Author Topic: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)  (Read 3316 times)

Offline Skip Slocum

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Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« on: October 29, 2009, 11:51:49 PM »
In this piece, I’m looking for realism in their conversation is it believable or cliché. Are their actions smooth and easy to follow or are they muddled?
Matt and Megan have stepped outside away from the party to talk privately.
* * *
Megan laid her head on Matt’s chest, keeping her arms wrapped around him. He stroked her hair and sensed a slight change in her mood. Matt looked to the stars while debating whether to use the Keening to find out what was bothering her.
 
He tipped his head down touching his lips to the top of her head. Just as he reached the conclusion, he shouldn’t encroach on her private thoughts. She looked up.
 
“I have to tell you something but I’m ashamed to admit it even to myself.”

Matt could tell she was getting upset so to assure her that what ever it was things would be all right, he kissed the tip of her nose.

“No, please don’t; let me tell you before I loose my nerve.” Megan rested her forehead on his chest.

Matt squeezed her to him a little more and rubbed her back waiting for her to find the words to tell her horrible truth.

“I-ah, I should … should just tell you. While you were gone, I prayed every morning to the Gods to keep you safe and bring you back to me.”

“Guess they listened, huh.” He tried to get her to look up but she wouldn’t.

“You’d been gone for so long and we didn’t know if were alive or … I mean, it had been so long.”

Matt closed his eyes tight, now he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to hear what she had to say or not.

“One night before I went to sleep, I got mad. Something inside me said that you didn’t want to come back.” Megan turned away where Matt couldn’t see her face but held his arms to keep them wrapped around her. “For two days I argued with myself knowing you would come back if you could. But that’s when it happened and I’ll never forgive myself for thinking it.”

“Thinking what?”

Megan put her hand over her eyes then let it slide down to her mouth. When she turned back around Matt could see her eyes tearing up.

“I thought they’d killed you. I swear I tried not to think of what they could have-”

“Is that it? That’s what has you so upset?” Matt chuckled as a wave of relief flowed over him.

Megan started to cry. “Isn’t it enough? I let you down. I lost my faith that I’d ever see you ah-again.”

“Megan please don’t cry. It’s okay; there were plenty of times I thought I’d never make it back. But it was you that made me fight. I had to get back to you, not my mother, or my grandfather … you.”

Matt wiped her tears away. “I came home for you. You didn’t let me down. You’re the one that pulled me through. But now do you still want me?”

“Yes, always.”

“Now wait before you answer, we can see that I’m not the same as I was. There may be some thing about me that you don’t like. If you’re still willing, I’d love a chance to prove to you that I love you.”

Megan put her arms around his neck when he kissed her.

Matt wanted to lighten her mood and playfully stepped back. “Besides, I still have to ask your mother if I’m allowed to see you or not.”

Megan smoothed her hair and took a pose as a proper lady would in mixed company. “And if she says no?”

Matt chuckled in defiance. “Then I shall simple kidnap you and take you to my lair.” He took hold of her hand as they slowly walked back to the party.

Offline oreenscott

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 07:47:02 PM »
I'd say, yes the dialogue is believable.  I don't know, but some of it may be too modern. Could be wrong though. Here are some samples of what I mean.

Guess they listened, huh.”

I came home for you. You didn’t let me down. You’re the one that pulled me through. But now do you still want me?”

I’d never make it back.

I'm thinking take out what may be modern and replace it with time appropriate language. 
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 09:19:24 PM by oreenscott »
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Offline rewh2oman

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 08:41:01 PM »
Good job Skip! I think the language sounds pretty genuine. But here are a few points.

1) In this sentence you say the word "her" 4 times. I also thought that "to the Gods" was a bit redundant since you've already said, "I prayed every morning".

“I-ah, I should … should just tell you. While you were gone, I prayed every morning to the Gods to keep you safe and
bring you back to me.”


2) I think you're missing the word "you" in this sentence.

“You’d been gone for so long and we didn’t know if you were alive or … I mean, it had been so long.”


3) Should you use the word "you" in this sentence instead of "we"

“Now wait before you answer, we can see that I’m not the same as I was. There may be some thing about me that you don’t like. If you’re still willing, I’d love a chance to prove to you that I love you.”


4) Should "simple" be "simply"?
Matt chuckled in defiance. “Then I shall simple kidnap you and take you to my lair.” He took hold of her hand as they slowly walked back to the party.

...just my 2 cents, Russ


Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 09:52:43 PM »
Hey oreen, I see what you're saying. I'll work on the wording in those spots. "Let me down" could be changed to "Fail me."
and "Make it back" can be "Have found my way back." Thank you for helping me.

Hey Russ, you spotted a few of my goof-ups, thank you. I'll fix them right away. The part about, "To the Gods" was meant to show/ remind the reader that they are Pagans and don't hold to the same beliefs as the general reader might.
I'll ponder that point too and see if I can improve it just a bit.

Skip
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 09:54:23 PM by Skip Slocum »

Offline rewh2oman

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 11:44:59 PM »
The part about, "To the Gods" was meant to show/ remind the reader that they are Pagans and don't hold to the same beliefs as the general reader might.

I wasn't aware of that point. Thanks for clarifying.

...Russ

Offline Plain_Jane

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2009, 11:18:23 PM »
Hey Skip, I thought this was pretty good. There are a couple of things I noticed that have already been mentioned. Here's my two cents:

1) Just as he reached the conclusion, he shouldn’t encroach on her private thoughts. She looked up.
        - This line read a little funny to me. It wasn't smooth. I'm not exactly sure how to articulate the problem, so I'll give you an example of what I think a solution might be:  "Just as he concluded that he shouldn't encroach on her private thoughts, she looked up." That's not the best example, but hopefully it will help you understand what I mean.

2) “I have to tell you something but I’m ashamed to admit it even to myself.”
       - There are a few occasions that the dialogue seems overly formal or unnatural. The ending of this line "even to myself" seems like something that is often thought, but not actually said. You may want to consider removing it. From the rest of what you have written, I already have the sense that she does not want to admit this to herself.

3) Matt could tell she was getting upset so to assure her that what ever it was things would be all right, he kissed the tip of her nose.
      - The beginning of the sentencing is telling us, not showing us, what is going on. How can Matt tell she was getting upset? Were her eyes watering? Was her face turning red? Showing us would make this more powerful.

4. "While you were gone, I prayed every morning to the Gods to keep you safe and bring you back to me.”
     - It is my understanding that when you are referring to pagan gods, the "G" is always lower case.


Overall, I thought you did a great job with this piece.  :)

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2009, 11:52:07 PM »
Totally cool, thank you. I'll go back to this part tonight and clean it up. Your examples made it clear to me what I did wrong.  ;D I'll be back.

Offline DedicatedWriter

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2009, 04:13:13 PM »
“Then I shall simple (y) kidnap you and take you to my lair.”  Maybe it is because my late husband would say something like that, but, I loved this. In fact, I wouldn't dilute the moment with the last sentence.
 
“Besides, I still have to ask your mother if I’m allowed to see you or not.” That shows me that "Matt wanted to lighten her mood and playfully..."  'Matt stepped back' would be a good tag.

Matt is the most real to me (could be those 36 years with Chuck  ::)). Your writing pulls me into the scene.

"Megan put her hand over her eyes then let it slide down to her mouth." Just a suggestion: Megan's hand covered her eyes, then slid to her mouth.

Another observation: You show well, and then, also tell. Example: Matt squeezed her to him a little more and rubbed her back (waiting for her to find the words to tell her horrible truth).

"You didn’t let me down." Sounds natural to me.

Megan's show of emotions and what she confesses don't seem balanced to me. I expected, like Matt, something more upsetting. Doesn't make it wrong, one reader's thought.

Thanks for sharing.
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Offline DitzyDitzBee

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2009, 04:26:12 PM »
Hello Skip,
             I thought you're writing skills were really natural, it even made me go 'Awwh' which is quite hard to do  :). Your writing made me feel as if I was there, I really enjoyed what I read :):).

Bee xx
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Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2009, 05:24:37 PM »
Thank you Ladies. DedicatedWriter, I'll go tweak those spots you found for me.

The bad news Megan had is what we used to call "Wives Hell" when a soldier went off to war. the constant waiting and not hearing anything is their Hell. Sometimes when a wife gives up, even when it was just a passing thought they feel guilty. "I let him down by not being strong"

This was the idea behind this part. when I go through it for the re-write, I'll try to make this point fit the scene.

Bee, thank you. I love it when I can get an "Awwh"  ;D

Offline DedicatedWriter

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2009, 09:43:30 PM »

 "The bad news Megan had is what we used to call "Wives Hell" when a soldier went off to war. the constant waiting and not hearing anything is their Hell. Sometimes when a wife gives up, even when it was just a passing thought they feel guilty. "I let him down by not being strong."

I must have gotten that in my heart; and that's why I thought it was right for Matt to tell her she hadn't let him down. My comment may well be one of those times that you toss the comment.  :D Good job and my miss! Thanks.
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Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2009, 10:33:00 PM »
Thank you for checking it. If you stumbled while reading, then I probably need to flesh it out a bit more.  ;D

Offline Max Zvyagintsev

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2009, 12:16:35 AM »
Aww, very romantic Skip. I like how you set the mood, and this seemed just right.

As always, got a few comments up my sleaves - sorry if I mentioned some already earlier on  ;)

he shouldn’t encroach on her private thoughts. – you're in past form Skip, keep it in past. Need to add "have" after "shouldn't"

“Guess they listened, huh.” – haha, good joke Skip. Always love the way you throw a few laughs into dramatic situations.

we didn’t know if were alive or – something wrong here mate, I'll leave it to you to fix.

now he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to hear what she had to say or not. – "now" is not needed. "or not" sounds out of place. You can get rid of that too.

When she turned back around Matt could see her eyes tearing up. – I'd shorten this up a little and say: "As she turned back around, Matt could see tears." Carries the same meaning, just more straight to the point.

Tell me if you can see the similarities between the start of these sentences. They are very similar to the ones previous as well. I'd suggest starting off differently, it gets repetitive otherwise and dulls the story. Have a look below…

Megan put her arms around his neck when he kissed her.

Matt wanted to lighten her mood and playfully stepped back. “Besides, I still have to ask your mother if I’m allowed to see you or not.”

Megan smoothed her hair and took a pose as a proper lady would in mixed company. “And if she says no?”

Matt chuckled in defiance. “Then I shall simple kidnap you and take you to my lair.” He took hold of her hand as they slowly walked back to the party.
"The World doesn't owe you anything, it was here first"

"You fall before you learn to stand up"

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2009, 12:47:17 AM »
Hey Max let me ask you something about my wording on one line. I hope I don't sound like I'm arguing.

 now he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to hear what she had to say or not.

You suggested I drop the word "Now" the reason I put it in there was to show he was changing his mind, he was thinking she was about to tell him she had been kissing on another boy while he was gone.
Without the word NOW, the sentence looses its meaning. or am I out in left field again?

Offline Max Zvyagintsev

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Re: Megan’s Painful Confession (604)
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2009, 03:08:46 AM »
You say you put it there to show that "he was changing his mind" he being Matt. I read over the sentence in two different ways. Just by itself, and within context.  ;)

Reading it in context of the story, I didn't need the "now" there because to me the mood was set,

1. Megan gets upset.
2. Matt is eager to find out, he is even tempted to use the keening.
3. Megan begins to reveal the truth.
4. Matt changes his mind. -
Quote
Matt closed his eyes tight,
- when you say this single phrase, this actual phrase gave me the idea that Matt does not want to find out. He's become afraid of the truth, when at first he wanted to find it out. That is why I thought the "now" was not needed. As a reader, I knew before I got to it.


If we look at the sentence by itself - now he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to hear what she had to say or not.
- yes, I would use the "now" in this case, as there is no other indication for me before or after the "now" that would show that Matt is changing his mind.

Err, hope I didn't confuse you.  ::)


Just one last thing, what did you mean by "or not" at the end of that sentence?
"The World doesn't owe you anything, it was here first"

"You fall before you learn to stand up"