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christianncg
January 9th, 2011, 06:36 AM
Half-breed

Chapter 1:
" Angelus's jacket flickered violently in the arid, merciless winds. The orange, tainted sky mimicked the look as well as the nature of an angry ocean, relentlessly kicking back and forth with a lost charm and a free willed motion that entrenched his soul. Or where his soul would have been. From time to time he would come here to wash the stains left on his conscience, and allow himself time to be alone, away from the world he was brought up in. Being on earth for more than a week at a time was impossible to bear, and reminded him of his past experiences . It wasn’t much of a life to look forward to, but it was a life that he didn’t have the luxury of choosing either. At the moment none of the over thought mattered, so he allowed himself to fall back onto the scorched ashy ground he sat in. He liked this place... The silence, lack of humanity as well as a color palette consisting of various shades of red, orange and black were absolutely breathtaking, swirling and entangling into numerous valleys, waves and tears in the sky above him. The vast and nearly infinite hills when on for miles and miles, all covered with the same black, charred ground that the next one had. The colors themselves produced a balanced sense of well being, more specifically the feeling of neutrality. Not a good neutrality, but not a bad one either. Just one that allowed him to exist, and nothing more.

Just beyond the dark, fiery skyline, he could hear the rapid incineration of already charred ground, a generally accepted warning sign that the dawn was approaching. Sunrises were extremely unpleasant experiences for half-breeds, and without giving it a second thought, he quickly left to find himself in the comfort of his own mind. His body lay sleeping snugly under the covers and his eyes were heavy with sleep deprivation, a short term affect of traveling to the underworld. After relaxing his tense muscles, he settled in and closed his eyes to try to sleep away the remainder of the night.

....

Waking up was one of the harder things to do during his day. He barely got any sleep as is, and getting up early for school didn't do him any good either. As he trudged himself out of bed, his memory caught up with him causing the weight of his past to take its normal place on his shoulders. In previous years this would reduce him to tears, but he had grown accustomed to his own nature. After eating some cold pizza. He casually walked to the bathroom and went about his normal routines before saying good-bye to his unconscious mother, who collapsed on the couch after coming home wasted the night before.

He did his best to show up early to the bus stop, so he could value the little time he had alone. Once other kids showed up, people felt the need to talk about whatever their minds could come up with, something that got under his skin at times. He sat a good distance away from the main crowd so that he could listen his music without chatter, although the occasional person would come up to him and talk to him out of curiosity. He'd carry on conversation as usual, hoping that they would just leave out of boredom. Thankfully, no one noticed him today, which induced a bittersweet feeling that made him question whether or not isolation was the answer to his problem...

The bus arrived shortly afterward, with him getting on last. He walked to the back of the bus, and found a seat on the right side. After sitting down, he rested his head on the window to allow him to nap for awhile, dazing off to some light techno music.

....

Upon arriving to the school, he allowed himself to loosen up on his silence just enough to get through the day without being yelled at for not answering any questions. Most of the time he had his headphones in his ears to drown out the voices of everyone else, so it wasn't much of a problem. He even devoted a good amount of time in increasing his vocabulary, to make it that he could get his point across in fewer words, something that he took a lot of pride in. When it came to friendships, he tried to keep a fair amount of patience with everyone he met, or knew. He was annoyed by most of the people that attended his school, but he tried his best not to show it for the sake of arguing.

He walked along the hallway with a moderate pace, His music was as loud as it would let him go. He didn't like how narrow the hallway was, and how close people were to him when they walked by him. Its not that he was claustrophobic, he just couldn't stand being touched by anyone.

As he found a seat at an empty table in the cafeteria, the welcome face of Raven greeted him with a warm feeling of comfort. She walked to the breakfast counter with her hands in her pockets and a poker face that even Angelus had trouble reading. She was wearing a very attractive leather vest which also happened to be sleeveless, with a pair of black trip jeans, a common fashion with goth teens. He admired her generally cold attitude to the majority of the student population (including him), and the way her leather jacket hugged and embraced her curves caused him to daydream of a romantic night under the moon-lit sky with her.

“Your never going to be with her, Angelus. Your better off not dwelling on it, you know.” a familiar voice said, causing the his darker image of Raven to fade.

Unknowing that he had been starring at Raven’s back for about a minute, Angelus shifted his gaze to his right, seeing a smiling Jasmine pulling up a chair beside him. “I wouldn’t call it dwelling... It’s more along the lines of daydreaming, honestly” he responded, letting out a sigh afterward..

She giggled her usual way that she did, which cause Angelus to smirk. Jasmine was a innocent girl who, despite her many addictions to a variety of substances, as well as the need to share her many sexual fantasies that her and her girlfriend had, was one of the few people in his school to posses a good heart. She had an odd figure, but a lovely smile and a laugh that was infectious to most.

“Oh really? What of this daydream? Did you have sex?” she asked him with a
childish curiosity.

“That’s one of the words it’s known by, although sex might be an understatement in her case.” he replied coldly.

“Glad to see your in a good mood.” She said sarcastically.

“You know me best, dear.” he said with another cheap smirk, getting out of his seat in the process. She giggled once more and latched on to him tightly, while he just stood there awkwardly. He wasn’t one to give hugs, nor receive them. Jasmine didn’t care either way, and had no problem hugging him against his will. After she let go, they both departed to their classes.
"
....

My Fifth revision of my story, fresh off the press. Any comments and corrections are welcome and encouraged. Thank you. :)

Geometric Parable
January 9th, 2011, 06:50 PM
Hey, thanks for the critique on my story. Now i'll return the favour :)

Here's what I like about this:
There's a lot of material that can be worked with. Such as the underworld, the earth in the universe you've created, heaven, god, the devil, demons, angels, half-breeds etc. It has many different concepts that have much potential to be moulded creatively and interestingly. So to sum up this point, I think you've done a great job in creating an interesting universe that a lot can be done with - huge room for development of storyline. Well done.

Here's what i'm not so sure about:
It seems to me as though you introduce a large amount of information about angelus in a very short space of time. In two paragraphs, I feel like I already know the character inside-out to an extent. I do think the character himself is an interesting one but I come away from this feeling like I've missed out on reading interesting scenes. Maybe it's just a matter of opinion though. By no means take what I say as if coming from a scholar of this field - which I am surely not. But I do love stories and if I were to make a suggestion - Develop the character's story through scenes and plot rather than briefly summing everything up. For example, perhaps his bloodlust and insatiable sexual appetite could be introduced as he sits in class and finds himself thwarted by a terrible desire. Perhaps after this scene sometime he reflects and grows terribly sad at his predicament - introducing the concept of emotions being a characteristic of his half-breed nature. I'm not saying do those exact scenes; this is your story and you lay it out as you please - those i described are just examples of how you could develop the character while setting out interesting scenes for the reader and yourself. (though feel free to use those if you want) This would simply mean that subsequent scenes would be fresh and introduce new material, not just in plot progression but in character development also.

That's just what I think and remember that it's simply a matter of opinion after all :) I hope you find this comment encouraging as I believe you're onto something with this universe you've created.

christianncg
January 9th, 2011, 07:23 PM
Thank you for the critiquing, and i have looked over the story with a fresh pair of eyes, so to say. It does seem like i went a tad bit overboard with the explanations, due to the fact that this being my first book and my need to explain everything. ill try to find a balance on what the book reveals about Angelus, as to what extent I'm not entirely sure.. but i do get the concept of it... like if someone were to read the first paragraph of my story, i would want to draw there interest in who the character is rather than tell them who he is? :) correct me if i'm wrong here, and once again, thanks for the critique. :}

Geometric Parable
January 9th, 2011, 08:42 PM
"i would want to draw there interest in who the character is rather than tell them who he is?"

Yeah i guess that sums up what I'm saying nicely. Maybe think about what scenes you'd like to have also take place in your story. Ask yourself: where is there potential for developing the characters? Where could I reveal this or that trait in a way that is most effective and powerful?

Those are things I'd recommend any writer to ask themselves. Think it over and don't rush in is also advice that's helped me before :)

christianncg
January 9th, 2011, 08:47 PM
Will do. i have more written ( 2000 something words), but i copied all of the descriptions of angelus to a separate document, and i plan on making some more changes to the storyline. so far its going good, and Ill post back when finished. Thanks again. :)

Geometric Parable
January 9th, 2011, 08:51 PM
No problem. I look forward to seeing what you do with this story, as I think it has really good potential :)

Kathryn Cull
January 10th, 2011, 02:45 AM
Hey, Thanks for critiquing One of my stories - Going Crazy. It was very helpful :D
As far as this story goes, its good, in my opinion. Its nice and depressing, it gives a feeling of a cold empty green tinged sky school day, if that was the feeling you where going for?
Some of it, I just felt almost as if I couldn't (as the reader) get comfortable with some of the writing, meaning it was a bit cold...that was basically it. :D
Over all, Fantastic, I love the character of Jasmine
When I post some more, feel free to do some more critiquing!

christianncg
January 10th, 2011, 02:59 AM
my apologies, Kathryn. :) i probably should have warned that its a tid bit dark in the first chapter. rest assured, it does get better though. romance, action and drama are all in the ball park. but aside from the depressing nature of it, im glad you liked it :) and ill be sure to help you along the way as well :)

Geometric Parable
January 10th, 2011, 03:00 AM
Much better! :D

You see, there's now an awful lot more left to the imagination; I find myself wanting to know more about angelus. I'm there thinking: "So he can go between the underworld and earth, why is that? And what exactly is a half breed?" - which are great things for me to be wanting to know more about. Subtlty makes one want to uncover a mystery, bluntness makes one feel like they've heard all that's worth hearing. Good editing!

Now, on to further critique. You see I think I might be something of a minimalist when it comes to writing in that when it comes to character development or plot, I always go for subtle developments. Which is to reveal as little as possible, to reveal only as much of a character's background and personality as is essential to the plot at that moment in the story. I dont know if that's a fundamental of good writing or just my own opinion but just keep in mind that that's where I come from and that will almost certainly influence the opinions I put forward. so with that in mind, onwards we go:

"Staying on earth for more than a week at a time was impossible for him due to the the constant impulse to kill off his peers at school"
The words i'm probably going to be using over and over here are: subtle and minimal. For this sentance, again it feels like you've introduced something too soon. It may only be my opinion but something minimal would be more effective here i think. Such as hinting that there is something on earth that is reason enough for him to not want to be there, something troubling. Ask yourself if the knowing that angelus feels urges to kill classmates is essential for the reader at this point? Or would it be better if it was saved till a time when it became relevant? Would saving this information for a later time add depth to angelus? It's up to you to decide. And always think similar questions like this when reviewing your work.

"The silence, lack of humanity as well as a color palette consisting of various shades of red, orange and black were beautiful"
There are certain words in our language which are over used to the point of losing all meaning. Beautiful is one of those. I think if one must use the words beauty or beautiful, they should save it for very rare occasions. Instead why not describe the scenes in a way that seems beautiful to you, without actually using words like 'beautiful'? Alternative ways of getting across the same meaning are things like: A breathtaking view of - followed by a description etc or even just a standalone description and no more. Subtlety is key, in my onw opinion.

I remember that i once wrote a sentance for a story like: "The sky was black and ominous." Later I thought to myself, ominous in what way? Could i have been any more blunt? So I think the better thing to do in those situations, like with my sky and your description is to paint a picture with words that becomes ominous or beautiful to a reader.

"before saying good-bye and heading off to school" - good-bye to who? We know that angelus comes from the underworld, not explaing who he's saying goodbye to might be confusing and not delivering enough plot. Probably parents but maybe you should state something about them. I'm not sayng reveal everything about this relationship in the story right now, but maybe just enough to satisfy the reader in some way, without giving so much that they get bored of it and greedy. :P

"which induced a bittersweet feeling. " - similar to some of the above points, this seems too blunt and without much depth.

"to make it that he could get his point across in a smaller amount of words" - fewer words instead of "smaller amount". Which raises a good point, always make sure to cut out unnecessay words. take a leaf out angelus's book :P Otherwise extra words just feel like baggage and distract people - this i know for sure to be a fundamental of good writing and editing.

"the way her breasts bulged out from the top of her shirt caused him to daydream of what it would be like to sleep with her" - Far too blunt for my tastes. I'm not a prude or anything, i've nothing against your character wanting to sleep with the hot girl, but if you were to suggest rather than state, it'd be more nice to read and even have the potential to be funny.

I like Jasmine's character. I'd like to see what you do with her in the story. Her blunt speech is fine in my own opinion as that's obviously the kind of personality you want to depict

Besides what i've pointed out, i like the rest. I think the story is stronger for the editing you've already done to it and could be even stronger with more. Think over what i've said and see if you decide if it's worth changing, look to what i havent specifically referred to and see if similar principles can be applied. Remember i'm a human with my own agenda even if i try to avoid that as much as possible, so always recognise my opinion merely for what it is - opinion and ot something you have to adhere to in any way :)

christianncg
January 10th, 2011, 03:12 AM
haha yeah, in due time ill get the hang of it and develop my style of writing further. i took the time to read over what you said, and i think i removed too much detail from the book when i took out the sentences describing Angelus. and as for descriptions themselves, how do i decide when when a description is too long?

Geometric Parable
January 10th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Oh yes, in due time definately, writing is a labour of love that takes a lot of time to get right, i'm still very much a learner myself.

If you feel too much detail is removed, and you're sure of that, then go with whatever feels right to you. Dont let my personal tastes discourage that.

When a description is too long... well it's not so much "long" is what im getting at but blunt. I mean there are circumstances where bluntness is essential. How could one possibly say that the desk is green without stating that it's green. Where subtlty can be employed is where i think it should be. If you get the chance, if you haven't already, read the picture of dorian grey by oscar wilde, he's a master of suggestion and subtlety.

As for knowing whether a description is too long... whenever it gets boring i suppose? Which is personal to you.

Kathryn Cull
January 10th, 2011, 03:25 AM
Noo Definitely!
I love the depressing side of it!

christianncg
January 10th, 2011, 03:40 AM
Hows that for subtle & detail? :)

Cambyses
January 10th, 2011, 05:51 AM
First of all, this story has a lot of potential. I am intrigued by the character dual life; half-ling and high school kid. I agree with Geometric Parable that you could use some work with pacing. There aren't many grammar problems and such like; I'm sure you'll notice the few on the next revision so I won't dwell there.

Safe to say you have me interested and, with a bit of cleaning up, this is a good start to a larger story.

christianncg
January 10th, 2011, 06:09 AM
Thank you for the critiquing, and i do appreciate the input. I'm getting the hang of writing to the best of my abilities, and with everyones help i hope to come out with a really good story in the end. is there anything in particular you noticed about the pacing? this was a recent revision, and i want to make sure i get it right before moving on. thanks again.

Cambyses
January 10th, 2011, 06:19 AM
I reread it and I think what I meant by my first impression was that the jump from being a half-breed in Hell to a kid waking up is kind of abrupt. I really don't know what you can do about that though and it might not necessarily be a negative. I'm still getting a feel for this.

christianncg
January 10th, 2011, 06:25 AM
As the plot progresses, it'll make more sense. i just wanted something that would catch the readers attention, to be honest :)

Krytoko
January 10th, 2011, 12:51 PM
All right, so I'm not really the best at critiques, but whatever. Anyway, I liked how you started it off with a dream, or what I read off as a dream. I have trouble starting off with a dream. I liked the whole thing, but I did see a couple of grammatical errors:

Waking up was one of the harder things to do during his day. He barely got any sleep as is,
I'm not sure, but I think you forgot to put in the word "it" after "as," but I don't know, it just didn't read right to me.

“You're never going to be with her, Angelus. You're better off not dwelling on it, you know.” a familiar voice said, causing the darker image of Raven to fade.
And here, easy mistake that I fixed already; you used the possessive instead of the contraction for "you are." You probably went through and just didn't see it.

Sorry that the only things I could do is help with grammer, though...If I didn't have to leave, I would probably look for more errors, but, yeah...good start and can't wait for more! :)

Johnathanrs
January 10th, 2011, 01:45 PM
The second sentence in the first paragraph really threw me off. I had to re-read it like 5 times to understand what you were meaning. And even then, the words, "with a lost charm" still threw me off. Not saying this is wrong, I am just pointing it out to you what I had problems with it. Also, I wasn't famaliar with the word arid and had to look it up. I read the definition and not sure it is what you meant. I think your flow is better after the first two paragraphs. Your writing style becomes apparant then.

I can't comment on the plot or story itself without a prologue, or introduction to the whole story like a summary. All I got so far was he was dreaming and is a half-breed between something of a human. He goes to high school and is a average teen, so far. As a introduction, it is fine. As a excerpt this works, besides what I pointed out, but this is just my opinion--it may just be my own problem with understanding your style. Good luck.

christianncg
January 10th, 2011, 02:33 PM
I believe i fixed some of the gramatical errors, and as for the descriptions of things, i might need to change some words, as well as look them up sometime later... Thank you both for the critiques, but I'm off to school. Ill try to return the favor when i can :)

Geometric Parable
January 10th, 2011, 03:09 PM
I really like this: "a generally accepted warning sign that the dawn was approaching"

This suggests some sort of intelligent community down in the underworld. "generally accepted" hints at a scientific method and scepticism, you're giving the locations of the story a nice depth, with a hint of an interesting history. Hint is the key word here. I think the use of hinting is used quite effectively in this line in particular.

"Sunrises were extremely unpleasant experiences for half-breeds"

Again, this draws in my interest. I want to know more, but dont give it to me, make me want it and read on to find out why this is.. I have to get off the computer now, ive miore to say and ill get back to you soon