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The Caged Introvert
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The Caged Introvert
A shy, unattached man's journey for love...
African American male. Accepted Christ as savior as I have been born again since August 1st of 2002. I have been writing on and off for about 10 years though I'm pretty determined to keep at it this time.
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (24)
Alone With My Sin (A Collection) (Poetry) This is a collection of poems wherein I express the stinging loneliness that sin has caused in my life as a Christian and the fallout of those transgressions. There is also a long poem expressing what... [2,477 words] [Spiritual]
Attack From The Beyond (Short Stories) A guardian race recruits human beings in the defense of the Earth in the face of the Aelkighted. The fourth tale in what I'm calling "The Adrian and Lucalan Saga." The first story is called "The Riv... [11,647 words] [Science Fiction]
Chronicles Of Zefaria: The Plight Of The Free Peoples (Novels) These are dark times for the people of Zefaria. Lord Osmadaan's provinces are causing havoc throughout the land. Tonomoli Foster embarks on a quest to attract help from some of the bigger countries ... [33,846 words] [Fantasy]
Chronicles Of Zefaria: The Realm Of The Ancients (Novels) Here follows the first four chapters of the continuation of my Chronicles of Zefaria series with a bit of chapter five thrown in for good measure. This installment of the series follows the exploits ... [8,455 words] [Fantasy]
Evil's Fingers (Short Stories) After a young boy by the name of Timmy Hutchinson falls into a pit and is rescued, circumstances arise in Blackberry Village that none are prepared for. Read and you will not be disappointed. [7,440 words] [Fantasy]
Here And Thereafter (Novels) A young, dirt poor African American couple struggle to make ends meet. The husband places all of his beliefs in his unfinished fantasy novel, while the wife struggles with the everyday realities of t... [12,076 words] [Drama]
Journey To The Planet Merridion (Short Stories) This is my third tale in what I'm calling "The Adrian and Lucalan Saga," unless someone can come up with something better. It follows the short stories "The Rivals" and its sequel, "The Arrivals." ... [8,445 words] [Science Fiction]
Octavia's Obsession (Short Stories) This story is about... Octavia's obsession... [2,237 words] [Drama]
Star Saga (Screenplays) The year is 2120 and colonization of space is well underway. Thanks to the unlocking of the human genome during the 21st Century, humanity is experiencing a time like no other. No intelligent life h... [11,766 words] [Science Fiction]
Star Saga: A Clash Of Empires (Screenplays) Sequel to my sci fi scipt "Star Saga: Swarm of the Bulgata," which came after the script "Star Saga." Two months have passed since the conflict on the colony of Dorridion ended, and now the Earth Emp... [22,716 words] [Science Fiction]
Star Saga: Swarm Of The Bulgata (Screenplays) Sequel to my sci fi script "Star Saga." The Bulgata have been beaten back on the alien planet of Unisee, and the Earth Empire watches over the people. However, a new conflict soon surfaces on the co... [17,954 words] [Science Fiction]
Tales Of The Horror Inducing Kind (Short Stories) Three short stories documented by a horror enthusiast whose attempting to collect supposedly true stories, and told from the perspective of those who saw them. "The Centipedes" - A story about a man'... [12,838 words] [Horror]
The Arrivals (Short Stories) **********WARNING*********** Do not read further without first reading my short story, The Rivals, unless you want to be spoiled**************Adrian Belfast is suffering through events that took place... [10,381 words] [Science Fiction]
The Deluded Youth (Short Stories) A boy and his dreams... [3,699 words] [Drama]
The Exploits Of Tal'on Kepp (Short Stories) This is a short story set in my Chronicles of Zefaria series. I hope that all enjoy. [2,542 words] [Fantasy]
The House That Bernard Wellingsworth Built (Short Stories) Eli Wellingsworth travels from upstate New York to Manchester, England, to take control of the estate of his deceased and demented uncle, but he could hardly be expected to be prepared for what he is ... [5,645 words] [Horror]
The Man Who Walked Unseen (Short Stories) An account in the exploits of the life of the unseen... [1,457 words] [Horror]
The Menace Of That Most Demented Order (Short Stories) Eli Wellingsworth finally comes face to face with the horror perpetrated by his demented Uncle Bernard. The third tale in a series that I am calling "The Perils of Eli Wellingsworth." The first one ... [12,529 words] [Horror]
The Path That Eli Wellingsworth Took (Short Stories) Sequel to my short story, "The House That Bernard Wellingsworth Built." Eli Wellingsworth travels from Manchester, England, to New York after resigning defeat in garnering the attention of anyone who... [9,402 words] [Horror]
The Rivals (Short Stories) Adrian Belfast, a young and aspiring author, chances upon the works of one Lucas Slaughter, a person whom he considers his rival. Sequel forthcoming. [5,415 words] [Humor]
The Struggle Within: Sestina Number One (Poetry) A sestina is a poem where you interchange six words at the end of each line in six stanzas. This is my first. [258 words] [Horror]
The Suffering Christian (A Collection) (Poetry) These are my very first Blank Verse poems, Heroic Couplets, and a Stanza in Heterometric form. The Blank Verse poem possesses some rhyme, and is about being Christian and a selfish sufferer (wanting C... [528 words] [Spiritual]
War Of The Writers (Short Stories) This is my first fantasy themed short story. I welcome any and all comments. Thanks in advance! [1,955 words] [Fantasy]
We Storymaniacs Should Be The Best (Essays) An essay dealing with why I believe many of us Internet writers will one day be a cut above the rest, and what it will take to get there. [1,101 words] [Motivational]
|READER'S REVIEWS (9)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.
"Hello Michael, using a common practice for text when HTML isn’t active I have copied your piece verbatim, and have placed commentary in stars, so it will appear ***just like this.*** The Caged Introvert Michael Harris ***The first thing I will assume is that you have no or very limited formal training in fiction writing, therefore I’ll try to go easy on you, instead of picking out every little thing. Since I have the impression you have life experience, but not so much writing experience, I’ll concentrate on the big general things first. Later in time you will then be able to receive critiques by me or others which are far more specific.*** There lives a young man who, by no means of his own inherent powers, finds it stingingly difficult when relating to members of the opposite sex. ***The most noticeable thing about this opening is the use of tense. Here you have used present tense, which is very rarely used, and then only by the most experienced of writers. Present tense usually makes a piece sound a bit weak and foofy. In most prose it is best to switch to the use of past tense. So here is how I would rewrite your first sentence “There lived a young man who, by no means of his own inherited powers, finding it stingingly difficult when relating to members of the opposite sex.” It sounds better that way, bolder. I’d suggest a tense change for the rest of the text as well.*** It began some years ago, back in elementary school, when an ocular beauty by the name of Iris would literally propel him into an awe stricken state whenever he could be found in her presence. His memory of the said charmer was vivid, akin to how one remembers the sun sets in the west or the details of a bright and warm summer day. She was of African-American descent herself ***”herself” is an opposition word, suggesting something is being compared against the subject, but here we have no evidence of comparison. Example of opposition/comparison: “Marge thinks she’s so great because she’s dating a fullback, but I’m dating the quarterback myself, so it’s nothing special.” Thus using “herself” would suggest she’s being compared against something that has already been presented, but that information is not shown to the reader.***, but mixed, as her mother was a descendant of the Europeans. Her skin therefore carried with it a lightish-brownish ***Neither base word in this conglomeration is entirely grammatically accurate, but the double “ish” has got to go. Try changing to “lightish-brown” or “light-brownish.” But for maximum performance change to “… carried with it a light-brown complexion…”*** complexion, and her hair, crinkled and free as it was, bore with it a dark and brownish coat. She was, in his own young and impressionable mind, the quintessential beauty. This fascination with a young beauty would last him some three years, until Iris ***It might be wise to mention her name immediately when introducing her, rather than putting off to the very end.*** and her parents packed up and moved away. He could never, in those early years, find or muster the courage needed to confess his infatuation with her, and this same hesitancy that began those long years ago remained with him through middle and high school--and has since matured--thus producing a most pitiable creature. Now in his second year of college, he hopes to finally find love with a new and recent finding, one Gwendlyn Moors. Our protagonist's name is Marsellus Towers, and he is The Caged Introvert. ***This is more of a speak-style. This kind of language such as “There lives a young man in the fantasy village. Our hero is Jon the Brave. What will our hero do?” is the realm of storytellers, not fiction writers. I’ve known some very gifted storytellers in the performance art community who can enchant an entire audience of children, and the masterful can even keep adults spellbound, performing a story with his/her voice and actions, but most of these story-tellers cannot write prose. It is two very ways of displaying a story, a storyteller tells and performs a story, while a fiction writer shows a story. In order to really understand the difference, ask yourself if the reader will be able to fully appreciate the story if you are not in the room performing it for him or her.*** Marsellus lives in an apartment with a friend named Donovan Tillet. Donovan he met when he was just entering high school, as the two became acquainted with one another through the high school chess team. To his credit, Donovan has--on many occasions--attempted to help Marsellus rectify his situation by giving him hints or whatnot ***I might alter that slightly from “or whatnot” to “and such”*** , as it relates to relationships and how best to approach women. Indeed, a true and stalwart fellow is Donovan Tillet. It has been Donovan planting the seeds of encouragement in the young lad all these years, and it was Donovan--as a matter of fact--who first introduced Marsellus to the visual splendor that is Gwendlyn Moors, having known her from some time past, in middle school years to be precise, the two keeping in touch despite attending separate high schools. And therefore because of Donovan progress ***Plant commas around “because of Donovan” since the phrase is a momentary aside to the rest of the sentence, for instance you could say “And therefore progress has been made…”*** has been made on the Gwendlyn front. The trio share a chemistry class and Marsellus chats with her from time to time, always--though--about small and trifle ***Drop “and trifle” since it is redundant. You wouldn’t say “small and little things” or “small and relatively insignificant things”*** things like weather, or apprehension toward facing a new assignment. Never has Marsellus been able to approach Gwendlyn with words leaning towards his interest in wanting to know her better as a person, as the stifling predicament of his youth has piled up upon him, preventing him from revealing his true feelings. As to the visage of our protagonist, he is quite the looker himself, ***Here you are just telling the reader what Marsellus looks like. Example: “Here’s Bob. Bob is a guy. Bob has long hair and a mustache.” By now your reader will be yawning. When revealing details about a character’s appearance it must never be too darn obvious. For example I’d say: “Marsellus felt the gaze of the woman on his russet skin, and he saw her smile, though he was too shy to return the look.” It takes a certain finesse, Michael, to work the details into the story, instead of lumping it out there and saying “here it is.”*** though it hasn't been brought up much, save by a few aunts, and a grandmother here and there. He is black--but browned skinned--and his hair is semi-curly. His eyes share some resemblance to those of puppies ***Much of the narrative in this story can be cut, and you may find yourself doing so in later revisions, but this is one phrase you really ought to keep “His eyes share some resemblance to those of puppies…” since it not only strikes a comparison between Marsellus’ eyes and that of a puppy’s, but also makes the reader draw the conclusion of a comparison between Marsellus’ shyness and that of a puppy’s.*** , and his skin is free of all physical defects whatsoever ***So he’s perfect? Consider that awhile Michael. How many completely physically perfect people have you met? Try and stay with the literary fiction nature of this piece without skipping over to the genre category of Fantasy. He may be handsome, but is he genetically engineered?*** . Truth be told, on many an occasion a young lady has been intimidated by him, which has not aided his cause much of any, ***”of any” is unnecessary and won’t be missed if you decide to yank it out of there.*** but has rather stifled it, seeing as how he also suffers from intimidation. And then too, Marsellus is a moral man, it is not sex that he is after, but rather companionship. But he is very much ignorant of the fact that he is a good looker, which--had he known it--his confidence level might have superseded ***Spelling correction “superceded”*** all his hopes and dreams. Well, on no particular day, while laying ***While this is incorrect, I’ll let the whole laying/lying/lain thing lay for awhile, and concentrate on the big stuff.*** in bed, Marsellus determined in his mind that he was going to ask of ***Change “of” to “for”*** the hand of Gwendlyn Moors. As he thought on ***Change “on” to “of” or “upon”*** the daunting task that lay ahead of him, it came to his mind that it would be best if he consulted his friend and consulate Donovan Tillet on the matter. And so he did, their conversation being as follows: ***Here’s another regal example of letting the storyteller in you overwhelm the prose. You want to avoid saying “Here is the scene. Bob enters into the room and says something to Harry.” You need to tell a story in printed words not spoken words, and you need to avoid stage directions unless you are directing a play.*** "Donovan?" "Yes, Marsellus?" "I've been thinking...I mean...seriously thinking. If I were to...ask of Gwendlyn, what do you think she would say to me? How would she reply? Do you think that she would even have me?" "...Are you...really considering this?" "I am." Donovan paused for a moment. He then began pacing the room, pressing down on his bottom lip whilst lowering his eyebrows. It was as if he was contemplating a great matter in that domed head of his, or so that is what Marsellus perceived. Finally, after much moving about, he spoke. "I think...I think that you should go for it. I may be wrong, but I'm certain she has an eye for you, or in the very least she's fairly interested. Yes, I think you should go for it." Marsellus smiled a smile that would lift even the most discouraged soul to a state of supreme happiness. And now that he possessed the go ahead, it was time to practice what he would say, and that he would do for the next two days. Now, it is perhaps presumed that Gwendlyn is flawless in nature, and this is only partly true. Looking upon her, one would--in fact--liken her to a pearl beset amongst a host of clam shells. ***clamshells*** Her hair is wonderfully long and as soot ***This word, while it may accurately capture the likeness of what her hair is either colored like or textured like, that you may be trying to achieve, it is perhaps not the best word to use when describing something attractive, unless you find something particularly attractive about ashes that stick to the lining of a chimney.*** and whenever she enters a room the light from the fixtures on the ceiling refracts off of it, producing a most eye-pleasing effect. Her skin is candy-coated with caramel, and produces no ill effects whatsoever. ***I’ve noticed you created two perfect people, physically anyhow. This may be a way to off-set their inner-selves, but still it should be pointed out the creation of perfect people in stories is a long out-moded way of creating creators, and has been dead for several centuries now. Very few people wish to read about the perfect prince or princess in modern reading. They prefer to have their heroes and heroines more realistic. At least you made these main characters average individuals, though interestingly enough you do mention the word “prince” in the next line.*** She is petite in size, but possesses ample subsidies in all the right places. She is gorgeous, and a prince alone would do by her side. But see if not her true nature can be perceived in the following passage where she is courted by a nameless young man. "Gwendlyn! Hi! Hey...umm...listen, do you think that you and I could ever like...go on a date sometime? I know we've only just met, but I'd like to get a chance to know you better...if that's all right with you." "Well...it depends..." "Depends? Depends on what?" "A lot of things...Like, where would we go? Or what would we do? All this doesn't come cheap, you know. But..." And as she said this she drew very, very close to him. "...if you're willing to shell out, I promise to you that I'll make it worth your wild." And so with those words Gwendlyn Moors racked up another victim to her long list of male companions. Truth be told, Gwendlyn Moors was skillful in the art of manipulation. Mostly she would use men for money, or extravagant gifts, sometimes even for sex. She had to repay them at some point if she was to ever lay hold on them for any extended period of time of course. Indeed, Gwendlyn Moors was a member of a very dishonorable bunch. And just who is to blame for allowing the esteemed Marsellus Towers to fall for one like Gwendlyn Moors: certainly not the helper that is Donovan Tillet. Donovan never was a great perceiver of the character of a human being, and in truth, Gwendlyn never did anything that would give him any indication as to her true being. However, the situation that Marsellus is about to engage in isn't purely by chance. We are in the acknowledgement of the higher power, and the fact which being that some bad things that happen to good people only help to bring about a stronger person in the end. With that said, Marsellus--over two days time--made it his mission to affect the heart of Gwendlyn Moors, planning his method of approach most extensively. He wrote things down, practiced in front of mirrors, and even received input from long-time friend Donovan. It was an exciting time to be sure. Marsellus was on the brink of overcoming a weight which had bogged him down since early childhood. But when the big day came there were still jitters and apprehensions which he could not overcome. His heart would beat irregularly, and his palms produced sweat. He felt altogether uneasy, and in his mind the thought kept resurfacing that Gwendlyn would reject him. But he held steadfast. Regardless of how he was feeling, he was determined to go through with it this time, after so many thwarted attempts. And so he approached Gwendlyn after class one day. Their conversation being as follows: "Gwendlyn! Wait up!" He hastened toward her. "I wanted to talk with you." "Talk to me? About what?" Marsellus took a deep breath. He looked from side to side and saw Donovan walk past him, motioning signs of encouragement. He had prepared hard for this moment, and now he could hardly get out what he wanted to say. "Listen...I was wondering...Well...I'm interested in you...deeply...I have been, ever since I laid eyes on you. And...I thought it might be nice if you and I got to know each other a little better." Marsellus went on, building his case and giving Gwendlyn no time at all for a reply. He stated that he wouldn't dare dream of violating her and that he was interested in companionship, something which shocked her immeasurably, though she betrayed not a hint of her inward manner. Finally, after much talk, Gwendlyn smiled, which in turn left Marsellus' mouth gaped wide open. She then spoke. "Oh Mars!" She said, stroking his cheek in the process. "I'd be delighted to go out with you." The cogs in her mind were running in overdrive. Normally, she would have rejected him because of his professed abstinence, but she was secretly very fond of Marsellus, and wished to lay with him ***This is a “very” old biblical term. I’m pretty sure “sex” is no longer deemed a dirty word by the Christian church.***. Indeed, Gwendlyn Moors had plans for Marsellus Towers. So they set the date for a Friday night, and all the while the excitement of Marsellus reached feverish peaks. Just before he was about to leave for Gwendlyn's, Marsellus consulted Donovan on proper behavior. "Now, it is probably best if you don't bring up the fact that you've never been out on a date before." "Why not?" "Because it'll put unneeded pressure on her at this point. You don't want to do that, do you?" Marsellus shook his head. "Just be yourself. She's not out to get you. She's a person just like you and me, ya see? You don't have to put on any fronts." Marsellus nodded his head. "I see. Well, I'm off. Will you be up when I get back?" "Maybe. I am kinda interested to see how it all turns out." And so with those words spoken Marsellus headed for the exit and left. Gwendlyn, like many other college students, still lived with her parents, and had given Marsellus her address: 13575 Biltmore Street it read. Marsellus had no trouble finding it, as he was familiar with the neighborhood. When he pulled near the curb of the house, he found that Gwendlyn was already waiting for him on a porch bench, her hair sparkling in the moonlight. She was clothed in a very tight ensemble, and hoped that through her dress Marsellus would decode her secret message. Marsellus thought it befitting of her, but wasn't about to engage in anything that went against what he stood for. Marsellus got out of the car and opened the door for her. "Hi!" He said. "You been waiting long?" "No. Not particularly." "That's good." There was a small smile on her face, which Marsellus noticed. This would be a night to remember. As they made their way to the movies (which is one of the places they agreed upon going, later they would go to dinner) they talked on a variety of subjects: like school, family, each others ***other’s*** private interests. Gwendlyn was quite fond of baking and Marsellus confessed that he was quite fond of eating. The two shared a healthy laugh from that episode. But there were some things brought up and noticed which utterly disengaged the interest of Marsellus, like Gwendlyn's vanity. Whenever he'd turn to gaze at her, it seemed as if she was constantly looking in the mirror. Also, she talked most extensively of past relationships, and how she was treated by other men, in terms of their willingness or unwillingness to spend money on her. This gave Marsellus a very mixed impression of the one whom he had become so infatuated with. The movie they were going to go see was a romantic comedy. Neither of them had seen it, so they were both fairly interested. Marsellus, though, was concerned chiefly about the possibility of them building a relationship, and he felt strongly that--after considering and dismissing the absurdness of it all--Gwendlyn could be the one he'd marry one day. But this feeling would only last for a short while, as he was highly disappointed when another man, whom Gwendlyn knew, came and spoke with her. It happened at the conclusion of the film. He had no date, or at least that is what Marsellus perceived. And he might have forgotten about the incident altogether, had it not been for the way in which Gwendlyn handled it. She talked and laughed with him, carrying on as if Marsellus wasn't even there. Finally, she did introduce the two, and said that he was only a casual acquaintance of hers, which, after observing the way they interacted, Marsellus wasn't too inclined to believe. As they made their way from the theater to dinner, there wasn't much of anything of importance discussed. Marsellus found it difficult to converse with her after the way in which she had treated him. He tried to conceal it, but Gwendlyn noticed, and perceived that he was genuinely hurt by her actions. She would have to turn her charm up a notch if she was to ever have him, and that is exactly what she would do. As they arrived and made their way to their tables, Marsellus determined in his mind that he would forget what happened at the theater, if for no other reason to give Gwendlyn the benefit of the doubt. Marsellus therefore attempted to spark conversation. "What are you ordering?" He said, as he flipped through his menu. "I don't know yet. What about you, Mr. I-Like-To-Eat-A-Lot." Marsellus smiled. Gwendlyn did the same. "Probably their steak. I hear its ***it’s*** nice. So says Donovan." "Then I'll have the same." So they ordered and ate and had stimulating conversation throughout. Gwendlyn even confided in him that she was secretly very fond of him since the beginning, and Marsellus was now feeling so comfortable talking with her, that he decided to forego advice given him by Donovan. "You know," Said he, "you're actually the very first girl I've ever been out with." "No." Said Gwendlyn, in a very shocking manner. "Really?" "Yes!" He said. "I wasn't supposed to say anything, says Donovan, but I feel greatly relaxed while talking with you." She smiled. Secretly she was very pleased with this. Now she knew him to be ripe for the picking. She even thought of caressing his leg with her own, but later thought better of it, seeing as how he was committed to abstinence. She did not want to upset him or scare him away. But she would not let the night pass without giving him a firm indication as to her intentions. So Marsellus paid the bill and they left the restaurant on a happy note. Marsellus was very pleased with how things were going. She is marvelous, he thought. Simply marvelous. After pulling into her driveway, Marsellus got out and walked her to her door. "I had a wonderful time." Said he. "So did I. It was very enjoyable." "How does next Friday sound? We can go bowling." "Oh, I'm not that good," She said. "Neither am I. But that's what will make it fun." "Fine. Next Friday we'll go bowling." She said, laughing. She then became serious, romantically so. "Can I...kiss you?" She said. Marsellus saw no harm in it, and said yes. So she kissed him, and he kissed her, and as she did so she touched him inappropriately, which startled Marsellus immeasurably. "I'll see you in class," She said, as she entered her house. Marsellus was left there standing in amazement. Finally he got hold of himself and headed for home. It was, to him, a very sensitive topic. That she would do such a thing after he expressed his disinterest, was distressing. Still, he was not ready to end the blossoming relationship. He would simply tell her that her conduct was inappropriate and never to do it again. That is what he would do. Well, as he was heading for his apartment, he couldn't help but think on how great a night it had been. Apart from the two finding a good deal of chemistry, he had conquered his ***Delete “being shy” and replace with “shyness.”*** being shy. And this is only the beginning, he thought. Only the beginning. When he got back home he found that Donovan was fast asleep. An unfortunate incident really, because he was dying to hear his own take on the matter. ***That would be quite impossible. Mars’ could hear Donovan’s response to the night’s events, but Mars’ could not hear Donovan’s take on them, because Donovan was not there.*** So the next morning came, and as he was getting ready for class he explained just how fantastic a night it was. "It was incredible man. We had great chemistry together. It was like we knew each other from years past or something. We're gonna make a great couple." "See, I told you didn't I? Now what we need to do is build upon the foundation. Lets ***Let’s*** you and I go out tonight. I know a great club on the Northwest side of town. You shouldn't go looking for another woman of course, but it'd be nice to just mingle, ya know." And Marsellus agreed, thinking it good for him to get out and live, after so many years of death. The two left for the club at around 10:30 at night. When they got there, they had to show identification, as the bouncer wasn't convinced that they were over eighteen. The club was lively, there was a great many young people there, some dancing, others sitting at tables whilst having drinks. Marsellus and Donovan went to an empty booth and seated themselves. It was very difficult to hear one another, with all the noise and whatnot, but they spoke anyways. "Ya see," Said Donovan, half hearing himself. "Its pretty intense here isn't it?" "Yeah," Said Marsellus, speaking far loudly than what should be expected of him. "Yes it is." "I'm going to go see if I can find someone to talk to. I'll be right back." Marsellus nodded whilst smiling. He sincerely appreciated the friendship of Donovan; how he stuck with him over the years, even when at times it seemed like he was resisting his methods. But he was only being shy. And true, it was still with him to a degree, his shyness, but not to the stifling degree with which it began. He took in his surroundings. It wasn't the place for him, this club. He couldn't put a finger on it, what it was which didn't set with him. But he knew this wasn't a place that he would frequent. He sighed. And now his thoughts moved toward Gwendlyn. Ah yes, the great splendor that is Gwendlyn Moors. How long would the two date before announcing their engagement? Two, three years maybe? He would have to meet their ***”her” parents, I assume he’s already met his own.*** parents first, and she his of course, but there was really no harm in thinking about future events, ***You may drop the totally redundant “he thought.”*** he thought. And then what, after marriage? Children? How many? Three? Four? Five? The two had their whole lives ahead of them, but they would grow old together. Together. The two of them. Growing old. How wonderfully romantic ***”sentimental” would be the best word of choice.*** , he thought. He stood up, seeing if he could not spot Donovan. The great intermingling of people was really something else. He was not saddened that he himself didn't fit into the mold of every one else here, but rather grateful: grateful for who he had won ***It strikes me as odd, since Mars’ is such a devout guy, that he would consider his “future wife” as a prize or something to be owned.*** , and grateful for what he had overcome. Donovan couldn't be seen amongst the host of individuals, so he decided to just sit back and wait for his return. ***Poor association. The former sentence is what is known as poor association, especially since the protagonist Mars isn’t mentioned in it directly, only referred. The way it reads now, Donovan is the subject of the sentence and he, not Mars, is the one performing all the actions such as sitting back and waiting. I feel this is not what you intended, but this is what you have said.*** Then something happened. Something which utterly sank the heart of Marsellus ***Add a possessive apostrophe*** Towers to the deepest depths of his inner being. He saw Gwendlyn, dancing with another man, and it destroyed him. At first, he was unsure of who it was, but as he zeroed in on her, he became sure. NO! What did he do wrong? Didn't she enjoy the time they had spent together? Why would she do this? He couldn't stop thinking about it. She had betrayed him. Donovan came back to the table and saw Marsellus with his head bent in miserable reflection. Marsellus explained to him what had happened, and the two left the club. Class with Gwendlyn didn't come again until four days later, but when it did Marsellus made good on his promise to confront her. She said she was sorry, and that she didn't mean to hurt him, and that it meant nothing at all to her. But Marsellus couldn't get past the fact that she would do such a thing, even after the splendid time they had together, and so he called off their formerly announced engagement. There would be no future for them afterall ***after all***. How utterly depressing for him. The semester had come to an end, and that gave him some much needed time away from the face of Gwendlyn Moors, allowing for healing. And by the time of registration, he had healed a good deal. So he went to register for classes, and as he stood in the cashier's line he caught site of a gorgeous young woman, whose face was lightish brownish in complexion and whose hair was crinkled and free. He introduced himself and it turned out to be Iris from elementary school. She smiled, remembering him well, and at that moment he realized he had been given another chance at winning her over, and now, with everything that he had learned, he would make good on that opportunity. ***Interesting story about human weakness and naivety, but ask yourself during the rewrite process exactly what lessons did Mars’ learn from the incident that would help him with future romantic relationships, and can you relate exactly what that was to the reader? Did he learn some women just can’t be trusted? Did he learn you can’t change a person who doesn’t want to be changed? Did he learn to wipe away illusions? Or perhaps he learned all of the above? Your strengths, Michael, lie in your spelling and your choice of subject. If ever you find yourself needing a critique in the future for other pieces, or a redraft of this one feel free to post to a critique-oriented site at www.writersbbs.com. If you have any difficulty whatsoever maneuvering around the site, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally guide you in the posting process. I feel you would be interested in that particular site due to a chat forum and a writing forum both dedicated to religious material where a group of helpful and friendly (mostly Christian) members engage each other in conversation and critique. In closing, Michael, I hope my critique of your work has been in some small way helpful to you. " -- JA St. George.
"JA, you put that whole "superseded/superceded" thing backward. That's why I hate a lack of HTML too. Everything thing else is mint though man, which is surprising for a review this long. You rule man!" -- Rags.
"This was a very nice story Michael." -- Deletia Thomas.
"Wow! I don't think I have to say it, but I will anyway: that was the most helpful and in-depth review I've ever received! Thanks a whole bunch! And yes, I am relatively new at writing, there being only three other stories that I've written besides these. And yes, I guess I have kind of adopted the habit of being a storyteller instead of a fiction writer, a habit that I must overcome, of course. This is most apparent in my other story, "Octavia's Obsession." It's just something I have to work on. But everything you said was and is most appreciated. Thanks! " -- Michael.
"You're welcome Michael. I should however clarify two points, since they were omitted when the extra-long text was printed without the aid of any HTML. "Superseded" as you have it printed in the story is correct. Many times, especially in British text you will find it "superceded" but that is never correct, even in British dictionaries. The second point is as follows: Something which utterly sank the heart of Marsellus ***Add a possessive apostrophe*** Towers to the deepest depths of his inner being. --End Quote-- A few words got lost here. It is meant to say if you place "heart" after Mars' name, which would look better, then you will need to place an apostrophe after Towers, but otherwise don't place an apostrophe. In conclusion, use the above-supplied email address, and website address, if you are interested in improving your work, and good luck." -- JA St. George.
"Here is a few responses from those who use the WWW.WritersBBs.com Religion Forum: The only way I know to join in is to just...join in. Seems as though the forums are all sorta quiet right now. People busy working or trying to stay warm. So, there isn't much going on in here or anywhere else, actually. If you come in and you don't get a response right away, just understand that it's downtime in here and don't be discouraged. :-) -- Meema It would be nice to have more people here and at the religion forum to talk to ... all subject are fair game and everyone's invited :-) -- Crystal Just check us out. We don't have membership cards. And a person can belong to multiple communities. -- David We don’t bite. You should show up and introduce yourself. We're mostly harmless. I know that I and others here are very interested in writing work with a faith slant, and talking about issues of faith and whatever else comes up. I hope that we would live up to our name as religious people (christians, at least most of us) and be a welcoming place to be :) -- Bethaniqua " -- JA St. George.
"Hey, thanks again. The next story that I write I'll most definitely will be placing it on writersbbs.com. But until then, you're welcome to pick apart some of my other stories if you like. Thanks." -- Michael Harris.
"You're such a lucky dog Michael getting a review (and a big one at that lol :-) ) from Jerry A. St.George. Next you'll end up getting one from Stephen King or Michael Chricton (sp?). I'm so jealous! Anyways, I saw your messages about needing people to review your work. Sorry I'm a little late to respond, I've only seen them recently, but I'm looking through all of your work. Got to say I'm pretty impressed by much of what I've seen. I don't think I can give you any good advice that you haven't already gotten from Jerry A. St.George and others, so listen to them they know. Also I've checked out this www.writersbbs.com mentioned above myself and I gotta say that's a good place for learning the craft too. Keep up the good writing Michael." -- kellie barqs.
"Hi, Kellie! Wow, I just got a review and feedback for a pretty old piece. I'm thrilled! Thanks so much and I'm glad you like what you've been reading so far. " -- Michael Harris, Detroit.
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