View Full Version : Critique the Chapter of Boys Start to a New Life

Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum

January 1st, 2006, 04:51 PM
I wrote this chapter about the main character of my new warfare story project to help get indepth with the character and his life so the reader will know his motives for his choices and actions later in the story. I am going to do about three chapters on the characters younger life. I think I can already see problems with the chapter because it lacks simple detail, but I know you can spot numerous more problems.

Chapter One

Marvin Otega sprawled out on his bed. The room was dark, but his eyes had adjusted enough for him to see. He looked at the alarm clock on the wooden nightstand beside him. Numbers, the same numbers he had seen every night when he would wake up. He didn’t understand them, but it was dark and he knew what that meant.
To him it meant that everyone else was asleep, and he was awake. Just that. Slithering from the bed to avoid the loud screeching sounds of metal on metal, he dropped to the soft carpeted floor. The blue door was wide open and in the hall he could hear Star snoring on the floor. Dog, the hardest thing to sneak past, thought Marvin.
He crept from his bedroom and saw the dog, kicking as if it were running. Marvin skipped past it using the dream as cover. There, beyond the television yet before the couch, was the Christmas tree. It glowed with a spectacular blue and green light that his mother had worked on for hours. Marvin stared in delight, but was interrupted by the sound of an opening door. From his mother’s room trudged a man who acted like the house was his, walking with only underwear on his body. Star yelped when he stepped on her tail. “Damn mutt.” the man exhaled.
This was a new man Marvin had never seen, his mother had brought many men home before, but they were usually gone before he would wake up. Marvin ran behind the couch to hide as the man entered the kitchen. He watched him open the refrigerator and after searching aggressively pulled out a coke. The man slammed the door and popped the can open. Marvin stared in awe, his mother would never let him go in the fridge like that. After setting the can down, the man went into a nearby closet and pulled out a bag which he used to take almost every food he could from the pantry.
Marvin knew this was wrong and he stood up.
“Did my mom say you could do that?” he asked. The man jolted as if spooked.
“Well, uh, listen kid, your mom asked me to clean out the pantry for her, ok?” the man said. Through the light Marvin saw the man scratch his goatee and continued cleaning the pantry. But a moment later the man turned to face Marvin again, this time with a cruel grin.
“You ever seen your momma naked before?” he chuckled. Marvin stood frozen. “Yeah, that’s about the same thing I did.” the man said and started shaking his head. He zipped the bag and slipped on some jeans and a jacket and was tying his shoes when he froze.
“Now what the hell you want woman?” he said. Marvin saw his mom rush in wearing a nightgown and point to the bag.
“What’s in there?” she asked. Marvin ran to his mom and hugged her. Instantly she smiled and kissed his forehead.
“Mom, he went in the fridge and pantry taking food! He was loud too!” Marvin exclaimed. To him it was a normal tattle tale. His mom whirled her head of short blonde hair to face the man with a look of shock.
“How much did you take?” she pleaded. The man leaned back and took a cigarette from a pocket on his jacket. After lighting it he leaned forward again.
“Does this kid even know how you make money? Ha, I know he doesn’t, little bastard is on three years old. Your mom’s a whore kid.” the man said. Marvin remained by his mom’s side, he didn’t know the word but it made his mom uneasy.
She snatched the bag and the guy jumped up.
His moms eye’s glared when she seen its contents. The man grabbed the bag but Marvin’s mom wouldn’t let go. “I worked hard for this and I am not going to let an ass like you take it!” she screamed.
Marvin’s legs were shaking now and he was scared.
The man balled his fist and hit her in the chest, taking the breath from her. She fell backwards on the floor and gasped.
The man grunted as he zipped the bag up again. He gave Marvin’s mom a dirty kick in the back before he turned and left the house. Marvin kneeled beside his mom, too scared to cry. She was crying more then Marvin knew anyone could cry. “Mom…are you ok?” he choked. She nodded slowly and raised herself to sit on the couch. Marvin climbed into her lap and she cradled him softly.
He didn’t know how to soothe her or if anyone could.
“Honey, I love you, ok?” she cried. Marvin stared at her blue eyes and knew that his mother was lost, confused, it was as if she was a ghost. “Just tell me you love me back,”
“I love you mom.” Marvin began to cry. His mother embraced him and for what seemed hours they stayed clinging to each other before Marvin fell asleep.
His mother fingered his brown hair and kissed his cheek. Then she too went to sleep on the couch.

January 2nd, 2006, 12:10 AM
SubZero, this is a good story. You've got a good pace, taking your time to tell your story properly. Big improvement from some of your earlier stories.

Dog, the hardest thing to sneak past, thought Marvin.

Try it like this.
Dog, thought Marvin, the hardest thing to sneak past.

Star yelped when he stepped on her tail. “Damn mutt.” the man exhaled.
When someone thinks or talks, it's a new line. Also, because the sentence is continuing past the quotes, it's not necessary to put a period there - use a comma instead. You can use exclaimation points and question marks, but unless he's saying two or more sentences, you don't need a period.

Star yelped when he stepped on her tail.
“Damn mutt,” the man exhaled.

One thing I don't understand is why the strange man is taking their food. But other than that, aside from a few small things, you've got a good story going here.

Well done. =^_^=

Now write more.


January 2nd, 2006, 01:59 AM
Thanks for the positive comments.

January 2nd, 2006, 02:39 PM
Your hard work earned every one of them.

Just don't let it go to your head. ;) You've still got some work to do and more to learn.