes to actually find the kitchen as neither of us hae ever been in this house before.

Beginning with ‘although’ is awkward. Suggest reword. Also, typo.


I more or less jog towards the fridge and yank him out, shooting him a hard glare.

Why ‘more or less’? If you were implying great speed, ‘jog’ implies a casual run, not a frantic one. Also, it’s a bit redundant to say ‘hard glare’ as all glares are hard—if it were a soft glare it would be worth commenting on.


His mouth is seeping with some kind of pinkish coloured foam, and I'm just about to question my own sanity when I notice a packet of marshmallows in his hand.

This makes it sound like he has rabies. :mrgreen:


“Aiden, you can't just come into a strangers house and eat all of his marshmalllows!" I snap before narrowing my eyes. "Who keeps marshmallows in the fridge anyway? That's just weird."

The bolded bit feels tacked on. Suggest delete. Also, too many ls in the first ‘marshmallows’.


“Calm your mackerel, I’m just curious is all,” he mutters, and I only just manage to hear him over the music and the marshmallows in his mouth.

This syntax suggests he has music and marshmallows in his mouth.


“They can use me any way they want,” Aiden mutters with a smirk as two dimples sink into his cheeks.

This makes it sound like the dimples are something weird happening separate from his smile. If it’s important we know that he has dimples, slip that info in more smoothly. Maybe just ‘Aiden smirks until his dimples show’ or something.


I spin around to find a figure leaning against the wall behind me, and before long, I recognise exactly who it is from the countless photos and videos I've seen on social networking sites.

This makes it sound like quite a long time has passed.


Once I’m done using the toilet, I look into the mirror and cringe as two green eyes stare back at me. I don't think I've ever looked any paler, and instead of my ash blonde waves falling to my waist in a controlled manner, it looks as if I've been standing in the middle of a wind tunnel for an hour.

This makes it sound like there are two green eyes just randomly in the mirror looking back at her. And, seriously, if she has waist-length hair, why hasn’t she tied it back or something? I have enough difficulty keeping my hair tidy, and that doesn’t even reach my elbows. Also ‘controlled manner’ is a weird way to describe hair.


I whip my head around at the sound of a vaguely recognisable voice, which is followed by an ecstatic boom of laughter.

‘Ecstatic’ clashes with ‘boom’. ‘Peal’ would sound better, but ‘ecstatic’ is an odd word to use.


Just when I thought I’d gotten rid of him, I see Zack Maddox with his back against the toilet doorway. Before I can say anything, he shouts something else at whoever’s on the other side of the door.

It’s unclear exactly where everyone is. It sounds like Zack just materialised into the bathroom without using the door.

Also, I’m picturing Zach like George from Lizzie Bennett Diaries. ^_^


“Don’t worry, I’ve seen plenty of them before,” he says as he nods at my crotch.

This could be streamlined into ‘he says, nodding at my crotch’.



I go to push him away, but he grabs my arms. My heart’s racing and as it attempts its next beat, Zack’s dry lips are pressed against mine.

Awkward phrase.


I squirm again.

Too calm! Also, why isn’t she screaming?


His face appears almost vacant as if emotions are an entirely foreign concept to him, and the dark shadows under his eyes are enhanced by the dim lighting in the bathroom.

Not very helpful description—I don’t see how it fits.


As I make my way through the crowds and head towards the front door, my thoughts glue themselves to Zack Maddox.

Awkward phrasing.


“Aiden, he--he… I don’t know, he wouldn’t get off me, and I--I…Can we just get out of here?” I manage through a choke.

Clunky wording. You could say ‘I manage, choking’ or other.


I need to find something to concentrate on, and so I gaze down at my feet as they toddle down the road that leads outside the house’s grounds.

Too flippant for the current tone.


His eyes are shut so I’m oblivious to as of whether they’re more bloodshot, but his face is far paler, the shadows under his eyes have devoured his eyelids, and his lips look scaly.

Weird phrasing.


“You don’t understand,” Robbie interrupts, and this time, he sounds angry. “He’s not breathing.”

Given the severity of the situation, I’d expect him to be more than angry. This is far too calm.

---
A lot of your sentences are too wordy. It’s difficult to find different ways of saying the same thing, but there’s rarely a true need to dress something simple up in writerlyness—if someone’s glaring at someone, just say that they’re glaring at someone. Each word carries its own weight and connotations, so using three appropriate words is far more powerful than using ten irrelevant ones, and will create a clearer picture in the reader’s mind of what’s happening.

I think that’s my main criticism—cutting down the word-foliage and getting right to what you want to say and choosing each word so it fits perfectly with the tone and image that you’re aiming for. Otherwise, it was just the amount of typos that was distracting.

I like Effie; she has a real and believable voice, and she and Aiden play off each other well. She’s more consistent than I remember from the draft I read a while back, and on characters and dialogue and pacing, there’s very little to pick at. It’s just the everyday prose that needs smoothing out, and some more description would be nice, some colour and sensory detail to make the scene come alive.

-twit




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Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:48 am
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Gabriellemarice99 wrote a review...



Hey I'm Gabby and I love this!

First, I love the personality of the two characters, and the relationship between them. You really show that in the beginning paragraphs. The opening line was fantastic along with the first paragraph it really caught my attention. I may like it because I'm a bit morbid myself, who knows! ;)

Also, I thought the pacing was really good and love the originality in your writing. You show rather than tell and I really love that. I love your use of figurative language and the tension at the end really hooks the reader. I can't wait to read more from you!

XOXO Gabby




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Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:53 am
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Hannah wrote a review...



Hey Skinsy~

Here's the first thing I noticed:

we’ll both end up screwed.”

“Ooh, kinky.”


Sob. I really hope there aren't anymore easy, worn out jokes like this in the piece.
That was my first impression. D: Sob sob.

Okay! So after reading once through, I can say that I think you writing is strong for the most part. You want to try to avoid things like this:

my thoughts glue themselves to Zack Maddox.


Your thoughts are not animate and therefore cannot glue themselves to anything, Miss Narrator. Avoid personification of things that have no reason to be personified. I know you're trying to find new way to say things, but sometimes it ends up like this and then it just sounds kind of ridiculous.

I'm also wondering why you included that fence jumping scene in the first place if it's completely unnecessary. I kind of understand building a character that way, but it's also frustrating for a brand new reader to have invested in that scene, started to get comfortable with characters, and find out it was completely pointless time. Consider starting in a different place?

I'm glad there was finally some tension at the end. Also consider moving faster through the party so you can engage your readers with the tension more quickly. Otherwise they might start to think, "oh great another party story" and move on before they get to the interesting part.

So! ~ Yep! Here's your review, Skins.
Lemme know if you have questions, comments, or want anything else reviewed.
Good luck!




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Deanie wrote a review...



Hi there Skins,

So you have some good feedback on this first chapter already, and I'll try not to repeat what they've already said.

First off, I really like the personality of the two characters, and the relationship between them. You showed that wonderfully in the beginning paragraphs. The opening line was brilliant, as was the first paragraph.

Then we got into the party. I would've liked to see Effie, or Aiden talking to other people they know, not just sticking to themselves. I agree with Stella there. I liked the dramatic scene with Effie's confused feelings, and I think you portrayed that really well. And lastly it was an interesting ending to the chapter because last lines like that keep the reader hooked on to reading the next chapter.

I think towards the end Robbie should've been a bit more panicked. I mean, the person he's with is not breathing! If someone was there not breathing I would usually start with the "He's not breathing, I need your phone!", instead of the calm "I think he's taken too much of something."

As a whole, it was a nice read, and an interesting beginning! Keep posting :)

Deanie x




Deanie says...


Oh dear, what an old review...



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Iggy wrote a review...



Skins, mah maaaaaaan. Iggy here to deliver requested review.~

[...]grinding against each other like a bundle of caged animals on heat[...]


"On heat" or "in heat"? ;)

I turn back to Aiden to see his grey eyes warily scanning[...]

Aiden watches me warily.


Both were used in the same paragraph! I suggest replacing the second "warily" with a synonym to help spice it up.

“Can’t you just, like, tuck it in or something?” I try offering, but Aiden’s eyes widen in response as if I’ve just asked him to chop it off.


That part! Omg, made me bust up laughing.

I realise exactly who it is. There’s a subtle smirk on Zack Maddox’s face as I gaze at him[...]


How exactly does she know it's Zack if she's never met him before? That part seems a bit shifty to me, a bit unrealistic.

Even when he finally removes his lips form mine, he doesn’t let go.


Form, or from? ;)

I need to stop this.I’m embarrassing myself.


You'll need a space in between those sentences.

So! We might be dealing with a complete jerk who's a bit too pushy, an alcoholic and druggie, and is becoming comatose? Interesting concept! I can't wait to see what happens next. Will Effie help? Will Aiden cry and fall to his knees at the sight of the gorgeous yet unconscious man before him?

One thing I want to warn you on is whenever you italicize something, be sure to see what the space between the words is there, whether it ends in a period or not.For example,I mean this.It makes everything looked cramped and I'm claustrophobic. Is that even a valid excuse? x3

Another thing was the ending sentence, or rather, dialogue, with Robbie speaking. "He isn't breathing." So calm and simple, as if Zack was just taking a nap. I thought that was a bit off putting and out of character. If Robbie doesn't care enough to sound scared and panicked, then why is he asking a stranger for her cell phone to call an ambulance?

Overall, it was a nice beginning chapter and I can't wait to read the next! Hit me up when it's posted.

~ Iggy.




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StellaThomas wrote a review...



Hey Skins! Firstly, I find it amusing that you're called Skins and your MC is called Effie. What's Effie even short for anyway? It's a cool name though!

There's a few clarification issues needed. Like why they didn't think they were invited, it's a bit silly. Like why neither of them have ever met Zack Maddox before- what? Don't they go to school together? Is he, like, some celebrity? I just couldn't get my head around that at all and I didn't like how it played out. So that puzzled me. I also couldn't understand- did they not know ANYONE at the party? They don't seem to. It's all a bit odd.

Further on in the story... the assault scene was pretty scary. I liked Effie's reaction, it seemed realistic- wrong, but wrong in a realistic kind of way if that makes sense. There was no logic to how she felt and I thought you handled it really well.

I'm assuming the "faggot" that Zack refers to is Aiden but I don't remember you actually ever mention it afterwards? Seems like a loose end- maybe it gets tied up later!

Overall I did like it well enough. The opening line was good, but I felt it lost its lustre since she's not actually standing in a room full of people thinking about them being dead. I almost felt like it'd be better, if you're going to begin with that, to start once they're actually in the party and she's in the room watching everybody and thinking about them being dead. As it is it's just sort of random and out there.

Erk, but mostly I don't have a lot to say! Characters could be a little more fleshed out- Aiden and Effie seem to be suffering from the "I only have one friend" thing which always gets to me in stories, everybody has more than *one* person in their lives, family or frenemy or whatever. So having a few more thoughts about other people might be a good idea, and Effie's general opinions on the party she so wanted to go to!

Hope I helped, drop me a note if you need anything!

-Stella




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ArcticMonkey wrote a review...



Hiya Skinsy! Here to review as requested (and on review day, which makes this extra special) :D

Alright, so what I really enjoyed about this was your style. When I realised this was written in the present tense I was a bit wary, because I’ve seen so many pieces written in the present tense and they just don’t sound very good, but this was executed very well. And more on the style of your writing, it’s really sort of absorbing which makes it really easy to read, and I found myself by the end really wanting to read more!

So I think that your plot is pretty interesting, you left it at a really big cliff hanger which was good. I don’t really think the story started in the right place. I mean, I thought it was going to get straight into the action, and the whole awkward scene with Zack was a bit sudden. I man, it just seemed to happen and it was all a bit weird. I still think it was an important part to the story, but maybe not go straight into it? Also, I think you need to show in that scene a bit more that Zack seems a bit iffy. You’ve sort of already mentioned his eyes, but to go from that state to unconscious seemed a bit too sudden.

I think your characters were really good. You’ve been really good at showing, and not telling by using dialogue and actions to show what the characters are like. I thought that was a strong point of this. Also, I liked how Zack was introduced through dialogue between too characters rather than in the interior monologue. I think it’s important that you keep that up with following chapters, and I’d also like to know more about Robbie Morrissey (epic last name). Not necessarily in this chapter, but in the next ones.

Lastly, I thought the pacing was really good! I sort of mentioned this before, but it was really easy to read, yet you used interesting language. You varied you sentence structures which was really good! Also, hehe your name is Skins and your MC is Effie ;) (Just had to be mentioned)

Anyways, I hope this helped! In all honestly, I found it quite hard to pick faults because I actually thought it was really good. Be sure to PM me with the next chapter.

Keep Writing!
-Arc x




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Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:51 pm
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xxxXanthexxx wrote a review...



Hey, Xanthe here

I really liked this this chapter. It was really good how you managed to put the right amound of description and thought/emotion into it. The starting paragraph was quite different and I didn't expect it to end up going into a party scene but it made me read it. I also liked the cliff hanger at the end.

I didn't see too much wrong with this. All I can say is maybe that when you aren't using dialouge to not use words like don't for example but do not.

Overall, I thought this was really good and well written. I would like to read more of your work. Im really glad i found this and keep writing!





cron
"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."
— Albus Dumbledore