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I Hate My Life - Chapter 1

by bigsisfarmer


I hate my life.

This may sound like a wishful youth, aspiring to break free of their humdrum life and enter into the fantasies that they create in their own minds. It often is heard from one who grows weary of the indulgence in life that they are granted, and rather wishes of a life full of hardship and strife, of adventure and love. It comes from those who wish to be admired and revered without the hard work that becomes necessity. Yes, my statement is very similar to those people that cannot comprehend the luxuries that they have been given, but it is not so. I think this, as I find myself walking home from school.

By now, I perceive, that throughout your lifetime you have read many books containing hardships. Many times the protagonist is beaten, unloved, and used as a toy by those who hold the power. This lifestyle has often been exalted, and many wish as though they had experienced that in life. They begin to think that experience as blessed. I can only wish it were so.

To be subjected to these hardships is a constant battle, it wears away at both your mind and your body. I suppose that the mental battle is the worst of all. Eventually, you start to realize that even your mind is not your own, but rather the play-thing of your oppressors. They begin to weave their way throughout your thoughts, you begin to perceive that you deserve what they have done to you, you think that you are worthless, and that you would be better if you were dead.

I wish I could tell you there was an escape. Maybe there is, for you, but I know that there is none for me. This life has caged me, and I will never escape, for my cage is the mental sort. I also wish I could assure you that I am a good person, but, alas, this as well is only a wish of my imagination. I am instead simply trying to survive, doing whatever I can to achieve this. I would like to be one of the heroes that roam the streets at night, fighting villains in the name of justice, but I’m afraid I might be one of the reasons they have to fight. A new thought entered my mind, as I turned the street corner, ignoring the sounds of the city.

I’ve never felt as though I were home in this world. I only know the familiar feeling of belonging from the books I’ve been able to grasp. I’ve only seen the happy faces of home through my own imagination. I’ve only experience happily ever after from eyes other than my own.

Rather, I’ve spent my whole life on the run, while still getting nowhere. I go to school and run. Even in the sweet solitude of my very own mind, I find that I have to run from myself.

Quite honestly, it’s not easy. Granted, it would be probably be slightly easier if I did not live in the crime hotspot of the world.

At least it helps to bring rent down. Who would be crazy enough to voluntarily live in this madhouse city of Gotham? My parents apparently.

I stepped up to the dirty red door of my apartment, and glanced at the numbers that were displayed on it.

“1-16”

I found myself acutely aware of a man standing against a pole, several feet away from me. One of my father’s spies.

My father kept a constant surveillance over my actions. He wanted me to be good, or at least, his twisted version of good. In exchange for being “good,” I had this small amount of liberty. It also meant I wasn’t locked up in a test tube all day. I didn’t have the luck of superpowers, or saviors like Project Kr did. I wasn’t that lucky, or important apparently.

I took out a key of my dirty, worn jeans, and unlocked the door. I pushed open the door to find a dirty, trashed house. Looks like my mother was home.

Big whoop.

I quietly closed the door behind me, in case my mother was asleep. Sighing, I set my backpack down, and slowly began to pick up the trash, and broken dishes that scattered the floor. The good thing about small spaces is that they are easier to clean.

I found my mother in her room. She had appeared to be passed out, barely missing her ragged bed.

When I was finished, I gazed about my room in satisfaction. I reached inside of my backpack, and grabbed homework for the day. Since I had passed High School a while ago, I found my Sophomore homework boring and monotonous. For me, this work was extremely easy. The only reason I was subjected to this waste of time was because it was a great cover. In this town it would be strange for one to be homeschooled, or to have graduated at a young age. We can’t have anyone notice something strange.

Not that they would care anyways.

I was finishing my homework when I heard a knock at the door.

I felt the familiar pain of anxiety grip the muscles in my gut. The only person who ever knocked at that door was my father. I stood from the seat I was sitting in, my feet frozen to the floor.

I had seen many horrific things in my life. I have fought hundreds of battles. Both external and physical. Every single thing never phased me. I was very rarely scared of anything, except for people. My father in particular.

The father that happened to be at the door at this very moment.

Another loud knock resounded at the door, making me jump. I took another deep breath, forcing the movement of my feet. I stepped to the door, and slowly turned the handle, feeling the cold metal pierce through my skin.

As soon as the door opened a crack, a man barged into the room. I jumped back, inexplicable terror overwhelming my thoughts. He was tall, 6ft tall, while I dwelt at 5” 5’.

My father made noo notice of me, but instead took a few strides to the kitchen counter. He set atop of the counter a briefcase. After opening it, he carelessly dropped several plastic bags filled with a white powdery substance.

My mother’s payment.

Every time my father visited, he was required to give my mother a payment. This, was a bribe so that my mother would in turn keep quiet about my father’s visits and allow him to do anything he wanted to me. Instead of money, which was a typical choice of most people, my father paid my mother is drugs.

My father turned towards me, fixing his hard blue eyes upon me. “Let’s go, Yara.” He gruffly commanded me, before leaving the apartment, keeping the door ajar. I wish he wouldn’t use my name.

I hate my life.


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1029 Reviews


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Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:48 pm
Mea wrote a review...



Hey there bigsis! Thanks for requesting a review in my thread! I'm here for that review now, so let's dive right into this.

Let's talk about the very beginning of this story. You're trying to do something pretty interesting here by having your main character narrate directly to the reader. This immediately gives us a sense of his (her? From the character's narrative voice I assumed male, but Yara might be a girl's name, I'm not sure) character - he's pretty sure of himself and more than a little bit pretentious and overdramatic. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - in fact, it makes him a more interesting character.

That being said, I think you could pull it off better. For one, his long monologue about his hardships compared to the hardships of those in other books is a bit hard to follow - it's just a little bit too abstract. More importantly, the way you use tenses is weird and confusing in this particular segment of the narrative. You keep having sentences like this:

I think this, as I find myself walking home from school.

They place us in a particular point at a particular time, but it doesn't make sense for you to do this at this point in time. You're telling this story in first person past tense, talking specifically to the reader. Your narrator is acknowledging that this is a book, which means logically, the events in the book must have already happened.

This means that Yara cannot possibly be thinking all this about "I wish I could tell you there is an escape" while he is walking home from school on that day at the start of the story. He's not currently narrating the book. He doesn't know that readers of this book exist, or that he'll even be narrating his story in the future. This is a subtle but crucial aspect of writing in first person past tense and addressing the reader - it means you technically have 2 narrators, the older version of the protagonist, and the current, in-story protagonist. You can't have your in-story protagonist knowing things that only your narrator would know. I hope that makes sense. By not keeping this distinction clear, the monologue wound up confusing me rather than giving a good sense of his character.

I was able to get into the chapter a little bit more after you ended the monologue and started the actual scene. I think you do a really good job of introducing who Yara is and why specifically he hates his life in the second part - you show us the ways it sucks, which helps reinforce him having told us that it sucks.
I took out a key of my dirty, worn jeans, and unlocked the door. I pushed open the door to find a dirty, trashed house. Looks like my mother was home.

Big whoop.

I really liked this detail here. The repetition of dirty, [adjective] in both sentences makes it feel subtly like this is a metaphor for his life as a whole, and his reaction to his mother being home says almost more about his character than all of the monologuing earlier (particularly because we know he usually talks pretentiously, so the slang reveals the sarcasm even more).

I jumped back, inexplicable terror overwhelming my thoughts.

A small thing, but he just said he's afraid of his father, so his terror really isn't inexplicable. In fact, I assume he has a very good reason to be scared of his father.

Overall, this is a pretty good start! You have a strong character introduction and set up the conflict between Yara and his father. The main thing I would reconsider is the monologue at the beginning. It did more to turn me away from the story rather than get me interested in Yara as a person, and again it didn't make sense that he was thinking this while walking home from school.

I think that's about all I've got for you, so let me know if you have any comments or questions about what I said! I hope this was helpful. Good luck with this story, and keep writing!




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Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:23 pm
TheMulticoloredCyr wrote a review...



Hey, whassup? Okay, yeah, that was bad. I'm done now.

So, I'll be reviewing your piece here, please don't take it too harshly, these are just my opinions and those tend to not be shared by many other people anyway, so you can't put a whole lot of weight in them. (I mean, I don't even like strawberries or Harry Potter that much, so who's to say if you should care)

Let's start at the top and work out way down, then, in the end, I'll talk about more general stuff, m'kay, leggo.

"This may sound like a wishful youth, aspiring to break free of their humdrum life and enter into the fantasies that they create in their own minds. It often is heard from one who grows weary of the indulgence in life that they are granted, and rather wishes of a life full of hardship and strife, of adventure and love. It comes from those who wish to be admired and revered without the hard work that becomes necessity. Yes, my statement is very similar to those people that cannot comprehend the luxuries that they have been given, but it is not so."

When you go all wordy like this I expect to read something like 'The Poisonwood Bible' or 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay'. That, on its own, is not a bad thing. Those stories are wonderful, I'm reading both currently. The drawn-out style they're written in provides more than ample time for the author to flesh out and develop their characters beyond what more popular to-the-point styles could accomplish. The only problem with you using it here is that it is so incredibly dense in comparison to the source material, which can drive away the readers who would be interested in this work. Fanfiction is great, but there are always limitations, the one you seem to not have considered here is that the same people who liked the stuff you based this off of are going to be the only people who will care to read this, and seeing as the original stuff was all pretty light and made for quick and easy consumption, this is much more likely to drive them away than to draw them in. But it's your work, do what you want.

"Rather, I’ve spent my whole life on the run, while still getting nowhere. I go to school and run. I walk home, and run from creeps in the alleyways. I come home, and find myself either running from my father or mother. Even in the sweet solitude of my very own mind, I find that I have to run from myself."

First, you repeat the word 'home' twice within the space of two already (intentionally) similar sentences, which is not a good thing and should probably be addressed. Second, the whole paragraph was kinda hard to read and the repetitive theme that you were (I believe) going for only made the problem worse. A solution would be to either find a new way to make the point you were trying to get across or to cut it out entirely. I think that the paragraphs of philosophical rambling (and I mean that in the best way) would more than compensate for the loss of this little block of more of the same if you do choose to cut it. (that it, assuming you decide to heed my advice)

"I stepped up to the dirty red door of my apartment. I glanced at the numbers that were displayed on the door."

Two things here, the first is the repeat of the word 'door'. As I previously explained, repetition has its uses, but when it's on the page like this it just looks like sloppy writing. I would try to combine these two points into a single sentence to maintain the flow of the writing and to eliminate the unneeded 'door'. The second is the abrupt change in style. I gave my two cents about the drawn-out style, but abruptly changing from that to something more akin to the more popular YA styles like this is pretty jarring for the reader and comes off as almost as sloppy as the word repeat. I would try to either smooth the transition a bit by sprinkling a few lines here and there to describe what she is doing as all of this is supposedly going through her head ("I think through all of this as I pass the run-down thrift shop" "A new idea occurs to me on the corner of the street (you can add a specific street name or a landmark that would tie your story into the canon universe better)"). I should probably move on so I shall.

"My father kept a constant surveillance over my actions. He wanted me to be good, or at least, his twisted version of good. In exchange for being “good,” I had this small amount of liberty. It also meant I wasn’t locked up in a test tube all day. I didn’t have the luck of superpowers, or saviors like Project Kr did. I wasn’t that lucky, or important apparently."

So it strongly implies that she's being experimented on, which is something fans of the source material would already know about, so why are you being cryptic about what actually happened to her? There's no point in making a mystery of something that is most definitely not a mystery to anyone who knows their stuff and would thus be interested in this work. That would be like me writing a 'Heroes of Olympus' fanfic where the events of 'House of Hades' were Percy and Annabeth's 'mysterious past', it just doesn't work for readers who know the source material well enough to seek out fanfiction for it.

"I quietly closed the door behind me, in case my mother was asleep. I wouldn’t want to make the mistake of waking her"

Saying that she closed the door quietly, and then specifying that it was to avoid waking her probably-asleep mother already provides enough information to render the second sentence here pointless. Obviously, she doesn't want to wake her, and we can, therefore, assume that she would consider doing so a mistake. One or the other, please, not both.

"Since I had passed High School a while ago, I found my Sophomore homework boring and monotonous. For me, this work was extremely easy."

If she graduated high school, why is she doing homework? If you insist on making everything else perfectly clear, why stop with this?

"I felt the familiar pain of anxiety grip the muscles in my gut. The only person who ever knocked at that door was my father, and that was never good news."

Another avoidable 'well-DUH' moment that could be easily remedied.


"I have fought hundreds of battles."

You say nothing before this to imply that she has ever had to physically fight anyone. In fact, you practically make a point to stress the internal conflict beyond any kind of necessity. If there is an external conflict like this, please at least mention it, I'm begging you. Unless you are trying to refer to the internal conflict here, then I would say you did a pretty poor job. I'm sorry but it's true.

" I stepped to the door, and slowly turned the handle, feeling the cold metal handle pierce through my skin."

Woulda been dramatic if you wouldn't have said 'handle' twice in the same sentence. Honestly, honey, please DO NOT REPEAT WORDS LIKE THIS. It's seriously an amateur move, which may be true of you, but you don't have to write like it.

"My father made noo notice of me, but instead took a few strides to the kitchen counter. He set atop of the counter a briefcase. After opening it, he set several plastic bags on the counter.

My mother’s payment."

Yes, this makes perfect sense (note the sarcasm). What kind of payment is in the bags? If they're plastic I'm going to assume they're like little sandwich bags, so they're clear, which meant you Could say, "After opening it, he carelessly dropped several plastic bags filled with (insert form of payment here)". And what kind of payment is it? Like, for what? I know that a lot of this stuff could be divulged from the source material, but, pretend I've somehow avoided finding out about the various residents of Gotham City, who are these people and what are they doing? I get the internal struggle is important, but it makes no sense if you don't tell us where we are in the canon, and which canon and good LORD DC is complicated.

Okay, just a few notes for the general stuff. I've already said a lot about the transition between styles there in the middle which I'm bringing up again because I want you to consider it. I forgot the other thing. Bye, bye now.




bigsisfarmer says...


Wow! Thank you so much! This helped my tons!

Also, this is my OC but I guess I didn%u2019t make that obvious, so thank you also for bringing that to my intention.

I always appreciate criticism and value your opinion highly! Thank you!!





Yeah, I figured it might be an OC because the name wasn't familiar, but DC is such a huge universe and there's no way I could possibly know every character there is. However, knowing this is an OC brings up the question of who's story she intersects with.




Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
— Leonardo da Vinci