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 In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore

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MinglerX

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PostSubject: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:05 pm

And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear? – weep now or never more!
See on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore.


Cars. In front, behind, and all around – shiny, stylishly curved hunks of steel hurtling through space.

Well, they weren’t hurtling now; in fact, they hadn’t moved for a whole five minutes. Lenore’s toes were beginning to tingle. The radio station she listened to was playing a song with a strong beat. Deep, booming voices gave her a stream of words that she didn’t recognize or care about. She doubted that the people singing them cared, either. “Radio off,” she said quietly. The music stopped, and the soft silence of the car swallowed her words. Lenore felt as though she were in a sensory deprivation tank. Her toes began to itch. The exit that would bring her home was so close...

Finally, the traffic began to move again. It was slow, at first, then faster as the traffic began to thin. Lenore pulled into the right-hand lane. She could see the exit – it was right in the distance. Guardrails flashed past her, and she felt caged. She could almost imagine them crushing her where she sat. She accelerated the tiniest bit, and her heart began to race. The police were everywhere, and they’d write you up for the smallest infraction. Speeding was dangerous. Her palms began to sweat.

Finally, she got out. Muscles she hadn’t known she’d tensed were beginning to relax. She hated the freeway.

It began to rain as she made her way through the small, dishevelled housing projects and then through the suburbs. Lenore’s brow furrowed. It had been grey all day – winter in the North was just beginning.

The rain turned to wet snow, and then it began to hail. She could almost hear the frigidity of the wind as it whistled past the silver curves of her car; she could almost see the long, bony fingers of Jack Frost trying to poke their way through her windshield in vain. Why had she left home, again?

The bottles clinked together in the back as if to remind her of their presence. Ah, yes. The wine. She had run out the night before, and she needed a glass of wine beside her to do her work properly – one didn’t simply create art on a whim. The wine, full-bodied and oaky, a deep purple that bordered on black, reminded her of her childhood and of her brother. So she had driven the full hour to the city to get it. Art did not wait.

The weather was getting worse – Lenore could barely see. The windshield wipers and high beams engaged automatically, tiny gear-driven soldiers battling for victory over nature. The wipers’ scientifically enhanced rubber and metal configuration worked furiously against the glass, beating back the freezing rain with a vicious ferocity.

She was out of the suburbs now. She drove on muddy dirt roads past acres of government-controlled farmland. And then, finally, she traveled beyond that and was in sight of her beautiful mountains. They were tall, green and dark. Their smoky silhouette against the navy sky was mystical, and the thin veil of mist that encircled their head was a smoke ring. Her heart seemed to jump out of her chest at the sight, and she longed more than ever to go back home. She accelerated a little more. Not even the cops would come out here – these mountains were hers.

The roads were blacktop now, instead of dirt. She ascended quickly, making her way upward and westward. The moon crested the head of the next mount. The freezing rain got heavier, and she could hear the hail bounce off her roof. The roads were getting slick, too – Lenore tried to remind herself to be careful. You’ve got to pay more attention, she heard her brother’s voice in her head. You’re always so absent. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. In her mind, she saw his strong face smiling, saw him brush the back of his fingers against her cheek. Unthinkingly, she lifted her hand off the wheel and touched that cheek, closing her eyes and smiling. Sometimes it felt like Amos was with her – strong and warm, with the sweaters and jeans he grew up in, and with that same straight brown hair and bright blue eyes that she had loved as a child. She had always taken care of him as a baby, but it seemed like as soon as he became a teenager, he always took care of her. Living away from him was painful. She missed him so...

She opened her eyes dreamily. There was a jolt of panic; a feeling that her stomach was falling out through her throat; her heart skipping beats as her car fell off the unguarded road and through the air.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Lenore couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but wild panic in her gut. She couldn’t get out. She was trapped. Frantically, she clawed at her belt until she unclasped it. “Open!” she cried, her voice shrill and strangled.

“Voice command not recognized,” the car’s smooth female voice replied.

“Open!” she repeated, scratching at the door, yanking hysterically at the latch. The ground loomed up at her, rocky and black in the shadows of the night. “Open, open, open!”

Finally, with one last pull at the handle, the door fell open and she tumbled out of the car, feeling the cool air fly past her face. The ground rose gracefully up toward her, and she closed her eyes and tried to remember Amos’ face.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Her head hurt. There were people around her, too many people, and a burning car a few metres away. Her breathing was shaky, and her back was freezing where it touched the cold, wet sand.

“She’s back.”

“Oh, God. Oh, thank God. Lenore? Lenore! I’m here. Don’t worry. You’re going to be fine.”

Lenore turned her head slowly and blinked even more slowly. There was a man bending over her – tall and muscular, with blue eyes and white teeth and a straight, straight nose. His big hands held hers firmly, and a chunk of his longish brown hair fell into his eyes. He looked like something had broken inside him, and Lenore wondered what could make someone as good as him look so sad.

She smiled. “It’s okay,” she said dreamily. “It’s okay.”

His hand cupped her face and he cried. Lenore leaned into his warm palm and fell back asleep.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Amos paced the hallway. Brash halogen lights hummed busily in the ceiling above him, sounding like a fly buzzing around his ear. It only made him angrier than he already was.

His shoes were old runners, and they squeaked on the linoleum. They weren’t letting him in. He couldn’t believe they weren’t letting him in. He needed to be there. They wouldn’t even tell him anything. What if she had died? What if she were brain dead? What would he do? He couldn’t live without Lenore. His existence without her was unthinkable, unimaginable. He needed her.

The door opened. Jump, gasp. “Is she okay?”

The doctor looked up at him. “I assume you’re talking about the 36-year-old Caucasian woman who was just wheeled in?”

“Yes.” The word sounded more like a breath than anything, but Amos didn’t care. His hands were shaking, and he clenched them into fists.

“I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to release that information.”

Amos wanted to break him – to crush that curly-haired, bespectacled head into the wall. “I assume,” he said, his voice suddenly cold and unemotional, “that you’re acting in accordance with Section 12(a) of the Medical Privacy Act?” The tiny, nasal-voiced man nodded. He looked smug and self-important, and something in Amos growled and snapped its teeth. “Well,” he continued, “I am a senior member of the International Senate, and if you don’t let me in that goddamned hospital room, I swear I will have your credentials removed.”

A widening of the eyes. A flash of panic. “Your credentials?” The small man sputtered.

Amos dug in his pocket and took them out. The doctor’s eyes widened, and Amos could almost see what was flashing before his eyes: he would lose his job, his home, his family, his dignity, him self. Amos knew that he had won.

The doctor knew it too. “Right this way, sir.” He swallowed nervously and turned heel, avoiding eye contact.

When Amos finally got to the room, it was better than he expected it to be. He hadn’t been in a hospital room since he had broken his arm when he was twelve. They had improved immensely. The walls were a warm shade of burnt orange, and there were small potted plants and a television. But one thing remained the same: the bleak, white bed in the middle of the room. And there Lenore lay, small and frail, hooked up to heart monitors and IV drips.

He turned to the doctor, who was still in the room. “Leave,” Amos muttered. The other man nodded and mumbled something unintelligible before leaving the senator alone with his sister.

The room fell quiet – silent, except for the slow, constant beeping of the heart monitor. Amos hesitated as he walked toward her. He hadn’t seen his sister in such a long time – it must have been about five years since she moved away. How old had she been then? Thirty-one? Now she was thirty-six, and he was still treating her like a child. He had been so upset with her when she moved.

You’re making a mistake, his own voice echoed in his head. You haven’t thought this through. You won’t be able to live on your own.

I’m thirty-one, Amos! I can live on my own if I want to. I don’t need you.


His heart still sank every time he relived the moment. After that, he let her go. She moved up into the mountains (“Artists live in the mountains,” she told him excitedly.), and despite his warning, she managed to do fairly well for herself – or so he surmised when he looked into her tax records, her purchases and her telephone conversations. Over the next five years he wrote letters and left messages, but never visited. She didn’t need him, after all.

He made his way over to the bed. There was a chair, and he sat down. He scooped up her long, thin hand into his own. She hadn’t changed at all. Her long, black waves of hair tumbled around her narrow shoulders. He wondered whether her eyes were still the same blue as they were – the same blue as his own.

“Lenore,” he murmured quietly. “Lenore, I’m sorry.” He curled his fingers, and brushed the back of them over her face.

The heart monitor started beeping faster. Lenore turned her head. Amos’ heartbeat was in sync with the monitor, pumping frenetically. Finally, her eyes fluttered open.

Amos smiled shakily. “Lenore!” he cried. Laughing, he kissed her hand. “Lenore, I knew you would wake up. Listen, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been angry with you. And I have, I’ve been angry with you.” Her brow knit together, and she looked astonished. “For moving,” he explained. “I thought you would always need me, and I couldn’t accept that you could do things by yourself. But I want to change, Lenore. I want to be there for you, and I want us to start over. Is that all right with you?”

Lenore looked at him strangely, questioningly.

“Who are you?”

Amos couldn’t breathe. He backed away. His hands shook.

“Doctor!” he cried. “Doctor, come in here right now!”

The man walked in. When he saw Lenore awake, he called for nurses, and more doctors, and they began poking and prodding and examining. Lenore didn’t take her eyes off of Amos once. He almost wished she would.

“She forgot me,” he said. “She forgot me.”

He was gently shoved out of the room by the personnel, and the door shut abruptly behind him. His legs began carrying him numbly away from the scene, but it was only at the end of the hallway that his nose and throat started to burn, and he had to squeeze his eyelids shut.

Her eyes were the same blue.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

R&R. Smile


Last edited by MinglerX on Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:53 pm

Hi, we haven't spoken properly yet but I was putting off homework and reading this and I do like it. So I'm giving happy feedback. sunny

I really like the way you write; it's how I'd write; it's how what I like to read is written. Really good descriptions, taking note of the little things and creating an atmosphere that changes very quickly. It's very effective at getting the emotions across (and yes, that is an awkward way to put it, but I can't think of a better way write now). In particular:
"There was a jolt of panic; a feeling that her stomach was falling out through her throat; her heart skipping beats as her car fell off the unguarded road and through the air." - The slightly longer sentence connected with the semicolons (don't you love semicolons?) is very effective here, it shows how everything seems to happen all at once but also kind of in slow motion. And that's how it feels when something scary happens.
"Lenore couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but wild panic in her gut. She couldn’t get out. She was trapped. Frantically, she clawed at her belt until she unclasped it. “Open!” she cried, her voice shrill and strangled." - You've got all the right words to create the feeling of panic, along with short sentence things.
"The door opened. Jump, gasp. “Is she okay?” " - This one I like especially. The short sentences are super effective.

I'm not the kind of reader who goes through and finds literary terms, because I don't have the patience. Instead, I'll talk about the story.
I'm intrigued. I remember you saying that you don't like doing beginnings (at least I think that was you), but as beginnings go, this is good, and frankly I can't imagine you not enjoying writing this. I have a fishhook in my lip, as it were: I really want to know more about these people. It feels like there are so many unanswered questions. Although I must admit to being confused at her relationship with her brother (I'm hoping this is intentional on your part, but not sure Neutral Smile ) - it feels like way more of a romantic relationship than the one I have with my brother. But hey, I'm sure that happens. Maybe my family is just cold Razz
But back to the questions - why does he need her so much but spend 5 years away from her? What kind of art does she do? Why do they need to start over? Oooh, and why is it called In Her Image?? I know, I know, these will be answered. But I want to know!

Oh dear, I'm writing a lot. My only criticism, I think, would perhaps be some little anal turn-of-phrase things that would probably require me going through it with a red pen. Which I won't do here, and I'm sure there aren't many of them anyway; generally you have a very nice turn of phrase.

And finally, your last sentence is great.
"Her eyes were the same blue."
Packs a punch, made me go "aww Sad " - and I like the continual references to blue eyes, presumably this will become significant.
I'm still intrigued. What will happen to make this a story?!

Okay. One more thing. Those two lines at the beginning, is that Edgar Allen Poe or is that just me not really knowing my authors? (It's the 'nevermore' that's making me wonder.)

Hoping that this criticism-that-wasn't-really-criticism was kinda helpful,
-KATIE Smile elephant
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:23 pm

Haha. I thought E.A.Poe too Very Happy

Only thing I have to say right now Serena, is that your italics aren't working. Are you using the buttons or the coding?

P.S. I'll come back when life isn't so stressful and give you some good harsh crit which will give you really long crit-gasms.

Or well, Katie seems to already have done that.
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:23 pm

But I will too. Very Happy
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MinglerX

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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:04 pm

OH MY GOSH, KATIE. I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU. It is definite. Thank you so much! You brought up a lot of stuff that I'll keep in mind as super duper important. *spazzes*

It is definitely Poe. Smile It's not The Raven (though I will be using some quotes from that poem). This one's called Lenore. I'm fairly sure they're the only two poems Poe ever wrote about Lenore, and this is the only quote I'm using from it.

Thanks Angela!!! *crit-foreplay*
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:58 pm

Okay that's wierd. Maybe my computer's just a little eccentric. Now the italics are showing perfectly. Very Happy

Love the opening with the EAPoe poem. Sets the mood rather effectively, I must say -- well, in that Poe is rather dark and dreary and all nevermore and what. *syntax does not exist*

For some reason this makes me think of men?
Cars. In front, behind, and all around – shiny, stylishly curved hunks of steel hurtling through space.

This line is pretty awesome too. Very Happy Lenore felt as though she were in a sensory deprivation tank. Her toes began to itch. The exit that would bring her home was so close... I like the recurring idea of itch kind of paralleling her anxiety as she waits for the exit.

Irony, maybe a little? Her feeling of being caged on the freeway. Nice touch ~ was it intentional?
Finally, she got out. Muscles she hadn’t known she’d tensed were beginning to relax. She hated the freeway.

Like Katie said, your descriptions are really really good -- I also particularly like how you've got the world fleshed out in good detail, but not so much so that it becomes tedious and long-winded. Also, you inject little bits to reveal Lenore's character at the ends -- so we're learning about her surroundings and her character together. This is good because I personally cannot stand it when people go " and she was tall with blue eyes and had a sarcastic personality and was good at art and loved shopping " -- you know where they kind of give you the character in one paragraph all at once and it's just really... like... elementary school kid writing?

... Amos is her brother, yes? Very Happy *incest radar is detecting something...*

I must disagree with Katie here, a little... imho, two semicolons in one sentence? I agree that the effect is good, in this place, but it can be achieved without semicolons? The sentence also seems a teensy bit awk to me. But that's just me.

LOVE enumeration like this:
Lenore couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t feel

And this has got to be my fav. part.
“Voice command not recognized,” the car’s smooth female voice replied.

Amos wanted to break him – to crush that curly-haired, bespectacled head into the wall.
I feel like this about alot of people...

-- pumping frenetically -- what is that word?

Repitition especially well used here :
She forgot me,” he said. “She forgot me.”

The nostalgia/sorrow/heart-wrenching kind of emotions conveyed here = priceless Very Happy
Her eyes were the same blue.

All in all, very very good job.

And lol, *crit-foreplay*
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:16 pm

I have a WHOLE bunch of quotes from a bunch of my favourite poems, so that's good. What is NOT good is that I cannot find my notebook, which is kind of the treasure trove of my life and soul. :S

I enjoy that you thought of men when you read that. Now I'M going to think of men every time I read it. XD

It was intentional, actually. I'm so glad you picked up on it! ^.^ The whole society has become very restrictive in the name of rights and freedoms, and I wanted to mirror that in this situation.

I definitely hate that. If you ever see me doing that, slap me across the face. It is so sophomoric and bothersome and decreases my enjoyment of the piece exponentially. >.<

Haha. Yeah, I intended for their relationship to smudge the line between incest and brotherly love. I don't know exactly which way I'm going to fall yet...

*ahem*DEREK*ahem* Smile

Frenetically is a synonym of frantically or desperately, and denotes jerkiness and brash movements. Smile

I LOVE MY CRIT EUPHAMISMS. XD
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:51 pm

Hey Serena!

I think it's time for me to crit, although I highly doubt I'll have anything new to say, since everyone else pretty much what I wanted to say. But, that saves me time to go through it all myself. So, thanks guys! *gets shot for acting like a brat of some sort* Anyway...thanks for saving me the trouble, really...

When I first read this I was like... "Just shoot me now! This is so DAMN AWESOME!!" 10 stars out of 5 stars, like totally.

I loved the last line. I have to admit, I cried a bit. Yeah, yeah, so I'm a crybaby. I can live with it. I love your writing style. Wish I had that kind of writting style, maybe I do, I wouldn't know... XD

And ditto about the character thing too. And feel free to slap me too if I do that as well, which I might, unintentionally...

Other than that Serena, I love it. I can't wait to see more.

Yeah, my senses are tingling about the brother too. I little too over the top man, relax. Like Geez! XD This is my opinion, but I always find it hilarious that the older brother has a sister complex and waaay too over protective of her around the hero (or whatever guy hits on his sister and he goes nuts). But, it's up to you where it'll go.

Boy, I just feel like jumping at you and demand you to release the next chappie! Very Happy But, I'm a patient girl, y'know. *winks*

Yeah, Edgar Poe (is that right?). And I know what you mean, Serena when very important author notes go missing, it just makes you want to cry out loud in fusteration... I hope you find it though.
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:31 pm

Okay, I'm feeling left out now.

*insert 'every intelligent and constructive crit and all the well-earned praise others have already said' here*
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:35 pm

why the name "Lenore?" It reminds me of a certain maiden from Poe's The Raven.
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:37 pm

Wow, I'm sorry, Serena. I didn't see those first two lines.

The emotions in your writing are really well communicated; can't wait to see more.
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:45 pm

I don't know if it's just me, because of my weird, mostly manga background, but are you lingering on all of the details because they're important later, or just to make the story rather abrupt and sudden? It seems kind of strange, to have so much content crammed into one short chapter... confused It was still absolutely brilliant, though. I can't wait for the next chapter Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:59 pm

So, um, Serena, this is great.

I am a redonculous fan of the near-future, especially when it starts going haywire and you realize it isn't that far of, and malfunctions can still happen.

I liked the writing style, although a few sentences were a bit awkward, such as:
..well I looked and I can't find them again, so foregetaboutit.

And I can safely say that it is most probable that Lenore will fall in love with Amos, Amos will realize he loves her back like that, and they have a secret incest baby and during the delivery her memory comes back and yeah...
Well, something along those lines Razz

Did I mention I love the near-future?
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:35 pm

Megan: Thanks! =D I'm not really going for the typical 'protective big brother'... Please tell me if it's heading too much towards that, because I think it's become a cliche. I don't want to make him like, "Omg, some guy is hitting on you! Punch him in the face!" I want it to be a more subtle obsession, where his knowledge and protection of her pretty much define him. Smile Also, I realized that I left my notebook at dance last week. Razz Thank goodness, I'm getting it tomorrow night...

Lindsay: ... I love you. I just... do. Razz <3

Solomon: Thanks so much! Well, firstly, I just like the name lol. But Lenore also means light, and in the story she's going to be the one who mostly sees things honestly and as they are - who better to analyze a situation than someone with no societal baggage?

Sarabi: I don't know who you are yet! XD Sorry. I linger on details in this particular story because it's very in-the-moment. I want to get as rooted as possible into the character's conscious without delving too much into their subconscious. And sometimes people just notice really random things. But everything I mention has a purpose, whether it be metaphor, atmosphere, or foreshadowing, so fear not. Smile

Steele: Thank ye verily, kind sir. ^.^ I love that way of looking at near-future settings. It always kind of freaks me out. >.>
... Well, I had not thought of a secret incest baby, but interesting conclusion. XD
Yes, you did, darling. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:32 pm

Hi Serena. I'm the new member Jamie.

Here's what I thought:
-The brother and sister seem to be a love interest. Is this intentional?
-The doctor said she was 35, but Amos said she was 36.
-Personally I think Lenore is a more upper class name while Amos is a more lower class name, so they don't match, but that's just personal taste I guess
-How late was this set in the day? You said it was a grey day but also that there was a navy sky around the mountains and you could see the moon. So I'm just wondering about the time
-Why is Amos at the accident? He lives far doesn't he? They wouldn't call him to the accident site, they would call him to the hospital. Unless, was he following her and did he see the accident? I'm just confused as to why he's at the accident site.
-Why are they THAT close? I thought maybe that he had died and that's why she was thinking of him so... then it got to the hand on cheek part and I was like Oh... maybe there's something happening with her and her brother Wink. Also why do they need eachother so much that they can't live without eachother? It kind of sounds like a toxic relationship when a sister can't move away at 31 without her brother's consent...

Anyways. That's all I have for now. Keep it up, I do like the style a lot. I hope to read more in the future =]
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MinglerX

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PostSubject: Re: In Her Image; Chapter 1: Lenore   Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:14 pm

So, Jamie, you WIN, thank you very much for this comment. Smile

Mehfleh. Their slightly creeptastic relationship is intentional. I don't know exactly how disturbing I'm going to make it yet.
THANK YOU FOR CATCHING THAT. I will fix it right away.
Thanks for that. I didn't notice, but maybe you're right. I'll ask around, and maybe play around with a few more names to see what works best. Smile I chose Amos because it means "to carry," while Lenore means "light."
It took her a really long time to get home. We'll get more into that later, but basically she lives in the mountains and had to drive to the city, and it's winter so it gets dark really quickly.
Thaaaaaat is a good point. You are so smart that you caught that. Smile It'll be revealed later, I promise. Right now, it is a little weird. Razz
Yeeeeah, this relationship is far from typical. We'll delve more into it later. I'm morbidly excited. =D

All in all, THANK YOU FOR THE AWESOME CRIT. It was so helpful. You are great.
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