Family Fantasy Hurt/Comfort

Longing

Nov. 25, 2018
User Level:
Average Rating: 3.21
bookmark add to bookshelf

Jordin knew something was wrong when she saw that Kristy wasn't eating the barbeque chips she had brought her but what it could be stumped her. Kristy would have told her if she was sick after all.

"Okay kid, you've been glaring at that notebook for the past twenty minutes. What's up?" she asked, sinking down onto the bed beside the younger teen who suddenly jerked away.

"Nothing! Just school stuff." 


The response made Jordin roll her eyes although she wasn't the one to pry, especially since her mother drove her crazy doing that.

"School stuff huh? Think I can help? I did go to middle school after all." she said instead, putting a hand on the girl's messy blonde hair as she added teasingly:

"I am nowhere near as smart as Mika but still..." 

 

Instead of earning a giggle as she had hoped, Jordin noticed the younger girl's eyes had filled with tears.

 

What did I say that was wrong? she wondered, brow furrowing as she turned the girl toward her, forcing her to look up.

"Kristen, you can be honest with me. You know you can tell me anything at all. You and Mika are basically family and you know it!"


Kristy bit her lip as she glanced down at the floorboards, idly fiddling with her pencil until it slipped from her trembling fingers and fell with a clatter onto the polished wood.

"Do you think Alice will get mad if I buy her something for mothers day? I know she's not my mom and everything but I feel weird not giving her something. Especially since she basically raised me."

 


She tried not to think about how loosely the term 'raised' was because that would imply nurture and love. 

Something Kristy knew she would have never felt if it hadn't been for Mika and Jordin.

It was the two teens who had cheered her up when she was hurt or sick, had held her tightly after a nightmare and had promised to protect her.

It had been Jordin who had defended her from bullies, intimidating them so severely that they never so much as glanced her way again.

Mika was the one who took on the role of a disciplinarian—although she was a lot gentler than one would imagine.

 

Never once had Alice offered to hug her not had she ever so much as took her hand. 


She had never struck Kristy but the girl couldn't help but be terrified of messing up in any way. 
After all,  Alice had never bothered with remembering her birthday and if she was that much an outsider, Alice wouldn't hesitate to make her leave.

 

The memories rushed back then and she found herself turning to bury her face in Jordin's shirt as the tears came.

"I just want her to know that I love her....Is that so wrong Jori? I know what my father did...but it wasn't me....Or Mika! Why raise us when all we were was a reminder? An irritating blotch in her environment?" 


Jordin tightened her hold on the younger blonde, lips pressing gently against the crown of her head as she muttered

"No baby girl, it isn't. If anything, my mother is wrong. You and Mika both deserve a family who loves you for who you are, no matter what but don't you ever forget that you have me, Holly, Azriel, Amara, and even Liam as well as Mika. We're your family and I'm pretty sure they all love you just as much as you love them."


Add Your Rating/Comment

Prolitfic
Comment Tags
(Ctrl + click for multiple)


Interesting character dynamics
van rated this work:

Nov. 26, 2018, 8:24 p.m.

You're writing about a fascinating topic-- motherhood, mother figures, family, and their various aspects are always pretty compelling! I like how you explore each character's relation to one another and, even in a few words, develop them and make them understandable (such as Mika being more disciplinarian, Jordin the protector, etc.) Kristy's conflicted feelings towards Alice felt real.
I'd just suggest looking over your pronouns. Since every character has the same gender, it makes it confusing when you use "she" and "her" in the same sentence but refer to different people. For example, even in the first sentence ("Kristy wasn't eating the barbeque chips she had brought her but what it could be stumped her") I stumbled over a bit while figuring out which "her" referred to which character, if that makes sense! Another thing that made me a bit confused was the abrupt POV change between Jordin and Kristy. Maybe make the switch clearer?
Also have some grammar and sentence errors here and there. Some are pretty wonky. But I think the fact that these are the only comments I have shows that your work is good :) Hope my comments helped! I love character-based stories like this one, and I'm sure it gets even better within the context of the full story since this is just a snippet.

Point of View Character Motivation Diction Grammar

Comment Rating: 4.0

Rate
A Lot of Potential - Just Insufficiently Fleshed Out
haeun_logos rated this work:

March 1, 2019, 11:42 p.m.

I think that your piece has a lot of potential - the goal being to depict family dynamics in friend groups, especially during the time of adolescence. I think that's a wonderful subject you've chosen.

However - I do think the execution could use a bit of work. It seems a little disoriented and scattered, and I wonder if you could tighten the story up a bit by describing who everyone is through the plot.

The dialogue is also a little cheesy - but that can be easily fixed.

I also question Kristy's struggle for debating whether to get Alice a present for Mother's Day - considering that getting a gift isn't something controversial enough to warrant a debate, especially since Kristy and Alice are close enough to be considered [pseudo]-family.

It has a lot of potential to be a beautiful piece (and it is now, just needs a bit of tweaking).

Look forward to your revision and next piece!

Plot Pacing Point of View Conflict Character Motivation Dialogue Diction Grammar

Comment Rating: 4.0

Rate
Overall good, missing a lot tho
thelittlewolf45 rated this work:

Nov. 27, 2018, 7:07 p.m.

Overall this is great! I do know that the site only allows 5 k words and for that small of a word count, your writing is fantastic.
However, there just seems to be a lot missing with character development. That could just be me and I love getting really into my character's psyche.
You did an amazing job covering maternal roles which is something I cannot do and I have a feeling I will be coming back to see more of this.

Comment Rating: 2.0

Show Thread
Rate
naricorn:

I agree that much could be done with character development, and reading the other comments, I wouldn't say it's just you. Also, I just wanted to say I thought it was funny how similar your usernames are!

The Message
ryanizadi rated this work:

Dec. 3, 2018, 11:36 a.m.

I can relate to this as the character wears their heart on their sleeve. And the other person wants to help them, but the person in trouble is stuck within. Good writing.

Comment Rating: 2.0

Rate
Moving the story forward
Flounce rated this work:

April 25, 2019, 10:22 p.m.

Writing about complicated family structures can be difficult. Finding balance within a believable story can be a challenge. Here the author has achieved very good balance in this heart warming piece. The author makes use of many craft elements that work to create a successful story. Setting is ideal for character interaction. Dialogue is an excellent way to reveal character's emotion.

In revisions, the author may want to consider tightening some dialogue. For example: "Kristen, you can be honest with me. You know you can tell me anything at all. You and Mika are basically family and you know it!"

This could be cut to "You know you can tell me anything. You're family."

Tighter dialogue moves the story forward.

Very good work.
I flounce my boa at you.

Plot Setting Dialogue

No rating on this comment yet ☹

Rate
Emotional, character-driven--light work could make this a fantastic excerpt!
K-Anu-Grymm rated this work:

Aug. 13, 2019, 12:26 a.m.

Hello, there!

This may be a long review, so be prepared :)

OPENING

For the most part I like the opening line; I find it a bit funny, but you could strengthen it by cutting out a few words. Now, I know this is an excerpt, which means it’s possible I’m not even reading the actual opening to your story. Regardless, here goes the opening sentence I suggest instead:

“Kristy wasn’t eating the barbecue chips Jordin brought her. Something was wrong.”

Note: I changed barbeque to barbecue. I looked it up and it is stated that, while both versions are correct, the C version is in most wide-use by writers. You can remember which one to use because the word it is derived from is Spanish, “barbacoa”. I looked into this further and some say that the Q is from French influence, but it is recommended to stick to the C version if you are writing in / for a British or Australian audience. Americans and Canadians have the option to spell it either away. Just keep in mind the C is most popular.

THE REST

"Okay kid, you've been glaring at that notebook for the past twenty minutes. What's up?" she asked,

To cue the reader on who is speaking, you should put your dialogue tag riiiight after “kid”. You also need a comma after “okay”. I’m going to add in a couple things here with my correction, to explain the time between what she says and how the teen jerks away from her, visually.

Correction: “Okay, kid,” Jordin said. She sunk down onto the bed beside the teenaged girl, who was against the headboard. “You’ve been glaring at that notebook for the past twenty minutes. What’s up?” She reached out to set her hand on Kristy, who suddenly jerked away.

It’s not perfect, but from this paragraph you can see, 1) who is talking right away. 2) the setting, which is the bedroom, before the rest of the dialogue is said, 3) how the girl is sitting so that this can be visualized, and 4) why Kristy jerks away. It’s a bit awkward to have no visual on where either of them are on the bed, leaving it up to the reader. What I envisioned was this girl laying on her stomach, on her bed, and when her mother sits down, she rolls away for some reason.

Again, though, I imagine it’s possible this was all described before this excerpt. When you post an excerpt online, however, you may want to add in some more details so that readers can make sense of the excerpt. The fact that it’s an excerpt is already going to be confusing as they are a piece taken out from a much larger picture. It’s nothing like a synopsis.

More punctuation stuff! I’m not entirely sure how to punctuate this one and maintain it’s exact form. The sentence itself isn’t structured right.
“The response made Jordin roll her eyes although she wasn't the one to pry, especially since her mother drove her crazy doing that.”
Correction: “The response made Jordin roll her eyes, although, she wasn't the one to pry—especially since her mother drove her crazy doing that.”
Suggestion: “Jordin rolled her eyes,. She tried not to pry the way her mother would have—that drove her crazy.”

Dialogue tags:
"School stuff huh? Think I can help? I did go to middle school after all." she said instead,

“she said” is a dialogue tag. Conventional advice will say to avoid dialogue tags when you can. There can be streams of dialogue without any tags, which is easily done between two characters. Any more than two and you will want to clarify early on who is speaking what. Here, the only speakers are Jordin and Kristy. You can keep Jordin’s dialogue on the same line where she rolled her eyes, too. You don’t need to say “she said”, because we already know she’s saying it—the quotation marks were a good indicator.
If you wanted to make it clear that Jordin was saying it, then there should be a “Jordan said”. And, if you do edit it to “Jordin said”, it should, again, break up the dialogue sooner so that the reader knows this. If you don’t, people might read it with whatever tone they imagine with Kristy, see that “Jordan said” it, and have to go back in their mind to apply her voice to the dialogue instead. I’ve done that before. It ruins the flow for me.

So! Suggestion:
“School stuff, huh? Think I can help? I did go to middle school, after all.” She put her hand on the girl’s messy blonde hair and teased her: “I am nowhere near as smart as Mika, but still.”

Added in a comma near the end, and took out the tag entirely. Added in another comma after Mika. Technically, the last sentence works as “I am nowhere near smart as Mika”, without the double “as”, but I hear people use two of them all of the time in real life. This is real dialogue.

What did I say that was wrong? she wondered, brow furrowing as she turned the girl toward her, forcing her to look up.

Few notes. 1) Not exactly in the publishing scene, but I know a great copyeditor who told me many publishers these days—or rather, their editors—don’t care for thoughts to be italicized. Keep them normal. Personally, I italicize them anyway. It helps me differentiate at an instant the kind of tone as I read. I wanted to let you know so that you could make your choice on whether you wanted to listen to that or not. 2) One brow furrowed, or both? Weird little detail, but from what I have noticed, the most expressive people will furrow their brow, or brows. Less expressive people will almost always do both, because it’s easier for the face. Observation of mine. Take it with a grain of salt!

Kristy bit her lip as she glanced down at the floorboards, idly fiddling with her pencil until it slipped from her trembling fingers and fell with a clatter onto the polished wood.

Here, I find it a bit strange that you mention the floor, then she does something with the pencil, then you add in a bit more detail about the floor by using “polished”.
Suggestion 1: Kristy bit her lip and stared at her trembling fingers fiddling with her pencil; it soon slipped and fell with a clatter onto the polished wood.
The change: She doesn’t look to the floor at all, so you avoid mentioning it twice.
Orrr…
Suggestion 2: Kristy bit her lip as she glanced to the polished floorboards, fiddling with her pencil until it slipped from her trembling fingers and fell off of the bed with a clatter.

Dialogue:
"Do you think Alice will get mad if I buy her something for mothers day? I know she's not my mom and everything but I feel weird not giving her something. Especially since she basically raised me."

I would suggest adding more punctuation here, but at the same time, this is dialogue, which I am personally more lenient about. The lack of dialogue can be a character choice. They could be talking fast, and if they are, punctuation would interrupt the idea of that. Kristy could go either way. She seems uncomfortable voicing this, so she could either force it out real fast, or, slowly, which means a couple commas are in order.

“She tried not to think about how loosely the term 'raised' was because that would imply nurture and love. “

This entire part is where I got confused, which is further mentioned under POV.

You might want to consider rearranging this entire section, too, from this line: “What did I say that was wrong?” to a line around “…Never once had Alice offered ot hug her…”.
Your current order of events is this:

1: Jordin wonders what she did that was wrong.
2: Jordin tells Kristy she can tell her anything.
3: Kristy fiddles with her pencil.
4: Kristy asks about Alice.
5: Expo is given on Kristy, her mom, and vaguely, Jordin and Mika as well.
6: Kristy bursts into tears.

Perhaps you could try rearranging this! :)

1: Jordin wonders what she did that was wrong.
3: Kristy fiddles with her pencil.
2: Jordin gets more nervous. Now she decides to pry anyway— “What’s wrong?”
5: Expo is given on Kristy, her mom, etc…
2: Jordin brings Kristy back from her thoughts by asking again, “Kristy, what’s wrong?” and tells her she’s basically family, etc.
4: On the brink of tears, Kristy asks about Alice, but maybe she doesn’t finish both sentences, because:
6: Kristy bursts into tears.

Alright, so…I really don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to write your excerpt for you. I set up that list of actions between them and made a possible rearrangement in the event that you want to try it, and see if it works better or not. You may even find an alternative that works better than both.

This doesn’t apply if this is actually all supposed to be from Jordin’s POV. Currently, 2/3 of the way through it feels like this was meant to be Kristy all along.

“Is that so wrong Jori?”
Correction: , Jori?

Dialogue nitpick:
“An irritating blotch in her environment?”
This does not sound like real dialogue from a teenager, or even a person at all. In writing, yes. When people write, we can be more poetic and flowery. When we are speaking in person, nnnot so much. If you want to keep this, have more pauses, which shows she had to think it up.
“Why raise us when all we were was a reminder? If we were just—just a…just an irritating *blotch* in her environment?”

POV

I was so confused at first. I thought this was from Jordin’s POV, and I thought Jordin was a mother. Under INTRODUCTION I wrote my suggestion with her as a mother. I went back and edited that.

The INTRO makes it seem like Jordin’s POV. Then it’s Kristy’s halfway through. I didn’t know which “she’ you were talking about most of the time until I reread the excerpt 4 times to make for absolute certain.

A way you can fix this is to… 1) rephrase the opening. “Jordin knew something was wrong” to a sentence more like “Kristy tried her best to hide that something was wrong from Jordin”, and 2) take out Jordin’s thought, “Did I say something wrong?”.

Orrr…was that 2/3 part Jordin speculating about what was going on in Kristy’s head? If it was Jordan assuming what was troubling her, and being correct, then it should sound more like that.

Instead of, “She tried not to think about how loosely the term…”,
go with something more like this: “Jordin didn’t think the term ‘raised’ was right when it implied nurture and love. That was something Kristy…’
“It was the two teens” was another reason I thought this has to be Kristy’s POV, because “the two teens” feels too impersonal for this to be Jordin’s.

OVERALL

Punctuation needs a lot of work. I didn’t want to mention all of it since it would be redundant, and I lose steam with reviewing if I try to be a copyeditor. The POV needs to be clearer. If you want to switch between POVs, the breaks need to more obvious, and preferably, divided by chapters.

Now, with the good!

There’s a whole lot packed into this excerpt. It’s clear you have a big cast of characters, an emotional conflict, and a strained family. What you did establish is great, it’s the execution that’s the problem.

This was put in the Fantasy genre, so I’m really interested as to where the fantasy is. It gives me the impression that this will be focused much more on the characters and their inner turmoil as opposed to the fantasy world itself, which I find a lot of fantasy writers do. I love character focus!

By the end of the excerpt, I felt the emotion, and the struggle with Kristy. It’s relatable and bittersweet, and Jordin came off as very warm and loving.

Rating this was difficult, buuuut ultimately I leaned closer to 4 stars because I do want to read on, and I enjoyed what you presented despite the confusion. Keep writing! :)

Setting Point of View Conflict Dialogue Grammar Sentence Structure

No rating on this comment yet ☹

Rate