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Old 12-07-2016, 04:49 PM View Post #1 (Link) Off to New York
Aya Zabalawi (Offline)
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: UAE
Posts: 15
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Chapter 1: The Big News
Seated in the audience were her family, watching Grace Donovan as she glided across the jet black and well polished stage. She was a graceful figurine, just as her name suggested, for fate had brought her that name before she could grow and express it. Completing three lovely pirouettes, she stopped in the spotlight and threw kisses at the crowd that had come to watch their own children perform at the stadium tonight. In response she had received a large bouquet of flowers from her trainer and the rest of the Orlando Dance Academy team had come out in stage to bow and meet with their proud families. The trainer, Emma, had placed a lot of pressure on Grace because she was the finishing act. When it came to dance recitals, finishing act had to be the most emotional and powerful, in order to conquer the hearts of the supportive audience. It was the finishing act's duty to ensure that the audience left with lifted souls. Quite obviously, Grace had once again completed her duty.

She ran down the stage to meet with her family. Her mother was all teary and wet eyed, clearly moved by the marvelous performance, with her father standing proudly by her side. Sierra, Grace's sister, was a typical teenager entering the adult phase. All she did was tell Grace that she did a good job and she went back to texting her friends on her cell phone. Finally, her little brother Leo high fived her. Grace had always been good friends with Leo ever since they were both toddlers. True that they've had numerous pointless squabbles, but they'd always resolve their problems together. Sierra used to always play with Leo and Grace, but after she turned around 14, she started viewing herself as an elder person and that it wasn't fit for her to spend time wit her little siblings. Grace and Leo missed the times when Sierra was still a caring sibling, but teenagers will be teenagers. Her main interests were now make up, texting, YouTube, and her jerk of a boyfriend Justin. Grace had always hoped that she wouldn't turn out to be Sierra number 2 when she grows up. After all, she was only thirteen, and who knew what the future would hold. Shamefully, yet, Grace and Leo were counting down the days for when Sierra would leave for college.

After they'd climbed in the car, there was a weird aura. Mr and Mrs Donovan barely said a word, which weird and suspicious that they weren't taking because it was usually them who created the comfortable atmosphere in the family.

"How does dinner at Olives Garden sound, eh?" Mr Donovan said, "to celebrate Graces lovely success," he continued. Immediately receiving agreeing responds from the family, he set his GPS to the diner's location. Grace especially showed a sign of approval, as she simply loved that place with its many memories plastered on its walls and distributed in its air. She always thought that she truly felt as though she were at home with her family when they were there. Even Sierra approved for once.

Once they had reached the cheerfully decorated diner, the beaming and welcoming waitresses at the door welcomed them and led them to the family's traditional table. The cozy little one in the corner, where Grace had celebrated her seventh and tenth birthdays. Also where she had watched all the soccer matches from a small television in the bar's area. Grace paused and took in all her surroundings. Filled dining tables behind hers, taken by happy families just like her's. Roses in ceramic vases, olive paintings and framed photos on the wall. Best of all, the scent of Italian cuisine cooking inside the kitchen. Behind the wooden door where all Grace's delights came from, yet what she knew nothing about. Just one look at the Italian decor and a single sniff off the meals being prepared inside the kitchen could make anyone feel cozy and welcome.

The Donovans sat down and ordered their usual meals, while Mr Donovan ordered a congratulations cake for Grace that was to be served after dinner. Finally, Grace had the courage to ask her parents about what was going on. Neither of them admitted anything weird or out of the ordinary. So she just glanced at Leo and he understood that they should just let the matter slip. They had finished their dinner and dessert quite faster than they usually did and headed to the car park. After their drive home, they had entered the house just as the purine started ringing. Mrs Donovan's face immediately turned pale as soon as she had seen the caller ID. She ordered the kids to run upstairs and take a bath with an excuse that they weren't so nice smelling. However, the mischievous part in Grace's mind told her to linger around the stairs without her mother's knowledge of that. As Grace had expected, the phone speaker was pretty loud and she could hear a faint hint of the caller's voice, yet understandable.

"Am I speaking with Mrs Linda Donovan?"said the male voice.
"Yes, yes," Linda replied.
"I'm calling from Call and Haul to review the moving operation to New York with you,"he said.
"Yes please go on","she worriedly said.
"What is happening? New York?"Grace thought. She ran upstairs and burst into Sierra's room.
"SIERRA WE'RE MOVING TO NEW YORK!"Grace yelled.
"Haha, you're hilarious,"she replied, obviously assuming that Grace was just playing practical jokes on her.
"This is not a joke,"she retorted.
"What on earth are you talking about? Oh and for the record, I'm totally not OK with you just barging into my bedroom like that!"Sierra yelled at her younger sister.
Grace, quite baffled by her sisters outburst, yet triggered shouted back,
"Well it's my fault I even tried to warn you." With that, she ran out of the room and went to Leo. She knew that he'd listen to and believe her. From outside the door of Leo's room, she heard the sound of guns and moans of dying people. Of course, he had recently purchased a new XBox 360 with the allowance money that he had saved up. Ever since he bought it, him and Grace were always playing that game together, trying to beat each other.

"Hey Leo. So you know how mom and dad were out of the ordinary today?"she said.
"Yes, I noticed that,"he answered.
"I accidentally heard mom on the phone with someone-"she was saying, as Leo interrupted her.
"Accidentally?"he asked sarcastically.
"You know me too well,"she said, defeated.
"OK, go on."
"Well, she was on the phone with someone from a furniture moving company, and apparently, we're moving to New York City."
"Excuse me, what?"
"Yah, I know, it's a bummer," she said, sort of calmed down after all that time with the idea in her head.
"It is. I'm going to miss it here so much. Especially Theodore and the gang."
"I know, and I'm going to miss Mia, Derek, and Cody," she said gloomily.
"Alright, I am going to going to go and question mom,"she said, dismissing herself from his room.

She ran downstairs and made for the living room. There, she saw her mother with her head cupped in her hands, sitting vulnerably on the sofa.
"Hey mom, you don't have to explain, I heard,"Grace said, with a comforting tone of some sort in her voice.
"Oh sweetie, I'm ever so sorry, but we have to do this,"her mother replied. Here, Grace had to make an important choice. Either to bail out on her mother and argue about the case, or to simply accept the idea like the good and loving daughter she really is, and soothe her mother.
"It's alright, I understand,"she said.
"Thank you so much for being so understanding," her mother said.
"So, have you found us a school? Oh, and mom, I can't ditch dance, so you've got to find me a studio,"Grace pointed out.
"Well, that's part of the positive side. Just guess what studio is right beside our new apartment," said Linda.
"What?"asked Grace.
"THE NEW YORK TROUPE"she exclaimed. Grace was so astonished at this particular piece of news. The NYCT (its acronym) was the dream group of every young and motivated dancer. Also, the dream squad. If Grace could manage an entry to that group, she could take her unique dancing talent to a whole new level. She was also nervous, as the group she currently danced in, Orlando Dance Academy wasn't as well known as an organization such as the NYCT. Yet, her talent gave her an opportunity that dancers longed for the most. She decided to stay positive and try her best to get through. If she could choose dance as a career, it would definitely be her first option. Her talents were also widely noted at summer camp, where they had dance offs every now and then. She had easily won all of them without even trying. But everyone has weaknesses. Unfortunately, Grace had discovered hers the hard way. Dancing on stage in front of millions didn't frighten her a bit. Oddly enough however, she had difficulties delivering speeches. Once, she had tried to deliver a speech at camp, and she puked all over the stage. She'd become really popular with that incident, teased about it in the halls and during every camp activity. Kids her age wouldn't sit next to her with the excuse that she might hurl all over them. That period of time was just full of tears and misery for Grace. Luckily enough, her mother permitted her to exit the camp and join a new one, where the incident was unknown. She had put that behind her, hoping it was well forgotten.

Before retiring to bed for the night, she quickly texted Derek all about the big news. He too, was a dancer, except he breakdanced, while Grace was more into the Ballet and Jazz genres. However, this didn't make a difference because the NYCT welcomed all types of dancers from all around the world, regardless of their specific areas of expertise. True, she was sad that she had to leave her friends and school behind, where she had actually been fitting in well. But sometimes, big opportunities came by, and it would be a mistake to pass by them without seizing them.

She uttered her last thought of the day,"Maybe this isn't really so bad,"before she fell into silent and sound sleep.
  
						Last edited by Aya Zabalawi; 12-12-2016 at 04:50 PM.
					
					 Reason: Typo
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:53 AM View Post #2 (Link) Overall, a good start!
JazzyRae (Offline)
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The story has a very good description and setting. But, I think the characters are a little too perfect. I don't see many flaws in the protagonist. The only thing I saw, was that she was not good at public speeches. She doesn't seem to upset about the move to New York. Maybe have her be stubborn about the move until she becomes a successful dancer. (Unless that's not the type of character you're trying to portray) Those are my only suggestions, make more real characters and real dialogue. (Also, your story needs to have a central conflict, if you are planning one, later on, ignore that suggestion) I think that the story is off to a great start, I can't wait to read more!
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:27 PM View Post #3 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
Aya Zabalawi (Offline)
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Location: UAE
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Thanks so much for critiquing my work @JazzyRae. About the conflict, yes I'm going to introduce it later on in the story. And I couldn't really make Grace (my protagonist) stubborn about moving to New York, since she's found a way to boost her dancing career by joining her dream dance troupe. But I think that maybe I could make her younger brother, Leo, a bit stubborn about moving.
How do you feel about that ?

And thank you so much for suggesting improvements to the story, they were really useful.
Also, good luck with any piece of writing your planning to devise!
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:14 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Sky_ (Offline)
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So when I started to read this story, right away I thought it was going to be a graduation. You know, about a protagonist who graduates and goes off to New York with big dreams. Well that's not what is was. It's about a girl who loves to dance and who's parents are moving to New York (The family is also coming with. ) So I would like to congratulate you for being different. *clap clap*

Now parts of the dialogue is off, and doesn't seem natural. Let's go to the part where Grace overhears the conversation that her mom and a man are having. First, thou should separate them out. Kinda like this:

"Dislodge," He stated

"What?" She asked

It becomes a lot cleaner and less confusing. That's a structural way to make the diolugue to look nicer. BUT you can also make it flow a lot easier. When Linda and the man (I'm going to call him Bob for now) are talking, I don't think a full grown adult who was formally greater would say 'yes yes'. Bob would have thought that she was very unprofessional. A way, I've learned, to fix diolugue and make sure it flows nicely is to write down all the diolugue then put all the meaty stuff in.

Over all the diolugue is a bit off, but your story concept is new(to me) and I absolutely love it. Keep up the good work!
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