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THE GARDEN, by Nevius

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From The Garden, by Nevius:

In the last four years I had been working hard to make my life simple and clean especially amongst the confusion and grit of New York City. Before that, I was just trying to figure out who the hell I was.

I knew by the time I was seven years old I was gay...

Peter Langer lives alone but has transformed an unused 300 square feet behind his NYC apartment into his own private oasis, the Garden, and just before Halloween, he's sick and tired of the city's 90-plus heat. He wants a change and is about to get it, above and beyond his expectations. When the temperature drops more than forty degrees one evening, he fusses over his ailanthus tree...and finds something new growing in his Garden.

What I found was a boy. From his face he looked to be about sixteen. His lips were deep blue. ?Hey, you Ok??

He made no response, not even retreating from my approach. His eyes were slits. As I reached under the stoop and scooped him up in my arms, I realized he was dressed only in a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers with a dirty white knapsack clutched to his chest.

He must have weighed only 125 pounds soaked as he was, and he was cold! I pulled his head up next to mine as I ran up the stairs and listened for his breath. I couldn?t hear any as I hurried through the kitchen, turned down the hall and into the bathroom.

Grabbing a large towel, I wrapped it around him and laid him in the tub, spinning the hot water tap as I moved his feet aside. The hot water came up quickly and I cranked on the cold to temper the hottest water that I thought he could stand.

?What do I know about any of this,? I thought.


Read THE GARDEN by new net author Nevius, exclusive to AD!

30 chapters, each delivered to you weekly, by the AWESOME DUDE.

STORY LINK: http://awesomedude.com/stories/The_Garden/...n/garden_01.htm

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Ahem. I'm underwhelmed by you guys' posts here, Nevius is new to writing and could use some feedback. Capishi?

TR <stern bunny face>

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Sorry, I just read the first chapter last night. I'd like to offer my thoughts, meant as honest story criticism.

The story is a moral dilemma. While I think it's great that Pete would bring in a young guy in trouble like that, it's difficult for me to be so sanguine about either of them expressing being attracted in the way the first chapter seems to say they're attracted to each other.

To me, the moral dilemma of how to deal with that would be just as strong and something they'd have to deal with, if handled how I'd expect two people with their backstories would approach it.

I'd think that even if they are attracted to each other in any way other than as friends, that they'd both be backpedalling and avoiding that as fast as they can, for individual reasons. -- They'd still need to find a way to resolve an attraction.

I'll read chapter 2, but I don't yet see what's intended. It doesn't come across well in chapter 1, to me.

That's my two cents, my honest opinion.

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OK, my comments yesterday weren't a critique of the story, but were instead a personal opinion of the content and the story conflict. That can come across as a slam at the person who wrote it. -- That doesn't really help much, does it?

I've now read chapter 2, and maybe I can give some comments that are more comprehensive...or comprehensible.

The story's readable and engaging. It doesn't have the earmarks of formula. We find out details gradually, naturally, within the story. The characters have some individuality. We get the intro. of the setting, characters and a quick jump into a story conflict. Good. We don't immediately learn everything about their backstories. Good.

Chapter 1 lets us know that Pete has lost someone important to him, but we don't find out who, or what the relationship was, or whether it's a permanent loss. The reader would assume that Pete lost his partner. Pete has been lonely and grieving, but hasn't really let that out or sought anyone.

There's a lot more to Tom's story than he's telling, and Pete is smart and sensitive enough to let that be. The reader can guess some of the things Tom might've been through.

The chapter ends with them both unsure how to resolve their conflict, which is good storytelling, so the reader wants to continue to find out what's next.

Yes, the chapter is dealing with a tough topic. Yes, a story can explore that. I'm concerned about that, but I'm giving it a chance.

A rescue or hurt/comfort story where two people find a strong connection (either as friends or family or else as lovers) can indeed happen in real life, and it's a staple of many genres. Fair warning, though, that some publishers include it in their FAQs, among the types of stories that aren't accepted. However, I'll bet you can name several very popular stories that have that basic element.


Chapter 2 fills us in on Pete's backstory, and we learn who the lost partner was. It's nicely done and makes a good read. It also tells us who Pete's friends are and something about what kind of person he is. The chapter ends so that we wonder how Pete and Dan got from there to where Pete is alone at the start of Chapter 1.

There are a few things that echo as familiar in the story's two chapters, at least for this gay guy.

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Thanks Blue I'm glad you get it and I agree with what you've written. Hopefully I haven't gone down a well worn path. I don't think so but I'll be looking forward to your commentary. Thanks again

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