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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > Literary Merit > The Scars Above My Heart ny Sean English
The Scars Above My Heart ny Sean English  [message #76082] Wed, 23 October 2019 08:19 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I can't start a thread about all stories. Well, I can, but I trust you guys to do that. The Scars Above My Heart intrigues me. There's some sort of big thing in the background. I get the feeling that, somehow, it's going to influence a great deal of the plot.

Obviously I get the chance to read ahead with most serials. I'm not there yet! But we could speculate! I bet that speculation changes as we learn more about our hero, too



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76093 is a reply to message #76082] Thu, 24 October 2019 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pandareader is currently offline  pandareader   Brazil

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I read the first chapter and I enjoyed it very much. I liked the pacing and how it teases that there's a big reason for Alex and his family moving, and homeschooling, etc... 
I said in another thread that I enjoyed reading When Shadows Pass, looking forward to this one.
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76098 is a reply to message #76093] Fri, 25 October 2019 22:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Al N. is currently offline  Al N.   United States

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While I don't know where Timmy might be on reading this story, I can say with some authority that like When Shadows Pass, you will enjoy this story.
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76102 is a reply to message #76098] Sat, 26 October 2019 15:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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I'm just hoping that the 'Big Secret' isn't that they are living under a witness protection program. I've read 2 different stories in the last month that have used that element; it's getting a bit overdone lately....



"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76104 is a reply to message #76102] Sat, 26 October 2019 21:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I have the first thirteen chapters ready to roll and I can honestly say I have no idea. There are clues, of course, leading in various directions.

I've read a number of stories about gay teens recently. I hope that theme isn't getting overdone. I have a whole website with those on it. I think there may be a couple more of those around, too



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76106 is a reply to message #76102] Sun, 27 October 2019 04:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Al N. is currently offline  Al N.   United States

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Not to derail the thread, but what two stories might they be?
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76107 is a reply to message #76106] Sun, 27 October 2019 14:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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"Al N. wrote on Sun, 27 October 2019 00:13"
Not to derail the thread, but what two stories might they be?

--
Well, over at Awsemedude, there have actually been 3 just within the last month; one was about a pair of brothers dumped with rural relatives when the father (who was a mob accountant) were threatened with being killed, then there was another story about a teen boy on the streets who witnessed a hitman murdering somebody, then there was another story about a teen boy who's entire family was murdered. In each of these, the witness relocation program was either a central theme, or one which was used in the ending.



"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76109 is a reply to message #76107] Sun, 27 October 2019 14:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Serendipity is a wonderful thing. 

Cow Pies and Country Cousins was released here, you know, not simply on Awesomdude.

Fortunately there is a large choice of reading on each site. There is also a large choice over at Nifty. And, even better than that, one can write a story without the elements that one might find not to one's taste.

I don't go out of my way to seek out werewolves or vampires, but some tales I like, others not. I do find there are rather a lot of gay teenage romance stories, and a goodly number of site supporting them. I am seriously concerned that such a theme might be overdone. 

[Updated on: Sun, 27 October 2019 14:29]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76215 is a reply to message #76082] Sun, 17 November 2019 21:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
American_Alex   United States

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I was enjoying this story, but wow, it's really starting to drag! Also, too many Anglicisms (like "mate", and "trainers") have crept in for it to be believable as being a story between 2 American boys. It also seems to be hung up on things like nudity fetishism and not being able to just come out as being gay. Also, 2 American boys wouldn't spend so many lines talking about their "feelings", either. At this point, I'm wondering where this story is going, and when it will get there. I hope it isn't one of those dramas which never seem to end...



"Able was I ere I saw Elba"
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76220 is a reply to message #76215] Sun, 17 November 2019 22:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"American_Alex wrote on Sun, 17 November 2019 21:48"
I was enjoying this story, but wow, it's really starting to drag! Also, too many Anglicisms (like "mate", and "trainers") have crept in for it to be believable as being a story between 2 American boys. It also seems to be hung up on things like nudity fetishism and not being able to just come out as being gay. Also, 2 American boys wouldn't spend so many lines talking about their "feelings", either. At this point, I'm wondering where this story is going, and when it will get there. I hope it isn't one of those dramas which never seem to end...

--
No-one expects every tale to appeal to every reader.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76223 is a reply to message #76220] Mon, 18 November 2019 01:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently online  Bensiamin   United States

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Sean English gives every impression of being a Brit who has lived a long time in the US, and is trying in this case, to write for an American auduence. Give him a break on a couple of British terms like "trainers" and "mate." He writes deep and slowly developing stories with intense character development, as was the case in both "When Shadows Pass" and "The Bully and the Bullied." You have to be able to handle the pace, and have some level of accomodation. I lived in the UK for two years as a kid--I can only guess what my output would look like if I tried to write a story set in a British public school! Connect with the characters, and go along for the ride! And expect that there will be a real conclusion...whether at chapter 10 or chapter 35!



Bensiamin
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76231 is a reply to message #76223] Tue, 19 November 2019 02:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pandareader is currently offline  pandareader   Brazil

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I seem to recall that when When Shadows Pass was being discussed here that the writing did not read as "british" or something to that effect, which strikes me as kind of curious since the criticism now seems to be the complete opposite. The author has said he was an american that lived some time in England, I think. Although I can identify some of the anglicisms used, it does not bother me or not ruin the american setting for me. I´m not a native speaker of english but perhaps the issue is that some of the language used by the characters might not sound as "current"? Even so, that seems more like the writing style and it does not bother me either... 

I agree that the story moves at a slow pace and there are some parallels with other stories by the author (like the characters first talking about developing "trust" then moving on to being friends then "brothers" before admitting their feelings of love) with some themes being revisited throughout the chapters which sometimes can seem a bit repetitive. But there seems to be a point for this apparent repetition: it is coupled with character development and "evolution" and, I guess, making the reader care about what happens to these characters (at least I am hooked and interested in what will happen next...).  

Teenage boys being able to understand their feelings and talk about them may seem unusual but I think that every story requires some suspension of disbelief to be enjoyed (for example, there are great stories here that deal with fantasy themes like psionics/changelings that are clearly "not realistic" or even a great recent one with a ghost). My opinion is that as long as this suspension of disbelief required is "within the rules" of the established world of the story, I think thats ok. The main character of the story is portrayed as much more mature than his age and someone who had a "sheltered" life, never socializing much with kids his age. So, to me, all these talks about feelings does not really feel out of character for Alex...

I did not set out to write a defense for the writing or the author here. I´m not also trying to criticise the writing (especially since, never written a story myself, especially not one that is as long as a novel, I´m not really qualified for that). Again, english not being my first language, I hope this does not read as harsh or pedantic, not my intention.
What I´m just saying I guess is that, although I understand some of the criticism to the story, I think the pluses outweigh the minuses so far (I´m currently reading chapter 10) and that the story is definitely worth reading. 
Having said all that, I´m looking forward to the next chapters, hope we get to see more of the storyline with Ethan and find out soon what is the deal with Alex and his family.
     
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76233 is a reply to message #76231] Tue, 19 November 2019 08:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Stories tend to reflect the author's experience of reality. Writing about the truth, slightly massaged, reads better than writing about a totally imagined world. This is true whether one writes historical, contemporary or time-yet-to-come tales. Tolkien wrote about massaged reality, Asimov, too. Jane Austen write satire about the reality of her times.

It follows that Sean English has written about his own reality, massaged into a story. Somewhere in his life he has felt, been made to feel, observed, this about nudity, about kinship. The USA is a large piece of real estate, with more oddities than one can shake a stick at. While his reality requires me to suspend disbelief it does not cause me to perform intellectual gymnastics. Instead it allows me to learn more about another's world.

I have no preoccupation with vocabulary. I understand English in its many variations globally. With a car I think 'hood' is more logical than 'bonnet', but my car has a bonnet. Why it has a 'boot' I have no idea. Trunks used to be on racks at the back of even the largest cars. I've lost track of 'fender', but context will bring that back. An aunt living in New York confused the bejasus out of me with 'purse' and 'pocket book', but she was Viennese and inclined to bizarreness. I find US high schools to be alien places of inbuilt hostility, and wonder if they are portrayed as they are, but almost all authors portray them thus. I find US authors can never write about a British school with anywhere near authority. But I don't care if the tale is otherwise worthy of my time.

I care about the plot, about characterisation, about quality of usage of language (though not about vocabulary choice). I care about being kept interested. I do not put a book aside easily, but some books I put aside, even after reading loyally for many chapters. When it becomes evident that an author has no idea how to finish a work I often see repetition and I can no longer find it worth my time to continue, however much I've enjoyed a tale hitherto. I've sometimes trapped myself into publishing those. This tale is not one where I have trapped myself.

Scars is a real story, set in a real universe, with real characters who are somewhat introspective. I'm learning about introspective characters and am better for it.

[Updated on: Tue, 19 November 2019 18:09]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Scars Above My Heart  [message #76239 is a reply to message #76233] Thu, 21 November 2019 08:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Al N. is currently offline  Al N.   United States

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"timmy wrote on Tue, 19 November 2019 01:16"
The USA is a large piece of real estate, with more oddities than one can shake a stick at.


It is not always observed that there are 50 States that comprise the USA. Each one is different than the others. Those differences can be small or large. Added onto that, we have several regional differences (some count as few as five, others as many as 10 regions).

So pick up two sticks and start shaking!

As far as the use of "britishisms" within the story, it has not bothered me at all.
The Scars Above My Heart by Sean English  [message #76267 is a reply to message #76082] Mon, 25 November 2019 20:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Paul Schroder is currently offline  Paul Schroder   United States

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I'm a sucker for a story with a hook.  There is something going on in the protaganist's life that the author is not divulging except in hints. Tiny clues pop up to say his family life, though appearing ordinary on the surface is going to prove to be extrordinary.  The hook got me started and an engaging story has kept me going. I've only made it to chapter three but I know I'll take it all the way to the finish.  Thanks for an excellent read, Sean.
icon7.gif Re: The Scars Above My Heart by Sean English  [message #76441 is a reply to message #76267] Mon, 23 December 2019 18:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sean E is currently offline  Sean E   United States

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In all honesty, I had forgotten about th eboards here when I started this series, so forgive me for coming to the party late. I appreciate everyone's discussions, comment, remarks and views. As I have said many times, I am still what I consider myself to just be a "newbie" - I do not claim perfection, I just appreciate and like what I'm "attempting" to do - write.

The only real comment I'd like to remark on, though, is the use of WITSEC as a primary counterpoint of this tale, against others that have (reportedly) been appearing. For that, I have no answer or make any excuse. I started writing this from an idea I developed, on my own, over a year ago. It just takes me a while to complete a tale and publish, that's all. I think others move or complete things faster than I do, but I stuck with my origins because it was what backed my primary story arc.

Now that I've found this forum though, I'll watch it more frequently if anyone wants to discuss anything with, uh, "me". Smile
-Sean
Re: The Scars Above My Heart by Sean English  [message #76444 is a reply to message #76441] Mon, 23 December 2019 22:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Sean E wrote on Mon, 23 December 2019 18:38"
The only real comment I'd like to remark on, though, is the use of WITSEC as a primary counterpoint of this tale, 

--
I would ignore the comments about that element



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: The Scars Above My Heart by Sean English  [message #76928 is a reply to message #76444] Wed, 27 May 2020 16:00 Go to previous message
inventodoc   United States

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It was just unlucky timing that this story was released at the same time as 1-2 others with a WITSEC theme.   I felt that this one was a more significant work and greatly enjoyed the story of love between the protagonists. They essentially created a whole world for each other.    The relationship with the sister was... a bit unusual.



---------------------------
Inventodoc
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