Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Article / Essay » Realistic

Personal Reflective

by carlak2003

Personal Reflective

It all happened in a blur.

There was three of us in our family me, mum and my little brother. We lived in a flat near my school. I was only 6 years old and my little brother was coming on for 10 months when we went away. I came home from school one day when I saw that there was a bright yellow car parked outside our flat. I went inside to see my mum with her head in her hands and it sounded if she was crying, I asked her if she was OK and she didn’t answer. I went up to her and sat on her lap and begged her to tell me what was wrong. I hadn’t noticed the women who was sitting on the other sofa, she looked very serious. I didn’t know what was happening. I asked my mum who this person was and finally she answered me. She said that this woman was someone who would help us through our problems however I would have to go away to stay with someone else. I wanted to stay with my mum forever however if we needed to get through things then I would do this for her.

The next day was Saturday so I had a full day to say goodbye and pack most of my things for what my mum called an extended holiday with a nice family. When I got in the car my mum came to the window and placed a note in the palm of my hand which I read on the journey. It said that she loves me with all her heart and that she would come back for me one day. I gave her one last kiss goodbye and said I would look after my little brother.

The family in which I stayed with lived not far from my mum, so every now and then I would go and see her. I stayed at the same school which I was not bothered by as I could still see all my friends. One day I met this family from Scotland and they were nice, and the mum had a strong accent. I was wondering who the people were for a while. Then one day I went to their house and saw their family. I found out that they were foster carers and would look after me and my little brother for a while. By this time I was 7 and my little brother was 1. I remember that date it was August 4th that we moved in with them. I had to move schools which was saddened about as I would not see my friends and I would have to make new ones. Some 2 years after we moved in with them they asked me if I would like to move up to Scotland with them and I said yes, I’d never been out of England and I would love to live in a different country. We drove up to Scotland and went to my aunties where me, my foster mum and some of my foster cousins went to Braehead to pizza hut and went on some show rides. We then stayed at Craig Tara in which I really enjoyed because I met some new people and had time with my new family. On December 9th me, my foster mum and my little brother got the train up to Scotland which took roughly 6 hours which felt like forever. On the journey I mostly played on my DS. When we arrived in Scotland we got a taxi to where we were staying.

I started a new school in which I found completely different because down in England we call it year 1 – year 6 and have a reception which is like another year in nursery in Scotland, but here we call it primary 1 – primary 7. After living in our first house in Scotland we moved to a small village which reminded me of where we lived down in England, I was going into primary 7 at the time.

In February 2015 my little brother and I got adopted by our current family Janice and Bob. I was quite happy by this as I had two families who loved me and cared for me.

During the summer holidays between me leaving primary 7 and going into secondary school I went on my first holiday abroad to Majorca. It was really fun as it was the first time I went on a proper holiday.

When I was going into secondary school I was nervous because when I first went to school in Scotland some people made fun of my accent and the stories of people who are starting secondary school seemed scary however I had some of my friends with me. Every year since 2015 we have been abroad at least once a year mostly during the summer holidays. In November 2015 my big sister got married and I was lucky enough to be her bridesmaid. It was such and amazing experience that I will never forget. In June 2016 my nephew was born which made me an auntie, and my other big sister was pregnant, and gave birth on 6th December to a daughter. During the October holiday that year our close family in which there was 10 of us went on holiday to Portugal. The day we came back was a day before my 13th birthday which really annoyed me because I really wanted to have a holiday where I was in the sun with my family. In May 2018 one of my brothers passed away just a couple of days before his 15th birthday. I was saddened by this as I was nearest the age to him and we always had a laugh and a carry on. The funeral took place on June 8th in which most of our family members and his some of his school teachers came. I will never forget my brother.

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?



User avatar
559 Reviews

Points: 31117
Reviews: 559

Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:52 pm
Atticus wrote a review...

Hi there, Carlak! I'm MJ, and I'm here to offer you some (hopefully) helpful critique.

First off, I'm glad that you have a venue to tell your story, and I hope that writing everything down has helped you deal with everything that has happened. Obviously, since this is a story about your personal life, I can't really critique it as far as plot elements and characters, but there are a few other elements of your story that I have some tips for you to further improve your writing. I can't emphasize enough that you've already taken the hardest step; you already have words on the page, and now all that's left to do to polish this piece up is to make a few stylistic changes.

One thing I noticed is that you have a lot of missing commas. I don't want to go super in-depth here, but there are a bunch of free guides you can find on the Internet. Of course, it's completely understandable if you knew all the rules but rushed through this piece, but it's something you will want to fix as it can be a distraction from your actual piece. There's a great guide on Grammarly that you can read by clicking on this link. As some of the other reviewers have pointed out, there are some other grammar mistakes here too, so just be mindful of doing your best to use proper grammar so readers aren't distracted by your grammar mistakes and can focus on your story.

The second main point of critique I have to offer is that your story seems a little roundabout and doesn't end with a final point. You're telling your life story here, but it's not really to prove a point or to give an example of something specific in your life that happened. Of course, the way you have it now is perfectly fine, and the only reason you need to change that is if your goal in writing this is to prove a point. You don't have to persuade your reader of anything, but understand that in order for this to qualify as a persuasive essay, you need to have an argument that you support with proof.

I hope this critique was helpful for you, and if you have any questions, please let me know and I'll do my best to clear up any confusion. I want to reiterate that you do not need to change anything of what you've written here, especially if you were using writing as a vent, but this is my critique from a literary standpoint. Have a wonderful Review Day!

All my best,

User avatar
767 Reviews

Points: 26330
Reviews: 767

Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:21 am
SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...

Hi, Carlak! Happy Review Day ~

So, I found this a really interesting piece, and I'm glad you're comfortable enough with your past to be able to share your story. Keeping that in mind, I'm simply critiquing your writing so that you can present it better, not for the content.

Overall, this piece felt kind of rushed. I totally understand not wanting to go into too many details about your personal life (especially since this is an online website), but there still feels like a good amount of summary about each of the events. In order to make a real impact on the reader and make them sympathize and empathize, you want to try to paint out the details with a mix of both emotion and how these events were coped with before moving on to the next event.

This is especially true for the last paragraph. There are a lot of events that are all summarized in one long paragraph that could be explored a lot more. Now, I also understand that if you spent an equal amount of time on every single event, this piece would absurdly long and you may not want to focus on every event with the same weight as the last. So for that, I would recommend you to maybe try to map out the really big events (thinking about it like a fictional novel, where you want to hit important plot points) and then try to focus on those.

Going off of that, what I think this piece could benefit from is having a focused view of your past. Maybe think about what is some huge thing that you learned from all of this? If you're writing this for others to read, what are you trying to tell other people? Then, once you have that idea, then it would be easier to narrow down what events you should focus on and shaped what your view of the world is today. That being said, there's nothing wrong with wanting to summarize what happened to you, but in the case of a memoir, those are typically done as some kind of exploration of self.

Writing wise, my recommendation to you would be to try to vary your sentence structure a little bit more. For instance, instead of using lots of simple sentence such as "I did this" or "he did that" maybe trying to have different kinds of complex sentences such as "as this was happening, I did this" or "there was some kind of event, which caused me to feel like this." These are just generic examples to illustrate a point, but this would really improve the flow and the feel of the piece.

I think it's awesome you're exploring your past! I wish you lots of luck editing and working on this in the future. If you have any further questions, my inbox is always open!

Best wishes ~
- Wolfe

User avatar
57 Reviews

Points: 548
Reviews: 57

Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:15 am
1nspire wrote a review...

This was an interesting story. I liked the way that you recounted a lot of events from memory and used specific dates, this helps the reader get a good sense of the events and their timeframe.

I was a little confused throughout because I wasn't really sure where the story was going. Make sure when you write, you a clear idea of what you want to say and that you have a message. Reading stories is fun, but it's important that any piece of writing has a theme that the reader can pick up on and remember.

I would also just like to correct a little bit of the grammar. Firstly, there were two places in which the sentence should read "there are" instead of "there is". Also, I think you could insert a few commas in places like "The next day was Saturday, so" and "which I was not bothered by, as I could see all of my friends"

Furthermore, I would suggest writing out numbers, especially if they are lower, as this makes the writing seem more professional, so seven instead of 7 and one instead of 1.

I think it would be great if you varied the sentence structure a little more, as most of the sentences began with "I". Going along with this, I would recommend showing your reader certain things, rather than just saying them. For example, instead of: "she looked very serious" try "a stern look plastered on her face,".

Overall great work, this was fun to read. Have a great day!

A memorandum isn't written to inform the receiver, but to protect the writer.
— Dean Acheson