Reviews for Prayer
HiddenFromYou chapter 1 . 8/14/2010
This is the required review from the competition. :)

This one-shot held real emotional power, which was only increased by your use of the lyrics. You had a good balance between the writing and the lyrics, with roughly the same amount of writing between the three lines of lyrics. This helped create the mood you were going for.

The opening is a little awkward. I would have this sentence: "The scented smoke from the burning incense burns my nose." have only one 'burn'. Having two upsets the flow and makes it sound jumpy. This sentence, however: "They gaze at their prayer-books and I'm staring at the stone floor" helps immediately create the feel that the character is separate from those around him. I've also always liked this type of sentence, as it's one of the few long sentence types that builds tension.

The ending is a lot stronger, mainly because you finally reveal the deception. I'll be honest though, I wasn't decieved in the slightest. The first thing I thought of when linked to religion in this situation was the character being gay. Maybe you could work towards hiding that fact from the reader a little longer, as I think it would allow the story to build more tension? There was a sufficient amount, however, for there to be a real kick in the gut when we found out the character was male. Up until that point, I was hoping the character was female, because then there would have been a chance of the character getting together with Nathan, and him being male creates almost no chance.

You classed Jared as a character perfectly. You made me connect to him, and while that might be because I have found myself in a similar situation to the one he finds himself in, he still has a very strong basis for a character. His inner thoughts are easily recognised as those of a teenager, and you put a good amount of fear, self loathing, and resentment into the words. I also like how you presented how deeply the religion in his family goes, Jared being an extremely religious name. It gives us some idea of what would happen to him should he come out.

I thought though, that the mother's dialogue was a little out of character. Fair enough, you haven't presented her as a proper character, but you've presented her son and the scenario they find themselves in, which goes a little way for the reader to determine what she should be like. You had this: "Are you okay? You look pale,". I would replace the word 'okay' with 'all right'. The word 'okay' is one predominantly used by teenagers, while 'all right' is a more mature, adult way of speaking. Leading on from this, you should be careful to separate the way your characters speak from each other in future, so they don't bleed together.

I found this sentence: "She's faker than pirate DVDs" out of place. It's the only comparision you use in this way, and therefore it feels a little awkward. Maybe add some more of this in, or take this one out completely? I'm not saying it's not a nice description, because it is, it most definitely is. It just doesn't seem to fit with the surrounding writing.

The plot was slightly cliched, but you're going to be hard pressed to find something that hasn't been done before, and it's therefore up to the writer to approach the subject in new ways. You did this, and I found the self loathing of the character, where most would try to defend themselves, refreshing. I should just reiterate the point though, that I knew where you were heading from an early point, which detracted from the overall point of the story.

I really enjoyed reading this. I feel a final thing I should point out is that this would be more fittingly rated K. Just because a story has religion or homosexuality in it, doesn't mean it has to have a higher rating. Congratulations on coming second in the contest. :)
Yemi Hikari chapter 1 . 8/1/2010
I love it. I've seen quite a few stories, based on the this kind of subject, but it never gets old. :)
BrokePerception chapter 1 . 8/1/2010
Lovely! I especially liked the unexpected twist at the end with your main character being male. I myself know how it feels to 'sin' for loving someone of the very same gender. It is very well written. Easy, but the nail on the head.