Sunday, 26 February 2012

Autumn - A Chapter from the Book....

Autumn is a book about a young teenage boy, Sam, growing up in Dublin and having his first experiences of sex, alcohol, friendship and all the painfully excruciating events young pubescent boys go through in life. This is an early chapter in the book, chapter 5 of 30 so far. 

"Antoinette, and not the Queen of England'

The DART was almost empty apart from Daniel and Sam, providing them with the luxury of room for their feet on the opposite seats, which they greedily indulged in. Quite often Sam had been admonished by older members of society for this slight against public transport, and quite often he had ignored their variations of pleas, irritated gestures and full blown tirades. Truth be told when this did happen he quite enjoyed it. Being at the wrong end of peer abuse, however minor, gave a youth a valid free license to react aggressively in relatively placid situations, which probably led to greater indiscretions later in life such as road rage, abuse or even assault. In some cases, but not all.
Daniel was regaling Sam with another of his faintly amusing overly lengthy anecdotes concerning Japanese manga and Bruce Lee, an unhealthy obsession that coupled with a growing regard for smoking hash every afternoon after school was beginning to strain their relationship. Sam smiled appropriately and gave up trying to understand the in-jokes and convoluted story lines that he was meant to have been following, until Daniel's monologue took a sharp beat and began to describe Catriona. Sam's attention levels immediately perked up, and he began listening avidly.
"she's a fucking fox seriously"
"yeah so you've been saying"
"yeah but i mean, seriously"
"as opposed to....'unseriously'?!"
"exactly that. she's definitely the coolest girl i've ever met, amazing tits on her"
Sam waited a moment for Daniel to stare glassy eyed up at the roof, lost amidst his own illicit teenage thoughts. Daniel was bringing Sam with him pretty much as a wingman so that he could assist him in getting into her knickers as it were. The deal was simple, Daniel would bring a friend for moral support and to have a crutch to brag to afterwards if it went well, and a back up plan in case it went pear shaped, which was quite likely in Sam's mind as Daniel wasn't the most athletic sort to put it politely. For Catriona's end, she brought a friend for two reasons, in case Daniel turned out be a wierdo and she needed some assistance, or in case he was just plain boring and she had a ready made escape plan, putting the blame on her friend. Sam didn't mind being used in the slightest, he didn't really get to meet girls very often so he couldn't complain. Daniel smiled almost patronisingly across at him and after a furtive check up and down the carriage he took a cigarette and lighter out of his jacket pocket.
"you can't smoke in here"
"fuck it who cares"
Sam shook his head and stared out the window watching Dalkey beach roll by gently. A couple strolled arm in arm ankle deep in the surf whilst holding their shoes in their hands. Sam hadn't had a girlfriend yet, he had in fact yet to kiss a girl properly if you discounted the 'spin the bottle' game he had been forced to play when he was still in primary school, and kissing his next door neighbour when he was 6 definitely didn't count. Smoke wafted into his eyes and his gentle brown eyes focused on the hyperactive face of Daniel. Daniel had a way with words, always ready to engage with a quick quip, a smart response or intelligent answer, and could talk actively on a variety of subjects, constantly aware of the latest up and coming musician or film, even able to hold a conversation on politics if it was requried. Sam both admired and was painfully jealous of him for this ability that he oft attempted but consistently failed to imitate.
"i'm sure her mate is hot"
Sam raised his eyebrows incredulously.
"no you don't"
"i do, i do, seriously, hot girls always have hot mates, it's part of the law i think"
Sam's cheeks cracked into a wide smile, stretching his skin across face tightly. 
"gimme a break, 'the law'!, hot girls tend to bring ugly mates, you know that, it 
makes them feel more confident and ensures that they get all the attention. it works
out for the ugly tag a longs too cos' then they get to hang out with boys which they 
wouldn't get the opportunity otherwise"
Daniel's cigarette dropped out of his gaping mouth in a gesture of exaggerated mock shock, holding the pose with such distinction that a thin sliver of saliva found it's way past the sentry system on his dried lips and took pleasing aim at his welcoming crotch. Sam shook his head and giggled as Daniel maintained the statuesque grimace, frozen in time.
"i know that you agree with me"
Daniel managed to hold the pose with admirable stillness while manipulating his vocal chords much like a ventriloquist.
"where did all that come from, i'm 'SHOCKED'"
"yeah i can see that, keep that face for later, i'm sure Catriona would be bowled 
over by it"
"seriously, that was just soo incredibly.......deeeep"
Daniel's voice slowed down like a old motor engine gradually heaving it's last breath despite it's best efforts to keep within the land of the living. The sliver of saliva made a giant push for freedom, aided by the stream of hot air emanating from Daniel's open throat as he exhaled heavily from the exertion of holding the unnatural contortion. Hanging on the precipice of his lips, the saliva formed a heavy bead, focusing all of it's weight at the tip of it's form, begging for gravity to sweep it downwards. Daniel suddenly jerked his head sideways loosening his jaw and the liquid flew out of his mouth and splattered on to the dirty window beside him with a wet slap, and dribbled down onto the wall beneath. Daniel grimaced at the indiscretion and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand with a wide smile.
"you are right, her mate's going to be dog ugly, probably fat"
"so you agree with my theory?"
"surprisingly, for the first time when it comes to girls, i will give you some credit for insight"
"well if i'm correct, then it begs the question why did you bring me with you"
"why, why wouldn't i?"
The implications of what Sam was suggesting caught Daniel unguarded and swept up behind him like a thief, slapping him dryly across the face.
"very funny, yeah yeah. the reason i brought you is cos you haven't a clue
what to do with girls so even if i left you and her alone in her bedroom in the middle of the  night with no clothes on you'd still come out a virgin"
"i think that's a great theory, we should test that, i'll put it to her later will i?"
Daniel leapt to his feet and grabbed at Sam, who ducked under his loose hands and reached for his midriff. They grappled for a few moments, but Daniel was out of breath far too quickly and he begged for a halt to the proceedings. Sam fell back onto his seat, his features calm without a bead of sweat on his smooth skin. Daniel's cheeks were flushed, and his breathing was a little laboured in contrast. He fumbled with his hands in his pockets searching for the calming influence that would come from his illegally acquired nicotine.
"this is our stop"
Daniel nodded as he fished a lighter and a packet of Silk Cut Blue from the deep crevices of his jacket pockets and stuck one firmly into his fleshy mouth like a poor man's Clint Eastwood. The doors of the DART slid open with an easy going 'whoosh' and the two alighted on the platform of Bray station. The foot bridge brought them over the train tracks and onto the opposite side where Daniel halted suddenly, uncertainty gripping him. Sam looked at him quizzically as he stood there staring at his feet on the gum flecked platform.
"what are you doing?"
"i'm nervous"
"you're kidding me? YOU, you're nervous??"
Daniel's head bobbed up and down slowly, the tension in his shoulder muscles giving the movement a surreal halting effect.
"but you've already kissed her, a few times  i thought?"
"no, i never said that"
"yes you did, you said it loads of times"
"no no, you must have misheard me"
"oh, right then, that's a problem isn't it?"
Sam sighed and kicked out at an imaginary football in front of him, then mid kick a thought hit him and he almost collapsed with laughter, dropping to his knees as all his breath left his belly. Daniel lifted his sullen gaze up questioningly to his best friend.
"what the fuck's so funny?"
Sam put his hand out in Daniel's general direction indicating for him to give him a moment to catch his breath again before he gave an explanation, then, chest heaving from the exertion he stood up again, his hands gripping his hips for stability.
"we got into so much trouble, almost got kicked out of Mr. Cusack's class, i got sent to Fr Kelly's office, double detention, already today and tomorrow, we get an hour train ride to Bray, and now we finally get here and you tell me that you're embarrassed and haven't actually kissed this girl that you've been rambling on about for the last 2 weeks!!! Come on, you have to see the ridiculously funny side of that?!"
"well, no....i kinda feel like a nob"
"yes you are a bit of an idiot alright, but luckily for you i'm very easy going"
"ok, well, what if she hates me?"
"seriously, i don't really care. honestly. look if you're struggling, just send her over
to me and she'll see how much wittier you are and you'll be grand, i'm your sounding board to bounce off and make you look good"
Daniel visibly brightened and he stood up straight, taking a deep inhalation of the cigarette.
"you're right, cheers"
"hey, you weren't meant to agree with me"
"sorry, i kinda do"
"bastard"
"yep"
Sam mocked pushed at Daniel as they strolled forward through the exit gates as nonchalantly as was physically possible in dull grey school uniforms. They didn't have to wait very long to find who they were looking for, it was painfully obvious that the two tall slim blondes in short skirts sitting on the bench across the road was their destination from their fixated looks. Catriona, the taller, slimmer and blonder of the two stood up, flicked her cigarette out onto the pavement where it smoldered fitfully and approached them. For the first time it occurred to Sam that perhaps they shouldn't have worn their school uniforms. A variety of different possible outfit choices flashes before his eyes as he mentally tried each on and gauged her reaction by judging the imagined movements of her eyebrows when she was suddenly standing in front of his nose piercing him with her sharp green eyes.
"howrya, i'm Antoinette, what's yer name?"
Her harsh accent shook him for a moment, so far removed from the delicate beauty of her features, and he had to swallow the nausea that threatened to crawl out of his belly.
"i'm Sam"
He looked around confused, wasn't he meant to be hanging out with the ugly friend? Barely two steps to his left stood Daniel, his mouth firmly latched onto the other smaller blonde's lips, their tongues dancing hungrily around each other. Fuck. Sam had been expecting a nice simple relaxing afternoon entertaining Catriona's boring friend until Daniel had made all his plays and either succeeded or failed trying miserably, yet instead Daniel hadn't even had to lift a finger and he had already achieved his goal, and Sam was facing the most gorgeous and confidently cool girl he had ever seen in his life. In the split second that it took Sam to correct his senses and register what was going around him, it suddenly occurred to him that Antoinette was looking at him expectantly. Waiting for him to say something. His palms suddenly felt very heavy and sweaty, just like when he was in an exam and struggling badly, the wet wood of the pencil slipping from it's position between his trembling fingers, which Antoinette now lifted up, enclosed in hers and lead him away from their clearly occupied friends. Her skin felt so soft and delicate, but firm with a deep seeded confidence, a sexual maturity. He wished and prayed that she wouldn't be able to feel the sticky sweat that oozed from the pores across his skin. He found his voice again, as much a defensive reaction to give her something else to think about as anything else.
"didn't take them long did it?"
He smiled across at her, and to his pleasant surprise she smiled back at him without a hint of condescension. Her smile was radiant, easy, and he felt his own smile warping his mouth awkwardly as he became aware of it's gawkish nature.
"we should leave em alone fer a few minutes, let them get to know each otha. I told Cat that we'd meet her down at de pier and get an ice cream, that alrigh' wit ye?"
"yeah sure, i have no idea about Bray anyway"
"first time is it, where ya from?"
"howth, the other side of the city"
Antoinette looked at him, her lip curling upwards in amusement, and Sam felt his heart drop down through his chest and fix itself solidly inside his left foot giving him an instant and unexpected limp.
"howth? yer a bit posh are ya then?"
"no, why would that make me posh?"
"gimme a break, goin to a nice private school paid fer by daddy and living in the poshest part of Dublin"
"ah listen, where i'm from it isn't that posh trust me"
"yeah, why's dat?"
"ah well, just it's not all big houses and all that, there are lots of, well you know...."
He struggled to give a proper definition of the lads on the roads around him who would beat you up for a fiver without sounding really posh and describing them as having accents like hers. That would be much worse than just accepting that he was posh.
"righ' yeah, what's yer dad do den?"
"so what school do you go to?"
Sam changed the subject quickly, the conversation heading in a direction that he really didn't want it to.
"loretto"
Sam reeled back in mock amusement, the movement breaking the connection between their bodies as his hand came apart from hers. He immediately regretted it but didn't know how to just grab her hand again without appearing desperate for her affection or being too obvious about his desire for her - how could he do it like she did, so casually as if it was the most natural thing in the world. His fingers felt about as nimble as a bucket at this very moment and he knew he'd most likely end up scrabbling at her hands desperately, half hoping that something would just happen to put him out his self inflicted misery.
"wha's wrong wit going te Loretto den?"
"just as posh as Belvedere, probably even more so"
"'even more so'?? who de hell speaks like dat?"
Sam could feel this slipping away from him, washing over him like a frothing tidal wave proving that he was way out of his depth. He imagined what some of the other lads in his class would do in this situation....well they wouldn't have let go of her hand that was for sure, most likely they'd have pushed her up against the wall and kissed her eager lips with a suave energy that he had no idea how to acquire. He didn't know what to do so he just stared blankly back at her. And she laughed good naturedly. She had thought his blank look was a deadpan joke. Still giggling to herself she pushed her hips out towards him so that they bumped into him gently, the impact sending a frisson of excited energy leaping around his system screaming out for some internal implosion. He made a decision which he immediately regretted and then just as immediately was thankful for, and grabbed her hand firmly with his. It was maybe too firm he thought and was about to loosen the crushing grip on her slender digits when he caught a blush wink out at him from her smooth cheeks and her eyes flicked at him shyly on their way down to her feet. A wave of elation swept over him, followed swiftly by a crushing insecurity. She had blushed for him so by all the average laws of attraction, (of which he admittedly knew very little), then she must like him at least a little bit.......but what if she didn't and he made an ill advised pass at her only to be rejected out of hand. Or even worse was the thought that if she did in actuality like him, did she now have expectations of some sort of confidently subtle gesture to sweep her off her feet. How would he compare with all the previous guys that she had kissed, how had they acted with her, would he be looked down upon, would she laugh and tell Catriona who would in turn tell an amused Daniel in secret? He couldn't bear the thought of it when she suddenly tripped on the pavement, her foot stubbing a carefully hidden gap between two slabs of heavy concrete in the first remotely ungraceful movement that he had witnessed from her. He instinctively grabbed at her flailing body as she fell head first towards the ground, catching her by the waist and twisting her around into him. Her stomach pressed hard against his, her thin hips grating against his pelvis. She looked at him, a flicker of amusement dancing around her beautiful eyes. Her full lips regained their balance only centimeters away from his own, their breath mingling for the tiniest of heartbeats. He gasped inwardly and she giggled pushing herself back to her feet.
"i only tripped"
"i was just making sure you didn't hurt yourself....."
He suddenly found the perfect gap in conversation to flick a compliment in her direction, and in the split second that it took to cross his mind he knew that it was almost too late, it had to be spontaneous so he just said the first thing that entered his mind, it would be worse to dwell on it he reckoned....
"....you're much too pretty to allow any damage to you"
'DAMAGE'.....?!?!? What the fuck was that, who used that in a compliment, and 'PRETTY'?? He might as well have been talking about the blue finch in the back garden being chased by a rogue cat. If he could have done it without her noticing he would have punched himself in the gut. But she was staring at him with a funny look in her eyes.
"yer dead sweet ye  know dat"
He swallowed in reflex at the intensity of her look, unable to hold her eyes for too long he scuffed his feet on the pavement, being careful not to trip himself up.
"yeah, do you want to go and get that ice cream?"
"not really, ye wanna come back to my gaff?"
There was that feeling in the pit of his stomach again, the deep heavy dread that weighed him down, physically forcing his body inwards upon itself that took all his strength to hold it at bay. He looked at her. Her mascara was perfectly weighted across her eyes, embellishing her best feature. She really was beautiful. Her nose was small and cute, positioned perfectly between her eyes, button like, the type of nose that when she was a child received an abnormal amount of playful tugs and rubs from proud family members.
He found himself nodding his head without even being aware that he had thought to do so. A voice screamed at him inside his head to turn back, go find Daniel, he'd know what to do, put it off, he had managed to get her to like him so he should back away, take a time out, gather his thoughts and figure out what to do next time, like wear normal clothes, gel his hair, fucking anything. But he didn't, instead allowing himself be dragged along behind her like an eager puppy bounding head first towards the wolves lair innocently unaware of the danger it was placing itself in.

Her apartment was nice, normal, and probably relatively small for her and both her parents, but they weren't here. It felt so exotic being in an apartment instead of a house which always felt like it belonged to somebody's parents. This place could just have easily belonged to her he imagined, and maybe it even did. He half hoped though that her parents would come home and they would be forced to watch television with them, or leave and get an ice cream, then he could act annoyed but equally be admirably indifferent so she would like him even more for wanting to spend time with her. She asked him did he want a glass of water and he found himself shaking his head and then opening his mouth to accommodate hers as she pushed him back against the fridge and slipped her velvety tongue inside his orifice and slid it against his teeth. He reacted barely in time and flipped his own tongue into action, bouncing against hers roughly. Something odd hit his molar and he struggled to figure out what it was, managing to push it against his cheek while maintaining his battle for supremacy with her increasingly violent tongue. It was chewing gum. But he wasn't chewing any. The sudden realisation that it was hers struck him at the same time as she pulled away from him.
"i just gotta go to de toilet'
"sure, i'll wait here"
"well yer not coming wit me"
There was a pause between them for a moment.
"ye don't wanna come wit me to de toilets do ye?"
"no of course not"
"good, i was jus checkin', some weirdos out der ye know"
He nodded with an assurance that he hoped gave out the impression that he knew exactly what she was talking about while also dispelling any lingering doubt she might have that he could possibly be one of those weird people. He probably nodded for far too long because she gave him a long hard look, and this time it wasn't the soft quizzical gaze like earlier that had melted his insufficient defences, but held a certain condescension wrapped around it. Just like he had expected earlier, but not now. He was chewing her gum and he spat it out reactively, then quickly retrieved it from across the kitchen floor and opened the bin lid to flick it in when a thought occurred to him.....
Did he find it sexy that she had 'given' him her gum? No he definitely did not, but that wasn't important....did she find it sexy that she had given it to him? Had she done so in a giving gesture to symbolize some form of closeness between them, now he could chew her gum and they had bonded, so if he got rid of it was it then a slight that she wouldn't recover from? He heard her coming back through the sitting room and he stood up making an immediate instinctive decision, the type that has the minimum of thought running through it, proclaimed by sportsmen to be the best type of decision and which you should always follow without hesitation.
"are ye chewin me gum?"
She had applied an extra coating to her make up quite masterfully, giving it a glowing sheen that screamed out healthy sexy female at him in big bright letters.
"eh, yeah, i think so"
"uh dat's gross, just spit it out into de bin or sumtin i'm not kissin ye again if yer still
chewin it"
He lifted the bin lid again cursing any article he'd ever read about professional footballers, liars the whole lot of them. She welcomed him over to the couch and he followed her dutifully. If he had a tail it would have been wagging he pondered. She sat down on the couch and flicked on the television, turning over the channels a few times before settling for some cartoons in Irish for some very odd reason. He noticed that his hands were beginning to sweat again and he closed his eyes begging them to stop, reasoning with them that it wasn't warm enough inside the room to justify releasing excess water from his body so therefore they should just stop. His hands didn't listen. He was sitting beside her awkwardly, unsure of how to position his body in a comfortable position that was both accessible to her and cool looking at the same time. She looked so elegant by contrast, her legs crossed one over the other with such disdain that it had to have been practiced over time. Her neck arched upwards from the seat of the couch spiraling succulently to the flowing tides of her hair. Her eyes beckoned him expectantly and all fluid suddenly flew from his mouth leaving it as dry as timber. She gave him a rueful smile and leaned in to him, her left hand drifting downwards onto his crotch. It took all of his energy to not jerk away as she did so but his body stiffened with tension and she must have felt it because she pressed her lips against his and stared deeply into his eyes. He felt like he could melt into her at that moment if he wasn't so nervous about trying to do the right thing. He desired nothing more than to curl into her and have her wrapped around him like a soft consuming blanket, her skin caressing his body all over, her lips against his, but her eyes welcoming to his, allowing him to drift deeply into their pools of green magic. It occurred to him that he could fall in love with this girl if she allowed him to. The kiss was much softer this time, less needy having bypassed the initial barrier that states hot desire must be evident in pure passion when two people who kiss each other are mutually attracted. The second time can be more patient, less exploratory and much more enjoyable. Sam felt as if honey was being poured seductively into his mouth and his tongue was swimming through a crystalline pool of sugar. Her lips sucked him towards her, pulling him onto her, her hands lifting up his jumper and slipping inside his shirt to slide along his skin. She dragged her own top towards her chest and then pushed against him. Shock waves raced through his entire frame as the skin on their stomach's humbly touched. For the first time in his life he felt like he was being sucked downwards into a well of suffocatingly beautiful moments. Everything that he touched seemed to be sculpted from a bed of pure perfection, each touch a surprising exploration of harmony.

The front door rang with a jolt and she pushed him off quickly, a look of fear twisting her features into frozen rigor mortis.
"fuck that's me ma"
Sam fell off the couch, guilty despite having achieved nothing more than a brief drift of his fingers across the flesh of her neck and belly. This thought suddenly occurred to him and he was immediately rueful, and then elated at having gotten onto the couch with her in the first place. He knew that Daniel would be jealous as Antoinette was far prettier than Catriona, not that he would admit as much. He realised that he hadn't thought about anything else apart from this girl for the last two hours which was very unlike him. The sound of teenage laughter breezed into the room. He knew that voice. Daniel bounded into the room and gave him a massive slap across the back, then cupped his hand over Sam's ear for secrecy.
"my god she gave me a blowjob"
Delight was etched across his face like a wood carving to never be removed for eternity. Sam kept his composure, wanting for all the world to leap into the air and scream out the joy of kissing Antoinette that he had just had the privilege to experience while also simultaneously desiring nothing more than to thump him for interrupting them. But all he could do was smile.

60 comments:

  1. A wonderful description of teenage sexual terrors. Adorable. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I'm going to be unpopular here but I'm really not sure about this piece. I know it's only 1 chapter and it's hard to judge 1 chapter out of a whole story, but I found it really difficult to read. I have no particular issues with the storytelling itself, or what you've shared of it anyway, it reminded me of what I was like as a horny teenage girl, but there are so many major grammar and punctuation issues that I couldn't just read and enjoy it as a piece of fiction. I think I probably need to go back and re-read it a few times and maybe I'll be able to get over that.

    I will say however, that you never fail to impress me with your creativity, is there anything you don't do? It's quite inspirational. I was going to ask what you do to relax but I suspect that this is what you do to relax.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Drew me back in time to my first bumbling experiances with boys. Nice to know they may have been just as nervous as I was. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like it overall, and some of the writing here is really well done; you have some really good descriptive writing and some of the sentences paint a very good picture, you can definitely feel Sam's awkwardness and it's feel to feel a bit sorry for him earlier in the story.

    However, like Janine said above, there is some pretty bad grammar and punctuation throughout the story, and some parts can definitely be edited down, it gets a bit wordy in parts.
    Also not sure about the whole "typing the accent" thing, but that might just be me - I've never really liked that in any writing.

    Would love to have a go editing this (am a bit of a proof reading maniac), so if you ever want a critical eye to look over the work, feel free to reply to this.

    Good work, though. Keep up with the writing, you definitely have a cool style.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was brilliant! I love your descriptive style it really suits the plot. I think if there's anything you want to improve on, just go over your grammar/punctuation with a fine-toothed comb and that'll make it perfect. I like it though, very engaging. Keep up the great work :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not at all Helen and Janine, I agree with you on parts, and appreciate the comments- which is why I posted it, as I havent gotten it proof read, or finished it, tis a work in progress.....I like critique especially as my experiences since creating this blog have been to receive comments and insights from far more literary people than myself, so thanks for taking the time to read it, and give me your opinions. 'typing the accent' I think is important, but may alienate it from certain readers - I don't know, guess I'll find out....I do need a proof reader for when it's finished - I can be lazy with grammar and punctuation - but thanks for the honesty, if it's difficult to read, well that's not good, it may be a tad descriptive alright....Tammy - you have no idea :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest, the whole accent thing is just summat I don't really enjoy in writing - it feels like more effort to read and kinda removes me from the story. That could well just be me, though, as I know quite a lot of people do it and plenty of people don't mind it at all.

      It's good, though, and I definitely like it; it just needs cleaning up. You'd be a literary marvel if you wrote a draft that needed no editing.
      (Finally, my creative writing course has come in handy. Those three years has totes been leading up to this moment. :P)

      Delete
    2. Well there are plenty of us here who'd be very happy to proof read for you if you want it. I have done some proofing and editing for friends in the past but it's hard work and I'm sure there are others who could do it a lot better than I could. I don't consider myself a writer at all, at least not of fiction, factual writing comes easier to me, although I have dabbled on occasion when asked.

      I think it's very brave of you to post something to the world at large that you've not shared with anyone else before. I know whenever I have written anything fictional I've felt very exposed, like the readers are seeing into my soul... or my dirty mind lol.

      Re "typing the accent", I have to agree with Helen here, it does take me out of the story a little as I have to then try to "hear" the words said as they're written and it's not always easy.

      Delete
    3. Also wanted to add, when I was a teenage girl it never even occurred to me that the boys I was with were nervous or at all unsure of themselves. I kissed a lot of boys at school and got myself a bad reputation just for that, but no matter how experienced they thought I might be, I was always sure they were more experienced than I was. In hindsight its possible I got that reputation more because they were intimidated or nervous than because I'd done anything bad. I was never as much of a bad girl as people thought I was. It's definitely interesting to see it from the other side.

      Delete
  7. Yeah Helen, nope, I definitely ain't no literary marvel, but it is a first draft, haven't had the balls or time to put it out there yet.....just checked our your blog, I will have to saunter over for a proper read later and see how Australia treated you....well if your proof reading is in any way as insightful as your comments then I may have to convince you to do that for me.......if it's summat you wanta do..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Jesus, no, don't look at my blog. Haven't looked at it in forever myself and Aussie land didn't happen in the end.

      I'd be happy to do that, yeah. If you want I can just give you an email address to get in touch with if you ever do need someone to proof read your work (although I would suggest maybe getting a couple of people to do it for a bit more of a thorough look).

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ok, first off, I really enjoyed this; it was a fun read with a lot of realism and all of those things that make you feel that it is being told from first hand experience.

    There were a number of little things that came up for me in terms of grammar, so I will put those here, and you can ignore them if you think I'm being nitpicky.


    "i'm sure her mate is hot"
    "no you don't"
    The response doesn't make sense. Either Daniel should be saying "I bet her mate is hot" or Sam should be saying "No you aren't." However, if this was actually what you *wanted* and these two lads just go with the flow even when the answer doesn't match the statement, then sorry!

    gimme a break, 'the law'!,
    Probably delete the commer; not necessary after an exclamation mark

    "hey, you weren't meant to agree with me"
    "sorry, i kinda do"
    aren't meant or kinda am

    Also there's the fact that I don't think any of the dialogue featured a capital letter, which really it should.

    I'm really sorry about this; I used to do English Lit and English Language at college!

    However!! I loved the writing in dialect. I am still trying to get a hand on this and always seem to mess up, even with my own accent. Also the fact that there's pointers at modern culture (Bruce Lee, Manga) and the way the lads are talking to each other before they meet up with the girls- first cocky and joking, and then more honest and nervous.

    I did really, really enjoy it and hope to read a lot more from you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for sharing that piece with us. :) For me personally, I could wish for more details in descriptions of people and places but it's nothing to move the story forward, just a personal liking in reading. I loved the part with the gum, had me laughing out loud as you can really imagine the internal turmoil in Sam; whether to keep the gum or not and, in the end, realizing he made the wrong choice after all. The part on the couch is excellent, you can really feel Sam's emotions and it even brings back your own days as a teenager. Once again, thanks for sharing and can't wait to read more! ^^

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like where it's coming from. The premise is pretty interesting, and is a new take. But perhaps just because of the smashed together writing and lack of punctuation it bored me fairly quickly.

    I do certainly look forwards to reading more of it, though - and if you need a proof reader for free, hey - I'm a writer myself and LOVE editing and proofreading, so I'd be happy to help. :)

    Great job so far! And thanks so much for sharing - I know it's not always the easiest thing to do, and I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've never been a teenage boy, so if any of this narrative is exaggerated from Sam's perspective I missed that,sorry (I would assume no since it's written 3rd person, but you never know) however; it does work as both reality and Sam's interpretation.

    As far as "typing in the accent" Irvine Welsh gets away with it, I see no reason you shouldn't as well.

    It definitely piques my interest enough that I would read more. Thanks for sharing it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Eoin...quite good, somewhat uneven, but your narrative style is wonderful. The too 'arty' bits stick out though and you could do without them. Viz: " like a old motor engine gradually heaving it's last breath despite it's best efforts to keep within the land of the living. The sliver of saliva made a giant push for freedom, aided by the stream of hot air emanating from Daniel's open throat as he exhaled heavily from the exertion of holding the unnatural contortion." It's a lovely image, but it bogs the piece down. Too much imagery for the purpose. I enjoyed it and look forward to other installments.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is really good. I found myself engrossed from the very beginning, and I don't even know who these boys are or anything. This is a really good read, and I cannot wait to read the finished product, should you ever release it. You should definitely keep us in the loop with its progress, because I really enjoyed reading this, as I have stated about a million times already.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Firstly, I'd like to say that I admire your courage for posting such personal writings on here. I enjoyed it very much, and now want to read the rest of it! I edit for a living, so I suppose it was easy for me to overlook the spelling & grammar mistakes... that's why you hire editors when it's finished:P It really captured Sam's emotions at times, and it made me nervous with him. It is slightly verbose at times, and perhaps some different descriptors would be more appropriate, i.e. "fleshy" before describing him as Clint Eastwood. Regarding "typing the accent," I think it's an essential part in her character development to juxtapose her delicate beauty against her hard accent.
    Ultimately, I loved it, and look forward to reading more. There are plenty of us who would be honored to give you feedback and insight if you ever decide to post more. If you get it published, I promise to buy a copy :) Thank you for sharing, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I really like this! It has a genuine and honest feel to it, but as a few people have said, sometimes your language is a little too flowery, and it detracts from the main plot. Save the really artsy metaphors and similes for moments of high tension or emotion; that way you get a greater contrast and those moments are felt more intensely by the reader. The grammar and punctuation needs a little work, but it's nothing a really good proofreader couldn't fix! I don't mind the accented dialogue but some of it could be toned down a little (e.g. writing 'other' instead of 'otha'). All of that being said, I like the way you've fleshed out the characters of Sam and Daniel - you've captured their personalities and quirks really well, and you do the "showing not telling" thing well, which I really like. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. "... an unhealthy obsession WHICH coupled with a growing regard..." not "that". Only correction I'll make, as it's a really nitpicky one.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have no knowledge in writing whatsoever (unlike a lot of people here, apparently. I'm kind of impressed.) so I will not be focusing on any technical writing techniques and will be far less structured than the other comments I read.

    English isn't my first language (I'm French), yet I had a lot of pleasure reading it. It's not too complicated but still elaborated, and it gives it a good pace.
    I found it catchy despite the dialogues with the accent. I respect that choice because it's part of the character's traits. Although I am not familiar with it at all so I have no idea how I should pronounce this and it kind of blocked me. But I personally blame it totally on myself.
    I liked the dynamic between the two characters in the first part. I grew attached to them a bit even if I gather that they were described in a detailed way earlier in the story as this is chapter 5. Sam looks sweet and compliant to his (apparently) selfish friend, I hated Daniel for being a damn cockblock but that's about it.
    I also liked the description of Sam's clumsiness (I laughed out loud) in opposition to Antoinette's ease in the second part. I think the word "orifice" for the mouth was a bit weird, too medical for a clumsy teen's first kiss.
    Cheers for naming her Antoinette, I like the fact that she has kind of a noble name even if she's clearly not of that background (but apparently she does have the beauty that's supposed to go with it) it adds some depth to the character's description. I totally could see her all impressive with her beauty and then she opens her mouth and the magic kind of falter. I'm not saying that she's stereotypical because that would be assuming that because she doesn't talk too well then she's stupid, on the contrary I'd love to read the rest to know if I'm proven wrong.

    The plot is not the most original (it's not necessarily a bad thing, a good plot doesn't always make a good story and vice versa) but I like the style in general, got me hooked up easily. I didn't get bored (even if the accent thing made it slightly laborious to me) and I'm curious to know what's coming next.

    It's just my opinion, feel free to agree or disagree. Thanks for sharing this and sorry if I made mistakes in my comment, my English is a work in constant progress.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Okay, here goes nothing. I really liked this piece. It reminds me of a movie I watched with my son just last night, Super 8. I think it (your piece) gets how tweens & teens are with each other, especially the awkwardness. The descriptions might be a bit wordy, but I think it's a style choice. As long as the larger piece flows well, it can work. The dialect doesn't throw me too much. If you use it consistently throughout it will lend realism to the entire story. I don't know if I've put in enough hours reading to offer useful comments, but I hope this helps. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Grammer and typos. Whatever. First draft. I really like your approach to writing. You have a way of drawing in the reader and making them feel like they are part of the story, that they are the character. You did a good job in the first half of the chapter in showing the relationship of the two boys and a small glimpse into who Sam is. However, at times I felt as though the pace of the story was being rushed. There was a sense of urgency when there really didn't need to be. That pace slowed down and was more enjoyable when you wrote what you could feel. You could tell when you wrote from within. Not sure that makes any sense to you. Kinda like when you can close your eyes and feel, emotionally and physically what you are writing, it comes out with the words. Bah. I'm not being clear, but I hope you get some gist of it. Over all it was great. I would condense it a bit. Loved how you wrote the accent and think you should leave it in. Being from the US, I wouldn't have know the difference in speech patterns if you didn't write it. It would be like writing a southern accent vs a bostonian accent. Sometimes it just needs to be done. Good job. Would love to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Since other people here have commented on the grammer problems (which I personally feel would be an easy fix with a good editor), I will not harp on it further. The main thing that got me was your characterization of Sam. I found myself liking him from the beginning, and I ended wanting to read more about him. You have a strong and interesting character there, at least in my mind.

    In regards to the accent issue, it didn't bother me as much in your story as it has in other stories. That being said, you commented in this chapter that Sam had a reaction to Antoinette's accent and made a point of him being from the "posh" part of town...which obviously implies she is not to those of us whom know nothing about Dublin. :) I think commenting about her accent in those ways is enough, and "typing the accent" is not necessarily needed since the reader will already assume that she is not as posh sounding as Sam. Just something to think about.

    I think you have a really good start here, and I admire your courage to put it out there to be read by the masses!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Eoin,

    First off, I think it's awesome that you're sharing a rough draft of your work. I was surprised at how well you paint your story and look forward to reading more. You've definitely got talent as a story teller. With that being said, I think there are a few things that could be improved.

    I disagreed with most of the comments about grammar being an issue. There are numerous classic novels that use poor grammar as a literary effect. Perfect grammar in a story is unnatural - most people don't talk that way in real life. Reading stories with good grammar can often be jarring for a normal reader and I think it would not fit with your story. I think it'd be a huge mistake to fix all the grammatical "mistakes." That's not to say that many great books don't have great grammar... but I don't think it would really mesh well with this particular story (or the targeted audience). However, there are quite a few punctuation errors that I think could easily be remedied.

    I also enjoyed with accent being written. Of course, I am a person who has enjoyed books that write the accent so I understand how this could alienate some of your potential audience. However, if you remove that, you would probably need to remove the part describing her harsh accent because most readers may feel confused by the description when there is no indication of the accent in later text.

    I think the main thing that could help is re-pacing your story, if that makes sense. While I wonder if you purposefully used run-on sentences as a literary device (perhaps to show the awkwardness or have a sense of fluidity between the train of thought?), I think new paragraphs and shorter sentences would help greatly. There were quite a few extremely long paragraphs that could have been helped with breaks - to emphasize parts of the story or even show a change. I agreed that some of the sentences were a bit long - what's that saying? You forget the beginning of the sentence by the time you reach the end of it? It sounds harsh and for that I'm sorry... I tend to use run-on sentences as well and I didn't stop (well, somewhat stop) until someone said the same thing to me. Heh.

    Last critique - the dialogue. I think it may help to add some sort of description with some of the dialogue. I enjoy your style where it seems very conversational... but I think sometimes it could help to add a little something:

    "i just gotta go to de toilet'
    "sure, i'll wait here"
    "well yer not coming wit me"
    There was a pause between them for a moment.
    "ye don't wanna come wit me to de toilets do ye?"
    "no of course not"
    "good, i was jus checkin', some weirdos out der ye know"

    What was Antoinette's tone? Or Sam's for that matter? When he said "no of course not"... was it "'no of course not' he hastily mumbled" or was it "'no, of course not' he said with haughty indignation" (obviously these are just examples so you're not thinking "What on EARTH is this girl talking about?").

    I don't know if you've ever read Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss... but I highly recommend it. He is a true master of pacing (and the story itself is hilarious, moving, creative and just something everyone should read). Everyone I know who has read that book has a hard time taking a break because the story pulls you forward with it. I think it'd be a great example of how you could utilize breaks to help your pacing.

    So, yep. Those are my critiques. Hopefully they are, at the very least, somewhat helpful. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hell YES! The Name of the Wind is one of the best books I've ever read. And I read a freak of a lot. It vaulted immediately to number two on the hit parade for me.

      I've loaned it to so many people, I need to get it back so I can read it again. Also, this reminds me to pester Patrick Rothfuss to start neglecting his family so he can finish the third book in the series.

      Margaret

      Delete
    2. Haha, I'm very excited for the third book too! Luckily, my husband didn't convince me to read the book until about a year before the second book came out so I didn't have to wait too long. Waiting for the third book just seems... ack. I've started reading the Sword of Truth series to pass the time. Hopefully he finishes writing before I finish all 13 books. If not, I hear the Discworld series is quite extensive.

      Have you ever gone to one of his book signings? He's really entertaining and it's completely worth it if you haven't. =)

      Completely off topic of Eoin's blog, what are your favorite books? I love meeting fellow bibliophiles for new book suggestions.

      Delete
  22. Hey Eoin, I think pretty well everything's been said already, but I'll emphasise what I think is important.

    *The run on sentences - use them more sparingly, they can have good effect at times, but too many just...erm ... run on... (yeah, a few glasses of wine, and I'm not at all erudite.)

    *Paragraph breaks, but that's just formatting.

    *You said that upon hearing Antoinette's accent, Sam felt nauseated. This seems to be a severe overreaction. Maybe shocked or some other thesaurisly approved word instead?

    *also- in regards to writing the accent, I think it's necessary in the context of the story, but what may be a little less jarring is to ease off on it as the story progresses. Just as in person, we get used to someone's accent and tend to notice it less the more we talk to them. You can indicate accent often in the cadence of speech and word choices, peppered with the occasional 'written accent'.

    * I really liked the latter part of the story, it flowed much better than the beginning. You're good at getting inside a character's head and exposing it to the reader. The chewing gum bit was priceless (and disgusting)

    That's about it for now, but I thought I'd leave you with a link that Neil Gaiman tweeted the other day.http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/02/21/25-things-i-want-to-say-to-so-called-aspiring-writers/

    Good stuff on that blog.

    Take care, and keep writing.

    Margaret

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've had a night to sleep on it and while I still plan to re-read the chapter, my main thought when I got up this morning was that I I've changed my mind and I think you should keep the accent in, with a little bit of tidying up it'll work. I think that for those of us not local to Dublin, without it it would be hard to understand the difference between Sam and Antoinette's accents and speech patterns.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just read your chapter and I have to say I'm impressed. Like someone else said, you can do so many things... it's crazy!

    I won't say anything about grammar (although I quite noted your punctuation issues). English is not my native language (I'm French) but I am a translator (not yet an experienced one but still) and I think you're a talented writer. I was translating in my mind while reading and it's a really good story. That would be the kind of text I'd love to translate.

    Regarding the "typing the accent thing", this would not be a problem in France. We do that quite often! Anyway, I can't wait to read your book (sam reminds me of my little bro!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi! First off, I thought the idea here was good and Sam seemed like a character I could like and want to know. Of course this is chapter 5 and it felt a bit weird to be dropped into it like that - not sure of what went before or exactly what his relationship is with Daniel. Some things are hard to comment on when you see a piece in isolation - and what's gone before would make a big difference to editing.

    And I think that if I could take a bit of a red pen to this (sorry, meant nicely) I would probably do a bit of cutting. Even without the context some of the descriptive passages need to go, because they don't ring true for teenagers, and some are a wee bit too... almost cliched (again, sorry). Thinking particularly about the second kiss description here. I understand that this is a draft and all the punctuation etc has yet to be sorted. That used to be part of my job and I was really itching for the red pen again!

    Hope that doesn't sound too negative. I like the idea and the central character and I'd probably read the whole thing, when it had been polished. Indeed, happy to help with polishing.

    Lainey

    ReplyDelete
  26. MagaretR thanks for that link-that was fascinating, and has encouraged me to ignore everything!- ha. no. I appreciate all the comments, thanks for reading - I've always been terrible at corrections and formatting but now shall have to carry on humbly and do that....I will be re-writing it this chapter, as with the rest of it to get it flow, so I certainly understand how the flowery sections can be distracting, that's probably my subconscious internal worship of all things Keatsian and desire to be him, alas...I will say however that some critique seems to focus on the actual 'dialogue' as being badly punctuated, and grammatically incorrect, yet it is written in this manner specifically, as this is how certain Irish people talk, and cut off their vowels and ways of speaking, and when dialogue between two people is in incorrect tenses etc, it's done on purpose. Much like how the American language has become bastardised - with the proliferation of the word 'like, so, awesome' etc, that destroys a sentences flow and structure. Maybe this is jarring with some of over adjective populated paragraphs. The flow may need to be quicker agreed, i think when re-reading it with some of your comments it becomes apparent how when I wrote it the chapter became something more from the beginning- as I had no idea where the chapter was going to go from when it began to when it ended, and it took on more of a fleshed out purpose as it was written.
    Thanks by the way for all the comments, and for taking the time to read it, I appreciate it, and all the critique is helpful, set off by just nice comments haha! I wasn't sure if this kind of style, or story would be in way appealing to anybody apart from myself, so now I will go finish and edit this little book....and this moment will remembered as the cathartic springboard that encouraged me to finish....
    cheers

    ReplyDelete
  27. there are grammatically errors in the above post, bloody blog posting software not keeping with the speed of typing- it doesn't let you edit your post either...sigh..after all I've been old in these comments and my response is ladled with errors....oh dear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw, we love you, errors and all :)

      Delete
  28. JMac, FatherMike, Beth and Tepromento, I'm glad you liked the character, that was a fear, if the character doesn't work, or isn't engaging then everything else is irrelevant - certain parts are over embellished, but there is a certain balance I want to try and achieve (which I may not even get close to), or the reality of it all and then how he might describe things in his head, as a young teenage boy would. That may not work, but I shall try it at least.
    Interesting Beth that you preferred it when it was slowed down, everybody has such a different take on it, like which style they prefer, a part of me would like to slow it down more, and embellish things even greater, but don't think people would enjoy it as much...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you need to make a sylistic choice. You can go the over-embellished route and that's fine, it can be quite wonderful, but then you need to make it consistent and the whole story will come together and work better overall. Or you can pare it down, which it doesn't sound like you want to do, you obviously like your flowery descriptives, but I think the main thing is to remain consistent in your choice of style.

      Delete
  29. I really enjoyed reading it, i must say i didn't get everything because english isn't my first language (i'm dutch)
    but the way it's writtin, is amazing, it grabs you and it's like as if it's you living this story.

    wow, i think that sentence made no sense, i hope you kinda understand what i mean haha

    but anyways good job :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello Eoin

    Thanks for the good read! All critical points have been talked about already, so all is left for me is to say: Keep it going!
    A good story or book has to catch my attention, make me curious about what´s next, leave an impression. You´ve seriously done that with what you shared here. So hopefully you´ll give us more to read, can´t wait ! Oh, I love the accent! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Okay, gave it another read now that I was refreshed and had nothing else happening, and somewhat changed my opinion, lol. (Girl's prerogative. :P )

    I felt the dialect was very well done - as I read it in my head, I hear an Irish accent, which is how I feel it should be. Also, I personally loved the detailing. It really gave it a nice and personal feel, and I loved it. The style and personality of it was its own, not mimicking any other author, which I enjoy - as a writer myself, I need to be able to read a book (or section of one) and not feel as though it's just repeating something I read the other day; your chapter shines in its own lovely way.

    As far as grammar goes, honestly, the only thing I really noticed that wasn't a stylistic choice was the capitalization - which, again, could be a stylistic choice that I'm just not used to seeing often.

    I felt as though I could feel what the characters were feeling, and, though I couldn't identify - since I haven't had the same experiences - it at least made me stop and smile and laugh at the poor awkward teenagers that were just trying to grow up in their own little way.

    And the tone was very nice, too. It dragged a little bit for it to be a blog, but looking at it from the perspective of a novel, I can see it being a good length.

    Again, thank you for sharing this with us. I know I myself never really want to do this with my writing, simply because my writing is so close and personal to me that I take it as a personal attack if people start bashing it in on me. Something that I'm getting better at, but still - I usually only share writing with those I trust completely to be honest but gentle. (Usually writers themselves.) So truly, I admire you for having the strength and bravery to share this with everyone.

    And one last thing - take everything as a grain of salt. People critique based on their own stylistic choices, but so much of writing is based on someone's personal style that's not duplicated by anyone else. If a point is made numerous times, and it's a legitimate point, softly consider it - but otherwise, writing is its own unique style of art - and should be respected as that.

    Okay, I've written way too much already. Thank you again, Love - bravo.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Greetings Eoin, I read this late last night after seeing your tweet but was too tired to type up a proper response at the time *laughs* - I'm the book cover designer (Avalon Graphics) who commented about designing the cover over on Twitter. And you can hold me to my offer! *hopes I've not gone mad*

    Previous commenters have indeed hit on the mechanicals of it and offered good advice. And I'll also add that having your manuscript professionally edited is a must. Truly. I've been working in the independent and self publish realm for a couple of years now and seen first hand what a difference it makes (for the better). I can recommend one to you if you do not know of anyone in that field. I can also recommend a fantastic publishing house in the UK as well.

    I found your writing engaging and I was immediately sympathetic with Sam. You've done a fine job of describing adolescent insecurities - great work! I love being given a lot of visuals by an author so I enjoyed your original and vivid descriptives in this piece.

    Keep going! I want to know what happens next!

    ReplyDelete
  34. No problem on the link, you're right in a way about ignoring all advice though. If you take everyone's advice here, you will be left with nothing of yourself in your writing. Best to find one or two people who's opinion meshes with your own to help hone it.

    (That being said, I agree with the oft expressed opinion that it is extremely brave of you to share and elicit opinions from so many people. Brave or crazy - not sure which :) )

    The 'incorrect grammar' within the dialogue is completely acceptable (thank you Mark Twain) Aside from the ridiculously pompous, nobody speaks in proper grammar all the time.

    Take care and read Name of the Wind. Yes.

    M

    ReplyDelete
  35. Having read your Boy Scout short story which was entertaining, I looked forward to reading this. As a first draft I think its good - the grammar can always be finessed in the later stages once you've got story down in full. You seem to have a knack in picking everyday topics to write about that people can relate to.

    The writing is descriptive and it enables the reader to immediately get a picture in their mind of the two boys in the train pushing their teenage defiance at the mundane things in life to the limit. Their sense of bravado hiding their insecurities.

    One person has already commented that the description of Daniel's mock shock expression and the detail about the saliva perhaps going on too long and maybe that was too wordy but what I was expecting there was something funny to happen with the cigarette having fallen out of his mouth.

    This chapter has definitely left me wanting to read more....look forward to the next instalments!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hiya lovey Eoin,
    I found this story quite painful to read. It's a bit cringeworthy.
    Apart from that though, I quite like your beard.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Loving the constructive crit there, Honeylove. Although I think the beard comment we can all get behind.

    Still totally want to proof read and correct the shit out of this piece. Let me know if you'd still like me to do so (I am a bit harsh, but it's all part of the fun).

    ReplyDelete
  38. i'm always late to the party and I haven't read the other comments so sorry if I am going over old ground.

    I found the first couple of paragraphs hard going because the sentances were quite convoluted. I'd sometimes forgotten the start of the sentance by the end of it. I think maybe better grammar would help - but I also wonder if you are just trying to cram so much into one thing. Like each paragraph could be a novel in itself if you followed all the thoughts through. I was always critised for this at school and never really understood it - but can see why now.

    That said, I love the way you describe things. You are a great descriptive writer but not everything needs it. So lots of editing out of some great gems - use them somewhere else instead. I am thinking of EM Forster at the moment and his gushing violets. He does fabulous descriptions too but they kind of move the plot foward a lot more. He must of had acres of great descriptions he never got to use.

    I like your dialogue. I think it has a natural feel to it and moves the plot forward. Its like - ah at last we are going somwhere. It also helped clarify who the narrative voice was (I kept not being able to work out whether Dan or Sam was the protagonist at the start. In fact I am still not sure)

    I like the whole elation from the kiss making a BJ sound a bit of a let down actually.

    i have no idea where you get your stamina from. you are always partying, writing, acting, directing.

    I really hope to see the re-edited version of this soon. Cos when I can understand you, I really enjoy you. Like the film review that was published. I didn't lose what was going on once. You have an underlying humour which is great.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Overall I liked it, it was an enjoyable read. Just a couple things though, "Sam shook his head and giggled" do guys 'giggle'? I think of girls or women giggling but not guys. Maybe he chuckles instead. Also, with the dialog it did get confusing in places, like when he is at the girl's apartment, I had a hard time figuring out who was saying what. So maybe rework it with some 'he said, she said'.
    I like to write too and would love feedback, I'd post my stories on my blog if anyone actually read it. Great idea posting it here for us, post more I like reading other's work.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just thought of something else, the title "Antoinette, and not the Queen of England' shouldn't that be the queen of France?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I don't see writing the accent as an issue: think of how strongly the accents are written in Trainspotting, for example! If you decide to stick with that option, it's just about consistency and clarity.

    The story itself is very interesting and I'd definitely read the whole thing.

    I see that the others who've commented before me have already mentioned grammar and offered to proof read but I'll offer my services for that anyway since I've done quite a bit of editing (quickest way to get my stories edited was to edit my friends' writing first :P).

    ("editing" is the proper term for what we've offered, "proof reading" comes much later in the process to check the final draft is formatted correctly before printing)

    ReplyDelete
  42. One last thing darlin. You commented "a part of me would like to slow it down more, and embellish things even greater, but don't think people would enjoy it as much..." Just remember that with any great author, write for YOU. If you write from within, it'll be good, great even. It's hard to let go of wanting to please the masses. I let go of that and my story has been flowing like a waterfall, and people have really enjoyed it. You have to write for you and it will all come out great in the end. Love the story, would love to read more. I'm hooked. Wanna know what happens next with Sam. Anyhoo, grain of salt, thrown your way. Take it or leave it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Abigail, Sarah, Turk, Beth, Debbie and all of you who have taken the time to comment, I do appreciate it. There are many changes I will make, and getting some critical opinion is great, it really helps. I shall now wander off and edit, and finish it and see how it turns out. Thanks for reading and for giving me some great insights, and helping me understand the writing process even more.....kudos...eoin

    ReplyDelete
  44. eoin, i'm not sure if you're aware of this, but it's difficult to post comments on your blog. i'm not sure if it's because your comment form is inline as opposed to the pop-up box, but i never get to comment on your posts. i'm unsure if others have the same problem...

    anyhow, hopefully this goes through.

    i never take any of my initial rough drafts seriously as the more i write and edit, the fourth, fifth, sixth, &tc. drafts never resembles the first draft. readers picking at the little details so early on is irrelevant at the time being and i'm certain you'll proofread before attempting to submit it somewhere. so i read the story for what it is and i like the clashing boundaries of adolescence and adulthood. you're incredibly brave for posting a first chapter open to the world.

    what i learnt in creative writing workshops at uni is that other students will never understand your personal choices for certain decisions you make and as the author, you have the right to preserve those choices because really, all the reader can do is open interpret the story. in one of my stories, i illustrated a strange fishing scene where the fisherman used only a fishing rod and a pale, and he loaded all of his catches in a pickup truck. another student criticised the scene, stating fishing is never done that way and it's unrealistic and nobody she knows fishes that way. but that's how my dad used to fish at lakes when i was a child, so she used her personal experience to represent what is real in order to obliterate truth and an experience that the writer actually had. i hope i'm making sense.

    lovely to know that you write. moon rocks to you. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh I totally missed this.
    I see you've had quite a lot of comments about grammar (which I won't talk to you about cause as much as I can be a Grammar Nazi in French, I don't consider my English good enough to do the same.) and I can tell you the obvious mistakes that could be easily fixed with a bit of work: typos, capitals, extra "return to the line" in the middle of a sentence or not enough (those are nice, they make the text much more appealing and give a rhythm) etc.

    But I'm more interested in talking about the content and the style. I totally love what's in this text, but I was cringing at some points: some of your sentences are really long, full of epithets and extra words that aren't really necessary in my pov.
    For instance, in that absolutely amazing moment when Sam and Antoinette (amazing name :D) were kissing for the first time, some sentence made you take your head into your hand trying to understand in exactly what position they are and everything.
    That's very filmmaker of you to try and describe the visual of the scene but the really amazing thing about writing is too leave the reader room for imagination and thus make the scene even more personal to us.
    We don't need to know that his right hand was on his left scapula, just that he was embracing her, and he'll be embracing her in a different way for each and everyone of the readers, but if the feeling of awkwardness and not-knowing-what-he's-doing gets through as well as it does in this text, then our imagination will give us a much more accurate image of the situation.
    (It's an interesting thing about writing: you have to give leverage to the reader. (If you ever write a sex scene, you'll find the best ones usually aren't the ones including too many details.))

    Another thing would be the dialogue. Since I know nothing about accents, I can't really get the subtlety of Antoinette speaking but it goes well because most of all, her interaction with Sam is an unspoken one: he finds her incredibly confident and beautiful and gracious, and feels clumsy, in-experimented and sweaty. That was wonderfully described - and I loved that it was clear that this is all his point of view. Maybe she's as uneasy as he is but has a different way of dealing with it which looks like confidence for him.
    However, the dialogues with Daniel seem artificial and the first few ones don't give that kinda "posh" image Antoinette gets from Sam when she hears him talk. It seems obvious, reading this text, that the part you were interested in was the meeting with Antoinette and the whole (longish) part with Daniel seems to drag on for a long while and may be a bit unnecessary because you don't make it something passionating that gives us loads of elements about the characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You drop some clues about Daniel's love for mangas at the beginning but that's about it. I almost don't remember the content apart from: they go to meet the girls, Daniel hasn't actually kissed hers, Sam is in-experimented and a whole theory about sidekicks and girls coming with an uglier one... (which was quite fun)
      I'd have loved to have some actual insight into the characters in that "introduction".
      I loved that you had an actual precise geography included. That gives a great reality and a deepness to the text.

      Oh also, now that I think about it: names are great. Pronouns are cool but sometimes you need to remember who you're talking about. I've been confused for a while as to which one was Sam and which one Daniel and had to scroll back up several times to check. (In this case, some physical characteristics can help, so you can use them to talk about someone instead of using either their names or he/she. But since it's only an extract of the story I guess we don't have all the clues? On the other hand, once again, a too precise physical description can spoil it: when you describe Antoinette as a slim tall blond beautiful girl, I created an amazing image in my head that totally didn't match your precise description of her later on and spoiled it a bit for me... Cause the one you described looked way less beautiful in my head than the one I imagined :p)

      I would not criticize the content of this story, especially since I do appreciate it a lot. All this comment is my personal insight, what I've seen tends to work or not, make things more enjoyable to read.
      I've been a beta-reader for quite a while, and I knew to accept that the author don't take all your remarks into accounts because as much as I try to talk with everything I've read and written in mind, it's still my personal opinion.

      Your Sam is an amazing character and I'd love to read more about him so the only thing I can say is: keep writing and, if you can, go back to what you've already written and make it even better.

      Delete
    2. However, and just for the pleasure of invalidating my entire comment, I'll quote Neil Gaiman to you to about 8 Good Writing Practices:

      1. Write.
      2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
      3. Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
      4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
      5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
      6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
      7. Laugh at your own jokes.
      8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

      (this is from an article in The Guardian I didn't manage to find back)

      And what I mean by this is: I may (and all the other commenters) be wrong on what "exactly" it is you shall change or whatever. What you need to get for our comments is where and how we feel when something doesn't work for us and then internalize it for yourself and fix it your own way.
      I give you tips and I'm sure you could learn things from some of them but I absolutely don't mean to say "this is the right way to write". There's no right way. There's just managing to make people feel what you want to share or even allow them to feel things you didn't even know were in your text.

      Keep writing. <<< That's the only really important sentence of this comment.

      Delete
  46. I think it's good, and obviously a first draft, so I am not sure how helpful grammar comments are going to be. I like Sam's point of view...totaly comes across as a teenaged boy/first love kind of thing. I loved the poor man's Clint East wood line, and your description of the kissing as their tongues dancing...quite excellent.

    I felt that the sweat and saliva were a bit over done (But I might find that gross just because that's the way I am, haha.)

    I liked the dialect in your dialogue, I could totally hear the accent, (maybe that's because I've heard the Irish accent enough?) and I find that quite impressive. I don't think I could write out a western American dialect (mainly becuse we don't have accents :P)

    I would definitely read on, I like a good coming of age tale...

    There were a few sentences that came across as passive (which are easily fixed) and a tad bit worthy, but that's what the edits are for!

    (Also, I totally love t you are writing a book..the fact that you know a writers pain makes me love you even more as an actor, haha.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Looks like I posted as "unknown" O_O

    ReplyDelete
  48. "she's a fucking fox seriously" - ha-ha-ha)). In Russia we usually say "a fucking cat", but in Ireland the fox is the most sexual animal, I see).
    It is rather funny...

    P.S. Your Gwaine's сharacter looks like a fox;).

    ReplyDelete