OH MY GOD LIZZIE. OH MY GOD. The things you have just done to my heart. Oh my god.
This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I honestly think it could be some of your strongest work. God where do I even begin with this?
Okay so your word choice is just like, amazing. It's so lovely and lyrical and pretty and if Mark Thomas ever wants to wax poetic about Dominique to me, I'm game. If Mark Thomas wanted to wax poetic about potatoes, I would be game. I think I might be in love with him. Like, a little bit.
I LOVED the way you described Dominique as spring. I think it was an excellent way to characterize her when you didn't have much room in the story. Granted, I think we're getting Mark's biased opinion of her, but it was wonderful and complete and SO ROMANTIC OH MY GOD.
I really liked the comparison between Spring and late summer as well.Those two things, the endless days of spring and summer, those would be the happiest thing in the world. It made me jealous of their fictional relationship, even if it didn't seem totally happy, given that they "had" to break up every so often. I can't imagine those were very happy times for Mark.
Goodness, DOMINIQUE WHAT ARE YOU DOING JUST STAY WITH MARK FOREVER AND EVER.
Okay so now that I've calmed down slightly from this gorgeousness, I think this was a very interesting perspective on a failed relationship. I mean, obviously it's INCREDIBLY romantic, but I'm curious about how biased it is. I'd be very interested in knowing what Dominique's perspective on all of this is. There are two sides to every story, after all, and I think that's especially true in break ups. One party remembers the happy moments, the other might only remember dirty socks on the bedroom floor.
Ugh, I just love this SO MUCH. I'm going to bookmark this and read it seven times a day for the rest of forever.
that is all
LIZZIE! Hello! I'm here for CTF =)
Why would you write such a heartbreaking story? I really should read summaries more carefully because I had no idea what I was in for!
This is beautiful writing. The descriptions of Dominque are stunning. They don't offer much tangible detail, but I think in this story that works, because we aren't really reading about Dominique. We're reading about Mark and his emotions toward her, and his perceptions of her. And maybe he doesn't perceive the details. It seems to be that Mark's perception revolves more around the intangible, around impressions and blurred memory. While I think this approach has pros and cons, I like that it allows the reader (or at least it allowed me) to really climb into his mindset. Many people have these sorts of impressionistic memories about people they've loved. It's very resonant.
I also thought Mark seemed a little naive. Maybe that's cynical of me in my "old age" (older than 17, at any rate!), but his impression of Dominique seems to be all lightness. But no one is really all lightness. I mean, she kind of strung him along for years, and his memory conveniently erases that from his thoughts about her. It's like he can't bear to hold her accountable, and it makes me sort of glad they don't end up together, despite this story breaking my heart. No one should be so idealized by their partner, in my opinion. These aren't critiques though. FAR from it! Just my thoughts about Mark as a character. I find his youthful sentimentality about her very believable and powerful. But also naive.
When she came over to talk to him, I was surprised. I thought for a minute that you were going to be kind and give me a happy ending, but you didn't. And I'm glad you didn't. I like this story sad. I was very proud and happy that he told her the truth, though. It would be far worse to carry around those emotions unspoken forever!
I ADORE stories that come full circle, so I really loved that you repeated the metaphor about Dominque being like springtime, and I thought the way you repurposed it as a comparison for Mark - cold, dreary, winter - was both beautiful and clever.
What a treat to read some of your writing. I've missed seeing you around and hope you're doing well!
*laughs at author's note* well, hope this one cures you if you're ill, or another person who is sick.
That last line - full impact to my heart. You did so wonderfully describing Mark's feelings for Dominique, and I just enjoy the entire description period, especially with him comparing her to spring and the radiance of happiness.
Also, way to go with leaving me hanging just as Dominique just sat there in bafflement of how she thinks of what he revealed to her. Didn't end it with a cliche - of her saying she loved him back.
Thanks for writing this! Great job as well!
Author's Response: :D Hi Alishya!
Well, seeing as I'm not sick, hopefully this review will help someone else get better. Or at least contribute to the general research for the common cold - wouldn't the world be better off if the common cold didn't exist? ;)
GAH! THANK YOU!
Descriptions are definitely my weakest point, and I was SO worried that the descriptions in this story were going to be horrible when I first posted it! You've definitely made me feel a lot more confident in this story, so THANK YOU! :D
Hehehe, I'm glad you liked the ending! Given the fact that I write a LOT of cliche'd stories, I'm glad that this one didn't fall into that category. As much as I wanted to give Mark a happy ending, I couldn't because: a) that wouldn't have kept with the challenge I wrote this for, and b) in my little universe Dominique ends up...well, I can't tell you, 'cause that'd be a spoiler for a story I've yet to write. :P
But the point is that Dominique *doesn't* love Mark. At least, not in the way he loves her.
Thank you so much for this WONDERFUL review Alishya! You're amazing!
Howdy Lizzie! I am racing to R&R all the Knockout Challenge entries so I can get us moving closer to a conclusion before...well, you know.
ANYWAY, this was a really interesting piece, and I think the very first entry I've read that contains an OC - crazy huh? You've obviously taken great care to give both Dominique and Mark their own unique characterizations and the language you've chosen for Mark to describe those differences is exceptional. When someone heads for the skies with their words it really has to ring true to me to work and I thought you did a good job of making it authentic with both the depth of emotion and the back-and-forth comparisons between the two leads.
I will confess I wasn't much a fan of the dialogue in the final conversation as it felt, to me, a bit one-sided, but in the end it was a really more a paragraph in an otherwise resplendent tale of...if not quite unrequited love, at least unworkable love. And Mark was a bold man to make his confession in whatever manner - kudos to him even though it didn't work out.
Thanks for participating!
Author's Response: Kevin!!
I'm actually not too surprised that people didn't write OC's for this challenge! It's a lot easier to write the destruction of a relationship if you already know the characters, and here I am introducing one to you and then trying to get you to feel for them as a relationship is destroyed. I had other ideas that could've worked better for this challenge in that sense, but this one just wouldn't leave me alone, so this is what I wrote!
But I'm glad that you liked it - at least the descriptions bit. :D
Ah, yes, the dialogue was actually really difficult for me for this story, which is unusual for me! Usually it's the descriptions I struggle with...
Anyway, the dialogue certainly is one-sided, but I think that's because Mark just needs to get those things off of his chest, regardless of how Dominique reacts to them. He doesn't expect things to change, but it was necessary in order for him to accept the end of their relationship.
Anyway, thanks so much for leaving such a wonderful review, Kevin! AND for picking me for the next round of your challenge! Hopefully you'll like my next entry! :D
I have sent myself here from Twitter!
The crowd of redheads. Yeah, it's got to be pretty terrifying to be a non-Weasley at a Weasley family do, or at least an event where all the Weasleys appear. ALL THE GINGER.
I could detect the bitterness in all of the endings our narrator describes, but I'd assumed that was a wry acceptance; these being Dominique's words is delivered as a real gut-punch, and I like it. The quote used for the summary is most excellent, and I absolutely see why you used it! It's a lovely summary of the whole character.
Also, it sounds weird - before I'd stopped and thought, I'd assumed our narrator was female. Maybe that's just because most first person present fics are, or maybe that says something about me? I actually like it, it's a kind of unusual turn on the 'girl mopes around after guy' traditional tale. Even if it's not that unusual. I am rambling. And Mark Thomas' summary of himself is lovely, too, especially the ancient oak bit. Absolutely paints a picture.
This whole story is beautiful as a declaration of love not just for a person, but for a PAIRING; it's Mark not just mourning losing her, but mourning losing THEM. Which sounds kind of self-evident, but it's the moments of them together he's missing as well as her. I kind of like that; it strengthens the idea of losing a relationship rather than a person, which makes it kind of sadder.
The claim to write loads being something he knows is a lie is so upsettingly true to life - with any graduation, let alone with a former girlfriend. You say these things because you must, and sometimes you mean it and sometimes you know it's fake.
Lovely story. A lovely whole goodbye; unsurprisingly it's a piece about endings, but you do a great job of painting this on-off relationship as being a chapter of a life in itself, as opposed to something that just featured in a life. Mark doesn't seem to expect his words to get anywhere; he just has to get them off his chest, say this ardent declaration to move on.
And the optimistic cynic in me says he's only eighteen, and his capacity to healthily reflect on his life so far means he has a good chance of finding happiness again in the future. I don't usually root for a one-shot OC to sort his life out and be happy, and it's not the story, but I hope it happens. ;)
Author's Response: HI!!
Thank you SO much for stopping by and reviewing! This review made my week. Seriously. :P
SO MUCH GINGER! It's sort of funny that giant gathering of gingers can be considered kind of terrifying. It makes me giggle every time I think about it.
"Wry acceptance" is definitely what I was going for! There's certainly a hint of bitterness -- it's certainly appropriate for the situation -- but I wanted to show that Mark had accepted the end of their relationship, and that he understood that the happy ending that he imagined at that moment wouldn't come true.
Of course there's no reason to assume that his vision of a happy ending won't change at some point in the future. :)
Hehehe, I'm glad you pointed that out actually - when I first finished this and was rereading it, I actually confused myself with who's POV I was writing from! I had to go back and clarify that it was Mark's POV!
I definitely didn't want this story to become a 'girl-mopes-over-guy' cliche, especially because I've seen it a lot with several different characterizations for Dominique, and my headcanon for her is very different. Hopefully this didn't become a 'guy-mopes-over-girl' cliche either, but I don't think Mark was really doing much moping here. :)
Eeee! I'm SO happy that you like Mark's description of himself! Descriptions are easily the weakest part of my writing, so I always get a little nervous whenever I write a story that has a lot of descriptions in it, so thank you for making me feel wayyy better about them in this story!
YES! I was hoping someone would pick up on the fact that it's not just Dominique he's missing, but their relationship as a whole! It wasn't until I went through a breakup myself that I was able to understand that breaking up with someone isn't just losing them, but losing a relationship, and I've always sort of wished that was brought up more in stories like this...
Mark's words were easily the hardest part to write in this one-shot just because I so desperately wanted to have Dominique respond positively and give them a happy ending, but that's obviously not the point of this story. This story is really about Mark doing what he needed to in order to move on with his life, even if he doesn't think he *can* move on that this moment.
Hehehe, he probably will find happiness again. I mean, given that all of my stories are in the same universe and I have a tendency to write lots of fluff, I'm sure I'll end up coming back to Mark at some point and giving him the happy ending that he deserves. :D
Thank you SO MUCH for reading and reviewing!! It really means a lot!
Good read.One-short ...could be a full novel.
Author's Response: Awe! Thank you!
Well, this one shot will definitely be tied in with my novel - How I Met Your Father - which is already up, but is going to have some major edits, and Dominique and Mark's history from this story will be pretty heavily featured once I do the rewrites. :D
Thanks for R&R'ing!!
Beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing. You are truly gifted with words and the ability to express feelings with them. My heart broke for Mark as I read this and I wished I could reach into the story and change things for him, make her realize what she is to him.
I'm sorry this review is so short, but I hope you can still tell that this is amazing. :)
Keep it up, my friend, no matter what.
Author's Response: Farmgirl!!
Gah! You're making me blush! You're so sweet my dear!
Your reviews always make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so matter how short! I hope you know that. :)
Thank you SO much for R&R'ing, and THANK YOU EVEN MORE for being such an amazing friend! *squishes*