Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Realistic


The Old Man And The Boy 1

by RandomTalks


It was late afternoon. The sun was angry and it was torching the world with its rays, as though teaching it a lesson. Still the birds that flew had a song in them, and the breeze that blew carried the laughter of children along with it. 

It was summer- the season of games and lemonade, of work and vacations, of happiness and laughter. It was the one time of the year, when the residents of the town with even a little bit of life in them looked forward to. The people walking on the streets were exhausted but they still had a smile on their faces. The children playing in the grounds were sweating and tired, but they still had a joy in them. The trees by the lake were dry and scorching under the sun, but they still had a green to their leaves. And none of it was going away.

It was summer and the people of the town were happy.

The little boy was in his room, playing. He cannot be called little, but he cannot be called big either. He was at the age where he was ridiculed for crying over a movie and forbidden from picking what to watch. He was at the age in between. He was at the age of confusion. And to him, he was the wind, and the boat, and the sailor; he was it all. He was his own world, his mother and father mere figures hanging around in some orbit and his little brother, discarded, hanging at the edge of everything and waiting for the fall.

He wished sometimes that the world worked that way too.

That afternoon his mother was picking up his dishes from where he had abruptly left them to finish a suddenly remembered video game. He was always running around like that and she was tired of always picking up after him, and now his two year old brother, whose belongings covered almost all the floors of the house these days. At least one of them was supposed to know better.

She walked to his room - all his things were lying around the floor and his book still remained open to the page he had been reading, though she wondered if any reading had been involved. His marks had been appalling since the beginning of term and she did not know what to do with another baby to look after.

"I thought I had asked you to clean up your room an hour ago?"

The boy did not look up from his TV screen.

"Did you?" he asked nonchalantly.

"I think I am speaking to you," she said, shifting her weight near the door. She had so much to do -  lunch to cook, house to clean and a crying baby to soothe. She felt so tired. Still the boy did not respond. Suddenly she walked into the room and pulled the plug from the board.

"Hey, what are you doing!" the boy yelled, eyes finally turning away from the screen He had just been about to butcher his opponent's head and now he was out of the league! He looked at his mother in shock and anger. His black ignorant eyes missed the black lines under hers.

"Clear your room, or no TV for a week," she said sternly.

He looked around at all the magazines, toys and other garbage he did not even recognize lying around the room. There was no way his mother was going to jeopardize his game and make him clean his room on top of that.

"I will do it later."

"Now, or no TV for a week," his mother's voice was loud and clear. The boy looked at his mother with a steady gaze.

"Fine!" he said, "You can just pack it up and give it all to him. That's what you are going to do anyways."

And he walked out of the house making sure to slam the door hard behind him. He was angry at his parents and angry at the world. It was all fine when it had just been the three of them. But then his brother came along, and everything changed. It was never just them anymore. It was them and him.

Every day, all day, his cries rang around every corner of the house and he felt lost amidst the commotion of it all. That's how he had taken to playing video games in his room all day - it was his own separate world and he was never second there. And to him that was a beautiful feeling.

He walked around the streets and wished he knew where to go. 

It was a beautiful day, the kind that ought to be spent in a playground, but he was tired of the same games, the same faces. He could go to his friend's house and bully him into giving him the latest comic book or he could go to the park and see if any of his girl friends were around so he could brag about his imaginary vacation to Africa. Of course, no one ever doubted a word he said, and after a point of time, it got boring. And then, there was the Art Museum a few blocks away that he had been meaning to check out for quite some time now, but.....he ended up going to the lake. It was quiet there - there were none of his rowdy friends or beautiful admirers or interesting artworks he wished he could create himself. It was just him and the lake and....an old man.

He was sitting on a bench facing the water. His white hair combed across his head glimmered in the sunlight and the boy wondered what he was doing there at such an hour. He almost retreated back to the trees, but then he remembered his choices and in a sudden moment of indecision, he went and sat down beside him. The old man didn't look away from the water.

"Troubles at home, son?"

He didn't look at him either as he answered, "No".

"No? Why else would you be sitting here with an old man alone on a summer afternoon?" came that scratchy low voice again. The boy wasn't in a mood to chat and wished he would get the hint, but the old man continued anyways. "How old are you son?"

"Eleven."

There was a strange calmness about the lake that almost made him feel at peace for a while, like he could just sit and not think about TV or games or school for the time. Sunlight filtered in through the green tree leaves making shapes across the water. He watched as the shapes shifted and danced along with the slight ripples in the water, and then - 

"I remember when I was eleven."

The boy scoffed. "And that was what - centuries ago?"

He hadn't meant to be mean. In fact, he didn't know why he always felt necessary to say things like that. But the old man looked at him then and smiled. He had white hair and a face he wouldn't be able to distinguish from the next aged person he came across, except for the eyes and the smile - they had a kindness to them that made him glow like a softly burning candle.

"And I guess you have a lot of friends at school?" the old man asked, "Admirers too?"

"Loads," the boy replied confidently as if that was a question no one should have to ask. "Did you?" he asked a moment later, although he wasn't very sure why.

"When I was 11, I had glasses and a tooth missing. I was laughed at in almost every corner of the town and when my 'friends' were in a particularly good mood, they would throw mangoes at my window just to get a rise out of me. I was the kid at the back of the class, scrawny and small. I believe even my father had the impression that the slightest wind would carry me away. He actually used to ask my sister to do all the heavy-lifting around the house."

They were quiet for a while and then the boy asked, "Why mangoes?"

"Anything else would have woken up my father," he said jovially.

"And you didn't mind?" If it had been his window, he would have skipped the stones and thrown boulders at theirs.

"Nah," the old man laughed, " Besides I really used to enjoy those mangoes. Such juicy ones they always chose!" He said that in a way that made the boy laugh.

"So that was your childhood? Sitting in back benches and getting mangoes thrown at your windows?" he asked incredulously.

"No," the old man shook his head seriously, "My childhood was entirely dedicated to making the girl I love fall in love with me."

The boy looked at him as if he had just grown another head in the last minute. "Why would you do that?" he asked, horrified. The idea that someone would waste their childhood for that went beyond his understanding.

The old man looked at him strangely, "Why wouldn't I?"

"Because when you get a girl to go out with you, it only adds to your troubles. You have to remember her birthday or she gets angry, you have to buy her chocolates or she gets whiny, you have to take her out every now or then or she gets suspicious. Why would you want that for yourself?" He didn't feel like mentioning that he had a dozen admirers at school who expected the same from him.

The old man smiled. "Not all girls are like that."

"Yes, they are."

"No, they are not."

"Yes, they are. You were just too lovesick to notice."

It took him a minute to realize that maybe he shouldn't have said that. Or maybe he should've just apologized. But he had never said the word sorry before in his life and he wasn't just going to start because of some strange old man he had just met. Besides, there was something about the cool, collected way he was looking at the water, like his slight slip of tongue did not even matter and for some reason, it made him just the bit more stubborn.

"Maybe I should go," he said getting up.

"Maybe you should."

The old man didn't look at him as he spoke.

The boy did not say anything else. He just went back the way he came and once he was in his house and his brother's cries and his mother's hurried footsteps echoed around him once again, he felt the loneliness press against him once more. He cleaned his room all by himself and thought that, maybe, he should've just apologized.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
2244 Reviews


Points: 240095
Reviews: 2244

Donate
Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:12 pm
View Likes
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayy..so we have ourselves a pretty neat start right here...there's not much happening, despite how long this is, but I feel like just about enough happens here to make for a really nice start to this story.

Anyway let's get right to it,

It was late afternoon. The sun was angry and it was torching the world with its rays, as though teaching it a lesson. Still the birds that flew had a song in them, and the breeze that blew carried the laughter of children along with it.

It was summer- the season of games and lemonade, of work and vacations, of happiness and laughter. It was the one time of the year, when the residents of the town with even a little bit of life in them looked forward to. The people walking on the streets were exhausted but they still had a smile on their faces. The children playing in the grounds were sweating and tired, but they still had a joy in them. The trees by the lake were dry and scorching under the sun, but they still had a green to their leaves. And none of it was going away.


Alright...lovely bit of description there to get things off the ground here...setting a nice scene there....and sort of establishing the general atmosphere of the area here. That's always a fun way to start a story...not the most attention grabby piece, but it is a nice happy neutral scene here....which does kind of make me wonder if something horrible is gonna happen, but we'll see I suppose.

It was summer and the people of the town were happy.

The little boy was in his room, playing. He cannot be called little, but he cannot be called big either. He was at the age where he was ridiculed for crying over a movie and forbidden from picking what to watch. He was at the age in between. He was at the age of confusion. And to him, he was the wind, and the boat, and the sailor; he was it all. He was his own world, his mother and father mere figures hanging around in some orbit and his little brother, discarded, hanging at the edge of everything and waiting for the fall.

He wished sometimes that the world worked that way too.


Well...that's an interesting introduction we've got to who I assume is meant to be one of our main characters here, judging by the title at any rate and the fact this this appears to be a boy. I love the way that you introduced him with the "he's not little nor big"...while adding a touch of humor, it combines nicely with the rest of the paragraph to let us know we're dealing with a bit of a teenager like situation here...aand this one appears to be in an interesting stage of life here.

That afternoon his mother was picking up his dishes from where he had abruptly left them to finish a suddenly remembered video game. He was always running around like that and she was tired of always picking up after him, and now his two year old brother, whose belongings covered almost all the floors of the house these days. At least one of them was supposed to know better.

She walked to his room - all his things were lying around the floor and his book still remained open to the page he had been reading, though she wondered if any reading had been involved. His marks had been appalling since the beginning of term and she did not know what to do with another baby to look after.


Well...it looks like our boy here is either going through a bit of a difficult time here or generally someone who doesn't like to pay too much attention to studies or do all that much in the sense of work, cause at the moment it looks like he's a pretty lazy person that's also not doing so well academically.

"I thought I had asked you to clean up your room an hour ago?"

The boy did not look up from his TV screen.

"Did you?" he asked nonchalantly.

"I think I am speaking to you," she said, shifting her weight near the door. She had so much to do - lunch to cook, house to clean and a crying baby to soothe. She felt so tired. Still the boy did not respond. Suddenly she walked into the room and pulled the plug from the board.

"Hey, what are you doing!" the boy yelled, eyes finally turning away from the screen He had just been about to butcher his opponent's head and now he was out of the league! He looked at his mother in shock and anger. His black ignorant eyes missed the black lines under hers.


Well...definitely not the most likeable character this one...looks like someone who doesn't seem to care too much about his mother here, either that or he's really into his game at the moment and doesn't understand the situation here. I do also like the little details there with the black eyes. That tells us just that little bit extra in addition to what we can already plainly see taking place here.

"Clear your room, or no TV for a week," she said sternly.

He looked around at all the magazines, toys and other garbage he did not even recognize lying around the room. There was no way his mother was going to jeopardize his game and make him clean his room on top of that.

"I will do it later."

"Now, or no TV for a week," his mother's voice was loud and clear. The boy looked at his mother with a steady gaze.

"Fine!" he said, "You can just pack it up and give it all to him. That's what you are going to do anyways."


Well it looks like the threat there was actually fairly successful...so far everything is going fairly typically for someone who behaves, so while we're getting a nice sense of a pretty interesting character here, I do wonder exactly where this is headed. At the moment, we've just gotten a good amount of introductions going on but I feel like there hasn't been any mention of the actual plot so far...so well, let's see I suppose.

And he walked out of the house making sure to slam the door hard behind him. He was angry at his parents and angry at the world. It was all fine when it had just been the three of them. But then his brother came along, and everything changed. It was never just them anymore. It was them and him.

Every day, all day, his cries rang around every corner of the house and he felt lost amidst the commotion of it all. That's how he had taken to playing video games in his room all day - it was his own separate world and he was never second there. And to him that was a beautiful feeling.

He walked around the streets and wished he knew where to go.


Well...now that is, that's good to see, we've gotten a nice reason to see why this boy is acting and then now you get a better sense of his character and I suppose the mother too, cause we can now see that she's probably not used to this boy acting quite this horribly because it appears we've got a little bit of a jealousy situation going and well, I see we finally have some movement, the boy going out for a walk and doing something he clearly seems to have not done in a while there.

It was a beautiful day, the kind that ought to be spent in a playground, but he was tired of the same games, the same faces. He could go to his friend's house and bully him into giving him the latest comic book or he could go to the park and see if any of his girl friends were around so he could brag about his imaginary vacation to Africa. Of course, no one ever doubted a word he said, and after a point of time, it got boring. And then, there was the Art Museum a few blocks away that he had been meaning to check out for quite some time now, but.....he ended up going to the lake. It was quiet there - there were none of his rowdy friends or beautiful admirers or interesting artworks he wished he could create himself. It was just him and the lake and....an old man.


Welll...we meet our second protagonist, now things are getting a bit more interesting...and well...uhh...those thoughts are nicely done right there, it just helps paint the picture of how this person acts outside with his peers and well its certainly not much better than what we saw in the house...so it looks like we have a fairly spoilt child here at the start of this story...and that's giving me a bit of sense of perhaps where this may be going here.

He was sitting on a bench facing the water. His white hair combed across his head glimmered in the sunlight and the boy wondered what he was doing there at such an hour. He almost retreated back to the trees, but then he remembered his choices and in a sudden moment of indecision, he went and sat down beside him. The old man didn't look away from the water.

"Troubles at home, son?"

He didn't look at him either as he answered, "No".

"No? Why else would you be sitting here with an old man alone on a summer afternoon?" came that scratchy low voice again. The boy wasn't in a mood to chat and wished he would get the hint, but the old man continued anyways. "How old are you son?"


Well....definitely someone who knows a thing or two here...the old man definitely seems to be cutting right to the heart of the matter and can probably sense the current mood of the boy and is actively not caring...hmm...well, this first interaction here is quite fun at any rate, and it tells us a lot about the character of the old man.

There was a strange calmness about the lake that almost made him feel at peace for a while, like he could just sit and not think about TV or games or school for the time. Sunlight filtered in through the green tree leaves making shapes across the water. He watched as the shapes shifted and danced along with the slight ripples in the water, and then -

"I remember when I was eleven."

The boy scoffed. "And that was what - centuries ago?"


Well...yeah, that conversation went about as well as I was expecting. I also love that long pause to describe the surroundings. Not only does it tell you where you are but it also does a lovely job of showing a bit of an awkward pause in the conversation while the old man is trying to think of a thing to see or perhaps lost in memory.

He hadn't meant to be mean. In fact, he didn't know why he always felt necessary to say things like that. But the old man looked at him then and smiled. He had white hair and a face he wouldn't be able to distinguish from the next aged person he came across, except for the eyes and the smile - they had a kindness to them that made him glow like a softly burning candle.

"And I guess you have a lot of friends at school?" the old man asked, "Admirers too?"

"Loads," the boy replied confidently as if that was a question no one should have to ask. "Did you?" he asked a moment later, although he wasn't very sure why.


Hmm...well I have a feeling I know where the old man is going with this...and hm...I can sort of now perhaps get the gist of what the plot is meant to be about. It looks like this one's certainly going to focus on the characters here and perhaps the development of this boy as the chapters go on here.

"When I was 11, I had glasses and a tooth missing. I was laughed at in almost every corner of the town and when my 'friends' were in a particularly good mood, they would throw mangoes at my window just to get a rise out of me. I was the kid at the back of the class, scrawny and small. I believe even my father had the impression that the slightest wind would carry me away. He actually used to ask my sister to do all the heavy-lifting around the house."


First of all...wasting mangoes like that should be a criminal offence...secondly, well, that actually took me by surprise, I assumed the old man would also be like the boy and sort of do the old "I was once this way" strategy...but hmm, well this is a bit different and I will say that I do like it...

They were quiet for a while and then the boy asked, "Why mangoes?"

"Anything else would have woken up my father," he said jovially.

"And you didn't mind?" If it had been his window, he would have skipped the stones and thrown boulders at theirs.

"Nah," the old man laughed, " Besides I really used to enjoy those mangoes. Such juicy ones they always chose!" He said that in a way that made the boy laugh.


Well...first of all, credit to the old man there...that's someone who knows how to make the best of things...although I don't think those mangoes would've been particularly great there after being smashed on a window...but hmm, well, it looks like we've got someone who's had a hard childhood, but has now fully made peace with that.

"So that was your childhood? Sitting in back benches and getting mangoes thrown at your windows?" he asked incredulously.

"No," the old man shook his head seriously, "My childhood was entirely dedicated to making the girl I love fall in love with me."

The boy looked at him as if he had just grown another head in the last minute. "Why would you do that?" he asked, horrified. The idea that someone would waste their childhood for that went beyond his understanding.


Well...eleven is probably no the age to be understanding a statement like that...especially someone with the boy's outlook on life....at any rate, this was another twist..and once again I like this one...I'm definitely intrigued by where this might be heading here.

The old man looked at him strangely, "Why wouldn't I?"

"Because when you get a girl to go out with you, it only adds to your troubles. You have to remember her birthday or she gets angry, you have to buy her chocolates or she gets whiny, you have to take her out every now or then or she gets suspicious. Why would you want that for yourself?" He didn't feel like mentioning that he had a dozen admirers at school who expected the same from him.


Hmm...well...that's about the answer I would expect him to give there...and well...I have a feeling that opinion is perhaps going to eventually change...or probably not...but well, this has been an interesting conversation so far.

The old man smiled. "Not all girls are like that."

"Yes, they are."

"No, they are not."

"Yes, they are. You were just too lovesick to notice."


Well that escalated a bit and perhaps went a bit further than the boy wanted it to...

It took him a minute to realize that maybe he shouldn't have said that. Or maybe he should've just apologized. But he had never said the word sorry before in his life and he wasn't just going to start because of some strange old man he had just met. Besides, there was something about the cool, collected way he was looking at the water, like his slight slip of tongue did not even matter and for some reason, it made him just the bit more stubborn.

"Maybe I should go," he said getting up.

"Maybe you should."


Well...I like the reaction by the boy, you can see he's not inherently a bad person there...he's just currently a bit misguided and probably dealing with a few too many emotions in a not so great way...but hmm...that was a good way to end that conversation I think, it managed to just about cover everything needed for this first part here.

The old man didn't look at him as he spoke.

The boy did not say anything else. He just went back the way he came and once he was in his house and his brother's cries and his mother's hurried footsteps echoed around him once again, he felt the loneliness press against him once more. He cleaned his room all by himself and thought that, maybe, he should've just apologized.


Hmm...yup, that is certainly a lovely thought there to end on...you get a hope that perhaps this boy was at least a little influenced by the old man and it certain seems like this would get you to read on here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I'd say that as far as first chapter's go this one is definitely a bit of a success right here...I enjoyed it, and it sounds like something I'd potentially read more of here...:D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




RandomTalks says...


Thank you for the review! The rest of the parts are out as well.



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!! I might take a look at those over the course of RevMo :D



User avatar
197 Reviews


Points: 8285
Reviews: 197

Donate
Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:56 am
View Likes
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi RandomTalks! This is a strong start to your novella. Overall, I like that the opening is able to introduce a few characters as well as the main problem the little boy, the main character, is facing, namely that he is self-centered and disregards others.

Characters

I thought the characterisation was really strong in this part. The dialogue scenes helped to present the general impression of what the little boy, the mother and the old man are like, and the more introspective paragraphs added some important nuance to it, like the reasoning behind why the little boy seems so callous towards his mother.

I like how the story shows how each detail of the family situation impacts the little boy. Him playing lots of video games because “he was never second there” seems like something I’m sure could apply to a lot of children. Sometimes ‘the baby’ is just sort of shovelled in there without having an impact on the other characters and the plot, so I’m really glad that you made it an integral part of the main character’s conflict here.

The dialogue between the mother and the child also felt very realistic. The mother repeating the “no TV for a week” line shows how exasperated she is with her kid. And this bit:

The boy did not look up from his TV screen.
"Did you?" he asked nonchalantly.


Also shows him being a little passive-aggressive or bratty, and then later revealing that it’s in protest to the baby taking up all the attention in the house.

The conversation with the old man in comparison felt more whimsical, perhaps because the old man is a whimsical character.

"No? Why else would you be sitting here with an old man alone on a summer afternoon?" came that scratchy low voice again.


Somehow I thought the old man seemed a bit supernaturally perceptive here, which would suit a whimsical tone rather than the more realistic one in the scene with the boy’s mother. For instance, I think an old man seeing a kid at the lake might wonder if the child was just lost, and their parents were somewhere looking for them. Not necessarily that the kid is ‘running away’ from their home life.

I like the little speech quirks you gave to the old man that really make him seem, well, like an old man. Him referring to the boy as “son” and asking him lots of questions gives him the energy of a kindly grandfather. Calling his childhood crush “the girl I love” also felt really old-timey.

He cleaned his room all by himself and thought that, maybe, he should've just apologized.


I love this bit of character development! Seeing this change in the boy from that one encounter really made me want to read on to the next chapter. I like that he seems to be subtly feeling some guilt over how he acted earlier by cleaning his room. The structure of the boy’s character arc in this first chapter is already super impressive, though it makes me wonder what twists if any or obstacles he might end up confronting for the rest of the novella.

Plot

This opening chapter gives me the sense that the plot in this story is character-driven, so a lot of the points regarding plot will likely have been covered in the ‘Characters’ section. That being said, I like how the point of view changes briefly during the conversation with the mother. I thought that part helped to show the mother’s circumstances and helped me sympathise with both characters. The pacing also works well for an introduction, I think. The slower start where the setting is established and then the way the events unfold at the boy’s home and then by the lake blend just nicely.

At the end of this chapter, I have three questions in mind: is the boy going to encounter the old man again? How will that happen? How will his mother react? I do hope the mother will have some interesting role to play in the rest of the plot as well. She offers a nice outsider perspective on the boy, and I’m interested to see how she manages her home life as well.

Setting

The lack of given names for the characters or the place where they live gives me the sense that this is kind of a loose setting. It’s summer in the story, so I’m imagining this takes place somewhere with a temperate climate. It feels like it could take place in the modern era, but anywhere from maybe 1980s to the mid-2000s (since they have video games). I think this contributes to the whimsical feel of the story.

Style

The sun was angry and it was torching the world with its rays, as though teaching it a lesson.
I thought this image was a little difficult to picture. Having a personification at the very beginning of the story overwhelmed me a little bit. I tried to imagine the sun being an angry teacher for quite a bit , before moving on to the next paragraph. Somehow it felt that it didn’t fit with the cheerful depiction of summer after that.

It was summer- the season of games and lemonade, of work and vacations, of happiness and laughter.
I really like this line, and I wonder if it would make a good opening to the chapter. “It was summer” is such a simple but effective way to pull someone into the setting of the novel, and the list of three with all the parallelistic structures is also super rhythmic and aesthetically nice.

It was the one time of the year, when the residents of the town with even a little bit of life in them looked forward to. The people walking on the streets were exhausted but they still had a smile on their faces. The children playing in the grounds were sweating and tired, but they still had a joy in them.

I wonder if it would be nice to try more specific images in describing the ‘crowd’ here. When reading this, I wonder: who exactly is walking on the street? Teenagers? Maybe an old couple holding hands? People in ties and shirts coming home from work? That aside, “the one time of the year” also gives me the sense that the whole story takes place within the summer. It feels very nostalgic, this time frame, like some children’s books I’ve read before.

He cannot be called little, but he cannot be called big either.
It’s a nitpick, I know, but perhaps ‘could not’ could be better here?

He was at the age in between. He was at the age of confusion. And to him, he was the wind, and the boat, and the sailor; he was it all.
I love these lines!

Overall, I really like the narrative voice in this story. It weaves well between narrating the point of view of a child and also of an adult, while being quite consistent throughout. Makes me feel like this is a book filled with little wisdoms and a generally for-all-ages vibe.

That's all

Hopefully some of these comments are helpful to you. Feel free to ask me anything you need clarification on or if you’d like feedback on something I didn’t cover here. Keep writing! <3

Cheers,
-Lim




RandomTalks says...


Thank you for the wonderful review! It was very helpful.



Random avatar

Points: 96
Reviews: 3

Donate
Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:06 am
SimonBolivia says...



This was a pretty good introduction to the story that occurs in a series. It seems as though the main character is a somewhat bratty and arrogant kid which I guess was the intention, but I think it would have been beneficial to add some more depth to his character. The boy wasn't named so far and I think that this either could have been intentional or some more necessary details needed to be added to clarify things. It was quite vague in the beginning plot wise and I do think that they way the story was presented could use some improvement.

The story definitely got more interesting when he met the old man. The more characters are properly introduced to the story the more engaging it can become. The way the old man started sharing details of his early childhood was very endearing and I think set a valuable element for your writing. It does make a budding relationship between the main character and the old man seem plausible. However they way "the boy" left the house all of a sudden seemed to be sort of sudden. Try to include more internal dialogue so that the character can have some more qualities become evident. I do think that there is a lack of conflict in the writing that would help the story progress better, try to put some more demands on the main character.

I would be curious to read more about the old man in later additions to the series. They way the boy relates to the old man is the start of what would be a pretty enjoyable read. I think this could even have been covered a bit more in the first portion. More should be said about the main character and how he interacts with the old man. I'm guessing that this will be the central point as the story goes on.

Overall it was a pretty interesting read. Try to make the main character more mature and include some details that would enable the story to improve. With some work work I'm sure it could become better.

Keep it up!




Random avatar

Points: 96
Reviews: 3

Donate
Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:06 am
SimonBolivia wrote a review...



This was a pretty good introduction to the story that occurs in a series. It seems as though the main character is a somewhat bratty and arrogant kid which I guess was the intention, but I think it would have been beneficial to add some more depth to his character. The boy wasn't named so far and I think that this either could have been intentional or some more necessary details needed to be added to clarify things. It was quite vague in the beginning plot wise and I do think that they way the story was presented could use some improvement.

The story definitely got more interesting when he met the old man. The more characters are properly introduced to the story the more engaging it can become. The way the old man started sharing details of his early childhood was very endearing and I think set a valuable element for your writing. It does make a budding relationship between the main character and the old man seem plausible. However they way "the boy" left the house all of a sudden seemed to be sort of sudden. Try to include more internal dialogue so that the character can have some more qualities become evident. I do think that there is a lack of conflict in the writing that would help the story progress better, try to put some more demands on the main character.

I would be curious to read more about the old man in later additions to the series. They way the boy relates to the old man is the start of what would be a pretty enjoyable read. I think this could even have been covered a bit more in the first portion. More should be said about the main character and how he interacts with the old man. I'm guessing that this will be the central point as the story goes on.

Overall it was a pretty interesting read. Try to make the main character more mature and include some details that would enable the story to improve. With some work work I'm sure it could become better.

Keep it up!




RandomTalks says...


Thanks for the review. I have already posted all the chapters of the story actually. And I have intentionally made the boy immature because the main plot of the story is his growth and development.



User avatar


Points: 285
Reviews: 1

Donate
Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:08 pm
seansammuel wrote a review...



Hi RandomTalks

I just read the first chapter of this Novel (I'm assuming it's a Novel) and I found it really unique and interesting that the characters are not given names but are just called "the boy" or "the old man". This makes the character background more intriguing as normally the name of a person can allow people to know the race of the character. Not only that, the boy's father seemed to be left out for this entire chapter and the father's relationship with the mother is still unknown, so there is a lot of interesting directions in which this novel could go. Also, I really like the relationship between the old man and the boy because of their different background and personalities.

I don't think I have anything else to add on what you can improve on, that the others have not already said, plus I see that you are on chapter 4 right now so it will be pointless for me to write about what you can improve on for this chapter.

Good job with creating an interesting and mysterious cast of characters!!! :)




RandomTalks says...


Thank you for the review!



User avatar
430 Reviews


Points: 24860
Reviews: 430

Donate
Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:25 am
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey RandomTalks, here for a short review!!

It was late afternoon. The sun was angry and it was torching the world with its rays, as though teaching it a lesson. Still the birds that flew had a song in them, and the breeze that blew carried the laughter of children along with it.

A great start indeed. Sets the mood of the story. It's actually a kind of carefree mood, as it seems to me and it's a daily thing, a daily routine.
The children playing in the grounds were hot and tired, but the still had a joy in them.

It will be they had a joy. An e is missing in they. Typo, I guess.
She felt so tired. Still the boy did not respond.

Though not sure, but I think it will be good to put a comma there instead of the full stop. Either, put a comma after still.
"Hey, what are you doing!" the boy yelled, eyes finally turning away from the screen He had just been about to butcher his opponent's head and now he was out of the league!

You forgot to put the full stop in between 'from the screen' and 'He had just been...."
Of course, no one ever doubted a word he said, and after a point of time, it got boring. And then, there was the Art Museum a few blocks away that he had been meaning to check out for quite some time now, but.....he ended up going to the lake. It was quiet there - there were none of his rowdy friends or beautiful admirers or interesting artworks he wished he could create himself. It was just him and the lake and....an old man.

only three dots will do. No need to put so many.

Overall, it was awesome and a great start that you did. You really did a great job in representing the character of the boy and the old man. They are gonna be the main characters in the story, I guess. The boy seems to be a self-willed boy... He just does whatever he likes and doesn't listen to anybody. The old man on the other hand is a good fellow. He is witty and commendable. It's not easy for someone to describe what he did in such a funny way. Or maybe you tried to describe the old age like ppl laugh at their past in the old age. There's already a relation in between the two. The old man along with the nature had an effect on the boy and he went back. Talking about the plot development, it too was wonderful. Please tag me when you post the next chapter.
keep writing!
~Forever




RandomTalks says...


Thanks so much for the review! I thought I had got the typos sorted, but apparently not. And I will definitely tag you when I post the next chapter!



User avatar
820 Reviews


Points: 85608
Reviews: 820

Donate
Mon Jul 26, 2021 8:13 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi RandomTalks,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

That was a very interesting story you presented here. I assume that the 1 in the title means that there will be sequels. I'm glad about that, because I liked your story a lot.

I liked the introduction of the boy and how you portrayed his character. For the first chapter it's already a good overview for the following chapters. I like the way you presented him and how he is dreaming. Then of course we have the old man and I liked his portrayal as well. It was very refreshing to read the story and I am curious if the boy will go back to the old man again.

What I liked a lot about the dialogues and the plot so far is that there is not much description. At least the place where the two of them are in front of the lake I would have described better to give the reader a good view there. Since for me this place and this scene is the most important in the chapter, I think you could do a bit more to develop it. I also noticed that the descriptions of the appearance are kept quite simple. That's not really a problem, but I think it's still important to write these faces in more detail.
Otherwise there were some minor punctuation mistakes, but I didn't find anything bad. It was a very uplifting chapter and I like how the boy reflects at the end. Some points that stood out to me:

It was summer- the season of games and lemonade, of work and vacations, of happiness and laughter.

That's a really wonderful description you've made here. I especially like the fact that you didn't get stuck on one thing, but expanded on it.

The children playing in the grounds were hot and tired, but the still had a joy in them.

That sounds a bit pedophilic that you described the children as "hot" here. :D I would rewrite it so it makes a bit more sense.

He was at the age where he was ridiculed for crying over a movie and forbidden from picking what to watch. He was at the age in between. He was at the age of confusion.

Here again is such a great description, but also found that it was quite hard to guess the age then. It does mention later that he is 11, but I think you could have maybe put that in here already.

The boy did not look up from his T.V screen.

I would take away the dot between T and V, as I don't know anyone who still abbreviates TV with dots. Besides, it's a single word, then they don't usually use those dots.

"Hey, what are you doing!" the boy yelled,

Here comes a question mark.

"My childhood was entirely dedicated to making to girl I love fall in love with me."

Insert "the" here instead of the "to" in girl.

"Maybe you should,"

A full stop should go here.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




RandomTalks says...


Thanks for the review! I made a few changes accordingly and I wanted to thank you for bringing them to my notice, especially the "hot" one!




Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.
— Euripides