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16+ Mature Content

LMS VI: Let Me Live Tonight 0.1

by winterwolf0100


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

         

~~~

       

The color of my life is red. It pulses, explodes, jarring pain and violent love. It tempts Snow White, burns her lips with tabasco sauce and red pepper juice. We all know the story, and we whisper, “Don’t do it”, and we watch as she does it anyway. It’s the feeling of velvet on your skin, rich and overwhelming and heated. It loves and it destroys and it collapses.

The color of my life is orange. It pops, sparks, fizzing fragility and fleeting moments. It floats dying leaves gently to the ground, burns our noses with the smell of spice and loneliness. We all love the colors, wait to watch the trees sag to the ground, shedding their tears, and we crunch them underfoot. It’s the feeling of emptiness and longing, deep sunsets and tall moons. It exposes and it carves and it stings.

The color of my life is yellow. It bursts, melts, gentle whispers and sticky honey. It plays with sunshine, dances in the road and ignores all the cars. It’s the softness of a butterfly carried along by the breeze, caution signs and lightning strikes. It’s the melody of the birds flying through the air, sunflowers growing to face each other. It sings and it cries and it feels.

The color of my life is green. It gasps, screams, racing heart and broken head. It shelters the lost, dark shadows hiding faces and reflective eyes. People pick flowers to watch them fall apart, a small breath of the world they know they’ll never see. It grows wild, entangling and encompassing and climbing up the bark. It overtakes and it suffocates and it lives.

The color of my life is blue. It drowns, overcomes, bubbles underwater and muffled desperation. It holds your face, whispers, “it’s okay to let go,” drains the tears from your eyes and pulls the sobs from your throat. I want to hide from it, the all-knowing infinity, the cloudless sky and the endless sea. It tugs at our guts, lulls us to safety, rips us apart. It soothes and it swells and it falls.

The color of my life is purple. It crystalizes, hardens, mounting grief and formless compassion. It resonates through memories, quiet lavender and open fields. It is the place we have never been but the one we all strive for, wraps a cooling wind around us for comfort and boils a pot of tea. It’s the calm smell in the air that puts us at ease, glass bottles clinking together as we riffle through the shelves. It mends and it heals and it lasts.

When the colors are combined, people wish for a rainbow. That isn’t what they make. They fight and strangle one another, scar and wound. Things become muddied, indistinct, dulled. A grayness overshadows, expansive and thrashing. It meets us in an alleyway, hot kisses and rough brick against our backs. It blinds us and burns us, holds our gaze as it runs us over and paralyzes us. You had a dream to be a mother, a teacher, an adventurer. You raced up trees and giggled and stole cookies. You longed to fit in and you longed to stand out. It writes letters to the girl who moved away, pounds on the door of heads and bleeds white-hot pain from eyes.

I am not sure my life means anything. When a leaf shakes in the breeze, the last on bare branches, is it bravery or foolishness? I am not here anymore— I am not sure that I exist. The migraines hammer nails into my skull, and the glowing stars on the walls are stabbingly bright. I never knew such a soft glow could feel like this. Felix will be back soon. He gets off work at five. But I do not want him to see me like this— I do not want to be like this. I am not sure I even want to be.

You flash through my mind again, your smile and small hands on hips, wiggling with untamable energy and joy. The dare in your voice, watching you try to prove so hard you belonged. How could you not see you did? How could you not see you did more than me? I must’ve been lost, even then. I can’t remember it, but I think I had to be. I can’t remember a time before this, before you. Did a time like that exist? Does a time like that ever exist for people like us, people like me?

I wonder if there was a time before the grayness. I wonder if there was a time before the colors melted, swirling and pooling together down the sides of a canvas. Could they be pointed to individually? Could they be called out by name? They are too intertwined now, too connected and linked. I do not think I could separate them if I tried— I do not think I would. The grayness is dull and faded, and still my eyes burn in a completely darkened room. How much worse would this pain be in the full light of day? In the full light of a rainbow this bright, gnawing, starving and desperate? I don’t think I could bear it. I don’t think I can bear it as it is.

Every time I close my eyes, I hear you saying my name. You shortened it, sped past it with fast-moving lips, earnest to say every thought you had in your head. “Clay!” A squeal, a scream, a hug barreling into me, child bodies knocked to the ground and the air knocked out of me. That innocence that I strive for, the one I wish I could yank back, the one the colors stole, the one you grabbed and ran away with in a childhood game of chicken. It’s okay. I know you didn’t take it on purpose— I forced it into your hands, blinding sun and glowing stars. A growing grayness that stains like coffee on teeth.

I do not think I can live like this. I do not think I can live. Felix will be back soon— but my brain hurts too much to think, and my eyes burn too much to look for the good in this. I’ve looked for too long. I just want to rest. The glowing stars on the ceiling draw tears to my eyes, and I want to tear them down. Oh God, please let it not end like this. Please, I do not want it to end like this. I do not want it to end. Kill me tomorrow— let me live tonight.

      

~~~

      

1101 words

Any feedback is appreciated, but I really enjoy hearing how something I write makes the reader feel, and their theories. It makes me feel like people are really engaging with and enjoying my work.


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Fri Dec 09, 2022 10:33 am
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KateHardy 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: Okayyy so this was quite a lot. I don't know if I've ever really run into something that starts with a monologue quite this long without anything to break it up. I honestly don't fully know if it works here cause there so much to it and it seems to try and do so many emotions at once that ultimately it ends up fully bringing across only just the one or two and leaves the rest behind.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The color of my life is red. It pulses, explodes, jarring pain and violent love. It tempts Snow White, burns her lips with tabasco sauce and red pepper juice. We all know the story, and we whisper, “Don’t do it”, and we watch as she does it anyway. It’s the feeling of velvet on your skin, rich and overwhelming and heated. It loves and it destroys and it collapses.


Hmm this is an interesting place to start. We don't normally think Snow White when it comes to red and destruction like this one is trying to connect with here but I think somehow you make it work okay here. Definitely gets our attention quite nicely I think if maybe leaving us a little puzzled or perhaps that's just me.

The color of my life is orange. It pops, sparks, fizzing fragility and fleeting moments. It floats dying leaves gently to the ground, burns our noses with the smell of spice and loneliness. We all love the colors, wait to watch the trees sag to the ground, shedding their tears, and we crunch them underfoot. It’s the feeling of emptiness and longing, deep sunsets and tall moons. It exposes and it carves and it stings.


That's an interesting one there. I'm not entirely convinced you pulled off that journey to the last line there. It sort of gets there but it also doesn't and I don't really know quite what to feel. Maybe I just haven't seen orange as a bad thing nearly but it doesn't work for me quite as much as the red does. While that was a bit odd but still powerful, this one leaves me in two minds sort of.

The color of my life is yellow. It bursts, melts, gentle whispers and sticky honey. It plays with sunshine, dances in the road and ignores all the cars. It’s the softness of a butterfly carried along by the breeze, caution signs and lightning strikes. It’s the melody of the birds flying through the air, sunflowers growing to face each other. It sings and it cries and it feels.


This one works nicely again I think. I love the images this one tries to conjure up and it seems to match a whole lot better than the previous one did although this one now seems to switched tone from the previous bit entirely so it feels like we've got three paragraphs from three separate pieces as opposed to it all being in one cohesive thing.

The color of my life is green. It gasps, screams, racing heart and broken head. It shelters the lost, dark shadows hiding faces and reflective eyes. People pick flowers to watch them fall apart, a small breath of the world they know they’ll never see. It grows wild, entangling and encompassing and climbing up the bark. It overtakes and it suffocates and it lives.


Okayy now this one, this one is quite nicely done. Green is definitely not the sort of thing you normally associate with this, but the twist you aim to do with this one actually does work I think at least, it works well enough that I find myself convinced by it here. Although that disjointed feeling is still very much in effect.

The color of my life is blue. It drowns, overcomes, bubbles underwater and muffled desperation. It holds your face, whispers, “it’s okay to let go,” drains the tears from your eyes and pulls the sobs from your throat. I want to hide from it, the all-knowing infinity, the cloudless sky and the endless sea. It tugs at our guts, lulls us to safety, rips us apart. It soothes and it swells and it falls.


Well there goes my favorite color also being torn apart, once again I think even better job that green earlier. So I think really you do pretty strongly on this, orange needs a second look I think cause to turn me from seeing blue as its normal representation which is generally peace and quiet to this is quite the feat so there's no reason orange should be the one weakness. Also I think this one and green connects to each other a bit better than any of the other colors connected to other things.

The color of my life is purple. It crystalizes, hardens, mounting grief and formless compassion. It resonates through memories, quiet lavender and open fields. It is the place we have never been but the one we all strive for, wraps a cooling wind around us for comfort and boils a pot of tea. It’s the calm smell in the air that puts us at ease, glass bottles clinking together as we riffle through the shelves. It mends and it heals and it lasts.


Hmm another successful bit of color there although once again this one manages to make yet another disconnect with the previous piece. At the moment we're not really sure what to feel honestly, is it meant to be a sad occasion of life twisting these things into horror or is there meant to be a more soothing effect here. That confusion is currently not the greatest thing here, we'll se how it proceeds from here.

When the colors are combined, people wish for a rainbow. That isn’t what they make. They fight and strangle one another, scar and wound. Things become muddied, indistinct, dulled. A grayness overshadows, expansive and thrashing. It meets us in an alleyway, hot kisses and rough brick against our backs. It blinds us and burns us, holds our gaze as it runs us over and paralyzes us. You had a dream to be a mother, a teacher, an adventurer. You raced up trees and giggled and stole cookies. You longed to fit in and you longed to stand out. It writes letters to the girl who moved away, pounds on the door of heads and bleeds white-hot pain from eyes.

I am not sure my life means anything. When a leaf shakes in the breeze, the last on bare branches, is it bravery or foolishness? I am not here anymore— I am not sure that I exist. The migraines hammer nails into my skull, and the glowing stars on the walls are stabbingly bright. I never knew such a soft glow could feel like this. Felix will be back soon. He gets off work at five. But I do not want him to see me like this— I do not want to be like this. I am not sure I even want to be.


Okayy well that is quite a lot to work through. I don't know if the rainbow thing quite works here. It works for the first paragraph I think. It actually suddenly give that whole thing a bit more purpose and cohesiveness than earlier and showcases sort of the general vibe we had earlier of traditionally good things being revealed to in reality only spell dooom, but beyond that I find this kind of starts an entire different story afterwards I feel. Cause that particular paragraph here is already powerful on its own and seems to tell its own story. I think ultimately I'm left feeling like the read story starts in the paragraph starting with I there and everything above it feels unnecessary.

You flash through my mind again, your smile and small hands on hips, wiggling with untamable energy and joy. The dare in your voice, watching you try to prove so hard you belonged. How could you not see you did? How could you not see you did more than me? I must’ve been lost, even then. I can’t remember it, but I think I had to be. I can’t remember a time before this, before you. Did a time like that exist? Does a time like that ever exist for people like us, people like me?


Hmm, yeah this is bouncing off the previous one quite well I think. We get a good sense that we've got this person whose stuck in a pretty bad spot in time and is unable to really see a way past it or out of that. That's really does come across quite beautifully I think.

I wonder if there was a time before the grayness. I wonder if there was a time before the colors melted, swirling and pooling together down the sides of a canvas. Could they be pointed to individually? Could they be called out by name? They are too intertwined now, too connected and linked. I do not think I could separate them if I tried— I do not think I would. The grayness is dull and faded, and still my eyes burn in a completely darkened room. How much worse would this pain be in the full light of day? In the full light of a rainbow this bright, gnawing, starving and desperate? I don’t think I could bear it. I don’t think I can bear it as it is.

Every time I close my eyes, I hear you saying my name. You shortened it, sped past it with fast-moving lips, earnest to say every thought you had in your head. “Clay!” A squeal, a scream, a hug barreling into me, child bodies knocked to the ground and the air knocked out of me. That innocence that I strive for, the one I wish I could yank back, the one the colors stole, the one you grabbed and ran away with in a childhood game of chicken. It’s okay. I know you didn’t take it on purpose— I forced it into your hands, blinding sun and glowing stars. A growing grayness that stains like coffee on teeth.


Okayy so the colors make more of an appearance now but I don't quite see this connecting back anytime soon to the start really. It swirls within the idea of this new start quite well now and meshes in nicely. The thoughts here function more than well enough on their own I think although I feel like its getting a teensy bit repetitive at this point. Could just be me blending this whole monologue into one soup because there is precious of anything else to break it up, but its starting to feel like the same cry for help over and over which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I wanted to mention that in case maybe that wasn't you initial intention.

I do not think I can live like this. I do not think I can live. Felix will be back soon— but my brain hurts too much to think, and my eyes burn too much to look for the good in this. I’ve looked for too long. I just want to rest. The glowing stars on the ceiling draw tears to my eyes, and I want to tear them down. Oh God, please let it not end like this. Please, I do not want it to end like this. I do not want it to end. Kill me tomorrow— let me live tonight.


Okayy....well powerful ending although I will admit because besides the sort of vague mention of someone that this person is waiting we don't know anything else, it doesn't quite hit that strongly because yes you get the idea of this singular person so torn up inside but ultimately that just doesn't land as powerfully when we don't really know the cause of any of this. So you have sympathy for the character but the addition power that comes with relating to the character and understanding their pain is simply not even allowed to form here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, its an interesting piece. I'm sorry if I ended up sounding a bit harsh in this one but this just feels like a lot of really powerful lines that all stand out individually that ultimately don't quite unite to bring across one singular picture. I'm getting themes of some sort of fear of a loss, and generally being a situation where it seems this person feels the world has no happiness left in it anymore. But those come from pretty much about three ish paragraphs towards the end. The rest of it feels disconnected from one another a bit too much to present a cohesive story. It feels more like a series of individually powerful but only distantly related poems that the opening to a novel.

Its also quite conspicuously missing something to make us want to read on. That ending there is very final and it feels sort of like its own thing as opposed to really hinting at more to come or giving us more to look towards.

Another final point is that it feels so much longer than it is, as in despite this being 1,101 words if you didn't tell me that I'd honestly guess closer to five thousand with just how long it takes to read through and to process it. This one again I'm not sure if its a bad thing or a good thing but that's how it comes across.

Sorry again if I'm being harsh here. This story is just so uniquely captivating and brimming with potential that I just felt like I had to mention every single feeling it managed to evoke. This just feels like a rubix cube that has been twisted one step too far and all it needs on little push for this to all fall into place beautifully and work together.

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

Stay Safe
Harry






Hey Harry! Thank you so much for your review, it means a lot!

I think you bring up a lot of valuable points and information! I will say that it is supposed to have a slightly disconnected feeling. This is the prologue and it is purely train of thought during a moment when Clayton is in pain. But I do see a lot of what you said, and I do know it feels like longer than it is, mainly because there%u2019s no dialogue. This entire story in general is going to feel like there%u2019s always a puzzle piece missing (because there is) and it%u2019s more one of those stories where you read it the first time and everything clicks into place later on, then you go back and reread and go %u201Coh that%u2019s what that was about%u201D.

I%u2019m happy that you felt like all the colors worked except orange! That%u2019s still a score on my part. I tried my best to connect orange to fireworks and that feeling because (hint that I don%u2019t think others have picked up on yet) any time I mention a color, it is going to be in reference to these descriptions. They%u2019re a guide, if you will. They%u2019ll begin to feel more real and connected later on I am hoping, but we%u2019ll see!

Again, thank you so much for the review! It was very exciting to wake up and see!



KateHardy says...


You're Welcome!!

Oooh I see, I see. I'll try and keep some of these in mind as I go through future chapters of this :)



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Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:45 am
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Omni wrote a review...



Hey there winter! :D your progress when planning this story was super interesting and compelling, so I was wanting to follow this story as soon as it started! Excited to finally read and review this :D

as a side note, you were thinking about the title of your project for awhile, and I just wanted to say that I think this is good title! Love your book cover! The color is just amazing (fun fact: a lot of movie covers use similar color thematics (except it's orange and blue instead of red and blue) because of the contrast. Also, I'm looking at silv's review below mine, and she and I said pretty similar things about your cover, which I think is pretty telling on how good your cover and title combo is :P

Your introduction is so unique. It caught me off guard, ngl. Not only am I not used to present tense or first person in my readings, Your first paragraph reads to me like a poem more than prose, and it confuses me as much as poetry xD

However, and I say this while thoroughly enjoying what you've presented so far, like poetry, this beginning color prose is very thick with description and hard to read, and it drags on for about half of this chapter. While that's only 500 words, it is enough for me to feel like it goes on for a bit too long. I feel like giving a paragraph to each color is a bit too long. Perhaps combining them for a bit less descriptions and flowery language. You could do 2-2-2 or 1-2-3/1-2-2-1 for more of a symbolic nature. Just to have it flow a bit faster and smoother.

Also, heh gay.

When the colors are combined, people wish for a rainbow. That isn’t what they make. They fight and strangle one another, scar and wound. Things become muddied, indistinct, dulled. A grayness overshadows, expansive and thrashing. It meets us in an alleyway, hot kisses and rough brick against our backs. It blinds us and burns us, holds our gaze as it runs us over and paralyzes us. You had a dream to be a mother, a teacher, an adventurer. You raced up trees and giggled and stole cookies. You longed to fit in and you longed to stand out. It writes letters to the girl who moved away, pounds on the door of heads and bleeds white-hot pain from eyes.When the colors are combined, people wish for a rainbow. That isn’t what they make. They fight and strangle one another, scar and wound. Things become muddied, indistinct, dulled. A grayness overshadows, expansive and thrashing. It meets us in an alleyway, hot kisses and rough brick against our backs. It blinds us and burns us, holds our gaze as it runs us over and paralyzes us. You had a dream to be a mother, a teacher, an adventurer. You raced up trees and giggled and stole cookies. You longed to fit in and you longed to stand out. It writes letters to the girl who moved away, pounds on the door of heads and bleeds white-hot pain from eyes.


Hmm, perhaps this was your intention, but the writing of the colors themselves get muddled for me. I think this paragraph also has a lot of different ideas going on it and it's a bit hard to follow along with what you're wanting to say or to make me feel. What stood out to me out of all of this in this part though was the line: "You longed to fit in and you longed to stand out." I don't know why, but this resonates with me a lot, as it's kind of the duality for me being within the alphabet community. I long to fit in with something because I've felt like an outsider for so long but I also want so badly to be someone, to be a somebody, to not be a nobody, or just a statistic. Powerful stuff.

Kill me tomorrow— let me live tonight.


Powerful words!

Man, I am very conflicted on how I feel about this, because this is very, very good! Like, there are lines here that are instant winners. However, I think there's a bit of filler here that lessens the powerful impact of it, which I think is the fault of LMS to be quite honest. You need to hit a word-count, and sometimes that word-count means that the quality of the words are impacted a bit. To me, this reads much more like poetry than a story, so I'm quite interested to see where this goes, because this sets up, for me, much more of a struggle that poetry presents than setting up a story. I guess the last two paragraphs set up a bit of a story, but I gotta be honest I was far less interested in following Clay or Felix than I am in considering the quandary that you presented to me through reading this. I'm sure this will change when more chapters come out, but for now, I'd love to share my thoughts on what this was about to me.

For me, this felt like a look back on someone who is queer, looking back on their innocent self, before the complexity of sexuality or gender expression or expression of oneself muddles the vibrancy and allure of a community like the queer community. So, the rainbow muddling into grays. I think it also speaks to the want to be a part of the queer community versus the reality of being a part of the queer community. The pressures and dangers of being out, the fact that the queer community is itself also deeply flawed, and the concept that being in the community doesn't magically solve the problems that growing up closeted or existing as queer presents.

I could be completely off about all of this, but I suspect that I think some of these themes will be present in this story. Gosh, reading this makes me feel like I'm doing something so incredibly basic with my story xD I cannot wait to read more!




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Mon Sep 12, 2022 5:40 pm
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SilverNight wrote a review...



Hey winter! You've got a great start to your story and I am super excited to review this <3

Since the cover is part of this work and is wonderfully evocative, I might start with that. My first thought when I saw the combination of the background image and the title was "there's been a tragedy here". I'm not sure what made me think that right away, but it definitely had something to do with the cars and vehicles (I think those are motorcycles in the middle but I'm playing it safe) being stopped/pulled over at night, which generally means a bad thing has happened if the lights are still on. When it's paired with the desperate plea of the title in the innocent font that kindergarten writing practice textbooks have (whew that brings back memories), it gives the impression that something's gone horribly wrong despite that plea, live we've witnessed an accident or a loss.

Another thing the title evokes for me: it feels like one of those stories that happens in the space of a few hours over one night/day, sort of like They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (not sure if you've read, in which case I apologize for the reference, but it's a very sad book that even has the same tragic vibe this is giving me). I have no idea if that's your plan or if I interpreted what you were going for in the cover, but I like the impression I'm getting so far!

It tempts Snow White, burns her lips with tabasco sauce and red pepper juice. We all know the story, and we whisper, “Don’t do it”, and we watch as she does it anyway.


I like that you added the Snow White metaphor in the paragraph about red without actually mentioning the apple, which is the most obvious connection to red in her story. We also know there's an apple there without being told, so you've not only picked a great metaphor but also illustrated it past what's there in writing! I also just like this line in general because I've usually heard this part of Snow White's story told as though she were merely curious about the apple, but telling it as if it were a temptation for something unimaginably dark and deadly gives it a somber twist that's more fitting, and that twisting of a fairy tale seems deeper to me than the "fruit of knowledge/Eve" metaphor would have been.

It’s the softness of a butterfly carried along by the breeze, caution signs and lightning strikes.


I realized when reading this that I didn't immediately associate yellow with any of these things-- which really might be just me, because someone else totally might. I usually first think of orange and blue for butterflies because monarchs and morphos are very distinct to me, I got caution sign mixed up with warning sign and thought of red first (though caution signs are most definitely yellow), and I've only ever thought of lightning as white (that's probably entirely a personal association though). I don't think any of this needs replacing or rewriting of course! It's a good line with descriptions that are all different and creative, and to someone else these things might all be irrevocably yellow in their mind, but it made me wonder if not all of the descriptors here will match up with what everyone thinks of as the color it's been paired with here.

Slight rambly tangent off that, but maybe that's a bit of a beautiful thing? Now that I'm thinking about it, it's kind of cool that each person might have their own color(s) associated with any given thing. Some people think of the sea as green, others blue, others indigo, still others teal. Black is usually the first color I see people pairing with outer space, but it's always been more of a deep blue thing to me, and maybe there's someone out there who finds it purple. Personal experience might determine what colors come to mind when desks, birds, flowers, sweaters, or anything else are mentioned; everyone's going to have a different idea of what the best color to paint a kitchen in is. I feel like this is even more true for general things that come in different appearances or abstract things. Some things might not have a color associated with them at all for a person. So if someone doesn't see an object as the color you've tied it with here, that's completely fine! Neither of you are wrong and it's just going to carry different poetic meanings for both of you. And that's probably what's so beautiful about this.

Was that rambly? Hopefully there were one or two helpful sentences in there.

The color of my life is green. It gasps, screams, racing heart and broken head. It shelters the lost, dark shadows hiding faces and reflective eyes. People pick flowers to watch them fall apart, a small breath of the world they know they’ll never see. It grows wild, entangling and encompassing and climbing up the bark. It overtakes and it suffocates and it lives.


The paragraph about green seemed to evoke some opposites for me, due to word choice. The sentence about gasps and screams felt like it was going to be a wild color like red and orange, but the next two sentences are more subdued, not exactly peaceful because they still sound dark, but the vocabulary used doesn't hold quite the same active energy. The last two sentences in the paragraph then resemble the vibe you led off with again. So I couldn't quite pin down the feeling for this color, but I do love the imagery it has.

When the colors are combined, people wish for a rainbow. That isn’t what they make. They fight and strangle one another, scar and wound. Things become muddied, indistinct, dulled. A grayness overshadows, expansive and thrashing.


Ooh yes I've been waiting for the rainbow that makes and this is definitely pleasing because rainbows are generally thought of as beautiful and bright and a good thing while the narrator definitely does not have that optimist of an attitude. I think brown could have worked here because that's usually what you get when you mix that many colors most of the time, but gray is much more agreed on in color theory to be dull and often have negative things associated with it. I really like the description of the colors fighting and creating that grayness!

You had a dream to be a mother, a teacher, an adventurer. You raced up trees and giggled and stole cookies. You longed to fit in and you longed to stand out. It writes letters to the girl who moved away, pounds on the door of heads and bleeds white-hot pain from eyes.


When reading this I knew I wanted to focus on this part because it's the first mention of a person that isn't the narrator/"I" or the ambiguous "we/us". Which means we've got another character on our hands! This description makes me really interested in them, because it's the deeper, less obvious information that wouldn't be known about someone else unless the speaker knows them well, and it skips past the surface-level things that wouldn't be quite as interesting to have in a poetic prologue. There's not really a face to this person yet, which makes me want to read on and discover that so I have someone to tie this identity to.

Felix will be back soon. He gets off work at five. But I do not want him to see me like this— I do not want to be like this. I am not sure I even want to be.


This part makes a great anchor to this being part of a story, and that there is a narrator, probably dissociated from a scene, but there is something taking place nonetheless. I'm glad it's here because it tells us there is something going on, even if it's not the narrator's focus! And now I also want to hear about Felix.

Oh God, please let it not end like this. Please, I do not want it to end like this. I do not want it to end. Kill me tomorrow— let me live tonight.


I am such a huge fan of this ending line! It's like a mic drop where someone's going to come back, pick it up again, and then tell us the story. It also kind of reminded me of those concept albums where the first track is bit of a monologue, or setting the scene in some way, before it's followed by the normal songs. As Ventomology said, I can see this as a great stage monologue to begin the show with too.

For an overview, I really loved this start. For what I know about your planning, it was more effective for your story than the type of prologue that takes place before everything else and that holds the same amount of action as a normal chapter. I'm guessing the first chapter will be a little more concrete in nature, probably with other characters and a little bit of action happening. You've set us up to be very interested in this narrator, and I'm looking forward to their story!

Good luck with LMS! Can't wait to see more :]

-silv <3




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Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:33 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was definitely a very intense start to the novel! I am not sure if you intended this as a prologue, but it definitely has all the ingredients of one. It pulls us into your narrative, evoking emotions and sensations rather than pulling us in the direction of the plot. In fact, there is hardly any mention of the plot until the very end, and even then its just a vague mention of names and events in our narrator's life that isn't strong enough to give us a concrete idea of the plot, but is ambiguous enough to evoke a sense of curiosity. It expresses a feeling, a mood rather than a plot and I felt that I got a glimpse of the narrator's mind, their inner workings and mental state (I am using 'they' as the gender wasn't very clear to me).

The first six paragraphs, describing the narrator's life in colors are almost poetic in their repetition of the format and the similar framing of the sentences. Its interesting how the narrator starts by saying that their life is a particular color, but then the following thoughts they present have no resemblance or connection to their life. They are general thoughts, that are more like a reflection of the world rather than the narrator's life (except for maybe in the final description of the color purple). I am not sure if that was a creative choice, but considering that the first sentence reads more like a definite statement from the narrator, you might want to show some kind of a connection in the following thoughts.

The idea of the colors intrigued me very much. I wonder if they represent the themes of the story and if they will turn up at some point in the novel to justify the emphasis on them now. I personally would love to make that connection as it would make the story all the more poignant for me. For the moment though, I realized that a recurring theme in the descriptions of the colors is despair and a resignation to make do with what is left and remaining. All the colors, except for yellow (which still reflects some positive in the ideas of growth and perseverance), reflect a sense of deep sadness and the negative implications of life.

The color of my life is green. It gasps, screams, racing heart and broken head.

I could not completely connect with this description. Green is not a color that I would associate with gasping and screaming or 'broken heads' and I faced a little difficulty in resonating with your description especially because in the next sentences, you move ahead to attach the color with shelter and wildness. I can connect with the later ideas but the first sentence sticks out and disrupts the flow a little for me.

That said, this chapter captured a rather somber vibe that gives us an idea of what the story might entail. I personally, felt a deep sense of regretful resignation in the narrator's voice - a melancholic despair that suggests they have been through enough and have learnt and experienced enough to know better. There is a significant difference in the narration when it addresses Felix and when it addresses the mysterious 'you'. The narrator seems to be more regretful, more melancholic and nostalgic when directly addressing 'you'. At the same, the only mentions of Felix in the narration is in the context of his return, suggesting a need or an inclination in the narrator to hide the real self and emotions in his presence. Or of course, this could just be me reading between the lines!

They are too intertwined now, too connected and linked. I do not think I could separate them if I tried— I do not think I would.

This idea of the colors being too intertwined now to be separated finds some resonance in the narrator's claim that they cannot imagine or remember a life before 'you', suggesting that 'you's' impact in their life is just as irreversible as the colors mixing with each other. I am not sure if you even meant to draw a connection here, but well, I am too imaginative sometimes.

Overall, this was a very intense and intriguing start to the novel. I used 'intense' again because nothing about this was half-measured. Your choice of words and descriptions were very effective. Every sentence demanded to be read and felt and even though we do not understand their meanings yet, this is enough to arrest one's attention and make them want to read more.

I did not focus on the technicalities of the text since you asked for the reader's thoughts and interpretations. Still I hope I was able to help somewhat with this review!

Keep writing and have a great day!






Hey Random! Thank you very much for leaving your thoughts!

The ambiguity is definitely something I strove for, and I'm hoping a lot of lines will make a lot more sense after they've read the entire book. In terms of the color, all the things he mentions definitely do have something to do with his life, and I tried to include some sly references to things that will be revealed later to make everything make a lot more sense.

In terms of the color green, it's understandable you might not personally connect with it-- no one is going to personally connect with everything I decided to use to describe each of the colors, and that's completely fine. It's how Clay feels about them that ultimately impacts their descriptions. For a more literal interpretation of green though, it represents the overwhelmingness of emotions like fear and pain. All the other colors resemble multiple aspects of life, multiple emotions, but green encompasses the intensity of those feelings, and how terrifying it is to not be able to separate or understand or control them. In short, he feels out of control. Green personifies that.

In terms of Felix vs. the mysteriousssss you, yes, there is definitely a difference that I tried to make clear. Things will also become much more clear later. This chapter actually takes place emotionally in the future of the story from where the actual chapters will be starting (because this is, as you guessed, a prologue of some sense.) I would expand on Felix and 'you', but I don't want to spoil anything so I will not.

In terms of the colors impacting him like 'you' has... yes. One could say the colors mixed because of you. He does say the colors stole his innocence and then directly afterwards, says that 'you' took it. There is definitely a connection there if someone wanted to look into it.

Overall, I am very happy that you found it to be intense and that it felt carefully crafted. I was really hoping that would come across and mean something to the reader.

Thanks for reading!



RandomTalks says...


Thanks for the explanations! And I get that bit about the color green now - it will be exciting to find out what it exactly means to Clay and why!



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Sun Sep 11, 2022 7:35 am
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Ventomology wrote a review...



Honestly as soon as I read this I was like: well that'd make a good stage monologue. I will freely admit that the only Arthur Miller play I'm familiar with is The Crucible, but there's something in the language and easy change between subjects (which all eventually point to one theme) that makes me think of his writing.

...it might also be the 'Oh God's and the tragedy.

Anyway, hi LSS buddy!!

I'm not much of a feelings reviewer (I get caught up in close reading and some of the impact is often lost on me), but I do know my way around word choice and sequencing, and maybe we can extrapolate some emotions out of that.

My first area of consideration: was it your goal that the colors would feel kind of indistinct from each other? It might make some sense, given the theme of grayness you lay out in the second half of the chapter, but if that wasn't the goal, you might want to see what you can do to make the color paragraphs more distinct. The exact repetition of format and the fact that the words and sentences are all about the same size in each really muddles up the different feelings you are trying to create with the words themselves. Remember that contrast is made not only in the meaning of words, but in the precise way you use them.

Also, are you planning on doing something with the difference between pigment mixing (which does make grey/brown) and light mixing (which would create white light)? Just a theory about where this could go thematically.

Lastly, I am so intrigued by the name drops. I think that also gave me a lot of theater monologue vibes haha. Can't wait to see what kind of style you pull out for the actual chapters .

Until next time,
-Vento






Thank youuuuuu Vento! Very excited to hear your thoughts! I did mean for the colors to feel kind of repetitive. If you take any on their own, it%u2019ll sound impactful, but reading them back to back to back, they lose their feeling and it ends up just feeling overwhelming and muddied. Which was definitely on purpose. I did consider putting something between the color paragraphs, but couldn%u2019t decide on anything I felt would be worthwhile to the chapter and story.

In regards to the monologue feeling, I have been in playwriting mode lately so that makes sense XD Though not my exact intention, it still fits with the disconnected free-flowing thoughts feeling I wanted. I also like the idea of pigment mixing vs light mixing and will definitely keep that in mind!

Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts and comments!




u can't have villains exist just 2 b villains
— ShadowVyper