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by TheClosetWriter

Hampshire, England, 1870

If ever there’s a woman of wilder spirit, Jack wishes not to cross her path. For whereas the wives and daughters of any English Manor had been kept, silent, and elegant, Ms. Junia fits not a piece of this criteria. His wise uncle Seth had warned him to be kind yet to stay far from her, in her unprovoked attempts to engage with those at work around the property. In her frightening endeavors at conversation; always answered briefly by those she confronts but never successful in gaining her friendship. During his first hours about the Livingston home, he doubts any speculation others tell; all stories of how she teaches dancing to the servant children, how she turns on Christianity. Yet despite his disbelief, it is her unlikely nature, it is her strange borderless ways that unnerve him the most. He had learned early on that unpredictability in this world is a frequent sign of danger.

Nonetheless, Seth never fails to defend that the Woodbury name is a lucky one. He might attribute this to Jack falling into his care and their consistent employment following that. The gift of literacy was bestowed upon his nephew by his once existent parents, his early intelligence and his polished elocution a blessing in every exchange. Burdened with atrocious vision, both the senior and the younger had been careful to obscure their shared impairment, and have passed through a cursed society without any punishment for it. Seth still seeks not to mourn tribulation but to count blessings, most certainly not a man of religion but decisively one of hope. Jack is justifiably more pessimistic.

This morose quality that defines the young man so adamantly can be seen in his dread at a new way of life on the Livingston premises. Childhood had done well to protect him from the afflictions of physical labor but as the past months have strengthened him, his obligations are changed. He is quickly assigned with the task of warming a grave stone palace; a residence far too wide to be heated by any one man. His mornings are no longer complete with household chores but with arduous treks through the neighboring woodlands of the countryside. His hands blister and splinter profusely, untended by bandages or fabrics too lazy to fetch. But in his empty responsibilities, his prepping lumber and searching for trees, the gravest pain he experiences is dehydration at the mercy of early spring heat.

It is this agony that aggravates him the most at the edge of one day. And upon taking an ax to the lumber fetched earlier that morning, Jack can’t prevent sweat from beading at the edges of his orange hair. His heart weakens enough that he lets down his weapon, soon slouching beside the stump upon which he fixed his timber. Here, he had chosen to exert himself alone. Here, far enough from the authority of the Livingston family, he can watch the sun bleed into a golden harvest, and afford himself the privilege of free thought.

“So it seems you prefer isolation, Mr. Woodbury.” He has misjudged his solitude, once resting against the severed remains of a locust tree but now, standing alert as the daughter of such a residence approaches him. Smiling brightly, he beholds the manner by which her curls fall about her figure, her youthful complexion glowing with color as she’s walked quite a distance to meet him. There is an unsettling excitement about her eyes and he fears what power they behold.

“How do you do, Miss Junia?” Bewildered at both her presence and observation, he neglects to respond to it, instead considering how formally the heiress addresses him.

“I’m as well as the weather on a day like this.” Laughter embedded in her voice, Jack deliberates the measure of her intelligence. Surely there is no joy in the temperature rising, the frequent rains that muddy the empty acres of noble land. “But I can’t say the same for your health. If you spent more time amongst others, I might have aided you sooner.” Alluding to his isolation from the rest of the staff, he curses her secretly. Heaven forbid he is able to have any independence. Still his silent resentment is met with anxiety as he wonders whether he might be punished for his chosen seclusion.

“I apologize, Miss, but I assumed I might be more productive on my own. I wouldn’t dare to abandon my responsibilities.” She acknowledges the fear in his expression, so familiar and so difficult to quell as the Earl’s only child.

“Don’t you fret about that, Mr. Woodbury. You are impressively diligent.” Unable to ease him, she asks for his hands and though she takes them quite carefully, he instinctively flinches. He expresses regret and she accepts it easily, further surprising him as she elicits medicine and fresh bandages from a basket just beside her.

“So, is it a fear of others that allows you to work so well on your own?” Her query is peculiar indeed as she heals his lacerations, removing wood fixed so sharply in the cracks of his freckled skin. He broods over whether she discerns the fastening of his heart, the panic which betakes him as they continue to converse.

“I rather prefer not to be distracted from the duties expected of me.” He revisits each word so attentively, determined not to appear irreverent or opinionated by any means. Remediated, he watches as she swathes his injuries so precisely, the notion that her gaze won’t meet his own a frightening one indeed.

“And you’re sure that these potential distractions don’t have to do with learning to place trust in those who may so easily betray you?” There is a slight air of condescension about her, as if the little duchess can discern every thought that enters his mind. It unsettles him to his core.

So captivated by the haunting candor of her suggestion, he’s unable to afford her any response. Thus, she blushes and laughs in faint amusement. “Please, don’t trouble yourself with my blunt propositions. I only know those living here quite well. Life could be much easier in their company.” Releasing his hands, he observes as a veil of sadness conquers her wild eyes, their surfaces lit fiercely aflame by the dying scarlet sun. He wonders as to why one with so much wealth could be upsetted by a simple prospect; the concept that those under her family’s subjugation could want nothing to do with her in the slightest. He wonders this further as she offers him a glass of water, one too hidden behind her and taken like gold into his injured grasp. Desperation consumes him in his first sip and despite her presence, he drinks rightly till the glass is but empty.

“Oh, goodness, Mr. Woodbury. If ever you are so parched again, please don’t hesitate to pause your work and I’ll fetch you a drink.” She is humored frequently but never unnaturally, swearing to see him again when so suddenly, she is summoned back to the house. He wishes she won’t fulfill her promises but the certainty about her implies it; she most definitely will.

So while waiting for their paths to recross, Jack ventures to invest in her instruction, challenging his own consternations and conversing with others in his midst. He is fortunate to learn that Ms. Junia is less obliged to engage with those so adamantly unwilling to interact with her. The very key to escaping her consultations is simply in detachment.

Consequently, when she approaches him alone one preceding night, he does little to initially address her. He kindles a hearth in a chamber unknown, and he feeds in his timber, so squarely trimmed, only to be swallowed by strange orange light. “Good evening. What a lovely fire you have burning. Might I help you with it?” Her elation at seeing him is almost horrifying.

“Thank you, Miss, but I’m quite alright.” Shadows from a starless June night filter in through the space, till linoleum floors beneath him are brightened only by a dancing blaze. Abandoning the entrance, she soon departs to settle beside him. She looks to him yet his concentration is fixed upon nurturing flames.

“Does my status intimidate you, Mr. Woodbury?” Again, her blatant inquiries and his formal title impress him.

“In a world such as this one, I find other concepts much more frightening.” Since practicing indifference, he worries if she’ll take too much offense at his behavior. Nonetheless, despite any counseling he sought before, it appears that Junia is not discouraged in her efforts to engage with him. She rather seems intrigued at his reply.

“And you don’t suppose your intellectual manner is daunting towards those who you work with? I notice you took up my recommendation.” She glances downwards with a smile, practically flattered by her own observation. Yet, her acute awareness of how he lives, of whom he speaks with, is so eerily unnerving he wishes to run in terror.

“Most seem unbothered by it.” He refocuses on appearing aloof in hopes that it might suppress his anxiety. Her resulting expression is tainted with disappointment, blessing him slightly with relief.

“So if the borders of societal standing are so insignificant, why are we expected to only engage with certain members of society?” By this moment, her disappointment has turned to misery as it did in their last encounter. The fire paints flames across her features. Notions that one of privilege might feel so desperate to transcend social boundaries brings him a strange sense of aggravation.

“The borders of societal standing are of importance, Ms. Junia. They affect us in less directly discernible ways.” He’s cold once again yet she ponders his words. The heiress is silent until she offers him water, and he’s learned to let her leave before drinking it.

However so, Jack continues to wonder whether his behavior is enough to keep Ms. Junia from seeking him. Others apprise him of her further and he comes to know the room in which he tended a hearth as one of greater value. It was the observatory of her dear late father, a supposedly kind man who passed principles on to his daughter always. He is told of her charity, of her amiability but of her ignorant innocence and her irritant ways. Furthermore, as Jack learns of Ms. Junia, he comes to despise her worst qualities so ardently. Hence, he is preposterously mad when departing from her entitled path one morning, she ventures to accompany him towards the forest.

The sky over the manor so gray with impending rain, he trudges through bristles, endeavoring to see her surrender her pursuit of his attention. Empty wagon in hand, he is quite disappointed indeed by her perseverance.

“Good day, Mr. Woodbury. You must let me help you in your current chores. We are expecting storms from off the Channel and as you do warm the house, your job is of utmost importance.” She prattles on in twinkling joy, jubilation refreshed no doubt by her new pressed rose tea gown. Trekking through thorns, he forces her choice between preserving fabrics and remaining by his side. To his dismay, she lifts her skirt’s edges with ease, continuing on her way till they stop at a proud standing oak. All so industriously, he elicits an ax from his cart, grimacing slightly as she stands just beside his tree of choosing. There, she looks unto him without a glimpse of exhaustion.

“Do tell me, Mr. Woodbury. What do you know about love?” It’s a strange inquisition, and she blushes as she asks it. Her attire is divergent against the woodland greenery and a clap of thunder sounds in the distance.

“Not much, Ms. Junia.” He startles her slightly upon severing a neighboring branch. His curtness now fails to perturb him.

“Well, have you ever been in love before?” In striving to lift tree branches, he watches her grapple immensely. He is soon forced to help her, sneering at the thought she might hinder his progress.

“I most certainly have never.” Jack continues in his way, encountering an oak and attacking it as a means of expending his anger. How one could expect another to reveal such sensitive detail infuriates him. He prays for the notion she might lose interest in the subject, especially as she harps particularly close to a secret of his own.

“It isn’t my intention to pry, Mr. Woodbury, but I do hope you feel comfortable enough not to hide your past into the future. Any matters you disclose to me won’t reach another soul.” And he wonders if in all her bliss, her merriment, Junia has even a soul to tell. Her joy may be very well an illusion as it had been in the life of a girl he once knew. For long, long ago, his consciousness had been compromised as he sought to ingratiate himself with a woman, one who might be deemed the very opposite of his blithe escort in every way. Several years of his adolescent time had passed with only thought of espousing another, whose rejection made him question the purpose of life. All despite his righteous pessimism, Jack does still ponder his reasons for enduring an existence of consistent strife as he does now. This newfound uncertainty only charges his hatred towards the young Ms. Livingston, the viable culprit in unburying the burdens of his past.

“You may claim you don’t wish to peer into my personal affairs, Ms. Junia. Yet if this is the truth, you might have quit the topic long ago. You might have even remained at your studies, the very place you ought to be with a forecast such as today’s.” Frustrations unmasked, Jack compiles what little material he has collected amidst her distractions into his dray. He covers his collection with fabrics he packed in clever anticipation of the rain. Then, careful not to waste a second of time, he moves deeper into the forest at an alarming pace. Ms. Junia rushes adjacent to him always.

“Good gracious, I suppose if I expect any honesty from you, I must tell you of my truth. For I am quite interested in your personal affairs as you’ve told me so little of yourself. Still, you must have someone who loves you so dearly. Whatever of your mother, your father?” He wonders for a moment if some divine force is instinctively tormenting him through Junia’s curiosity. What kind, what generous, what correct moral god could deprive him of parents such as those he had known to himself. Never a moment went by that they didn’t act in his interest, for his destiny of scholarship and mobility before the cholera outbreak. As he rarely recalls the details of death, grief loosened tightened his hold on the ax he once wielded. Ms. Junia uplifts it unsteadily as she does everything. Without thought, he thus seizes it from her.

“They aren’t with me anymore.” Water begins to leak through the canopy and Jack marches towards one last tree. If only he acts quickly, he’ll have just enough wood to bring warmth to the dining hall.

“I’m so terribly sorry, Mr. Woodbury. If there is anything I can do to help the matter, do let me know.” He wonders as to what this could mean but is distracted as rain seeps through pine needles and soaks him through. Junia laughs gently and he’s maddened much more.

“You claim you’re here to help me in my chores, Ms. Junia. But since your arrival, I’ve barely completed my day’s work.” Coldly, he frowns. They have stopped in their place and she glances down in what just at first appears like abashment. Perhaps she ponders her words in response to his rudeness, what punishment she ought to issue. But in resilient delight, she smiles towards the folds of her fine pressed pink dress.

“In all our encounters, I’ve tried to learn anything about you. Yet I fear you’re so vague there is little I know. Whether it is contempt you hold for lost love, lost family, or a lost sense of identity, I know you’ll come to trust me one day, Mr. Woodbury. I can’t imagine that your past is an easy one, but the moment you let it go, I know you’ll venture to find yourself and we’ll grow into dear friends.” Ever the more haunting, her sparkling expression spooks him now as every word Junia speaks of his life is quite true. If her wisdom was not tarnished by the false prospect of their friendship, he might reconsider her intelligence.

However, as her words sit with him, Jack does wonder, what could provoke her to assume he’s lost identity? Is it so obvious in his pained glance, his perseverance in empty tasks about the property? And as he reviews his past tragedies, could it be that his own dull nature, so beaten with grief, has ensured his unforeseen solitude? Underneath English trees, now trickling with rain, he questions whether all the agony he’s known through life is nothing but his own doing. He imagines a future so bland in the loneliness she describes and blames his actions for it. He hates himself and hates again, his expression turning so fiercely dark that Junia’s own glee disappears.

“I have no need to trust you. I have no need to be with you. I only wish that you’d leave me alone.” In his rage, he reveals the truth. Sadness extinguishes the spark in her eyes yet she fails to abide by his wishes. She approaches him as if to apologize, taking his arm when instinctively, he pushes it from him. He watches her fall towards the forest floor, her gown at last drenched by its freshly soaked soils. Then standing above her, he waits for retaliation, tears now threatening to cross her cheeks. In all her embarrassment, she refuses to meet his stare, still so transfixed in hatred he possesses unconsciously.

Yet all so suddenly, the reality of what transpired turns Jack’s anger to terror. His response to her ways surpasses detachment, his recklessness brought him to hurt her. His priorities change quickly from discouraging her to consoling her, even regaining her favor. But as he comes close to lift her, Junia rises, retreating towards the house so quickly he can hardly expect to chase her. Observing her leave, he speculates how much time he’ll have left at this position, no matter how meager its earnings. He soon fears the worst for a dry future ruined.

Still, despite Jack’s worries, days pass with no penalty for his many mistakes. The storms progress shortly by the Livingston land and he carries out work without disruption. Ms. Junia’s disappearance is rather relieving, yet he does crave the water she brought to him in each of their exchanges. Now, he recalls how she even placed a glass towards the base of a wagon, one dragged to the woods on a rainy day. He begins to question her unnatural absence as all others do, wondering if more than his discouragement has kept her in doors. Nonetheless, when he finally does decide to ask of her whereabouts, it is guilt that drives him in his decision.

It is mild outside when he concludes his labor early and walks along a porch to converse with the housekeeper. A portly woman of old age, she is terribly unfriendly upon first impression.

“Excuse me ma'am but I haven’t seen Ms. Junia about the premises for quite some time. Do you happen to know how she is?” His sophisticated air does impress her initially, yet the woman looks rather unamused.

“Ms. Junia’s come down with a cold, that dull-witted child. She claims she fell while walking about in the storms when I told her not to leave so often. The outdoors is no place for a lady, after all.” Ignoring the housekeeper’s hostility, Jack understands that the duchess has refused to reveal his outburst in the forest. She has suffered through illness inflicted by his own wild anger, has resolved not to tell on him but to let him off. His reluctance to speak with her is more than justified, yet somehow he regrets what measures he’d taken to keep her away. Thus, in spite of the old woman’s presence, he escapes towards the house’s entrance. While she voices her complaints, he fetches a glass from the kitchen and fills it full with water before bounding up the stairs of the great house. He paces through corridors, so suddenly aware he knows not a thing about the layout of the home. Much to his luck, he then witnesses a doctor leave across the hall.

Walking with caution, he comes upon a door decorated with acrylic blue daisies, with branching magnolias and soft emerald junipers. Pushing forth the closed entrance, he finds Junia’s window ajar, her eyes transfixed on the outdoors and her expression one of such boredom he begins to feel it too. Reaching her bedside, he observes the uneasiness of her respirations, the crimson seeping through her freckled cheeks as her fever swells to its limits.

“Good day, Ms. Junia.” Anxiously, he calls her to attention. Shocked to a seated position, the lady wraps sheets about a translucent lavender nightgown. He can only imagine that the motion brings her nausea and he’s sorry for his presence.

“Good day, Mr. Woodbury.” Adjusting her curls, she faces him against the heat brought on by her illness, swiftly catching a glimpse of the water he holds at his side. After suffering so long through a physician’s inspection, the very prospect of it entrances her. Jack soon sees her desire.

“I overheard you weren’t feeling at your best, Ms. Junia. I figured you might be in need of a drink.” All so careful not to disturb her, Jack sets the glass at her night table, settling in a chair positioned by her so uncomfortably he finds it humorous himself. Without hesitation, he’s humored further as she snatches up the glass and downs it in familiar desperation. She then dabs at her lips with timidity.

“Thank you.” It is all she can muster before collapsing towards her mattress with a faint smile. Having known disease himself, Jack is wise to the torture that plagues her, the constant desire for sleep never satisfied with prevalent discomfort. Unable to prevent rest from alluding her, he thus moves to distract her with words. He surrenders the remorse he’s held tight to for days till his conscience is clear.

“I want you to know I am truly grateful for your discretion after my eruption in the woods. You easily could have had me punished but you refused it.” His gratitude is sincere yet her expression hardly changes.

“After I pestered you so fiercely, your reaction was warranted. I should never have interfered with your work.” Stretching briefly, he watches as nausea washes over the Livingston heiress, her arms stretching out in malaise. Then, the humility in her response registers with him. And he wonders whether the lady knew it; her behavior around him was far from ordinary.

“You may have pestered me a fair amount of times, Ms. Junia. But my anger towards you was unacceptable. During the storms, you forced me to face memories I sought to forget. I can’t begin to express how sorry I am for subjecting you to my rage but if there is any way I can make amends for it, please let me know.” Like fallen angels restored to the heavens, his apology seems to set all back in place. He is blessed with joy, the expression in her face one of pure forgiveness yet with just a bit more to it.

“You could tell me your story.” A simple request, it is all she has wanted since the day he arrived. And without another battle, Jack begins telling it in generous detail. He tells of his childhood ravaged by loss, of his parents, rejection, his kindly old uncle so optimistic despite their destitution. He tells of his fortunate education, of the books he had found and the ways in which he learned to prefer literature over conversation. He speaks on and on, perhaps even enjoying the prospect that someone might be interested in what he really has to say. He speaks until the sun threatens to vanish once more, the scent of supper brewing in the cookhouse brought to them in the summer breeze. Stars glow beyond her windowsill and he’s sorry to utter his last words.

“All my life, I’ve been content with keeping to myself, Ms. Junia. But while it surprises me, I’m thankful you interrupted my solitude. I didn’t think I could ever enjoy another’s company so much.” Lifting her empty glass, he stands to depart. And despite her weary weak state, she sits up to see him off.

“At the end of the day, it is irrelevant whether fear, social boundaries, or past tragedy keep us barred in isolation. All prefer to live beside each other. No one truly deserves to be alone.” He considers her words as he walks towards the door, her impressive wisdom so unbelievable in the midst of her youth. For then, Jack wonders if he’s ever wanted seclusion at all. To his surprise, he knows this answer right away.

“Good night, Ms. Junia.” Smiling himself for the first time in ages, he meets her eyes once more.

“Good night, Mr. Woodbury.” She whispers with glee. He departs for now, but they both know it; he is destined to return again.

Is this a review?



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6 Reviews

Points: 71
Reviews: 6

Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:48 pm
TrulyDeviousAngel says...

Hey there, Angel here with a quick and short review,

So, I absolutely loved the story! Honestly, my only complaint is that the story is a little long for a short story. I would have suggested breaking it up into two parts, but that's just me. But other than the story being a little long, I loved it! If there isn't already, could you make part two? There is so much more I want to see, and I feel like you sorta left us on a cliffhanger. Anyway, that's all I really have to say about this story!

Thank you for reading this review and for having such an amazing story for me to read,


TrulyDeviousAngel says...

Why does it keep doubling? I'm really sorry-

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6 Reviews

Points: 71
Reviews: 6

Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:48 pm
TrulyDeviousAngel wrote a review...

Hey there, Angel here with a quick and short review,

So, I absolutely loved the story! Honestly, my only complaint is that the story is a little long for a short story. I would have suggested breaking it up into two parts, but that's just me. But other than the story being a little long, I loved it! If there isn't already, could you make part two? There is so much more I want to see, and I feel like you sorta left us on a cliffhanger. Anyway, that's all I really have to say about this story!

Thank you for reading this review and for having such an amazing story for me to read,


TheClosetWriter says...

Hi! I'm so glad you liked it. This story was actually taken from a novel idea I had when I was 12 years old. I made it a little longer because the competition I submitted to had a minimum of 3000 words but I was actually thinking of breaking it up into 4 parts to separate days and conversations. I think I will do that :) Thank you so much!!

TrulyDeviousAngel says...

Alright, sounds good to me! And you're welcome!

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Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:34 pm
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stygianmoon17 wrote a review...

Hi there, here for a review :)

I'll try helping you as much as I can, but really no need to send 300 points if you actually wanted to. You can keep your points :D

I'm not that good with the era in which you set this short, but I'll try my best.

I'll skim through typos and grammar mistakes so you can hone that part out, then move on to structure, pace, etc


but as the past months have strengthened him, his obligations are changed.
his obligations HAVE changed", would be more correct here

But in his empty responsibilities, his prepping lumber and searching for trees,
"and SEARCH for trees," if it's the meaning I understood from this

at the edge of one day.
"of today" or "of his days", one day is way too specific and talks about a past that repeats itself.

Here, far enough from the authority of the Livingston family, he can watch the Southern sun bleed into a golden harvest, and afford himself the privilege of free thought.
Bootiful line

One thing that really bothered me while reading, is that I feel like you're trying a bit too hard. I mean don't get me wrong, it's great to attempt things, but you put way too much effort into this that it overcrowds your writing. Simple sentences like "a line of sweat broke across Jack's face" becomes "Jack can’t prevent sweat from beading at the edges of his untamed hair. "

And between these two, honestly, which was the simplest to read ? Your writing style is beautiful, really really beautiful, it goes hand in hand with your theme and setting, but it sometimes feels heavy handed and hard to read. For example that description I mentioned earlier. It was a mouthful to read, and that sentence was pretty easy to grasp meaning-wise, but other sentences with more complex meanings were much harder to understand. So maybe keep your style but try and simplify it ? Shorten the sentences, dumb down your descriptions and narrations a bit, and trust me your story will flow so much easier then.

“So it seems you prefer isolation, Mr. Woodbury.” He has misjudged his safety, once resting against the severed remains of a locust tree but now, standing alert as the daughter of such a residence approaches him. Smiling brightly, he beholds the manner by which her golden curls fall about her figure, her pale complexion glowing with color as she’s walked quite a distance to meet him. There is an unsettling excitement about her chartreuse green eyes and he fears what power they behold.
This bit is crucial, it introduces the second main character to the first in a way that isn't through the words of another. She's actually there. The person he's heard about so much.
But there is a lot to unpack in that short passage,

"He has misjudged his safety, once resting against the severed remains of a locust tree but now, standing alert as the daughter of such a residence approaches him." this here was pretty long and hard to read without much pauses. Too many words, too many details added- maybe add a full stop somewhere, or break apart some of the details put in here and scatter them in dialogue or descriptions further in ? Your choice.

"her golden curls fall about her figure, her pale complexion glowing with color as she’s walked quite a distance to meet him. There is an unsettling excitement about her chartreuse green eyes and he fears what power they behold." this is description. But it feels mundane, it feels more like a shopping list in which you tick off things like "eyes= green" "skin= white" "hair= golden".
And even with adjectives such as "chartreuse" and "pale complexion", I still feel like this is a shopping list.
It's a pretty minor detail, some wouldn't even remark it as it in no way makes the story less interesting or the characters less entertaining to read about, but pimping up the description of one of your main characters is major if you're looking to hone this piece of work. So here are some tips to help you out :D

1. Since this is seen from the POV of one of your characters at the first person, instead of having him describe her hair, eyes then skin, have him notice what his CHARACTER would first notice.
It's rather obvious a man that's never seen a woman before would notice different things first on a woman, than a little girl who loves textiles for example.
In that example, the little girl would first look at what she's wearing and notice how fluffy-looking or vivid-looking the textile is. While the man would probably look at features proper to women. So think.. what would my MC notice first on this woman ? Then describe that

2. Describe what is most striking in her appearance. What makes for the strongest, the most revealing impression ? Is it the hair ? Does it shimmer in the sun like golden rain ? Or does it resemble more the colour of burnt caramel ? Or the eyes. And if so, why ? The colour ? the texture ? what she did with it (for example, makeup, hair styles..) ?

3. When talking about colours, don't be as simple as "her eyes were green". Description is a great way to give insight on the character. Maybe her eyes are "green like the olives she used to pick when she was younger" or her hair was "white like a flame below the sun" or her eyes were red "like glittering rubis"? Get wild with descriptions ! Usually the less specific a colour or description is, the better it will become.

Oh wow this ended up longer than I expected, so I'll have to shorten this a bit :(
Well I hope this helped you notice the things you think you could fix, and definitely keep writing :D

TheClosetWriter says...

Hi! Thank you so much for leaving such a detailed review! When I was writing the piece, I was really nervous about having bland sentences so they ended up a little over complicated. I will definitely go back and fix that. I also love your ideas about improving description so that it is more meaningful in the context of the story. I tried to highlight features that really differentiate them as people because one of the overarching themes is that differences are inevitably irrelevant. I have a lot of editing to do :) Since you don't want points, let me know if you ever need another opinion on any of your work too! Thank you again!

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Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:47 am
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...

Hi TheClosetWriter,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

You start off really great with the story. The first paragraph alone, which is the introduction, presents some of the characters in short but concise sentences, as well as some of the character traits. It's like a short summary of the main characters. Your choice of words but also the sentence structure seem very professional and well thought out and immediately give the reader the necessary questions to ask themselves how the story will now unfold around this section.

It also works very well to continue in the coming sections as you go a little deeper into some of the details before the dialogue begins. The dialogues are well written, you can tell quite quickly who is talking as the characters have some nuances to speak. This is good in combination with the notes on what tone Junia or Woodbury are speaking in.

"Does my status intimidate you, Mr Woodbury?" Again, her blatant inquiries and his formal title impress him.
"In a world such as this one, I find other concepts much more frightening." Since practicing indifference, he worries if she'll take too much offense at his behaviour.

I like this passage very much. It's almost a kind of climax to the dialogue, because it sums up what has just happened, in my eyes.

The Virginian sky so grey with impending rain

I'm no expert on grammar and this is just a suggestion from me, but wouldn't it be more correct to rephrase the sentence to read "The sky over Virginia...". (Because I haven't read that phrase from you yet, no matter what state you would phrase it in).

I can only say that I like your writing style very much. It reminds me a lot of historical novels. I like very much that you give a very large and varied insight into the inner lives of the characters, especially Jack Woodbury. Besides these features, I like how you usually break up the conversations with another paragraph that one gets some background thoughts. The whole thing read really well and I'm almost sad that it's only a short story. The feeling I got while reading was that of a script. It was easy to get into and you put a lot of effort into recreating that aesthetic.


TheClosetWriter says...

Thank you so much! That sentence about the rain was a little awkward. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:56 pm
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Sunflowerdemon3712 wrote a review...

okay right off the bat for starters I just love your writing style it is just so great I love it! The way you word your sentences it all just strings together perfectly and it just really adds to this great story! I think the way you describe characters is very vivid and it really let's me make a picture in my head and again just flows great with your story like the transition is perfect. So something that did confuse me a little bit and this might just be my pea sized brain but it seems like she was very easily able to read his character is this magic or is she just good at reading people? Sorry if it's a bit of a silly question I was just wondering. But other than that the character interactions were great and it seemed so natural for them to be speak to one another! But one little complate is it does jump around just a little not so much that I can't understand the story but there was a time or two when I didn't understand how much time had past and how we got to this point but again that could just be me. But overall this story was just amazing and written in a wonderful way and I hope to see more in the futcher! Anyway have a great day/night and keep on writing!

TheClosetWriter says...

Thank you so much!! This made my day :) Junia is really good at reading people. Also, the piece does jump around a bit and I was kind of worried about that so I think I might split it up into certain days with time measurements so it is more clear. Thank you again!! :)

Sunflowerdemon3712 says...

Of course, and thank you for clearing that up! Have a great day/night!

TheClosetWriter says...

You too!

But what about second breakfast?
— Peregrin Took