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The Black Rose (1 Viewer)

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Senior Member
Any feedback is appreciated.

Welcome, you are just in time. I was about to begin a tale of a boy with no name. He was born in a tiny village in the country called Breton. He has brown eyes and wavy black hair. For as long as he can remember, he was beaten and ignored. Why you ask? Well the answer to that shows the cruel side of humanity. He was simply the shame of the village because he was born lame. His father was the local spice merchant and his mother died giving birth to him. His father blamed her death on him; on top of the shame, he felt that his son was a cripple. He came home drunk as a skunk and kicked the boy until he stared to cough blood. Wherever he goes, kids would run away from him. The adults avoided even looking at him. Every night he cried himself to sleep, thinking things like "Why was I born this way?" Yet, the interesting thing about life is that it can be unbelievable cruel one moment and kind another.

That moment happened on a hot, sunny day on his twelfth birthday. His father had finish beating him. The boy was on the floor covered in blood. A little thought crept into his head. A thought he been having recently. He had enough of this life. There was a lake nearby. He decides to go for a swim and not come back. He crawls to a table and uses it to pull himself up, his body screaming in pain. He reaches the lake and just as he was going in, he heard a voice. “Are you that weak? If you are, go right head, I won’t stop you.” He turns around and saw it was the magistrate daughter. The boy was taller and a year older than her with long, straight black hair and blue eyes. “Why are you here Kara?” he asked. “Curious I guess.” She answered. “So are you going to give up?” she asked. “What else is there? My dad hates me and everyone ignores me,” he responded. “I can be your friend,” She said matter-of-factually. His dark eyes widen to the size of walnuts at this. “You know what that mean?” “I know what it means. That does not matter; they are all horrible people anyway. They can do whatever they want. Well how about?” she asked. He looked deep in her blue eyes and could clearly see she was dead serious. He simply nodded his head. “Then you need a name.” she said looking down. After what seems like eternity, she looks at him and asked,” How about Max?” He considered the name for few minutes and just nodded in reply. “Then it’s settled. What should we play?” “Hide and seek?” “Ok.” Thus, they ran off into the woods and for the first time in his life, he felt things were looking up. Unfortunately, that moment did not last long. The price she paid for her insolence, turn out to be bigger than she expected.

Now twenty-two years old, he had left Breton for the capital city of Kingsport. He had begged the silk merchant that was staying the night at the inn, on his way back to Kingsport, to take him along and now works as an assistant. When he is not working, he is trying to kill those memories with bottles of liquor. The memories of her laying on the ground, bleeding from her head, her face smashed beyond recognition. Her father ordered this as punishment for her transgression. He survives like this, day after day for the last four years. However, life has one last trick for him.
Well it is time for me to go. Hmm, you want to know what happen to him. How about instead of telling you, I show you. Max should be arriving soon. Do not worry he is not dead he just passed out. Ah, he is here. “Welcome, Max I’m glad that you are able to get here.” Where am I? Who are you? The last thing I remember was drinking at home.” “Don’t worry, you are just asleep. As to whom I am. I am just a resident of this place.” “ So this is a dream?” “Well in a way yes but in another way no. However, that is not important. Usually I do not interfere, but I am feeling generous. ” “what do you mean?” “I can give you a different life. But if you chose this then someone else will suffer like you did.” “ Why?” “Because someone must fulfill the fate meant for you. Now what is your choice?”
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Retired Chief Media Manager
Commas! This needs so, so many commas. They aren't very difficult to use and are probably top three most important punctuation marks in writing.

I'm going to add the ones this would need, and since this is short I'll give you the long form of the critique ;)

Welcome, you're just in time. I was about to begin a tale about a boy born in a tiny village in the country called Breton with no name.

Hold up, the second sentence is very confusing here. For starters, you've used 'about' twice, which is clumsy. Secondly you introduce a boy and then name the country he lives in and then circle back to his non-existant name. I had to read this several times to figure out if the boy's name was Breton or if that was the country. This sentence could be structured in a much better way.

He was so hated that he was beaten on a regular basis by his father and treated like a nonentity by everyone else. Why was he treated this way you ask? Well, the answer to that shows the cruel side of humans. He, in their eyes, was, simply put, the shame of the village.
See how many commas I had to add there? Consider rewording to make the sentence flow better. Personally, I'd choose either 'simply put' or 'in their eyes', but not both.

He was born with only one arm. His father was the local spice merchant. His mother died giving birth to him.
This could be one sentence which would make it seem less disjointed and less like 'three random facts about the unnamed kid'.

His father blamed her death on him, on top of the shame he felt that his son was a cripple. He came home drunk as a skunk and kicked him until he stared to cough blood. Wherever he goes kids would run away from him.
Okay, the use of 'he' starts to become confusing here as to the distinction between the boy and his father. Consider referring to the boy as anything, even 'The Boy' is enough.

The adults avoided even looking at him. Every night he cried himself to sleep thinking things like "Why was I born this way?" But the interesting thing about life is that it can be unbelievable cruel one moment, and kind another. That moment happened on a hot, sunny day on his tenth birthday.
Clumsy wording, the last sentence here reads like a birthday lasts for a period of time during which multiple kinds of weather may occur.

After a particularly severe beating, he went outside to the river to wash off the blood.

So. Commas.

Also. Tense changes. I picked up and changed a few of them, but you slip from past to present tense a number of times. There was also several typos which you could have picked up with a proof read, which is something you should always do before hitting that post button.

Normally I'm not a fan of the self-aware narrator, but I've been reading Peter and Wendy at the moment so I actually don't mind this.

Other than that all I can wonder is why you stopped the excerpt there! What happens to this poor beaten child? As a hook, I would call this much sufficient to at least make me read the next few paragraphs.


WF Veterans
An okay start. I agree that you need more punctuation as there is very little and the reading was choppy for that reason. As for running out of ideas, not to worry, more will come, keep the writing up.


Senior Member
I think that the idea of the story is good. Although it seems as if you are stating facts, not telling a story. Also, try to with-hold information till later in the story, to keep the reader interested. Also, use more commas and use different sorts of punctuation.

Olly Buckle

Stopping because you ran out of ideas is good thinking, seriously, so many people carry on writing when they don't really have any inspiration but want to 'round things off' or 'Had to finish it somehow'. It shows, and the mediocre detracts from the rest. You are better off doing what you have done and writing about what fires you intellectually and emotionally, there is always more life to the writing.

The academics talk about clauses and sub clauses for commas, non-academics say read aloud and notice the tiny pauses in what is said; I have considerable sympathy, I also have trouble getting them right. There is a rule I use though that is very useful, I call it putting together the things that go together, look:-
"a boy born in a tiny village in the country called Breton with no name."
They say put a comma after Breton, because "With no name" is a sub clause that does not directly relate to it and it can be read as the nonsense statement,
"the country called Breton with no name."
(How can it be called Breton and have no name?), But if you say "no name" relates to the boy, not the village or the country, and put it next to him you get,
"a boy with no name born in a tiny village in the country called Breton."
Now that still should have commas,
"a boy with no name, born in a tiny village, in the country called Breton."
But I guess you can see the meaning is instantly obvious even without them. Even the best punctuated writing does not have the clues of tone and emphasis that speech does, and putting things bang next to each other is a good way to show they are related and avoid confusion. After all commas may just be meaningless little marks which give no clues to your reader, readers have only taken on the first part of reading and writing :)

He came home drunk as a skunk and kicks him until he stared to cough blood.
You suddenly change tense at this point, up to here it has all been in past, then suddenly instead of 'kicked' we get 'kicks'. (BTW Stared/started) Then it is almost as though you are aware you are changing back, because we get,
That moment happen on a hot sunny day
rather than 'happens' or 'happened', which would be one or the other.
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WF Veterans
Were do you go with this...I would like a happy ending but I could see revenge and hatred overflowing...one thing for sure your charachter got my sympathy from the start and I think I could forgive him most things.


Senior Member
Hi! Wow, the aggression in this piece is very advanced for a ten year old, I'd say 12 is still bordering on realistic. But it's brilliant, sad, evocative and definitely worth working on. I like how you're delving into the subject of the tenancies of humanity from a young perspective. Thanks for posting.


Senior Member
This story's idea is quite interesting so far. You quickly grabbed my attention at the beginning with the statement that the boy is being beaten and treated disrespectfully. I was curious to learn why this is so. The details about the boy's physical condition and drunk father are vivid, and can possibly even be expanded. One thing you can do as you develop the story is to really highlight the contrast between cruelty and kindness shown toward the boy. Such marked contrast can definitely tug at the reader's emotions.
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