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The Outsider

by restlessheart14

From afar

-I see you every day in your radiant beauty. Walking down the halls with your coal black hair swinging back and forth, or at your locker hunched to protect yourself. I know you don’t see me and I know you wouldn’t give me a second glance, but I see you. You walk as though you have been broken more than once and I just want to fix you, I want to make you whole again. As you pass by I even notice the scars on the inside of your left forearm, the place you thought you hid pretty well. I just want to tell you everything will be okay, but I can’t promise a happy ending. However, no matter how much pain you go through, I’ve noticed how well you keep yourself collected around your friends. You even smile for them, and what a smile it is at that. With your perfectly straight white teeth and nearly invisible dimple on your left cheek. Today I noticed that even the little happiness you could muster around your friends has gone. The slight light in your eyes (at least what was left) has dwindled away. Any trust for anyone or anything has also left you. Seeing you like this, alone and broken, hurts my heart.

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639 Reviews

Points: 13700
Reviews: 639

Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:46 am
SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...

Hey there! I just recently realized that I reviewed another piece of yours ages ago ^^ Hopefully I can focus less on grammar this time.

(Some quick notes: I am on a phone and so there may be some crazy typos. Bear with me please xD I swear I'm not trying to be hypocritical. Also, I am in no way attacking you as an author, but this may seem rather harsh. I only intend to assist you grow as a writer. If you don't find it harsh, great! Awesome ^^ If you do, I apologize but I'm only saying what I think will help you improve.)

Okay. The main thing missing here is focus. Everything is really just jumping all over the place. Take the first two sentences -- which should actually be one sentence because the second is a fragment and it reads really strangely. It goes from "radiant beauty" in the first segment to "hunched to protect yourself." That's two very strikingly different images. Later on it goes to talking about how she (I will just refer to the "you" as she as it's easiest for me) walks around broken but stays confident around her friends. And then the life dwindling from her eyes? It's just a bit too scattered.

One thing that I feel would contribute to this feeling of lacked focus is underdeveloped images as well as some cliches creeping up in here. For instance, radiant beauty is rather simple in the sense that we don't get a lot from it. We get that the speaker thinks she's pretty and that's about it. Later on, "... You keep yourself collected around your friends." Compared to the imagery around it -- even if it's a little underdeveloped -- this is really lacking.

Around cliches and other weak images, look at the last line. "... alone and broken, hurts my heart." To end a piece off like this isn't really drifting away to me. It's rather weak and falls as it tries to end off like this, because instead of adding an ending, final quality to the piece, it's basically a summary. Expand on this, make it stronger and more filled with figurative language. And another point when it's said she walks around like she's broken, what does that even mean? How does it add, what does it look like? It needs more.

Main point of my ramble: try and place together stronger images around one big focus. And yeah I know. It's a lot easier said than done, but go back and read through this. While you are, think of it like a slow progression, as this is kind of jumping around from "You're pretty. You're hurting. You don't see me, but I see you. You're physically hurting. I want to help. But you're trying to hide it. And you're failing." Now this is an over simplification of your piece, however perhaps try to progress it a little slower and more methodically to the girl the narrator is looking at ending up broken.

I think I've rambled enough, and I don't hate the concept. While it's a little overused, this mostly doesn't work well because it's more of a skeleton of an idea rather than a full poetic type of imagery. I strongly recommend restarting and using what you have here as a basis. Because it's not horrible, but it really needs more.

If you have any questions or would like some suggestions, please feel free to ask!

Keep on writing,
~ Wolfe

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29 Reviews

Points: 148
Reviews: 29

Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:30 am
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Kaila wrote a review...

Oh my gosh! This is so good! It's really sad but also like really well written at the same time. It's a perfect example of showing instead of telling what happened. Also, you show the unnamed narrator's perspective on the situation very well. I would like to get to know the narrator more, though. How does he or she know this girl? He or she obviously cares so much about her, even though he or she doesn't really know her very well. But seriously, this is so well written!! :)

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26 Reviews

Points: 138
Reviews: 26

Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:19 am
restlessheart14 says...

Thanks so much Kaila :)

I'm also not sure why but even though I normally wear cool tones I have a feeling red would have been my color in the 1860s.
— Elinor