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Author: Subject: Could I get someone's review of this story I'm writing?
calista2015
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Registered: 11/1/2015
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question.gif posted on 11/1/2015 at 09:09 PM
Could I get someone's review of this story I'm writing?


I am writing this novel with a story of an actor who saves his young, female fan from suicide by hiring her as his personal assistant - and after doing so, he soon forms a strong bond of friendship with her.

This is my first time writing a novel and I'm in the beginning of chapter two but I would really appreciate if someone can read it and tell me what they think so far of what I've written. I'd truly appreciate it :) I've posted chapter one and the beginning of chapter two below: (It may not be formatted right because I copied and pasted it here but I attached the formatted MS word document to this posting)




CHAPTER ONE


~ Michael Roberts ~


Forty year old actor, Michael Roberts awakened in the bedroom of his Rochester, New York home late Friday morning. He yawned as he crawled out of bed and sluggishly walked into the bathroom in his room. Taped to the bathroom mirror was note from his wife Bridget that read:

“I’m gone, off to take the Lucas to school early so he can get ready for his play this morning and then I’m off to work myself. Love you honey.

- Bridget



Michael smiled warmly as he grabbed the note off the mirror. He looked at his reflection in the mirror, staring at his hunter green eyes, his short silky brown hair, his smooth, white, youthful face of which made him look so incredibly handsome and his thin, pink lips. Michael then began contemplating whether he needed a shave or not but before he could make an affirmative decision on that, his phone rang. Michael sighed as he walked to the phone on his nightstand table and answered it. He already knew who it was before he picked up the phone – Brandon, his agent.

“Good morning Brandon,” Michael said with a smirk.

“Morning Michael,” Brandon replied. “I was just calling to let you know Raven got picked up for another season.”

“Oh that’s awesome Brandon great – wait – no one’s getting recast though right – particularly me?”

Brandon laughed lightly.

“No, you’re fine Michael. Oh and don’t forget, you have that Horror Mania convention on Sunday so – ugh, that reminds me, Michael have you gotten around to hiring a personal assistant yet?”

Michael sighed with a shake of his head as if Brandon could see him responding

“Not yet, I’m supposed to call in some people for interviews today. Don’t worry your load will soon be lighter.”

“Good and let’s hope it is.” Brandon replied humorously, “because you don’t pay me enough to do half the shit you make me do as your agent.”

Michael laughed lightly.

“Ha ha, alright we’ll talk later bye Brandon.”

“Bye.”

Michael hung up and yawned again, realizing he was more tired than he realized, he needed a full day of rest – and he had a right to have it too. He had just finished a rigorous, two months of filming very challenging scenes for his television show Raven of which he held the starring role.



~ Diana Winters ~


Eighteen year old Diana Richardson sat on the curb of a street corner with what little possessions she had with her, feeling heartbroken and overwhelmed with depression. Diana had just been evicted from the small, two bedroom, Harlem, New York apartment she shared with her now deceased mother. This was the final, devastating tragedy that followed a long line of several, other tragedies for Diana. Two months ago Diana went through the tragic experience of watching her mother, Joanna die. That shattered her entire world, especially knowing her mother was everything to her. Diana was a very sheltered young girl who clung to her mother. Where ever you saw Joanna, you saw Diana. The two were rarely if ever separate from each other.


They were closer than close. So to lose Joanna was devastating for Diana. However that wasn’t the only devastating tragedy she was facing in her life. Now that her mother was gone, Diana couldn’t find a job. In the two months since Joanna’s passing, Diana couldn’t find a job anywhere and the hardship of finding a job wasn’t just something that was happening to her but it was happening to a lot of people across America thanks to the country going through a severe economic depression.

Jobs were extremely hard to come by and almost every agency was absolutely depleted of funds to be able to help anyone in need – which is why Diana had been up to her elbows in bills – the electric bill, the water bill, the telephone bill and the most important bill – the rent and as if all that wasn’t enough to send her into a deep overdrive of depression, there was Diana’s failing screenwriting and filmmaking career. Diana’s dream was to be a screenwriter and a filmmaker and since she and her mother lived in New York, she really felt she had a real advantage. However as soon as Diana decided to put her dream into action, an obstacle came her way and a big one at that – Joanna’s cancer came back - and with powerful strength that eventually led Diana to spend the next two months taking care of her day and night until Joanna took her last breath.


As Diana thought on all these things, she could feel the emotions building up within her; she could feel the emotional pain surrounding the inner crevices of her mind and heart. It was within seconds that she broke down into a severe sob of tears and she couldn’t care less who was staring at her. As she was crying, she began to feel her heart beating rapidly, so rapidly it was starting to hurt. Diana could feel a sharp, stabbing pain pierce through her chest and she was sure it was from the releasing of all the emotions that had been bottled up within her for weeks. The more she cried, the more she felt better, temporarily better – but better. Then the depression rolled in, then the thoughts surrounding Diana’s depression – suicidal thoughts. Diana had thought of suicide many times before in her life – most significantly during the years when she was severely bullied in high school and after Joanna’s death – but during each time that she had a thought of suicide, someone pulled her back, someone told her to not give up just yet, to not give in – that the best was going to come if she just held on. As Diana wiped her streaming tears away, she grabbed her white notebook that lied on the sofa the marshals threw out the apartment and opened it. Inside was a beautiful, artistic album of collector artifacts of the one person who kept her from going over the brink towards her own self-inflicted death – Michael Roberts.

Yes, Michael was a daily inspiration for Diana. He was what motivated her – what moved her. Michael was what inspired her to want to become a screenwriter and a filmmaker – ever since she first saw him portray such stirring scenes on Raven. Diana wanted to be just talented and artistic just like him. His technique of acting and the way he delivered dialogue given to him stirred the inner fibers of her soul; it excited the cells in her creative mind. It was because of Michael that every time she thought of suicide, the thought remained just that – a thought, because whenever she thought of suicide, the image of Michael came in her mind, the wanting to be like him.


The knowing fact entered her mind that if she ended her life, she would never get the chance to be what he is – an artist with a unique talent that was a rarity in the entertainment industry. However, today – not even reflecting on her inspiration could pull her out of the deep depression she was feeling at the moment. Why? Because at least before she had some hope that she would be able to soon seek out her dreams of becoming a screenwriter nor a filmmaker – but now, hell she was struggling and failing to find a job, struggling and failing to pay her overdue bills and struggling and failing to keep the roof over her head so when would she even have the time to seek out her dream? No, she’d never be like Michael Roberts, no matter how hard she wished, no matter how much she dreamed and wanted to be, she never would be. She would never be a screenwriter nor a filmmaker and that’s what truly devastated her, it devastated her to the point where there was really nothing that could save her because in her mind, she felt she was really beyond all hope.




~ Michael Roberts ~


Michael sat down at his kitchen table with a glass of orange juice and a cup of strong coffee, he would need it on today. The television that had been professionally installed into the wall was turned on to the news. Michael stared down at a medium sized stack of printed out letters he received from applicants for his personal assistant position he was hiring for. Michael had asked for all applicants to send in letters as to why they felt they should be picked to be his personal assistant and as he went through letter after letter, Michael found not one letter that caught his eye. Most of the letters came off as stalkerish or as completely unrealistic in regards to what the duties of a personal assistant entailed. However as Michael picked up the second letter from the bottom and read it, his connection antennas went up. He was intrigued by the brutal honesty and genuineness of the letter. Michael scoffed and smirked before placing the letter aside from the highly undesirable pile of others and finishing off his coffee.




~Diana Winters ~


In the bathroom stall of a Harlem diner, Diana sat on the closed lid of a toilet, staring at the bottle of pills with tearful eyes. She had to admit she was afraid to actually do it, she was afraid to end her life because she wasn’t actually sure what would be waiting for her on the other side but she did know what was here for her on this side – nothing and that gave her all the drive she needed to end it all. Emotions took over Diana at that moment, emotions of extreme sadness that it had all come down to her having to end her life just to get away from all of the troubles surrounding her. As Diana wiped streaming tears away and forced herself to stop crying, she popped fifteen pills in her mouth and had grabbed the bottle of Vodka out of her shoulder bag.

The bathroom was filled with quietness – an eerie quietness that slightly spooked Diana. As she was about to down her death tablets, her cell phone rang, making her jump. Diana took her cell phone out of her jean jacket pocket and stared at it, contemplating whether she should answer it or ignore it and continue with her mission of death. However a small, compelling voice within her was telling her to answer – answer – answer the call. The small, compelling voice within her took over as she spit the pills out into her hand and answered the call.

“Hello?” Diana said in a low, slightly tearful voice.

“Hi, I’m calling to speak to um – Diana Winters please.” The soft, male voice said on the other end of the line.

Diana frowned briefly and nodded as if the person on the other end of the line could see her confirming her identity.

“Yes I’m Diana Winters.”

“Good, hi um – you submitted your resume for personal assistant and to be honest, I received – several resumes for the position but yours stands out and so you’re the first person I called on the list. Can you come in for an interview this evening?”

Diana’s eyes widened with surprise. Was she dreaming this? Was this actually real? A job she had submitted her resume to actually called her in for an interview?

Diana nodded again while quickly wiping more streaming tears away.

“Yes, yes I can.” Diana replied. “Um – what time and where do I come to?”

“Let’s say about four and you can come to thirty-one, twenty-one Andover Street in Rochester.”

Diana smiled briefly.

“Great, I’ll be there at four thank you.”

“Yup see you then.” The male voice replied.

Diana ended the call wondering whether she should actually go to the interview or not. She had been on interviews before, all of them were just that – interviews, interviews for jobs that she never got. So why would this be any different? Diana wasn’t sure but for every ounce of her that was telling her not to go to this interview, there were greater ounces within her pushing her to go. So then maybe this interview would be – different? Oh hell, it couldn’t hurt to see and if it wasn’t, she could always continue with her plans of crossing over to the other side in the bathroom stall of Frank’s Diner.



It was around noon when Michael walked into the open spaced living room of his home with a cup of coffee in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. In his favorite DKNY, black button up and down shirt and black jeans, Michael was perfectly dressed for his interview with Diana – not too business like but not too casual either. He wanted to appear professional in front of a prospective applicant but he didn’t feel like dressing as if he were about to interview people for a secretarial position inside a fortune 500 company either. As soon as Michael took a seat down in the comfy, leather, white armchair, the doorbell to his home rang. Michael glanced at his wrist watch, eleven-forty, she was early, she was already making a great first impression. Michael walked to the door, swung it open, saw Diana standing there and nodded and politely smiled at her.

“Hi – Diana Winters?” Michael said in the same soft voice he used with Diana over the phone.

Diana stood there frozen, almost in speechless shock. She could not believe it. She couldn’t even fathom it. The man whom she so admired, the man who gave her such daily inspiration and motivation for living, the man who saved her a thousand times over from countless contemplating thoughts of suicide was standing right in front of her. Michael frowned briefly and waved his hand in front of her face.

“Hello? I hope you’re Diana Winters,” Michael said, “because if you’re some fan wanting an autograph – how in the hell did you find out where I lived?”

Michael laughed, trying to coax her into snapping out of the hypnotic shock she was apparently in. Diana frowned, looked down and shook her head. She had to keep it together and not appear like the star-struck fan she knew in her heart of hearts that she was.

“I’m sorry, yes I’m Diana Winters,” Diana finally managed to spurt out. “I’m sorry I just – I didn’t know you were the one looking for a personal assistant.”

“Yeah well, because of who I am, I wanted to leave out my identity until I actually interviewed a candidate that I’d consider hiring. Anyway come in.”

Diana nodded, not being able to take her eyes off of Michael as he moved aside to allow her to walk inside. At that moment, everything felt surreal to her. Diana felt as if her heart was beating a billion times a second and was about to burst into pieces. She was beyond nervous just being in his presence, she was shaken. Michael was more than just her inspiration, he was her saving grace. As Diana followed Michael into the living room, she carefully observed the lavishness of the room, from the beautiful, expensive, white, marbled floors, to the bright, circular, ceiling fixture lights. The sparkling, floor length, white curtains complimented the two, big, beautiful, glass, bay windows that overlooked Michael’s green, manicured lawn perfectly.

Diana even adored the lavishly designed, leather, tan and gray, cushiony sofas that sat on opposite sides of a pretty, white, stylish coffee table. What really caught her eyes was the beautiful, crystal glass angel statue that Diana was sure had to have been several thousand dollars. As Michael motioned for her to take a seat on the love seat while he sat in the armchair across from her, she continued to survey the room with the beautiful, abstract art pieces that hung on the walls to the shiny, wooden bookshelf that had each shelf lit with a dim light that beautifully shined on the numerous, expensive, crystal art statues – and Michael’s shiny, Golden Globe statue for his work on Raven. Diana was mesmerized by it all. Michael sighed and stared at her observantly. She was dressed as professional for the position he was hiring for. Appearance was always the first thing that stood out to Michael. If a person’s appearance wasn’t right, it was an automatic turn-off for him. In his mind appearances were everything, so in her black, floor length dress with her thick, silver belt wrapped around it and her black jacket and sparkling, black flats, her appearance was already getting an approval from him.

“So can I get you some coffee, tea or anything?” Michael asked politely.

Diana shook her head with a faint smile.

“No, I’m fine, thank you.” Diana replied.

Diana could’ve used a glass of cold water to soothe her burning, sore throat but she thought to casually drink any beverage while on an interview would look – unprofessional.

“Just um – I thank you for calling me in for an interview.” Diana added.

Michael scoffed and smirked with a nod.

“Well you’re welcome. To be honest, you’re the first person I contacted. I mean I saw other – letters from people applying for the position but none of them stood out like yours.”

Diana raised an eyebrow at him, perplexed.

“Mine’s stood out? How?”

Michael looked at her, wondering if she was being serious or not as to not knowing how unique her letter was. She had to have known. Michael picked up the letter and his reading glasses off the table beside him and put his glasses on.

“It went,” Michael said, reading from the letter, “I know there are probably several other applicants who are more than qualified for this role of personal assistant but I would like to tell you why you should take the chance on hiring me for the position. For the last past two months since the sudden death of my mother, I’ve been trying to find work everywhere – at restaurants, in bars, in fast food places. I’ve applied for maid jobs, housekeeping jobs, I’ve even applied for a job picking up trash and nothing. I have not been able to be hired as anything. So when I saw your ad for personal assistant, I said what the hell, let me try this. I know how to answer phones, I know how to run errands, I know how to manage schedules, book gigs and do everything that a personal assistant is supposed to do because I spent two months being my mother’s personal assistant – running her back and forth to the hospital, running errands, booking appointments, handling phone calls, managing her schedule. I know the duties of a personal assistant and I can promise I can be a great one, the best one you’ve ever had but please, I need a job or else I’m a young woman who’s not going to know what to do.”

Michael casually tossed the letter back on the table beside him and sighed with a smirk. With Michael reading what she wrote back to her, Diana didn’t truly realize how desperate she sounded. Diana looked down and lightly laughed, a habit she did whenever she was incredibly nervous – like now.

“Um, I know it sounds – ”

“Desperate?” Michael interrupted with an amusing smile.

Diana nodded and immediately regretted doing so. Just because he said it didn’t mean she had to admit it. Michael laughed.

“It’s exactly why I liked your letter compared to all the others.” Michael said. “It was honest and – in New York, you rarely find honest people, there are some but they are few but then again – that’s really – anywhere right?”

“People have lost the feeling of truth within themselves.” Diana replied plainly.

Michael smirked and nodded at her. He then began to observe her facial features, from her hazel brown eyes to her smooth, brown skin, shoulder length, brown hair. Her pretty, youthful looks gave him the impression that she had to be no more than fifteen or sixteen.

“Mmmhmm,” Michael replied, “well – and how old are you? Because I must admit you look young – like fifteen or sixteen and I would need someone over eighteen to work for me.”

“I’m eighteen, just turned eighteen.” Diana replied.

Michael stared, surprised. He wasn’t expecting that.

“Wow, you look younger than that, that’s neat.”

Diana smiled coyly. A compliment from her daily inspiration was almost too much for her. Michael sighed and briefly frowned.

“Well, I will tell you right now,” Michael said, “I was going to pay just eight dollars an hour because I figured whomever I hired would just be some – aspiring actor or actress who was only taking the job to add that they worked for me to their resume and then that in return would help them land auditions and all that because they could say they worked for me – however –”

Michael sighed with a shake of his head.

“I’m going to up it to ten dollars an hour – sounds good?”

Diana smiled satisfyingly as if he just offered to pay for twenty bucks an hour. At this point in Diana’s life, she would be willing to take anything she could get. Diana nodded and nervously laughed again.

“Yeah, yeah sure um – that’s fine, thank you.” Diana replied.
Michael nodded.

“Good so I’m going to take a chance and hire you and – I need you to be here tomorrow morning at eleven promptly. I should tell you, I need someone who’s going to be prompt, who’s going to be here whenever I say and I need you to be someone I can trust. Can I trust you Diana?”

Diana nodded quickly.

“Yes, you can – I’ll be here at eight if you want –”

Michael laughed at Diana’s eagerness.

“Well no, not that early,” Michael replied, “eleven is fine, that’ll give me time to fix breakfast for my wife and kids before jumping into my schedule for the day”

Diana nodded.

“Oh,” Michael added, “and I know you said I can trust you but if you wouldn’t mind writing down your full name, social security number and address and all that. I’d like to run a background check, you know, make sure you’re not a felon or – crazy. That wouldn’t be a problem right?”

Diana shook her head. Of course it wasn’t a problem. There wasn’t anything Diana wouldn’t do for Michael.

“No, no it’s fine – absolutely.” Diana replied.

Michael nodded and handed her the notepad and pen and she immediately began writing on it.

“Well I just want to truly thank you for allowing me to have this position,” Diana said as she handed him back the notepad and pen,
“you won’t regret it.”

“Well – let’s hope not.” Michael replied with a light laugh.

“And I should just say right now,” Diana said with her face instantly lighting up from what she was about to begin rambling about, “I am your biggest fan. I’ve seen every film you’ve been in and I have watched every season that you’ve been on Raven, including this last season of which I recited every line you had in every episode by heart. You’re just one amazing actor really.”

Michael laughed, becoming very shy over her adoration of him.

“Oh well – thank you, I really appreciate that Diana.” Michael replied. “Let’s see if you’ll still have that adoration after working for me though.”

Diana stared at him with shock. Was he serious? Michael laughed again.

“I’m joking, but really I need a personal assistant, not a fan personal assistant alright?”

“Oh right, yeah I understand.” Diana replied. “I just thought I’d let you know. You were what inspired me to want to become a screenwriter and a filmmaker.”

Michael stared at her perplexed.

“Oh you’re an inspiring artist? Have you done any work towards your crafts – written any screenplays? Have you made any films yet?”

Diana looked down with embarrassment – hot, red embarrassment.

“Um, I’ve written a few scripts but I haven’t been able to do anything with them yet,” Diana said, “with the death of my mother it’s been tough trying to get anything started.”

Diana sighed and looked up at him with a contrived, brief and embarrassing smile. Michael stared at her with sympathy. He could see the grief she still carried for her mother all over her face.

“Well, it’s never too late and you’re young, you still have time so don’t sweat it.” Michael replied.

Diana shot her eyes up at him speechless. Sure Michael was inspiration for her from afar but now here he was, giving her words of inspiration directly in front of her. It was almost enough to make her cry. Diana nodded and looked away from him, trying hard to not let him see her eyes beginning to well up. Diana had always been an emotional soul, in one way or another. Michael stood and sighed.

“Alright, well tomorrow at eleven – promptly.” Michael said as Diana stood as well. “You live in – Harlem?”

Diana nodded as they both walked to his front door.

“Yeah,” Diana lied.

Diana didn’t even have a home anymore. All she had was a storage unit and thirty bucks. Michael nodded.

“Alright well tomorrow then,” Michael replied as he opened the door for her and then extended his hand to her. She shook it and felt she was going to collapse right there from weakness, now she was shaking the hands of the man who had gotten her through countless tragedies and downward spirals in her life.

“Tomorrow,” Diana replied before waving and turning to walk out.

As Diana walked down the walkway of Michael’s house, she felt more hope than she had when she first received the call from him about the interview. Michael had taken a chance in hiring her and she wasn’t going to let him down. Diana was going to be the best personal assistant she could be, she show him – and herself.


CHAPTER TWO


Diana walked down the hallway of the storage facility that held her and her late mother’s belongings. Diana was glad she decided to move what little possessions she had left in her apartment into the storage when she received her eviction notice a week ago, and now tonight her storage unit would also serve as her sleeping area. Diana wouldn’t have even had the money for the storage unit had she not went out and panhandled on the street. Yes it was an embarrassing thing to do but Diana had to do it. She couldn’t bear to lose her and her mother’s possessions to the many New Yorkers who she was sure would walk past and see her things thrown out on the street and take them for their own;

And now Diana was going to secretly spend the night in her storage unit because she didn’t have anywhere else to go. Shelters all over New York were overcrowded and unable to take any more people and she wasn’t about to spend the night on the cold, fall streets of New York. So as she unlocked her unit and walked inside, she looked at all her and her late mother’s stacked possessions with gloom. Sure she was happy to have a job, even if it wasn’t paying that much but the thought of her being literally homeless still wretched her soul. At least Michal had a home, and a beautiful one at that but what did Diana have? Nothing and that would stay on her mind all night as she closed the door to her storage unit and lied down on the thin blanket that lied on the floor and tried to relax her worrying mind into sleep.



It was around seven at night when Bridget came walking into the house with Lucas. Michael smiled at hearing his laughing, seven year old son’s voice. Bridget was a youthful, forty year old woman with her long, golden brown hair, bright green eyes. Not only Michael but others within the industry often told her how much she resembled Sara Bareilles and indeed she did. Bridget was beautiful, which is why before she became a producer, she was a top model. Bridget was a woman Michael’s first love and a woman whom Michael fell in love with instantly at first sight after she worked on a stage production he was the lead in. They had been together for ten years and married for nine, but every day for Michael felt like the first day they had ever met and Lucas was like a carbon copy of a younger version of Michael – shy, very intellectual and smart, slightly introverted but very artistic. As Bridget walked into the kitchen and saw Michael preparing dinner while watching television, she greeted her husband with a loving kiss.

“Hello honey, how was work on the film?” Michael asked.
Bridget picked up a celery stick and bit into it while nodded.

“It’s going well but it’s getting very hectic. Probably because it’s getting close to production.”

Michael smirked faintly.

“Well considering what type of film you all are trying to get together,” Michael replied, “I can imagine the craziness right about now.”
Bridget sighed as she leaned back up against the counter beside him.

“Craziness is an understatement.” Bridget said in a low tone. “Anyway how was your day? You getting things ready for Sunday?”

“Well I now have a personal assistant for that.”

Bridget stared at Michael curiously.

“Oh? Who is he?”

“It’s not a he,” Michael replied. “It’s a she.”

Bridget shrugged and nodded.

“She had the most unique letter of everyone who applied.” Michael said. “She wrote about how she needed a job after her mother passed and that she would be the best personal assistant if I hired her and it was just – so different from the other letters. Hers was so honest and so heartfelt.”

“Oh well that’s different.” Bridget replied.

“I know,” Michael said with a smile. “So I interviewed her and she’s just a really nice kid.”

“Kid?” Bridget asked with an eyebrow raised.

“She’s eighteen.” Michael replied.

Bridget nodded, her radar suspicion was rising and Michael could pick up on it. He turned and pulled her into his arms and kissed her lovingly.

“Honey, turn your radar off,” Michael said with a smirk. “She’s just a personal assistant. I picked her because – I don’t know, something tells me she needed this job – a lot more than she was letting on.”
Bridget sighed and nodded.

“I know, alright. Well I’m glad I have such a sweet husband who likes helping people.”

“Mmmhmm you do,” Michael replied. “In fact, I plan to do a lot of helping later tonight in our bedroom.”

Bridget laughed before he pulled her closer and kissed her warmly. Their kiss was interrupted however by Lucas running into the kitchen, a water paint art design he made during school in his hand.

“Dad, look what Mrs. Frankel gave me on my art work today!” Lucas exclaimed as he ran over to Michael.

Michael unlocked his arms from around his wife, knelt down and picked up Lucas, sitting him on the counter. Michael took the artwork and stared at it with amusement. It was supposed to be a butterfly coming out of a cocoon and indeed it did look like that, however it looked more like it was done by an ten or eleven year old than by seven year old Lucas. However that wasn’t surprising to Michael. Lucas was very advanced and both Michael and Bridget knew it. Michael nodded with a smirk.

“Oh wow kiddo, this is beautiful. You did a great job.” Michael said.

“Didn’t he though?” Bridget said with a smile. “Mrs. Frankel was telling me how she was so impressed with it that she even showed it to the principal.”

“Yeah, I call it my colorful monarch butterfly.” Lucas said excitedly.

“Well this is a very beautiful monarch butterfly,” Michael said, “let me get a high-five kiddo.”

Lucas high-fived Michael happily before Michael hugged Lucas and gave him a kiss on the head.



It was close to eight and Diana was sound asleep on the floor of her storage unit, that was all she could do in there – was sleep. There wasn’t any electrical outlets for her to watch television or listen to the radio, besides, it was best that she rest her body before taking on the day’s tasks as Michael’s personal assistant. However, unaware to her at that moment, she was profusely perspiring, all over her forehead, her neck and her chest and at this moment, it was beginning to affect her sleeping. In a quick jolt, she awakened. She sat up quickly and closed her eyes tight feeling a sharp pressuring pain in both her shoulders and neck. Oh the pain was almost unbearable. It felt like someone was stabbing her repeatedly and on top of that, it felt like her body was on fire.

As Diana got to her feet, she walked over to a brown box sitting on a table and pulled out a white cloth and a small bottle of water. She wet the cloth with the water and pressed the wet cloth against her face, neck and chest and felt as if the fire within her was being immediately cooled. Oh the relief of the cold against her hot, feverish skin. The more she reveled in the coldness of the cloth on her skin, the more her mind seemed to drift away from the stabbing pain that was occurring in her shoulders and neck, until eventually the stabbing pain diminished. This wasn’t the first time Diana had awakened with stabbing neck and shoulder pain, nor was it the first time she had awakened feverish. The two symptoms had been occurring frequently within her for two weeks now – was it just cold or flu symptoms? Or was it something else? No, of course it wasn’t. It was just the simple cold or flu, it had to have been because Diana couldn’t afford to have it be anything else.













[Edited on 11/2/2015 by calista2015]

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[*] posted on 11/2/2015 at 04:10 AM


Because you're still in the writing stages, it's not really a time to edit or really delve into making any changes, so I'm not going to mention any of the little typos and grammatical issues, because the first draft is SUPPOSED to have those.

I will mention a couple of things I'm noticing repeatedly though, so it can help you tighten up your writing a bit:

1) Alright should be all right--always two words. Technically, alright isn't a word.

2.) Always put a comma before or after a person's name when you're addressing them in dialogue--and don't use names much in dialogue. As a general rule, people, especially in a two person conversation, rarely use the other person's name. When you're in exposition (not dialogue), use the person's name once in the beginning of the paragraph and then use 'he' or 'she' throughout the rest of the paragraph. If it's a long paragraph, then you can put another use of the name in there, if you want. Then on the next paragraph, you can repeat the name again for clarity, but there's no reason to use their name over and over again.

3.) You're overusing and misusing hyphens. When you're free writing, the hyphen might help you with pauses and things like that in your head, but if you want those pauses and stammers and thought interruptions to really come across to your reader, you need to take the time to really write them out instead of relying on the hyphen to do that job for you. Some of them will need semicolons or periods. Some will need to be set off with hyphens. Some will need you to actually write exposition around the dialogue to explain the character's reaction or facial expression, etc.

4.) Reduce the use of adverbs (mostly the -ly ending ones) and especially reduce them after dialogue tags. Don't have them 'said lightly' or 'said shyly'. That's weak writing when you can instead show the reader expression and mannerisms that express the same thing. Much stronger that way.

5.) Starting with name and age and profession doesn't really give you a good hook for the story. I'd find a stronger, more powerful opening and get the hook in there, then you can give the specs later.

6.) You said in the header it was Diane Winters but then the paragraph part said Richardson with no explanation. Also, you stopped using the headers. If you're going to use them for the head hopping (POV change) then use them throughout or don't use them in the beginning either.

Overall, for a first draft, this is in pretty good shape. You're developing the story and introducing the characters. You're doing a lot of telling instead of really showing, but I think if you take out the adverbs and strengthen up the hyphens like I told you, that will fix a lot of that.

Your job right now is really not to focus too much on editing or making changes. Your job is to just keep writing while the story is flowing. You'll edit and tweak and rewrite later!

you're off to a brilliant start. Keep it going!




Love and stuff,
Michy
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[*] posted on 11/3/2015 at 09:53 AM


Thanks so much, I will definitely work on these changes, thank you :)
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[*] posted on 11/3/2015 at 12:18 PM


Please do--mostly, keep writing! You're in the flow... it's a really good start! Build on this and then we'll work on editing and preparing it for submission or publication when you get to there.

Are you doing this with NaNoWriMo this month? You should!




Love and stuff,
Michy
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[*] posted on 11/3/2015 at 12:40 PM


Hi Calista,
I certainly agree with the things Michy has said, you can't go wrong listening to this experienced lady.

Isn't it exciting to be working on a novel? I'm about 20,000 words into my first one, so I'm not speaking from a seasoned POV, but I can tell you that there's more rewriting ahead of you than you've ever imagined. Hours and hours of rewriting account for my slow progress. Everyone has their own method of writing, but, for me, I start editing and reworking the first chapters each time I open my work. I suppose most people would do the opposite, simply get the whole thing down and then begin rewriting. That's fine, but I have a compulsion to make the early chapters what I consider "fixed" before I can continue.

I've gleaned some good tips from a series of videos on YouTube done by Ellen Brock, a freelance editor. She speaks a lot about common mistakes which will raise red flags prompting rejection of your manuscript, and here is a bit she did on "First Chapter Mistakes and Cliches" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1y_E6sTYfA. Note that the first one is opening with the main character waking up and getting out of bed.

Good luck, keep working and keep coming back here for advice and encouragement.







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[*] posted on 11/3/2015 at 09:38 PM


@Michy - Thanks and no I've never heard of NaNoWriMo, what's that?

@plntpolice - Yes indeed, she gave me some really great tips for writing my story so I'm excited about it, I've started making changes tonight and now I'm on chapter three and I try to rewrite each chapter at least twice after I read it.

I will check out the Youtube video because I could use all the help I can get and I will definitely keep coming back here, good luck to you as well :)
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[*] posted on 11/4/2015 at 12:42 PM


NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50k-word novel in 30 days!

Check it out:

http://nanowrimo.org/dashboard

It's not too late to join us! It's free and it's fun!




Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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[*] posted on 11/12/2015 at 07:17 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Michy  
NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50k-word novel in 30 days!

Check it out:

http://nanowrimo.org/dashboard

It's not too late to join us! It's free and it's fun!


Oh no, I never heard of them but yeah I think I will join it tonight, awesome. :)
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[*] posted on 11/13/2015 at 11:18 AM


Hi Calista,

How's it going? I hope you're still making progress.

Reading your first draft is inspiring. I applaud your enthusiasm and I think your love of writing shines through. A novel is not an easy endeavor, but, in the end, so very worth the effort.

Please keep us posted.







When life hands you a rotten tomato, save it, cause someone you'd like to throw it at will come along soon.
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[*] posted on 11/13/2015 at 09:56 PM


Hi Calista!

Looks like you're off to a great start! I think everyone has to go about it in their own way. Some folks just have to write and write and get it all down and then edit and rewrite and re-order until they get the story just how they want it while others edit as they go. I think you have an idea of where you want the story to go, what the complications are (the adversities that your characters face and the paths they have to follow to overcome those adversities), and how your characters grow through the arc of the story. The trick is to keep writing until you find your "voice" - your particular style that makes your writing unique to you!

Did you ever see "Finding Nemo"? Do you remember Dory? "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!" Well, writing is pretty much the same way, from what I've seen. The people who end up being successful at it just keep writing, writing, writing!

So welcome and great job and we're happy to read and critique and give pointers!




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