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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Expressing Emotion #3

This piece tugged at my heart. I didn't have much to critique. I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Title: Finding Me
Genre: Women's Fiction
Emotion: depression, sadness

Sinking. The ache inside crushed me as I lay in our bed, staring at the ceiling. Every inch of me cried out to him, but he sat on the other side of the room at his desk.

Turning my back to him, I curled into a ball, hiding the tears that flowed freely down my cheeks. I struggled to control my breathing. In spite of it all, I didn’t want to hurt him.

The room filled with silence. Each breath followed more quickly than the first, despite my efforts to stay in control. I heard him shuffling papers behind me. How could he move on so quickly? (I wonder what he moved on from) Another twist of my heart. If only he would hold me, perhaps I could tell him the truth.

Seconds, minutes, it stretched like years, and he walked away (he's at the desk, right? did I miss something?). My heart paused and restarted, resigned to the way things were. The pain ebbed and the blessed numbness returned.

He returned and the bed dipped as he lay down behind me. His arm rested against mine. That simple touch warmed me with hope.

“I’ll try not to be so condescending. I know the house is not going to be perfect…”

I tuned him out as the pain resurged. “This isn’t about cleaning the house. Not for me.” Barely a whisper, but he heard me.

“Tell me what it’s about.” His fingers traced patterns on my bare arm. How could he not know how I longed for that very touch throughout the day?

“I don’t want to.” I shuddered thinking how close I was to being cruel to him.

“Is it because you don’t feel like I respect you?”

So close. A spark of hope sputtered to life. Maybe he could see me. My doubt was too strong. Why did he ask that? He didn’t respect me. My heart shattered under the prolonged pressure.

“It’s just that--” How could I do this to him?

“What?” His voice felt soft and warm in my ear.

He was a good man. But he used his love up on everyone else. There was nothing left for me.

“I don’t feel loved.” Another shudder shook my body. “Not by the kids--” I paused, knowing I could never say the rest. Not by you.

His fingers stilled. The silence grew so heavy I felt it pounding in my ears. What was he thinking? What would he say?

I would never know.

The kids started yelling in the other room. I sighed as he left my side (me, sighed-side too close together), closing the door behind him.

A big THANK YOU! to all those that submitted and commented. Hope everyone felt good about the critiques and we all learned something - I know I did!

And tomorrow we have the review of UNTRACEABLE by S.R. Johannes. Don't miss it!


Madeleine said...

Sorry if I'm being slow. I'm presuming someone else wrote this piece and the pink is your critique? The pink comment: (I wonder what he moved on from) Yes I wonder too, though I expect to be enlightened later on by the author.
While the piece seemed well written from a technical pov it was confusing, because as you say he was supposed to have left and yet he was there, he was intimately tracing a finger over her bare arm and yet they apparently had a major relationship problem. They were talking about getting the house cleaned. Why?
The 2 MC's seemed to be in parrallel universes where their relationship was concerned.
More clarity required methinks. Otherwise nicely written.

Huntress said...

Goodness! Zowie! And a whole bunch more expletives.

Very nice. I wouldn’t change much except to cut back on the MCs physical responses. Use the ‘once is good enough’ rule to give the reader a break in visualizing the scene.

Example: "My heart paused and restarted, **delete resigned to the way things were delete**. The pain ebbed and the blessed numbness returned.

If the writer has described what the MC is going through in the pages before, use a light touch in portraying her emotions here. It will heighten the drama in this scene. Note when you are talking aloud. The above is an example of explaining too much.

Lots of internal will dilute the message so use with digression.

Really very nice. The emotions and scene context is clear to me with the exception covered before, was the man at the desk and walked into the other room or did he walk to the bed. Not a big problem. It is easily fixed.

Good job. High Five to the writer.