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Off Court - Chapter 1

by ExOmelas

The fact that I was out of deodorant only added to my tension. Obviously this made no sense - you don’t win tennis matches on the basis of scent - but my nerves were already more shakily balanced than a house of cards. I had my first match of the tournament today and even something as trivial as a marginal decline in hygiene made me feel like the locker room was closing in around me. I must have started breathing faster - Christ, I must have sounded like I was properly panicking - because I heard a voice on the other side of the lockers asking if I was alright.

Even for a professional tennis player, I’m pretty tall, so I probably could have taken a look over the top to see who it was. But the owner of the voice, also of course being a professional tennis player, was so fast that he was round my side of the lockers before I’d even finished my reply.

The rather bright fluorescent bulb - although to be fair dim enough to feel relaxed - shone on the top of his jet black hair. I figured that from how much he was sweating his practice session had just finished and he hadn’t had time to shower yet, so I tried to be as brief as I could. You really, really don’t want to be kept from a shower after you finish a practice session in the glaring Australian sun.

“Hello, Camillo. I’m just out of deodorant - it’s fine. Sorry,” I said. I shoved my t-shirt on and slipped my belt through my trouser loops, trying to look industrious about it.

I wasn’t really paying any attention to him at this point, but I’m pretty sure he giggled.

“Here, Léo,” he said in his curious mixed accent. He was born in Syria, but grew up as a refugee in Italy. Everyone knew that; it was what had made him a talking point before he’d got so good. I’m also pretty sure his name hadn’t always been as European as Camillo.

There was a clatter near my bag and when I looked over there was an aerosol can of deodorant sitting there.

I looked up, pretty sure my eyes were dead wide. Oh God, did he think I was freaking out purely because of deodorant?

“Uh, thanks,” I said. The tension in my stomach got even tighter as I looked into his dark brown eyes. Hyperventilating over deodorant in front of the world number six - as far as he knew - was definitely making me blush.

I used the deodorant as quickly as I could and looked up to thank him again but he was already wandering away towards the showers. I sat down on the shiny wooden bench that had actually always been uncomfortable - like, that wasn’t just me. I let my breathing calm down and tried not to think about my upcoming match, the actual source of my tension. Maybe I’d make less a fool of myself afterwards, regardless of whether I lost or won. The history of my life and my personality were against me, but one can but hope.

My coach, Ron, was waiting for me when I got out the locker room. His eyes were brown too, but much deeper set in a coarse, wrinkled face. I had always liked how weathered he looked. It emphasised the fact that he was an experienced, knowledgeable fountain of wisdom.

“You alright?” he asked.

I nodded and tried to shake the blush off my face. My cheeks had never stopped being rosy. It made me look about seven when the blood started to rush to them during a match.

“Just bumped into Camillo Tamer,” I said as we started down the corridor. It was enormous - easily double my height. Okay that’s probably just how it felt. The photographs of past champions lining the walls made it feel so epic though. I was at the Australian Open. I was playing in a Grand Slam. I probably wasn’t going to win, but maybe I’d be a statistic in history, if not a headline.

“Ah, he give you any tips on how to break into the top twenty at the age of eighteen?” said Ron. He chuckled. “Did you see his scoreline from yesterday?”

I nodded. “Six-love, six-love, six-one. Closest I’ve ever seen to a triple bagel.”

“He does seem to be on fire recently. Mind you, this whole place is on fire.” Ron pinched the front of his poloshirt and flapped the material a bit. He was from Birmingham, in the UK. His body could not have been less prepared for the heat.

“Yeah,” I said. “He’s twenty-six now, maybe his year for a Grand Slam?”

Ron shrugged. “Wouldn’t put it past him.”

I pictured him doubled over in his typical grandiose victory bow with the trophy tucked into his chest. Yeah, him winning would surprise nobody, maybe not even him. I shook my head and started talking to Ron about my drop shots. I had to put Camillo out of my mind and focus on my own game, as boring as that might be.

Of course, this wasn’t easy when he won his next match in record time. It was literally all anyone could talk about. Anyone. There were fans at the signing tent chatting about it in the queue, then shutting up immediately when they reached me. I smiled and tried not to let my nerves show, though my hand was shaking as I signed their programmes. But what did they expect from me, the professional tennis player who stutters the entire way through every press conference?

For once Ron agreed that my nerves were well founded. He wouldn’t say that, of course, but he’d gone all quiet and reserved the whole day. I’d made it through my match yesterday - I was seeded to, so that wasn’t anything special - and whether I won tomorrow was about fifty-fifty. But my match after that was Camillo himself. I was doomed.

And so, because my brain hates me, all I could think of at the start of the match was about how he’d looked at me in the locker room. It was like I was just a little kid freaking out about meeting their favourite player. I was ranked forty in the world and I was only two years younger than him, so I knew this wasn’t true. But apparently my brain didn’t.

I hit so many unforced errors as we were warming up that I was practically surprised the umpire didn’t just hand him the match. But some weird mix of gravity and the crowd quieting down managed to settle my pulse a bit and I even passed him a couple of times when he came into the net. And I mean proper crush-your-dreams passes like Andy Murray used to hit.

It was break point on his serve. My pulse was had been racing for the past half hour, but that was just my heart trying to keep up with me as I ran around all over the court. It’s actually really hard to feel nerves when you’re that pumped up. There’s no time to daydream when your body is having to work so hard to feed you oxygen.

And before I knew it he’d climbed out of love-forty and held his serve. I whispered a curse under my breath and tried to stop myself just feeling surprised I’d got him to break point at all. Internal self-deprecation was, according to Ron, my biggest enemy on the court.

But seriously, it’s not self-deprecation when it’s true. Like, he took that match in straight sets with me not breaking his serve a single time. It’s not self-deprecating to think you’re going to get beaten by Camillo Tamer.

My reflections on the match continued much like this all the way to the showers, then through a conversation with Ron and my mother, then to the player’s lounge where I’d left some belongings. But when I got there, something clicked. This would be my last day here in this cubby-hole of deep leather couches and enormous flat screen TVs. Tomorrow Ron and I would be straight off to the next - much smaller - tournament to use the practice courts there. And Camillo Tamer would be sitting here watching the matches from the other half of the draw to see who he’d be up against next.

That could have been me. Well, it couldn’t have - but it … could have. It makes sense in my head, though that probably doesn’t count for all that much. A drop shot while he was stranded on the service line instead of a pass into the corner also made sense to my adrenaline-fueled brain.

I flopped down onto one of the couches and slung my cap over my face. I sighed, then sighed again. I really didn’t want to get up and gather together my spare shoes and shirts.

“Uh, hey. You okay?”

I groaned. Why was the universe conspiring to embarrass me? I could do that perfectly well by myself. Even with my eyes shut I could recognise the deep yet somehow energetic voice of Camillo Tamer. I dragged my hands down my face and looked up at him from under my cap.

“Ah,” Camillo said when our eyes met. He looked at me for a moment with his head tilted to the side. Then he shrugged and said, “Fair enough reaction.”

I nodded and put my arm over my face again, my nose right in the crook of my elbow. My heart was beating fast again. I could not let him see how wide my eyes were, or how little they were blinking.

“Hey, Léo?” he said, his voice softer this time.

I took my arm away from my face too fast and it hit into the back of the couch. I sighed and looked up at him. I was probably already at maximum humiliation now, so what did a few more blushes matter?

“I can totally understand if the answer to this is no, but my coach is sick and I usually practice with Maderic, who has a match just now.” He grinned and pointed to the TV screen with his thumb. Maderic had just won the first set. “Would you be free for a practice session?”

My jaw hung open. I’m convinced this was of its own accord but I sympathised with it. He couldn’t possibly be asking this. He knew the bloody answer - of course I was available! But he’d literally just beaten me, like forty-five minutes ago. I chewed on my lip for a solid thirty seconds, then made my decision.

“Sure,” I said, because my humiliation levels really were at maximum.

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458 Reviews

Points: 15855
Reviews: 458

Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:31 pm
Ventomology wrote a review...

Heyo! I am going to sit here and pretend I don't have a chapter of Conics to finish by tomorrow night, so get settled I guess?

Technical Comments:

1. You have a pretty decent flow going on. The proceedings are logical and smooth, and I never had a moment where I was like: what kind of jump just happened here?

2. This may be me just reading things wrong, but I think there were a couple moments where you tried a witticism or comment and it kind of broke the flow and sarcastic-Leo-vibe that you had going. The last sentence, especially, is a good example of this.

You're going for a strong end statement here. There's room for fun and giggles, but it should be something that flows off the tongue and delivers the reader something solid (this can be a punch, stinky tofu, a cookie... whatever you need). What you don't want is something that involves a bit of thinking to get the feeling across. You bogged down this sentence by using a little witty turn of phrase (and big words) to do something that could more efficiently be accomplished with a standard sarcastic comment like "no way could I possibly be more humiliated."

Make no mistake: it's good to be adventurous with language. But the best examples of interesting language use come from places where your witty wording is more effective than plain speaking. It's good to try things out, and this comment should not stop you from being adventurous. Just be aware of what kinds of feelings your wording creates. Also I bet there is a way to reword the idea you have in this end sentence to better create the tone you're looking for.

Along this note: you do still have some really well-done witty phrases. I like the one about Leo's jaw.

Plot, Characterization, and Misc. Items:

1. Rosendorn is absolutely right that this story, right off the bat, is obviously a Gay Tennis Story. This is not completely bad, but as a word of caution, you may want to slightly adjust that feeling. There are people out there who write LGBT literature for publicity, or because they think LGBT stuff is 'impure and hot,' and when I accidentally pick up that kind of writing, I can feel the This Is Gay vibes. You do not want to be associated with that culture, even if the This Is Gay vibe is not inherently bad.

2. I like Leo's voice as a narrator! I often struggle with providing interesting narrator voices, but yours feels fun and effortless, and it's easy to enjoy. Plus it's helpful for getting to know Leo better.

That's it for this chapter. Hopefully I'll get to the next one some time tomorrow?

ExOmelas says...

It's kind of sad that that's a thing stories have to worry about. Like, it's gay because it would make no sense for it to be straight (I'm not saying that as rebuttal or anything, just voicing my frustration with society). A story being about a same-sex couple just shouldn't have to mean anything. Unfortunately it does, but it's just so so so sad that that's the case.

Yeah, I have a problem with clunky wording sometimes. Just point it out like you did here and I'll work something else out. I talk like this in real life, as do my friends, so sometimes I forget how weird we would sound to most people :P

I thought you were Buggie! I'm pretty sure you reviewed a chapter of my first ever work on here xD (Globetrotters, it was about an alternate world where everyone dies at the age of 30. I hope I've made progress since then :P)

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Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:31 am
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Rosendorn wrote a review...

Hello. Here as requested.

I laughed out loud at that first line.

Sadly that entertainment didn't quite last, and this is probably going to be an overly-harsh review for what is obviously a fun, silly story. But you requested. I tried to force myself through this but I made it about 3/4s of the way down before I couldn't keep reading, and I had been tempted to scroll down for a review after about a quarter.

This is rather obviously a draft, and this is rather obviously the start of a story where nothing's been quite established yet. But for me the biggest hangup was how everything felt forced. Immediately upon reading I knew this was a Gay Tennis Story, and the story seemed to go out of its way to remind us this is a Gay Tennis Story with a possibly mentally ill protagonist.

The introductions as a whole were rather awkward, with everything just kind of being introduced for the sake of being introduced. Which I know is a common early draft ill, because there's no sense of how to introduce anything and anyone.

The protagonist spends a lot of time in his own head, without much time spent wanting something or interacting with others. The first person feels a bit like third swapped out for first, while there just wasn't enough interaction for me to get through the story.

Interaction with others is how we know how tolerable the character is. And instead of keeping the interaction flowing, you spent most of your time having him reflect on the interactions he's had. Which is fine for a later chapter, but when we're just trying to get introduced, it's a bit dry.

I feel like this is a story that's currently not sure what its flesh and blood identity is, which is fine. It just made this not as polished as it could be. I do think that making more actual dialogue would help— I was a little bit disappointed we didn't actually get to hear the press conference. After all the buildup for his nerves of it, I was expecting some awkward fumbling and reporters and just a general window into his life that would turn this into a slice of life instead of a Gay Tennis Story.

So, all in all, it's not a bad story. It has a nice blend of humour, anxiety, and crushes, but I can tell you were just getting a sense of this character's life. That's really the biggest point deduction for me, which'll get fixed in later drafts.

I hope this at least gives some feedback for editing! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.


ExOmelas says...

You were not kidding about the harshness xD You actually reviewed the first chapter of my camp NaNo a couple of years ago (though that time I actually started the project at the start of July) and it freaked me out so bad I basically wrote nonsense for the rest of the month. So I am going to be very, very careful and figure out which bits of this I should apply, and which bits just mean that you're not going to like my story very much.

Just cos it's an easy one - the first person. A couple of people have mentioned that one but honestly I just never really thought about it. I couldn't picture romance from third person. I'm also curious, if lots (perhaps too much) of a character's thoughts isn't quintessential first person material, what is?

So onto those thoughts. Do you maybe have to get to know a character better before you show all their thoughts? I guess I could have other things happen in his life, like the press conference as you suggested. I can definitely write that out and see how it goes. Writing narrative outside the romance is something I'm trying to do at the bits I'm currently writing (eg his cousin pops up, he tries to deal with his anxiety). I could definitely try doing that from the start, but yeah that will probably have to be another draft. That would just have knock on effects to the ret of this draft that would be rather confusing.

About it being a Gay Tennis Story, I'm not actually sure I mind that that much. It is how I describe it to people when I tell them about it. Well, "story about two tennis players falling in love" which kind of guarantees it will be either two women or two men... I suppose mixed doubles does exist but that would definitely look like I was purposely stretching it so the couple could be heterosexual, which would be much worse. I know that having it like this maybe makes it a bit Young Adult-y, but like you said, it's fairly silly. I think I'm okay with people knowing what they're getting in for and reading this because from the outset they think the content's going to be something they'd enjoy. Hell, I started writing it because I wrote a short story on the subject and Stormcloud said she'd read it as a novel :P

I know that long replies often look like the person is just being salty, but I promise I'm very grateful for your review :P

Rosendorn says...

Hah. You should see my replies to reviews :P And you should've seen the replies I got to reviews when I was following novels back a few years ago xD They were about as long as the review, and this is back when I nit-picked!

Honestly I got so used to polishing up stuff that was just shy of publication I really need to learn to tone it back xP As for your questions!

The secret to strong first person is immersion, which means a few things. First on the list a full body experience, like feeling the tags on your shirt, or the cloth sticking to your body. It means feeling what he feels, using senses more deeply. I'm lacking anything but his head and vision, but that isn't what drives it to third person territory for me.

There's main thing is how he's thinking about himself in a way that doesn't feel like a person. The way information is introduced (like with "Even for a professional tennis player, I%u2019m pretty tall, so I probably could have taken a look over the top to see who it was. But the owner of the voice, also of course being a professional tennis player, was so fast that he was round my side of the lockers before I%u2019d even finished my reply") just feels like it's saying "I must get this information in so I am going to get this information in by relating it to the protagonist." That works in third person but not in first.

You have to consider how a person thinks. When you're in a situation, like say discussing exam questions, would you think "him, also being in A-levels with a 2:1, was thinking the same way"? Chances are you wouldn't. Now this does get some of the humour going, but you have to balance humour, voice, and information being given naturally.

Good first person makes you feel like you're in their head and experiencing the world the way they do... which also means you can't slot in stuff like "professional tennis player" every other sentence unless you justify it. Does he feel insecure because this is his first round of professional tennis ever? That would justify it, but even after reading 3/4s of the way through I didn't get any solid confirmation that was the situation at hand. Is he experienced and semi-used to this, despite his anxiety? Then why is he mentioning "professional tennis player" so often in the beginning as if he's faking it?

And my comment about "Gay Tennis Story" wasn't actually in relation to the orientation. It was the fact there is literally nothing else to the prose except an obsession over "I'm a professional tennis player" because it's mentioned so often at the beginning and "I'm gay" because if he's not obsessing over being in a professional match, he's crushing on somebody. Much of this boils down to the lack of justification for his obsession I mentioned, and how the prose seems to be forcing us to realize "this is a professional tennis player's life because I mention it three times in five paragraphs."

It boils down to too much of the wrong information. I'm thrown into a world without the necessary context to understand his feelings (is it his first match at a pro level, how long has he been doing this) but lots of forced reminders for what world he lives in.

Really consider how he'd be thinking about this situation, what information would be at the forefront of his mind, and how he'd feel inside his body.

Honestly I feel I would like this story, I'm just picky and need to re-learn how to review first drafts xD You didn't do a bad job at all! Sorry I scared you so much in the past.

ExOmelas says...

Hm... this is interesting. Will think about this for future drafts.

Haha, no worries xD

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1080 Reviews

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Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:57 pm
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Kaylaa wrote a review...

Here as requested to review!

So I didn't expect this to be in first person for some reason. I don't know why I assumed that it'd be in third. Maybe it's because that's been more popular than the first person point of view lately. At least, it seems that way. Nonetheless, let's delve right in by saying that I never expected to find myself so interested in a story that involves tennis. That's the best part about this, though, instead of being plot-driven, this is more character-driven and doesn't have to directly be about tennis, even though that's where the basis of your plot is.

The reader doesn't have to love tennis to be able to enjoy this chapter, though I'm assuming that they'll need some sort of basic knowledge of the game. The voice of the main character that we're following in this beginning chapter is quite strong, and that's why I love that this is written in first person. We're able to get into the head of Leo pretty easily, since this seems as if it's not going to get too dark later on, though I can see this getting more intense as it goes on if the tennis continues, which I figure it will.

The introduction to Camillo is particularly something that drew me in this chapter. The first interaction that the two have interested me and made me laugh a little. Deodorant? This is how they meet? I'm excited to see how the relationship between the two of them goes, because they're both in interesting positions to each other.

I have to say that I'm also not confused about the encounter as it made sense to me, giving a dosage of what Leo's character might be in the future. I am very excited to see where this romance will end up going and how the two end up growing together, though I can see the first couple of chapters acting as a set-up to that. Fair warning that I don't know too much about tennis so I'll probably looking terms up due to that. What I'm really interested in here is the characters and how they end up interacting, because it seems akin to that type of novel. One where events happen, taking a more contemporary style, which I'm fond of. Overall, definitely a solid first chapter that pulled me in enough to make me want to continue the novel.

Can't wait to read the next couple chapters to catch up! If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day, Biscotti.


ExOmelas says...

Thanks for the review! I've edited it since the confusion so that's a good sign xD

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Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:49 pm
DragonNoir wrote a review...

Hello! DragonNoir here for a review!

I must say, this is actually pretty interesting! Although, I think you could have had a section entirely on the match itself. When it comes to technical words, you can mention them and expand on them so that the reader knows what you're on about, a bit like what I did with Ice Queen. It would have made it better in my opinion. Although, I think you made a mistakes with your spelling here:
"...before he’d got so good." I do believe that the "he'd" should be just 'he'. I don't know if there are any more mistakes like that, but I haven't noticed any others.
Other than that, I think this is quite amazing! I really like the character development for Leo and I look forward to some more development for Camilo. Either way, I'll go have a look at Chapter 2 now.

Overall, an awesome chapter, but you could have had a section entirely about the match and how everything played out in detail.
I hope my review helped! :)

ExOmelas says...

So like I said on Ice Queen, I would find a chapter of tennis discussion interesting... I just find it hard to believe from experience that other people would xD

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Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:33 am
wallacies wrote a review...

Hi bisc! My reviews gonna be a bit short since im on my phone but I'll do my best!
First - I think your setting is really interesting. You clearly did your research in regards to tennis, and have managed to include jargon that Leo would definitely know. Sometimes when people throw a ton of jargon in it, it can exclude the reader, but i think you've done a really good job of explaining things through Leo's reactions to things, meaning that it was easy to understand what was going on!
I could tell that you're inside your character's heads from the way it was written. I had a clear sense of Leo's voice throughout the piece, and it felt unique to the character (rather than everyone just basically speaking and acting the same).
I also thought that your dialogue was realistix but easy to read! Not too over the top, and everyone had a clear style of speech.
Generally I enjoyed it. The only issues I had were that, in places, your sentences ran on! "But the owner of the voice, also of course being a professional tennis player, was so fast that he was round my side of the lockers before I’d even finished my reply." Stood out, but your sentence length deffo improved as it went on, and this really just nitpicking anyway!
And a final bit of tiny detail - is 'tension' the right word for the opening sentence? It seems kindve like something a person wouldnt say. Maybe "added to my nerves"or "fuelled my anxiety" or something? (Although obviously not that because it sucked).

Sorry thay i don't have more to say! A lot of what i wanted to say has already been covered so im just throwing praise at you instead!

ExOmelas says...

Haha, fair enough! Thanks for the review :D

wallacies says...

No problem! I hope it was somewhat helpful ;_;

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53 Reviews

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Reviews: 53

Wed May 31, 2017 9:28 pm
jamgalloway wrote a review...

Hey there, I'm gonna give a (I thought) short review of this. I have to disagree with the other user on the point about the deodorant; I thought it was fine and it didn't confuse me at all. I don't know if I would necessarily start the VERY beginning of the book with that, but that's your decision. Overall, this was pretty well-written and not a whole lot grammar mistakes. I'll point out a couple of those below(not all though), along with a couple other things that I figured I would suggest. But for right now I want to talk about the characters. The only thing I really know about your main character so far is that he is very anxious and plays tennis. Which, the anxiousness is fine, there are lots of people like that, although I think you may have characterized that trait a little too much in this chapter. I'd sprinkle some of that stuff throughout multiple chapters instead of just this one because it seems like a bit much. I'd also tell just a bit more about your main character this chapter--like, trade out some of his anxiety characterization for another trait. Also, for someone who is supposedly 24, Leo is certainly lacking in confidence. Not that they're aren't 24 year olds that are insecure, but most of the time by that age, you've grown more and become more confident in yourself. I think it'd be nice to see Leo being confident in other aspects of his life so he doesn't come across like such a teeange boy, you know? Like, the fame makes him uncomfortable and nervous and he isn't very confident in his tennis skills, but maybe he's actually really charming in other situations? I don't know, something like that; it's up to you. Right now he feels very cliche--a character-type I've read many times before in writing--but I'm hoping that changes later.

As for Camillo, I don't have much to say because his character isn't very clear yet. He could be very interesting though, especially considering his past, so it just depends on what you do with him.

I don't really have much to say about the plot because not much was going on in this chapter, just introduction of characters and a tennis match. Personally, I don't really like the style of this, lol, but that's more of an opinion thing so this story is probably just not my cup of tea. So if you do like it, keep doing it, I guess.

In this line:

"I sat down on the shiny wooden bench that had actually always been uncomfortable - like, that wasn’t just me."

I think it'd be better if you reworded it. Maybe like this(?):

"I sat down on the shiny wooden bench that had always been quite uncomfortable, regardless of my anxiety levels."

Another place I suggest rewording is this short paragraph:

"But seriously, it’s not self-deprecation when it’s true. Like, he took that match in straight sets with me not breaking his serve a single time. It’s not self-deprecating to think you’re going to get beaten by Camillo Tamer."

I'd do something more along the lines of this:

"But the fact is, it's not self-depreciation when it's true. Just look how he took that match in straight sets with my not breaking his serve a single time. I don't think it's self-depreciating to think I'm going to get beaten by Camillo Tamer, especially after how this match went against someone not as good as he."

Here's a few more line by line suggestions I have:

This: "I hit so many unforced errors as we were warming up that I was practically surprised the umpire didn’t just hand him the match."

To this: "I hit so many unintentional errors as we were warming up that it was a surprise the umpire didn't just hand him the match right there." (Also, the transition from the paragraph this is in to the next one is very abrupt, I'd rewrite that bit.)

This: "And before I knew it he’d climbed out of love-forty and held his serve. I whispered a curse under my breath and tried to stop myself just feeling surprised I’d got him to break point at all..."

To this: "Before I knew it, however, he'd climbed out of love-forty and held his serve. I whispered a curse under my breath, trying to stop myself from feeling surprised at the fact that I'd got him to break point at all..."

This: "Yeah, him winning would surprise nobody, maybe not even him."

To this: "His winning would surprise nobody, maybe not even himself."

There's more than that, but I'll stop there. You get what I mean. There's a bunch of minor grammar mistakes, too, but it's just stuff like missed commas, so you'll be fine to fix that on your own. Unless you want my help, which if you do then just ask and I'd be happy to.

So basically, my biggest suggestion to you is to go through and edit this, rewording and rewriting some things. I know it probably sounds like I'm ragging on you, but this was actually pretty well-written, I'm just trying to make it even better. There's a line that I'll place here it still has me confuzzled, so I'll point it out:

"I’m convinced this was of its own accord but I sympathised with it." (Sympathized is spelled wrong, by the way, but I'm sure you knew that.)

So yeah, this just needs some editing and curving around the edges and it'll be great. Some transitions between a few of the paragraphs are a bit abrupt as well, so I'd try to fix that too. Overall, this was pretty good, so sorry if it seems like I'm trying to be rude or anything. Take the advice/suggestions you liked and ignore the ones you don't. If you want me to delve into anything deeper, discuss something, show more examples of something I mentioned, or some other kind of help just let me know.

Good job and good luck! :)

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235 Reviews

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Mon May 29, 2017 6:58 pm
inktopus wrote a review...

Hey, Bisquick! Storm here for the review I promised, so let's jump right into it.

So it seems like Leo (I'm just going to ignore the accent so reviewing will be a bit easier) is a bit anxious and shy around the cameras and fans. I like that, but you used some strange and confusing things to make him come across that way. The deodorant thing was just plain confusing. I have no idea why he was nervous about it. Was it because he didn't want to smell bad? If so, you never mentioned that. I think it could have been a good tool, but you didn't use it in the right way.

I liked your style, though, for some reason, the first person was jarring at first. I guess I wasn't expecting it.

I think your characterizations of Leo and Camillo are pretty solid. It's subtle, which is good, but don't be afraid to make it a bit stronger. You don't want it to be very obvious that you're trying to make the reader think a certain way about the character, but their personality needs to be obvious. On a slightly different note, I hope Camillo's past is mentioned a lot more because that could be an excellent source of internal and external conflict to draw upon.

Overall, this was good, but there were some confusing, unclear bits sprinkled in. I liked the style you used for this, and I think this story has the potential for some good angst and a satisfying happy ending. I'm definitely interested.

I'm happy to talk with you have this if you have any questions or just want to have a discussion. You know where to find me.


All the turtles are related.
— Jack Hanna