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(Undecided) #1: Ch. 1-5

by skylnn00writes

Chapter 1

"Forty-two, get your head out of your ass and hustle! This isn't a walk on the beach with your girlfriend!" I hear my coach's words, but I can't seem to process them. My vision goes in and out of focus, and I stumble as I walk across the field.

"Adam, you alright?" My buddy Josh asks as he comes up to me. I must have nodded my head, because he pats me on the back a bit too hard before jogging away.

I take off my sauna of a helmet and feel the heat of the sun beat down on my face. The last thing I remember seeing is the world dip and sway before I fall over and black out.

"Payne! Payne, wake up!" Coach Evans grips my shoulder firmly and rattles me awake. I feel water run into my mouth and trickle down my throat. My head throbs with every small movement. I gradually peel my eyes open and squint at the bright sun.

"Dehydrated again, Adam. What did I tell you about getting liquids in your body, especially during practice?"

"Huh?" My eyes wander towards the source of the voice, only to find the athletic trainer hovering over me.

"Can you hear me?" She inquires a little louder than needed. The commotion around me makes my head feel like someone is ramming a sledgehammer into my skull repeatedly.

"Yes, I hear you." I mumble.

"You should be fine, but stay hydrated, Adam." She advises before carrying her fragile looking body off the field. I prop myself up on my elbow and take another sip of water, and cringe at the burning sensation it creates in my throat.

"Get him to the bench. As for the rest of you, hurry up and finish drills!" Coach Evans voice rings in my ears louder than his whistle. Two pairs of rough, meaty hands grab me by the shoulders and practically lift me up themselves. I hobble my way over to the bench, and plop myself down. I sit with my head in my hands until practice is over.

Later that night at the dinner table, an unsettling feeling sat in my stomach. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't shake it.

"I got a call from the school nurse today. You passed out during practice?" My mother says calmly. She says it in such a tone that makes me hate her even more. I glance over at my father who sits across from me. I see the anger growing on his face and I immediately lower my gaze to my untouched plate of food.

"I was dehydrated." As I speak, the words taste sour in my mouth and they barely come out as a whisper. My father slams his fist down on the table violently, making my glass of water ripple, and I flinch.

"What have I told you COUNTLESS TIMES!?" My father barks. I could immediately tell what was coming. His words slur out and he wreaks of alcohol. I try to brace myself, but no amount of time could ever prepare me.

"I know you guys don't support my football career but-"

"There is no such thing as a football career!" He growls at my face, and I detect a slight hint of a mimicking tone. I hear his chair skid against the wood floor and fall back as he bolts up from his seat.


"Shut the hell up, Anna!" My mother rolls her eyes in annoyance, wonders over to the liquor cabinet, removes a red bottle, and proceeds upstairs. Moments later, a door slams and the sound of a TV blasting follows. My heart races uncontrollably.

"You are going to quit that stupid waste of time, got it kid?" My father gnarls through gritted teeth. I can tell he isn't in the mood to beat me tonight. I take that to my advantage as I stand up as well with clenched fists. I have suffered in silence for far too long, and it's time to speak up.

"Those are my dreams, dad. I'm not going to quit and you can't make me!" I immediately knew I had the wrong idea and regretted ever opening my mouth. My dad lunges at me, but luckily I'm faster. I knock my chair down in front of him in hopes to slow him down and dart upstairs. I hear the chair break behind me, but I don't stop to look back. I sprint into my room and lock the door behind me. I push my heavy dresser in front of it just as my dad starts pounding on the door. My hands shake and I back away, bumping into my bed.

"OPEN UP NOW!" He yells. The dresser starts to shake back and forth a bit, so I force my desk in front of the dresser as well. I make a quick decision and grab all the bags that I own out of my closet along with my suitcase. I fill them with essentials like clothes, my wallet, a half-eaten bag of chips from the other day, and whatever else fits. I sling the bags over my shoulder, slightly surprised at how light they are, and crack open my window. I chuck my bags out first, and then scale down half the side of my house, before jumping the rest of the way. I felt the grass underneath my bare feet just as the door broke two stories above me. I don't wait around to see what happens next. I grab everything and run aimlessly into the night.

Chapter 2

I end up standing in front of my girlfriend Courtney's house. I stop for a brief moment to catch my breath and recall her old tree house. Quietly tiptoeing to her backyard, I climb inside the tree house and set up a place to sleep with a blanket I brought, get a sweatshirt and use it as a pillow, and I layer up to face off the chilly night air. I try to get some sleep to have enough energy for the obstacles of tomorrow.

I woke up an hour earlier than I usually would so that I could be far enough away from Courtney when she woke up. I knew it was a risk to leave my belongings there, but I didn't have another option. I waited behind a bush, a little up the street from her house, until she opened the door to go to school.

"Hey Courtney!" I yell, popping out from behind the bushes. She looks my way and smiles warmly. I start to jog towards her, but I am forced to slow down when my ankle screams at me in pain. I must have twisted it last night when I leaped from my window.

"Hey, you!" She says softly as I approach her. I pull her into my arms and plant a small kiss on her rose tinted lips. As we make our way to school, I take her soft, gentle hand into my calloused one.

"So, how's my girl?" I ask her in an attempt to make small talk mostly for my own benefit.

"Great! I got first place in the tournament yesterday!" She explains excitedly.

"Congrats! I knew those practices would pay off." I smile and gently squeeze her hand affectionately. Courtney then start getting into depth about her gymnastics tournament. I listen attentively; I love the sound of her voice. "What about you? I heard you passed out during practice yesterday."

"Ah, I'm fine. Just got a little bit dehydrated, but I'm still alive."

"Adam," she sighs wearily. Her expression contorts into one like a mother about to lecture her child. "You need to take better care of yourself." Courtney stops and turns to me. She stares me down like my father had just a short 8 hours ago. I shiver with fear.

"I will, I promise." I pull Courtney closer and kiss her again. We walk for another 5 minutes, talking about nothing in particular, before we reach the school.

"OTP! OTP! OTP!" My friends stay chanting. Courtney laughs and I roll my eyes at this nonsense that happens every day. She kisses the top of my nose and then goes off with her own friends.

"Are your lives really that pathetic and boring?" I ask them. My friends stand there thinking, and stroking their imaginary beards.

"Yes." Josh says with finality.

"Basically." Matt adds.

I laugh a little and shake my head.

"Losers." I scoff. We all laugh as we start throwing insults at each other. It only stops when we see two textbooks sitting on our desks, and a huge collection of numbers written on the board.

"Read the board, follow the directions." Our teacher instructs, not even bothering to look up.

"This should be a fun day." I mumble. Josh and Matt chuckled as we took a seat as far back in the classroom as possible.

"I want to go home!" Courtney wines to me at lunch. I simply kiss her temple and sigh.

I feel like I'm wearing a mask. Everywhere I go, I have a fake smile. I try to hide my pain and fear, try not to look weak, but it's hard. I don't know what to do, or who to trust.

I don't want to burden Courtney, Josh, or Matt with my problems. They are the types who aren't good with tears or conflict.

All I can do; all I know how to do is wear my mask.

Chapter 3

After school, I couldn't follow Courtney home or go into her backyard. She would become suspicious. I reluctantly decided to try and go home.

My parents cars were absent in from the driveway, so I took the opportunity to sneak back inside. I pulled out my key and fit it into the lock. The door slowly creaked open, and I stepped into my house. I paused, listening for any movement. I grinned and closed the door when the hum of silence continues to surround me. My dogs came rushing to meet me.

"Hey guys! Did you miss me, huh? I bet you did, oh, yes you did."

"So did I..." A voice startles me from the other side of the room. I look up and see my mom standing there, her head hung low and her eyes peering up at me. I immediately turn around and open the door, ready to bolt out, when she talks. Her voice sounds desperate, and filled with pain.

"Adam," I don't turn to face her, even with her pleas. "Please wait. We need to talk, please." I inhale a sharp breath and hold it in my lungs. My feet slowly turn me around to face her general direction. I can't bring myself to meet her gaze.

"About what mom, last night? How I almost got beaten to a pulp again, by this man I am forced to call my father?"

"Adam, I'm sorry bu-"

"No! But nothing mom. It's your fault Danielle is in therapy right now! How did this occur to you mom, huh? You woke up one morning and decided to cheat on your amazing, loving, respectful, caring husband; the father of your children too. Is that what happened mom? Did you just say to yourself that a rich jerk was better than a middle class man. It's alright to just get a divorce and ruin your children's lives and Mary a jackass right?" I feel my heart being ripped to about a thousand pieces. I want to let the tears spill, but I can't allow myself to look week.

When she didn't answer I just got more aggravated.

"Answer me!" I shook the house and my mother flinched. She looked smaller; tears lined her eyes and shine on her cheeks.

"I didn't think like that, and I didn't know he was like that." Her voice barely escaped her lips at a whisper.

"Bull shit!" I finally looked up at her; I looked her straight in the eyes. "You knew damn well how he was! You were just so fixed on his money. You don't even care if he beats me, do you? You don't even care if I have countless bruises that I have to cover or make up excuses for them. Don't even try to say you care because you didn't care when Danielle was getting beat like that. You stood there and watched as her skull got crushed! You watched it like a tv show and then left when you got bored. Meanwhile, I was laying nearly unconscious on the other side of the room. Did you ever think of calling the cops that night? No because then you would have gotten caught too. They would have found your damn drugs. You went off to get drunk or high to forget the horrible things you did, to feel good about yourself! That's not how life works for all of us! No matter how high I get, or how drunk I am, those memories never go away. One day, I'll make him pay for what he did to her, mark my words." I looked away again, unable to handle the sorrow in her eyes.

I waited for a response, but when I got nothing I just walked out without even looking back. I slam the door behind me and stand in front of it with my eyes closed.

Every ounce of energy I have is keeping me from walking back in and apologizing.

The events keep playing in my mind as I try to make sense of it all. I jerk them back open when I hear the terrifying crunch of a car on gravel. My eyes dart over to the source of the noise to find my stepfather pulling in the driveway. I don't even hesitate before taking off through the grass. I just run with all I can.

"Adam!" I hear a raging voice that encourages me to somehow pick up my pace. I then hear a bone chilling sound; the car is in hot pursuit behind me.

I don't have time to ponder where I should go. I simply turn at random corners in attempts to lose him. Nothing seems to work. He drifts every corner I take and is still on my heels.

I hear him yelling profanities and other words at me, but I can't understand them. His voice is muffled from the roaring of the engine.

After about 3 minutes, my breath becomes too heavy for me to continue for much longer. I start to lose hope as my lungs slowly start to fail me.

Up ahead, I see a pole connected to a stop light. I don't have time to calculate whether my plan will work or not. I simply test it out.

Just as I approach the metal pole, I wrap my fingers as tightly around it and let the momentum of my body take over. I lift my feet just the slightest bit, and I am sent flying in the other direction.

With a hard smack on the pavement, and a little bit of skidding, I am at a full stop 5 meters away.

I recover as rapidly as I can and continue to jog. I take another turn and finally I have lost him. I slow down to a walk, attempting to repair my lungs and open up my airways once more.

Without even noticing, I ended up in Courtney's yard. I carefully tiptoe around to the back and dash to the tree.

About half way up the unsteady ladder, a familiar voice sounds out from behind me.

Chapter 4

I slowly lower myself back down the ladder and turn around to face her.

"Hey, Courtney! What are you doing here?" I ask her, forcing an unsteady laugh. I want to curl up and crawl into a hole for asking a dumb question like that.

"I'm the one who should be asking you that question. I live here." She didn't look angry, quite the opposite; Courtney looked extremely humored.

"Oh, right. Well I guess I'll be going then. Talk to you later!" I walked to her, kissed her on the cheek, and walked on past her to the street. I hear her try to ask me what I was doing there again but I act like I didn't hear her.

When I turned the corner, I doubled over in nervous laughter and relief. I kept walking and I didn't even notice that I had absentmindedly walked to my house.

As I looked up, my smile faded. All the joy I had felt just seconds ago had been washed away and replaced with fear.

I wanted to move - I wanted to get away before anything else could happen - but there was a compelling force that kept me in place.

I had flash backs from when I was four, the earliest age that I can recall the abuse. I blinked and all the flashbacks dissipated from my eyes, but the memories remained stained on my brain. I stood there like a dear in headlights, staring at my stepfather. He had appeared on the other side of the glass door. He slowly opened it and that's when a bell finally went off in my head.

I wasn't running, but I was speed walking this time. For some reason, the panic in mt had diminished. As i turned the corner, I glanced toward my house. To my surprise, Kurt was just standing there staring at me.

I can't make out the expression on his face from this far, but from his posture he looked kind of upset. His shoulders were slumped, and his head was hanging on his neck like it was attached by a tiny string. I know that our eyes met, and that was my breaking point. Rage rushed through my veins again, and any sympathy had been stored into a vault deep in my heart.

I tried not to make too much of it, but it bugged me all the way to Courtney's house.

I tried to make sense of all that had happened to be able to tell Courtney everything when I got back to her house.

Chapter 5

"Why didn't you tell me any of this? Adam, I could have helped you." I stared out the window of the tree house at the top floor of her house. "Adam, what else aren't you telling me?" Her voice penetrates my thoughts. Her house had reminded me of back when we first met.

"I didn't want to burden you with my nonsense. I promise there is nothing else that I'm hiding from you." It wasn't a full lie. I wasn't hiding my sister from her, I just haven't told her about her yet. "Besides," I continue. "When was I going to tell you? Between our crazy schedules we've barely seen each other for 2 minutes at a time." She makes her cute thinking face and looks down at the cracked floorboards. I look back out the window.

I remember that we met about 2 years ago, the summer I entered high school. It was exactly a month before the first day of school. My best friend, Jake, had just moved to the town next to us. He was too busy to do it himself, so he had asked me to get his phone charger from his old house. Of course, I hadn't checked up on it, so I had no idea it had been sold. He had told me years ago where he kept the spare key, and surprisingly I had still remembered. It was still in the exact same spot as before too, so I picked it up and unlocked the door. When I walked in I remember my heart stopping.

Standing in front of me was an exact replica of my dream girl. Dark blonde hair, vibrant green eyes, perfectly rounded face, rosy, chubby cheeks, and high cheek bones. Besides the fact that she held a raised kitchen knife tightly in her hand, she was perfect. She must have stood at around 5 feet and 6 inches, but her heels made her seem 5 feet and inches. It was a bonus that she had the body of a model.

"Who the hell are you and how did you just get into my house!" Her voice was also perfection and strange enough, her menacing words soothed me. I snapped out of my daze. I stuttered, trying to explain to her, but words couldn't form in my mouth. I got quiet when light footsteps came down the stairs in front of me.

"What's going on down here?" She said more soothingly. I nearly fell to the floor; the girl on the stairs was identical to the one with the kitchen knife. I assumed that it was her twin sister, and I couldn't control a stupid grin from appearing on my face.

They started bickering back and forth, arguing about every possible thing wrong and right about the scenario. I whipped my head back and forth trying to keep up with the rapid discussion. Finally, the yelling reached a point that I couldn't handle.

"Let me explain!" I bellowed over the both of them and they immediately got silent.

"Please do." They both said in unison, making it sound like only one of them had said it. I felt my face get hot, and I knew it was a bright shade of red.

"I-Well uh... I um... Okay." I still couldn't speak English so I paused and took a deep breath. "My best friend used to live here. He just moved out and asked me to come back here to get something. I knew where he kept the spare key, so I let myself in. I really am sorry, I didn't mean to trespass, intrude or any of that." I waited for their reactions, keeping my eyes on the kitchen knife that was still being held up by the first girl.

"Oh, well why didn't you say so! My name is Courtney, Courtney Pierce, and this is my sister Eleina." The girl on the stairs, who I now know is Courtney, explained. Eleina lowered the knife but she didn't let it go. She eyes me suspiciously and didn't accept when I offered her my hand.

"Welcome to the neighborhood." I told them, truing to be friendly.

I noticed very tiny differences between the two. Courtney had long, flowing hair and Eleina had shorter, curlier hair. Eleina had a fiery look in her eyes, but I could tell even by the way she walked that Courtney was the nice one. I took a small look around and spotted Jake's charger.

"Ah, there it is," I walked over and picked it up. "I guess I'll just be going now!" I make my way awkwardly back to the door and pull it open. "Thank you." I add and walk out, closing the door behind me. I left out the part 'for not carving me like a pumpkin' to stay true to it. I stood there trying to catch my breath again before I took one step forward and stopped. Hushed whispers where escaping through the cracks in the door.

"Good job Eleina, thanks so much for scaring away yet another cute boy!" It was followed by stomping up stairs and a loud sigh of frustration after a loud slam of a door. I walked away quickly to not get caught eavesdropping.

"I have an idea!" Courtney screams and holds her arms up in victory. I look back at her and laugh at the cute but silly, accomplished look on her face.

"About what exactly?"

"Tonight," She talks quietly and inches towards me with every word. "How about we go on a date. A typical, cliche, date with dinner and a movie. We are both free, we can talk, spend time together, and be on a date at the same time!" I look at her to see if she is messing with me. She has always hated anything cliche, but I can see the seriousness in her eyes.

"Okay. You know I wonder sometimes."

"Hmm? Wonder about what?" She asks, crawling into my open arms.

"How I got so lucky. How did I get to meet such a crazy girl who gets over-enthusiastic about everything. How did we fall in love?" She flashes me a cute smile.

"Fate." She replies and kisses me for a long time before we look out and watch the sun set.

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1219 Reviews

Points: 102864
Reviews: 1219

Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:14 am
Rosendorn wrote a review...

Hello, here as requested. I see you've gotten a few more reviews since requesting, but none of them have touched on what I'm going to say here, so I'll review anyway.

I'll be blunt and say I didn't get very far in this. After I've explained why, you'll be able to edit this much better, and learn a whole lot about beginnings.

Also, sidenote: everybody starts off writing terrible story beginnings. It took me about ten drafts to get a good one. Beginnings are the absolute hardest to write and you'll not get a solid one until you finish a draft.

Got that in mind? Good.

Right now, I can tell you're just getting your feet under you, writing-wise, because everything happens all at once and you followed the advice of "start with something happening"— which is good! That type of advice is a good guideline for when to have a start point, but the thing is that you need a reason to care before you can jump right into things breaking.

Right now, something breaks in paragraph 1. This means by the time we get to the sentence where something is wrong, we have had one sentence to get to know the character in question, and the sentence is the character getting berated.

This is a tiny little bit dramatic, and makes it hard to continue with the story because instead of getting to know the character's voice, everything happens around him and there isn't really anything to grab my interest.

Now! You can fix this by giving your character a bit of a voice. Instead of focusing solely on what's happening around the guy, focus on what he's feeling as it's happening. How does he feel physically? Emotionally? Really work your description muscles to make us feel like he's feeling. Maybe start a bit earlier, so we see him fumble a play or drag behind in practice, so by the time his coach yells at him we've had a few moments in his head and feel bad for him overworking himself.

The thing about writing, especially first person writing, is you want to generate a story we want to see the end of because it interests us. If you don't give us that spark of interest, that reason to be fascinated, then the story ends up falling flat.

I will also say that every author has utterly terrible beginnings at the start. Don't ask how many "MC is berated by an outside force" beginnings I've read— and written. Your beginning is better than stuff I was writing early on I can guarantee it. But you're still getting your feet under you.

Focus on the internal world over the external. How he feels, how he reacts. Don't create characters where things happen to them. Create characters where they have agency, and respond to the world around them. Once you do that, you'll have characters who readers want to care about, because we want to see what they'll do and how they'll react to other people.

Hope this helps! Keep writing; everyone starts somewhere. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Thank you so much for this. This was actually really helpful because as I was reading I was targeting in my head where I could do these things. I'm sorry you didn't like my story, but thanks for the review anyway :smt001

Rosendorn says...

"Didn't like" is a very strong term. It's more that I read the introduction, saw it needed work, and reviewed accordingly. No value judgement here. Just thought I'd give you some advice on how to get to the next level, writing wise. :)

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28 Reviews

Points: 1752
Reviews: 28

Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:35 pm
shima wrote a review...

Yeah, Mikhail here.

Sorry it took so long, was very busy with stuff.
What can I say about your story ?

This was very off. I don't know what the thing was that was off, but it felt very strange.
Maybe it was the form in which it was written that put me off, maybe it was something else, but anyways - it just felt weird.

The pacing was quite strange too - everything felt so fast and so rushed. It looked like you took no time off to let us actually know the characters and that you wanted to make us know everything about them on a very short notice. You were throwing events and characters at us in a very strange and jumbled fashion, which left me (and possibly some other readers) confused. But that is my IMHO - so it could be very well that another person would have less issues with the pacing and maybe even enjoy the way it is written.
Who am I to judge ?

Going further on - the subject matter. A teenager growing up in a (broken) home, with an abusive father and a mother that is about to leave them...
I don't know. I am not a person who would be quick to run away from scary or difficult subject matter but hell...this is really dark.

Not sure whether or not it is your first story and if it is - couldn't you have chosen a more...lighter subject ? Not that I am one to say that you should stop - if you can and want to do it, go on and do it. It is just that I feel really strange reading this and I think that a part of your audience can feel alienated by the situation presented. I also think that you can stumble into the trap of not doing enough research and creating a bad story that feels like it has that kind of shock material just for the sake of having shock material and that can make an entirely different part of the audience angry because the will feel like they are being misrepresented and that all you do is appropriate their material.

Again - just my IMHO, don't take it personal. It could as well be that you are transcribing your own personal experiences right now and that I am the one insulting you. Apologies if that is the fact.

The first-person narrative is usually kinda cool, but here it actually feels a bit forced and a bit off-putting. Normally it should put us in the shoes of the main character and it does not feel like it in this story. It fell like you want to have this first-person perspective and force us to wear his shoes, but that it actually doesn't feel natural at all - more like a bad VR-camera.

There were a couple of spelling mistakes - wrong sentences here and there, some grammar errors - but nothing to major. I think that you yourself can find them if you do a second reading.

Shima over and out.

Thank you for the review. I see what you mean by all this, and maybe I should do a little more research on it. No, this is not written from personal experiences. I'm sorry you did not like it. Thanks again.

shima says...

Don't be sorry. There are going to be some people out there that will not like your work and apparently I am one of them. Can happen.

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39 Reviews

Points: 1340
Reviews: 39

Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:43 am
BlueJayWalker10 wrote a review...

Hey there! Jay here, for a review, as per your request.
So far, you don't seem to have too many hiccups in your work, but we'll work through the issues we do have.
Quick note before I get started: You're writing in first person present tense. This is common amongst teenage writers, and I don't personally have anything against it (though I prefer past tense, just my style). Just know that you're walking a fine line. I read the first couple lines, and so far, you're not switching tenses, but it's all too easy to switch between tenses if you get distracted.(Especially when it comes to lay versus lie.)
Let's do this!
#0000BF ">Grammar N' Stuff
So, you're actually doing a lot better in the grammar department in most. But, we to have a few nits to comb--particularly with your dialogue grammar.

"Adam, you alright?" My buddy Josh asks as he comes up to me.

Two things are wrong. I dare you to take a guess.
If you guessed it was "alright" and capitalizing "my," congratulations! You get a cookie.
You do this pretty consistently. Placing a comma rather than a period when your character is done speaking is correct. However, because the sentence is not finished, you do not capitalize "he" or "she" (or in your case, "my,") when you're saying [person] said/asks/inquired/exclaims.
Also, "alright" isn't a word. It's "all right."
#BF0000 ">"Adam, you all right?" my buddy Josh asks as he comes up to me.

"Huh?" My eyes wander towards the source of the voice, only to find the athletic trainer hovering over me.

I don't have any critiques for this line, actually. I'm here to praise it.
When you've completed a sentence of dialogue and you're saying someone is performing an action, rather than specifying who spoke, you do/capitalize the word.
"Yes, sir. . ." Fitz hurried to do as Burrich ordered. He turned back. "Anything else?" he asked.
"Then hop to it!" He didn't have any patience for the boys.
"What else do you want?" she asked.
"I would go, if I could," Verity said, his eyes far away.
"If I do, then what happens?" As I spoke the words, I felt Chade's gaze harden.
"I know, I know," Sighed Verity.
"Is there anything else, my prince?" he moved to take the aforementioned scroll.
"Fitz, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were having woman trouble," He said.
"Regal, that's not at all what happened, and you know it." I growled.
I know, it's confusing. But you're doing well.

"Yes, I hear you." I mumble.

That period should be a comma. Basically, unless you're completely done with that piece of dialogue (you're not stating who said it and/or how), you replace your periods with commas as you finish the statement.
#BF0000 ">"Yes, I hear you," I mumble.

"You should be fine, but stay hydrated, Adam." She advises before carrying her fragile looking body off the field.

Yeah, it's the same thing here. I'll nitpick a few here and there throughout the chapters, but I'll end up leaving the majority of them for you to find and fix. That's the only way one can learn, right?
#BF0000 ">"You should be fine, but stay hydrated, Adam," she advises before carrying her fragile looking body off the field.

Coach Evans voice rings in my ears louder than his whistle.

That should be possessive. Because it's not just a voice, it's whose voice? Coach Evans's.
In essentials, anything that's possessive should have an apostrophe--even if it's a word with an "s" at the end (Ellis's shoes). If it's plural, you add an "s" without an apostrophe (We have three Amandas in this class!). If it's plural and possessive, you place an "s" and have the apostrophe on the outside (The childrens' shoes are over there). Contractions are different (that's, they're, it's/its, etc). I won't go too deeply into them, but quick review (or quick lesson, if you didn't know this):
It's - it is. ("It's raining outside!")
Its - possessive for "it." ("Every dog as its day.")
They're - they are. ("They're outside.")
And I've been talking about this for too long. Let's move on with the corrections, eh?
#BF0000 ">Coach Evans's voice rings in my ears louder than his whistle.

His words slur out and he wreaks of alcohol.

1) Good use of imagery.
2) You spelled "reeks" wrong, haha. To "wreak" is to destroy, to harm, to "wreak destruction." To "reek" is to smell strongly, often unpleasantly. ("He reeked of sweat.")
#BF0000 ">His words slur out and he wreaks of alcohol.

"Those are my dreams, dad.

Ah, parents. When being used as a regular noun ("my mother said..." "Fitz's father, Chivalry..."), it's lowercase. When being used as a name, it's capitalized.
#BF0000 ">"Those are my dreams, Dad.

She stares me down like my father had just a short 8 hours ago.

This is mostly personal preference, but in general, in a formal novel (and just in proper writing in general), "small numbers" (basically any number prior to the millions) is spelled out rather than using the numerical symbols.
#BF0000 ">She stares me down like my father had just a short eight hours ago.

We walk for another 5 minutes, talking...

Again, it's the same rule here.
#BF0000 ">We walk for another five minutes, talking...

"Read the board, follow the directions." Our teacher instructs, not even bothering to look up.
Ah, "our" shouldn't be capitalized. And that period should be a comma. xD It's okay, dialogue grammar can be tricky.
#BF0000 ">"Read the board, follow the directions," our teacher instructs, not even bothering to look up.

Courtney wines to me at lunch.

Because I don't believe you meant that she plural form of the alcoholic drink made from grapes at him, so I think you should add an "h."
#BF0000 ">Courtney whines to me at lunch.

"Adam," I don't turn to face her, even with her pleas. "Please wait. We need to talk, please."

Dang it! So close. But that's not supposed to be a comma, since Adam's not the one speaking. That's called a dangling participle, I believe. You'd say,
#BF0000 ">"Adam."
I don't turn to face her, even with her pleas.
"Please wait. We need to talk, please."

Either that, or,
#BF0000 ">"Adam." I don't turn to face her, even with her pleas. "Please wait. We need to talk, please."

"About what mom...

Capitals! Haha, they seem to get you each time.
#BF0000 ">"About what, Mom...

How did this occur to you mom, huh? You woke up one morning and decided to cheat on your amazing, loving, respectful, caring husband; the father of your children too. Is that what happened mom? Did you just say to yourself that a rich jerk was better than a middle class man. It's alright to just get a divorce and ruin your children's lives and Mary a jackass right?"

Ooh, lookie here! We've got a whole paragraph with your weaknesses for you to pick through. How about I leave this one for you to work out, 'kay?
I'm just going to make one comment.
It's "marry," not "Mary." Marry is the verb, to be sealed to another person through the bonds of matrimony. Mary is a name, haha.

...but I can't allow myself to look week.

Ah, seven days without chocolate makes one weak.
He means showing signs of a lack of strength, not a measure of time, right? A week is seven days. Being weak is a lack of strength.
#BF0000 ">...but I can't allow myself to look weak.

When she didn't answer I just got more aggravated.

Because these are technically two thoughts, this sentence needs a comma. If you want to get really fancy and tricky and use some old, formal grammar, you'd switch the positions to become "I just got more aggravated when she didn't answer" (and then you don't need a comma, either!), but I won't go too much into that.
#BF0000 ">When she didn't answer, I just got more aggravated.

...the panic in mt had diminished. As i turned the corner,

Guess what's wrong here.
#BF0000 ">..the panic in me had diminished. As I turned the corner,

#0000BF ">Other Comments

"OTP! OTP! OTP!" My friends stay chanting.

. . . I tried. I tried so hard to keep it in. But alas, you got a good laugh out of me from that. I'd probably be one of those friends, with a couple as cute and developed as Adam and Courtney. They're cute to read about. Makes me smile. (One walks a fine line with a pre-developed relationship. It's either awful, cheesy, underdeveloped, or cute, heartwarming, and amusing to read about. You've managed to lean more on the side of ADORABLE.)

Besides the fact that she held a raised kitchen knife tightly in her hand, she was perfect.

Ah, young love. So amazing. It's the kind of love that makes you push your childhood friend off a cliff while a theme called "Romance in the Air" plays. *cough* ZELDA *cough*
What were we saying?

I still couldn't speak English so I paused and took a deep breath.

I feel you, Adam.
I have moments like that more often than I'd like to admit. It's even dumber because I'm a freaking grammar Nazi. "Much Engrish. Very wow. I swear I know my mother tongue. I know me are smart."

and this is my sister Eleina."

I love that name. Eleina. How do you pronounce it? "Ellie-na?" Or is it "E-lee-na?"

All right, I'm done here!
Your story is great and intriguing. It was a pleasure to review! Keep up the great writing. . . I may have to follow this, haha!

This is review is just downright amazing. I do have a lot of problems with grammar, so it really helps when someone points them out. I will work my best when I edit to change them. That is also the reason I have all those typos. This was really helpful, thank you so much. As for the name, I always liked the name Eleina too, except I was taking it more like eh-lay-nuh. I guess it's really however you like it for this but that's how I read it. I'm really glad you enjoyed my story :smt001

Oh, that's a gorgeous pronunciation. Really, you could pronounce that name in any fashion and it'd be gorgeous.
And I'm happy to be of assistance!

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76 Reviews

Points: 6270
Reviews: 76

Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:35 am
Stormcloud wrote a review...

Hi, skylnn00writes. Storm here to do a review. I'm only going to review the first 2 chapters you have here, but let's jump right into it!

The commotion around me makes my head feel like someone is ramming a sledgehammer into my skull repeatedly.

You use a lot of literary devices, which is a great way to describe things, but a lot of them are kind of clunky which keeps your descriptions from being as effective.

His words slur out and he wreaks of alcohol.

It's actually spelled 'reeks'.

He growls at my face, and I detect a slight hint of a mimicking tone.

I see what you're trying to say here, but it's not very clear. I'd recommend reworking this sentence to make more sense.

I fill them with essentials like clothes, my wallet, a half-eaten bag of chips from the other day, and whatever else fits.

How is a half-eaten bag of chips an essential?

My friends stay chanting.

I assume that 'stay' is a typo of 'say', but you could really just leave that out entirely and go with 'My friends chant'.

I'm not going to split up your chapters because they're quite short. That's actually the first thing I'd like to address. You do end them in good places, but they're really short. I think you could have combined chapters one and two and it would have been better. This is really just my personal opinion, though.

The second thing I'd like to address is your plot. It's cliche. Incredibly so. When you go for a plot like this, you have to focus on the original aspects of it so it feels fresh and new. You don't do that here. And speaking of which, what is the plot? I get that Adam has an abusive parent, but there isn't really a plot to speak of. I guess I'm really complaining about the setting, but my point still stands. It all just seems rather mediocre and the fact is exemplified by your rather unoriginal setup.

Overall, this wasn't awful; I found some spelling and grammatical errors, but that's not something I like to address in my reviews. If you have any questions or need clarification just ask in a reply or pm.


Thank you so much! This really helped me to realize what I need to change. I get what you mean about the short chapters. I've been trying to find a way to make them longer. I will definitely take all of this into consideration when I edit this. Thanks again! :smt001

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18 Reviews

Points: 1307
Reviews: 18

Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:33 pm
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JustALittleBarry wrote a review...

Hey there, Katrina Kimberly here with a quick review!
For this review, I'm going to break it up by chapters, just so i can focus a bit more on each one.

Chapter One:
I really liked chapter one, I think that it introduced our main character nicely. One thing that I would suggest is separating Adam passing out in gym, and Adam having dinner as two different paragraphs, I think that it may surprise the reader, and keep them wondering. However, either way works great, just a quick opinion.

Another thing that I would like to point out in your first chapter in a small grammatical error. '"What have I told you COUNTLESS TIMES!?" My father barks."
In this part of the section, i believe that you should flip-flop the question mark with the explanation point, as you should always put your question mark first.

One last suggestion I have for this chapter is to mention that the mom is speaking when she says "'Kurt-"', the reason behind this is because at first I thought that Adam was speaking. Also, it could help the reader better understand that Anna is the name of the mother.

Chapter Two:
"Quietly tiptoeing to her backyard, I climb inside the tree house and set up a place to sleep with a blanket I brought, get a sweatshirt and use it as a pillow, and I layer up to face off the chilly night air." I would suggest rewording this sentence to: "Quietly tiptoeing to her backyard, I climb inside the tree house and set up a place to sleep using a blanket I brought, as well as a sweatshirt that I use as a pillow. I quickly layer up to face off the chilly night air."
I think that doing this might make more sense to the reader, as I found the sentence to be awkwardly worded. If you decide that you would rather keep your sentence the way it is, I would at least consider separating it into two different sentences, as it is currently a run-on.

Besides that, I don't have any other suggestions for chapter 2, I found this chapter to be really emotional, though I like how the reader gets to meet all of Adam's friends. My favorite part was when Adam compared himself to wearing a mask.

Chapter 3:
"'It's alright to just get a divorce and ruin your children's lives and Mary a jackass right?"' The one thing that I would fix about this sentence is to change "Mary" to "marry".

Another quick error I would change about this chapter is to change "shine" to "shined", in the sentence, "She looked smaller; tears lined her eyes and shine on her cheeks." The reason that I would change this is because it wouldn't make sense to have "lined" but not "shined".

One last thing that I would change about this chapter is in the sentence, "I slam the door behind me and stand in front of it with my eyes closed." I would consider changing "slam" to "slammed", as you used past tense in the sentence before.

Besides minor issues, the chapter was action packed! I felt horrible for Adam, as his father tortured him by chasing him all around the neighborhood.

Chapter Four and Five:
Looks like we're nearing the end of the story! I put these two chapters together, as I only had praise for them!

I couldn't find any errors, though that may just be because I was so absorbed in the work, that I wasn't entirely paying attention to editing. ;) The last chapters really introduced the reader to Adam's girlfriend, Courtney. I was really hoping for a happy ending where his mother divorced Kurt, however your ending was a great one! Anyway, an ending with Anne divorcing Kurt would be very unrealistic. Besides, not all stories end in a perfect, fantasy land. I loved your story, it was my favorite short story that I've read on YWS, as I love realistic fiction. I hope that you continue to create more stories in the future, as I promise to read them! :)

Best of Wishes,
Your Friend Kitty Kat :)

Thank you so much! This was very helpful but this is only the first 5 chapters to this story. I have a lot more, I just haven't posted them yet. Your words mean so much to me and thank you for taking the time to review my work. :smt001

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90 Reviews

Points: 3375
Reviews: 90

Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:49 am
KAL wrote a review...

Hey there! So I really like this first chunk of your story. Your characters are pretty realistic which I appreciate a lot, and this overall seems pretty interesting. Your narrator seems well-developed and I liked how his backstory kind of grew throughout the chapters, including how he and his girlfriend met, which was really cute.

A few things I want to talk about are that you do a pretty good job keeping this in present tense, except for a little hiccup here and there. For example, "I must have nodded my head" should be "I must nod my head." I understand why you put some of chapter five in the past tense, since it was a flashback, but the transition from the flashback to the preset startled me immensely. Could you maybe just insert a time change there, or just put "'I have an idea!' Courtney's scream distracts me from my thoughts."

"I immediately knew I had the wrong idea and regretted ever opening my mouth." This should read as something like "I quickly realize I had the wrong idea and regret ever opening my mouth." Or anything that resembles that, to keep this sentence in present tense. I'm also kind of thrown off by how midway through the fourth chapter, the tense turned back to the past. I myself prefer past tense over present, but since most of this story is in present, I'd recommend you change that section of text. Once you can edit that, you'll be golden! I really like the use of present tense in this story for some reason, so good job on tha!

Adam's parents are really not good people, huh? You do a really good job at displaying their emotions, but I think that it's kind of unnecessary to add in the all caps words. By saying that his step-dad is yelling does the trick just fine, at least it does for me. I did like the italics use, and I feel that they do a better gob at adding to the man's tone, without distracting the reader with larger text. I think that italics offer a better option to better emphasize certain words over others, and get the message across easier.

Overall, I really liked this! Your characters seem very down-to-earth, which is something I extremely enjoy, and I like the storyline a lot. Hope you have more soon! Good luck with any future writing endeavors!

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it. Your feedback was very helpful to me and I will take a lot of it into consideration when editing this. I do struggle quite a bit with my tenses but I am working on it and this really helps me to realize it. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

KAL says...

You're really welcome! I'm glad my feedback helped! This was really good!

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25 Reviews

Points: 2538
Reviews: 25

Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:10 am
voiceofdragons wrote a review...

Nice summary! Here I am, gonna be reviewing as I read. *thumbs up*


"...she says it in such a calm tone that makes me hate her even more."
Saying more here would mean that he mentioned already that he hated his mother but I don't see that as the case. I'd police your commas. (Edit: after having going through, this comment applies to all of the chapters.) This first chapter oohhhh my goodness. I'm pretty sucked into the story already. Your transitions are spot on and nothing seems choppy.

2. I'd state how Adam and Courtney have been dating. Showing up in someone's backyard unannounced when the relationship is green seems pretty awkward among other things. I feel awkward thinking about it as I'm reading haha. I'm also going to assume he stashed toothbrushes and etc. into his bag to use in the locker room before class starts that day because I think about that kinda stuff. So far their dialogue to each other is really sweet. (Nose kisses are a weakness of mine). The interactions between Adam's friends seems pretty realistic. I don't think you mentioned them reaching the school or traversing the hallways so it was a bit jumpy setting wise. The last line of this chapter? That's fine I didn't need my heart intact anyway.

parents car
parents--plural of parent, parent's--belonging to one parent, parents'--belonging to both parents. Here I think the third would work best. Aw dog talk! What a cutie. And yaaaas boy, stand up for yourself! Take no crud.
marry. My heart is also being ripped out into about a thousand pieces, RIP this reviewer. And Danielle! Hmm. New name! Sister perhaps?
....but I can't allow myself to look week.
...tears lined her eyes and shine...
I didn't think it like that, and I didn't know he was like that.
I would reword this. I love love how you describe your characters speaking. Said is dead indeed. Kudos.
...fixed on his
maybe use "fixated" here? Just a suggestion. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
...I was laying nearly...
People don't lay eggs. She is laying her purse down; I am lying down. You lay your {item} down; you lie yourself down. HHOOO BOY. Run Forest, run!! The pole thing was pretty cool. You mentioned before that he hurt his ankle. Wouldn't he have felt it when he stuck that landing?

4. Dude how far away do they live from each other? Remember to capitalise all of your I's. (Word is good with "find all and replace"!) If he was 4 when his stepfather came into his life how did he remember his biological father being an amazing person? I'm doubtful that the mom would out and say that she cheated. Did Adam come into contact with his bio-dad? Fourth to last paragraph, "mt" should be "my". Last two paragraphs both start with "I tried".

5. What exactly did he explain to her?
...dream girl. Dark blonde...
here I think you should use a colon instead of a period.
...heels made her seem 5 foot and inches.
and how many inches? *wiggles eyebrows* A model, huh? It's nice that you have a description of her! (And her sister by extension.) I think it would be nice to get a description of Adam and the other characters mentioned, too. I was jarred from different time settings. Maybe a line break or a transition sentence to let the reader know the flashback is over? Again, cute little romantic fluff. Yay.

Soooo is there more in the works? I'd love to read and review whatever's coming up next! (:

This review meant so much to me. First off, thank you for taking the time to read my story. Also, I haven't edited much and I really appreciate all the errors that I may have missed, especially grammatically. That is partially the reason that I put my story up on this website. I have always been afraid of people reading my work and I have just recently started sharing it with the world. That is the other reason I put this up. I wanted to see if people would like my writing. Thank you so much for the review and I'm glad you liked it.

If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
— Anatole France