|Reviews for Tenderhearted|
| Watereyes chapter 28 . 5/26/2012
Well, I have to say, it's a feet to accomplish something this long and enjoyable. So, I congratulate you. I read it all in one sitting and it was fun. Light-hearted and you have a knack for giving Paul a unique voice that makes him likable. I will say, though, that I had some problems with this piece. Although I read it all, at the end, I felt short-changed and empty inside. I wondered most of the time, why I was so invested in these characters. What made them unique and special and apart from some dialogue, I couldn't answer that. I feel like this story just scratches at the surface of the possible relationship between Paul and Tobias.
Furthermore, there were times, where I read certain scenes and I wondered how they advanced the plot. You introduced Sandra and Monique and Josh A. yet they made a quick exit and I wondered why bring them in at all. Also, there are times when you just present what writers call, an "info dump," where you just present information for the sake of telling the reader. Such as the scene describing the possible abuses/trauma/relationships that Tobias went through. Sure, it was nice to know, but having that all at once, as opposed to interweaved into the story, makes for the effect of just skimming those parts until something about the plot comes up.
Finally, the ending and the last chapters of Tobias' meltdown felt out of place. Almost like you wanted to redeem the story. The story didn't feel like it was building up for it and at the end, it just gets cut off despite how much Paul feels he has to help him. Also, what happened to Ange? Sure, Paul stopped hanging with her, but why? There was a point when he craved wanting it to bet the two of them again, and then that feeling was dropped. Also, sometimes, it felt like they were in highschool, and not college. Also, the presentation at the beginning was never done, so I get that it was a device to bring the two characters together, but it's never used. So it makes it hollow and pointless.
I feel like you have a ton of potential to make this story memorable and heartfelt. You have nuggets of pure greatness in here. Some witty lines and some good interiority. I think if you spent time revising and reworking the piece, it would be so much better.
| PalindromeIsntOne chapter 28 . 5/26/2012
I've had some time just to sit and think on how I feel about this story. First things first - although I would love to help you with the edits I doubt I shall have the time for a while and then I will be focusing on my own stories. But you can ask me questions if you like and I'll be sure to answer if I can. I want to say congratulations on this story, because regardless of anything it has taken a lot of work and time and is your longest complete story and longer than any story I have completed, so.
I think to surmise my opinion I will say that I like the characters and I think the ideas you had were good, but a little stringy in overall execution. I think my advice could be summarised as follows: Expand your ideas. What I mean by that is you seem to have these isolated moments of emotional intensity or key events and then things hand in between like slack rope linking them together. I think if you slowed/created the build up to more emotional scenes and spread out their effects further you would have a better flowing story. The key climax(es) of this story are unclear, I feel, and you could give them more body than you do.
I'm not going to go into excess detail (like I did for 'Fruits...') but it felt on occasion like you were playing with the characters in a pawn-like way but the characters were slightly too established for it and had their own gravitational fields which weren't given quite enough space to revolve or perhaps ignored. There were moments where I wondered if they were really acting in character. I think they key really is just to add more and bulk it up, really explore the depths of promise there in each of the characters. I know this story is not short but I feel it is not long enough to do its content justice. Either everything should be simplified or the deeper things should be expanded.
To finish I will answer your questions: The title I think refers to Paul (at the end) and Tobias' sensitivity.
I'd say I semi-identify with all the characters, as there were moments where I felt closer to the characters and other times where I couldn't quite connect. I felt that perhaps I most identified with Keaton - I know he's a minor character but he just seemed very much alive and defined when he was introduced and I naturally liked him.
Paul is responsible in his own way, perhaps more towards the end. I'm not sure how much he actually helps Tobias, but I don't know if that's relevant. Tobias could be argued as the least responsible - he seems apathetic and unwilling to do anything with or even live in his body at times, or stand up for himself, so I don't feel he takes responsibility for anything really in the course of the story, not even himself.
I know you commented on editing the earlier chapters, but I actually prefer earlier chapters to the later ones, especially those at the end - everything after their breakup and the delving into Tobias felt rushed. Hmm, I'd have to think about that. You told me some of your intent with this story and your ideas and characters are good, so I think you can only improve in how you do these justice in your execution.
| Reader Non-Flamer chapter 28 . 5/23/2012
This was I have to say one of the worst stories I have read in a long while . You have potetially good technique but very poor execution style ! I wanted to rip my eyes out while reading this dreadful mess ! . . .But I pulled through draaagiing my eyes over the torturous pages , chapter by chapter hoping for some meaningful end in sight. But all I was left with was a plotless piece of literary drabble ! PLEASE Clean up your act you're obviously SO intelligent and I can feel your potetial dripping off the ends of the story. When I began reading I admired the way you built your characters, Especially Paul, he seemed like a well defined person with a realistic personality and I could see that you have put a lot of effort into writing him. I could feel the depth and drama you tried to build around Tobias' character. Your story however did not hold up to par with your creativity. The conclusion held no distinct resolution for the characters, In fact it held no resolution at all ! you left me confused , frustrated and unsatisfied. I was was looking forward to the end and for an explanation towards Tobias' behaviour, but I was left sorely disappointed .Maybe in the future your writing will bear more uplifting results
| nffhkasjfnbsdkjb chapter 28 . 5/21/2012
Overall I think this story is very accomplished I think the characters were full and believable and I both liked and disliked Paul for certain things- and I like feeling conflicted about a character, it makes it more real.
Now I know you said you left a few unanswered questions but, I think what feels unfinished to me was that the story seems to be in different sections maybe- the sections with college/school and friends and this last section focusing directly on just Paul and Tobias and none of the friends...so part of me wants the friends section to draw to a close to and it doesn't.
Paul acts the most responsibly and the least. I like the sense I get about Tobias being easily led, and sort of malleable, I like characters like that.
I'm not sure how I feel about this chapter, whether it gives me enough info or not...I just don't know. But I'm glad it ends on a positive note :)
| 2 chapter 28 . 5/20/2012
I did not get this at all...
i was very frustrated with Tobias' in the beginning of the story
| GreenGrass1 chapter 28 . 5/20/2012
I can't believe it's finished! The ending is vague but somewhat hopeful. Realistically, what can Paul do, really? Tobias' family doesn't seem to care about him.
Anyway the significance of the title - at first I don't understand it but the as the story progressed, I think it's very appropriate, especially when it is applied to Paul (being a big-hearted guy) and Tobias (being a psychologically fragile boy). I think the title fits.
I identify more with Paul. Maybe because he is the story narrator. I tend to get swallowed up by the story and identify with the main character. Or maybe because I have a very normal childhood, unlike Tobias. But I do feel sorry for Tobias (starting in the middle and towards the end).
Paul I think acts the most responsibly. He made mistakes, yes, but he went and tried to fix them (as much as he could).
I'm always here to help if you need any. But you know my grammar sucks big time. However, if you think I can help you, let me know.
| Nique13 chapter 28 . 5/20/2012
I don't understand the title.
I don't identify with any of the characters.
None of the characters acted responsibly.
I have read the whole story, defeating some chapters, and I still don't understand it.
It's a little frustrating for me, but hey, you can't understand everything...even though I wish I did.
Thanks for the story.
| GreenGrass1 chapter 27 . 5/13/2012
I just love Paul. He is such a decent guy. Him standing up to the crowd was very cool. And him wanting to talk to Tobias' parents were definitely the coolest. I can't wait to see what their response would be.
Heavy/emotional vs. light/playful - why not both? I'll read them.
Thanks for writing. Looking forward to your next update.
| nffhkasjfnbsdkjb chapter 27 . 5/13/2012
I found the beginning of this chapter both painful and beautiful Lovely evocative descriptions and tangible heartache.
"Why does he gotta be suck a freak-whore?" such?
"The cold patch of semen I rolled onto was a tolerable annoyance." Hahaha all I could think was that's sooo not tolerable!
You dived into present tense just after the chapter break for a few sentences which confused me!
I like this chapter
I think you've got the write what you feel...do you feel light? Or heavy? I'm with you
| plumblossom chapter 27 . 5/13/2012
That part with the posse might need a bit of a second look: but I'm glad that our guy had a chance to stand up for Tobias.
| Astir-Lewis chapter 26 . 5/8/2012
I like the chapter, but I'm not entirely sure what happened. Can you explain? I got lost. :\
| PalindromeIsntOne chapter 26 . 5/6/2012
For my previous review either 1 or 2 is my best guess of what the play scene at the end is. I prefer 2.
| PalindromeIsntOne chapter 1 . 5/6/2012
I don't know what happened to the review I was just writing... So...
1. The people on TV are talking about someone greatly similar to Tobias.
2. It jumps to an interesting retrospective of Paul getting information about Tobias from the rest of the people in the house.
| tleiaxu chapter 25 . 5/5/2012
Oops, got cut off there... So he hands Tobias the plum and then we are quite suddenly cast into the surreal. Looks like several people were confused by this, me included. First, I thought Paul was describing the TV show they were watching. Not long after I realized this was about Tobias, so briefly I thought that the TV show was actually about Tobias but I soon dismissed it as too absurd. Then I thought maybe Tobias had somehow broken out of his shell and began a long narrative about his past relationships. But that didn't seem to fit because of the way you presented it, particularly with the last scene. So I came around to assume it was all in Paul's imagination, which dismisses the idea that any of these relationships actually happened; they are just things Paul thinks might have happened in Tobias' life. So... None of these explanations is satisfying. I wonder what you meant to convey here? (And part of me is still hung up on those plums, wondering if they had some symbolic meaning...)
Overall I see that Tobias has been in many various relationships, at some point making the shift from a talkative boy to a man of few words. Did this change take place when he joined the cool crowd and was propositioned / told where to put his mouth?
I hope none of this comes across as an attack on your story. Just thought it might be helpful for you to see my meandering thought process. Looking forward to the next chapters.
| tleiaxu chapter 26 . 5/5/2012
I had a little catching up to do... I was so glad to see Tobias open up a bit, even though he was completely wasted. To address your question about that chapter - a lot of people do out of character things when they're that drunk. It was dramatic and intense, like a sudden storm that passes by very quickly. I didn't feel like it was out of character.
The awkwardness and tension of this next day is tangible. Paul seems content to stay with Tobias even though Tobias is more or less ignoring his existence. What a weird uncomfortable feeling that brings up. I've done that before, staying in a place where I'm not exactly wanted while neither party has the balls to face the elephant in the room.
Right before the play scene, Paul pulls out two plums and thinks it would help if Tobias started drinking again. Then he hands Tobias the