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Bellaleta
December 13th, 2010, 10:28 AM
****Background: This is my first chapter to my first ever novel. The idea actually came from a dream I had, I woke up genuinely upset that I didn't get to the finish. I thought it would be a book I'd like to read, but I don't know any writers so I decided to give it a go. ANY help would be appreciated. Meant for a young adult audience.****

Chapter 1
I pointed the barrel of my gun at his head without hesitation. His gun pointed straight at mine in return. Those deep green eyes that once regarded me with nothing but adoration now held nothing but loathing. Those lips that kissed me so deeply and made me forget about everything else in the world were curled in a slight smirk, as if he knew something I didn’t. The muscles in the arms that held me so tight and made me feel like nothing could ever hurt me were showing through his t-shirt. The hands that held mine and would never let go regardless were gripping his gun tightly, pointed right between my eyes. We were only a few feet from each other. From here I could smell him, the same smell I remembered from all those nights of laying on his chest, watching movies or reading a book while he ran his hands through my hair. It smelled of laundry detergent, freshly mowed grass and his cologne. The screaming coming from around me was a distant annoyance. I was focused on killing the man, no, the being in front of me. I squeezed the trigger.

Two pairs of hands were on me, one grabbing my wrists and thrusting them upward, causing the bullet to go high and wide, the other around my waist pulling me backwards. I thrashed against my captures and watched as the being was tackled to the ground. If I am going to die here in this creepy abandoned home, I’m taking as many of these freaks down with me as possible. I flung my elbow backward, catching the enemy behind me in the jaw. The feel of the blood splatter against the back of my neck told me I had hit my mark. Score. I spit at the man in front of me, hoping to distract him enough that he would let go of my wrists.

It was then I realized those that held me were not enemies. They were fellow Keepers. They were friends.

“Get the hell off of me what are you doing!” I screamed, furious that the being was still alive. I twisted myself to get a better look at where it was; now lying on its face, hands bound behind its back in Hand-cuffs. Caleb, a fellow keeper with a long black coat and a bloody nose, most definitely broken, was attempting to tie his feet together. The creature stared at me from the ground with that same smirk on his face and I glowered back at him. His eyes locked with mine, suddenly it thrust its foot upward, catching Caleb below his chin and sending him flying backwards. The sound his head made as it crashed into the wall made me cringe, and Caleb slumped down, unmoving onto the floor. Three more men rushed the towards the being, one punching him square on the jaw and the other two holding him down, trying once again to get the ropes firmly tied around his ankles. Satisfied with the knot, one then swiftly went to check on Caleb who was now coming to. I continued to struggle against those that held me back. “I had him! I could have killed him!”

Zander released my wrists and backed off in haste with his hands raised in surrender, my gun now in his possession. I went after him anyway; ready to take his head off with my bare hands. Does he realize what he has just done? Did anyone realize? They stopped me from killing it. And there it was in the corner, surrounded by Keepers and bound in ropes and hand-cuffs, but still breathing, and therefore still dangerous. I lunged at Zander, but the hands around my waist were still holding on tight.

“We need him Sadie. We’ve never caught a warrior before.” Zander was still retreating from me. He ran a hand through his blonde hair and gave me an apologetic look, but I wasn’t about to give in that easily. His hair fell right back in front of his eyes and he turned away, glancing around the room. I followed Zander’s gaze and saw that most of the fighting was over. A small group of Keepers were retreating to a separate room, a few in deep, heated arguments.

“They want us in the other room, Sadie” Zander looked at me, studied me. Apparently convinced I was no longer a threat, he gave a slight nod and I felt the hold on me loosen. I shook off the arm around my waist and straightened my tight black leather jacket as I followed Zander away from the being that I so wanted dead. I took one last glance to the corner, and it held that same knowing smirk, fresh blood trickling down the side of its mouth.

I strode towards the door, still fuming about the kill that was stolen from me. I caught a glimpse of another keeper hovering over what appeared to be a body. Taking vitals I guessed. This fight had been unexpected, and I knew we had lost more than a few here tonight. Unable to take my eyes away from the two near the entrance to the home, I nearly ran into the door frame, curious which one of our fallen Keepers had lost his life to that vile creature.

The keepers were gathered in a circle. The room itself was dark, dirty. It clearly hadn’t been used in a while. A nursery by the look of it, small crib in the corner, the walls painted with cartoon zoo animals. Not a very good painting if I might add, obviously the work of an amateur, but the overall effect was successful. In the light I’m sure the animals looked happy, but here, in this darkness, the animals looked sinister. The lion was more roaring then smiling. The bear on the ball looked to be clawing at the air rather than balancing with his hand. What kind of fucked up parent would put their kids to bed in this place? Poor child must have had nightmares.

The men looked to be hovering around a small toy chest. The scene was utterly ridiculous, five men all of whom capable of killing at a moment’s notice, all clutching guns or knives, covered in blood and dust and dirt just standing around this hellish nursery. It was like a game of cops and robbers gone badly.

I approached the men slowly, catching a small part of the conversation going on. “….Listen here Jeremy, I don’t give a damn if it is a Warrior, it killed six of our men. It’s dangerous.” The man to my right had his arms crossed, his face hard and cold. His cheek had a long gash in it; blood that looked to be mostly dry was spilling out into his thick black mustache. His head, which was normally shaved bald most days, was letting a little of the dark hair come through. His wide eyes never seemed to have any color to them at all.

“I understand that Malakhai, but the truth is we have never caught a warrior. No one has. We need to bring him back to the lab so we can learn everything we can about them.” pleaded Jeremy, his arms flailing and eyes wide. His short brown jacket was ripped on the side, causing it to lie awkwardly around his strong arms, he wasn’t as tall or as large as Malakhai, but he held himself well. He used to be a TV reporter for a local Television news station. He had the type of face people were drawn to look at and take seriously; sandy blonde hair neatly trimmed that always seemed to lie perfectly on his head. His light brown eyes were pleading his case in their own way.

I glanced around from face to face. Trying to determine how many people were as deluded as Jeremy about keeping it alive. I spotted Laurel in the corner, the only female other then myself along on this mission, she was sitting calmly in the rocking chair in the far corner of the room, cleaning her knife and teetering back and forth, one leg draped over the arm of the chair. Her dark brown hair tied up tightly in a pony tail. She isn’t the most beautiful of women, and she doesn’t normally speak much. But she is deadly, she could take on any man in this room and have them begging for mercy in a matter of seconds.

Caleb, hand still absentmindedly rubbing the back of his head where I’m sure a bump was forming, was also present. Despite being manhandled by the creature, he too was in favor of bringing it back to the compound with us, trying to reason with Malakhai about the potential of such a decision.

Hans, a man no taller than I at 5’7” but with more muscle mass then any of the men here, spoke up next. “What we have here is a dilemma; this warrior is dangerous as is evident of our six dead comrades lying out there.” He paused, looking down. As if to mourn those of us that won’t be returning. “However, it is the warriors that run the world now, they are the reason any revolution has failed.”

“Hans,” Malakhai chimed in “by bringing this creature back to the compound we risk the lives of everyone there. No one has ever returned when they encounter a warrior. They either die or are converted. We don’t know what this thing is capable of” I found myself nodding in agreement to Malakhai’s statement.
Zander then joined the group, squeezing in between Malakhai and I. He pushed my gun back towards me and I snatched it from him. I neatly tucked it into the back of my pants with the other gun I kept there, and gave Zander a look that I hoped said you are so dead later.

Jeremy chimed in “That’s the point, we don’t know what this thing is capable of, by bringing it back and letting the professor study it, we may then learn what they can do, and how to defeat them.”

“Zander?” Hans addressed his son, though they had similar features, like the short blonde hair and deep set ice-blue eyes, Zander was much taller than his father, slimmer as well. His muscles were not body-builder status as his fathers were, but he was toned and spent a great deal of time training, making him one of the best.

Zander sounded so diplomatic, his voice very calm and collected. “I agree this thing is dangerous. But I think the more we know about these warriors the better chance we have of survival. We need to learn their weaknesses, if they have any.”

“Sadie?” All eyes turned to me, apparently my turn to vote. “We have lost a lot of lives tonight, and I don’t want to lose anymore.” I pointed toward the door “That thing is too much of a liability” I said the word ‘thing’ with as much bitterness as I could manage, and as a 20 year old female and self-proclaimed smart-ass, I could put a lot of bitterness into any word.

As everyone gave their opinion it became clear that the majority were for taking it back to study. Idiots.
Hans made the announcement “So it’s decided, we will take it back to the compound.” He looked from face to face, something we were all used to when Hans made a decision. He was the reason we were all alive today, he was the one who lead us all to the compound and he ran it with authority. And once he made a decision it usually stuck. But he always gave each person an opportunity to disagree, though no one ever did.

It was then we all walked out into the main room where it was being held. When I walked through the door, its eyes fell onto me and I stared back with a blank face, determined to remember my training. This wasn’t a him anymore, it was an it, an it that I hated. An it I wanted dead. Its mouth opened, and the sound that came out next was so familiar that I stopped in my tracks. “Hello Sadie.” The smirk on its face was revolting.

Silence fell. I could feel all eyes in the room turn to me. Zander stepped towards me and placed his hand on my arm. He stared at me with a questioning look in his eyes.

I shook off Zander’s arm and walked closer to the being. My fists tightly wound into balls.

It was Jeremy who spoke next “Sadie, do you know this thing?” he said as calmly as he could.

“It’s my ex-boyfriend.” And with one punch to the side of his head, I knocked Brent unconscious.

len_ryuka
December 13th, 2010, 03:38 PM
I'll take a look at this when I'm back. Your motivation sounds like Stephenie Meyer's haha, I know how you feel, I wake up like that sometimes too.

But I hope you don't write the way she does haha... oh wait your name's Bellaleta...

quick EDIT before I leave: I just read the whole thing, and let me tell you, you have SERIOUS issues with pronoun usage, I'll get into detail later.

len_ryuka
December 14th, 2010, 03:02 AM
Chapter 1
I pointed the barrel of my gun at his head without hesitation. His gun pointed straight at mine in return. Those deep green eyes that once regarded me with nothing but adoration now held nothing but loathing. Those lips that kissed me so deeply and made me forget about everything else in the world were curled in a slight smirk, as if he knew something I didn’t. The muscles in the arms that held me so tight and made me feel like nothing could ever hurt me were showing through his t-shirt. The hands that held mine and would never let go regardless were gripping his gun tightly, pointed right between my eyes. We were only a few feet from each other. From here I could smell him, the same smell I remembered from all those nights of laying on his chest, watching movies or reading a book while he ran his hands through my hair. It smelled of laundry detergent, freshly mowed grass and his cologne. The screaming coming from around me was a distant annoyance. I was focused on killing the man, no, the being in front of me. I squeezed the trigger.


This starts out in the middle of an action and it begins on a long, standardized text of just telling and telling of purple prose(look that up). It's very out of place, and disrupts the flow immediately.

Also, please stop calling these guys "beings" or "it", because that's just cliched and overused. I see that so much these days, it's just boring and pretentious.



Two pairs of hands were on me, one grabbing my wrists and thrusting them upward, causing the bullet to go high and wide, the other around my waist pulling me backwards.

Awkward transition from first paragraph to second paragraph. She shot, but what happened to the bullet? "Two pair of hands were on me" is such a weak passive description that it still sounds like she's describing the moment rather than the action. The picture of "two pairs of hands were on me" is STILL, it's not active, it's not moving.

And two pairs? so there are 4 hands in total on her? That's just weird without context, I'm confused beyond means right away, and not in a good way that makes me ask questions. Your simply giving me an awkward picture without background information.



I thrashed against my captures and watched as the being was tackled to the ground.

what is Captures? You're using it a noun, but I have no idea what it is.



If I am going to die here in this creepy abandoned home, I’m taking as many of these freaks down with me as possible. ...
[FONT=Calibri]It was then I realized those that held me were not enemies. They were fellow Keepers. They were friends.

Awkward logic. So there is more than 1 enemy the whole time but the narrator never realized it? why? why wouldn't she realize that? she was in a small room with a gun for god's sake, she would notice. And this other guy is constantly behind her and his face is at her elbow level? What? How? It's cryptic and doesn't make sense.



His eyes locked with mine, suddenly it thrust its foot upward, catching Caleb below his chin and sending him flying backwards. The sound his head made as it crashed into the wall made me cringe, and Caleb slumped down, unmoving onto the floor.

I thought he died because you make it sound like he did. Misleading. Also, what sort of monster is this "enemy"? he just thrusts his foot backwards from a "suspect" position and kicks the guy to the roof/wall? It's fine that he has so much physical power, but this Caleb guy would get his neck snapped off before anything else.


I continued to struggle against those that held me back. “I had him! I could have killed him!”

had him? they still have him, she still could kill him. Doesn't make sense as to what she is saying. This part should be more like "Let me kill him!"



[FONT=Calibri]Zander released my wrists and backed off in haste with his hands raised in surrender, my gun now in his possession.

This whole time I thought it was the enemy that had her wrists because you never clearly conveyed this message. Is he still hugging her from the behind?

I'm just going to stop here because your prose is extremely lacking in descriptive detail(of the situation AND the physical setting), and sometimes you've got illogical things happening/being said. And the whole hands on her waist and wrists thing is just so confusing as to who is grabbing her. There are much more that I've found as I read on, but It'll take way too long to point them all out.

So the best tip is, DESCRIBE WHAT IS HAPPENING. Your prose is extremely confusing in the worst possible way. Grammar is good, but sometimes confusing within context.

Also, you never gave me much descriptions of how the narrator or her boyfriend(also some others) looked like, so the whole time I was just filling in their faces with question marks.

I don't even know what most people are wearing or this house looks like... run down? modern? you said creepy but that's so vague...

Overall 4/10 could be done ALOT better.

Bellaleta
December 14th, 2010, 06:30 AM
First off thank you so much for responding to my post.

Hopefully I can clear a few things up.


Awkward transition from first paragraph to second paragraph. She shot, but what happened to the bullet? "Two pair of hands were on me" is such a weak passive description that it still sounds like she's describing the moment rather than the action. The picture of "two pairs of hands were on me" is STILL, it's not active, it's not moving.

And two pairs? so there are 4 hands in total on her? That's just weird without context, I'm confused beyond means right away, and not in a good way that makes me ask questions. Your simply giving me an awkward picture without background information.


Yes two pairs, two people, 4 hands. "Two pairs of hands were on me, one [pair] grabbing my wrists and thrusting them upward, causing the bullet to go high and wide, the other [pair] around my waist pulling me backwards."

Should I add the pairs?

As for the bullet, it went high and wide, missing its mark, when the hands were on her wrists.


Awkward logic. So there is more than 1 enemy the whole time but the narrator never realized it? why? why wouldn't she realize that? she was in a small room with a gun for god's sake, she would notice. And this other guy is constantly behind her and his face is at her elbow level? What? How? It's cryptic and doesn't make sense.

She does realize it. See the "pairs" discussion above. I can see how it *might* be confusing, I'll look into a revision.

What type of "monster" he is won't be fully explained until a later chapter, but for the sake of this website, he is a host for an alien parasite. A biological type micro-chip meant to re-program the minds of human beings has been inserted into him.

I almost felt as if I went into too much detail here in the first chapter, not enough action. Confirm/deny?

And I'll look into describing Sadie and Brent a little more in the begining stages.

Thank you again.

len_ryuka
December 14th, 2010, 06:50 AM
What type of "monster" he is won't be fully explained until a later chapter, but for the sake of this website, he is a host for an alien parasite. A biological type micro-chip meant to re-program the minds of human beings has been inserted into him.


Reading the little explanation of the "parasite" thing(and in addition to you getting the idea from your dream and calling yourself Bellalesta), do you get majority of your inspirations from Stephenie Meyer? because if so, STOP. She has TERRIBLE prose. If you google "Stephenie Meyer criticisms", you'll find tons so I won't explain, but DO NOT write like her.



Yes two pairs, two people, 4 hands. "Two pairs of hands were on me, one [pair] grabbing my wrists and thrusting them upward, causing the bullet to go high and wide, the other [pair] around my waist pulling me backwards."

Should I add the pairs?


Adding the pairs is not the issue here. The issue here is that the introduction of hands on her is confusing without necessary contextual explanation. If out of nowhere I see a girl being molested by 4 hands, it screams "RAPE!". So you need more EXPLANATIONS as to WHY those hands are there BEFORE you begin describing the actions that they do, OR as the action is happening.



As for the bullet, it went high and wide, missing its mark, when the hands were on her wrists.


I knew this, but take a look at that sentence again, that's the sentence with "There were two hands on my arm". It begins with a still image and somehow jumps into the middle of the action after a comma. There is no "in-between", this is your biggest problem, you jump a bunch of necessary actions and sort of skip images.

Imagine watching a war movie and you see a soldier aiming the gun, then you see the enemy die. But you never see the soldier shooting the gun. Do you see what I mean here? You skip the "in-between" image, and just sort of describe it like picture to picture. And that becomes confusing to the reader because they have no clue what just happened.




She does realize it. See the "pairs" discussion above. I can see how it *might* be confusing, I'll look into a revision.


She realizes it AFTER she elbows her friend in the face. she should realize this MUCH earlier. I mean, this is like this "keeper" tribe's hide out or something, she should know.



I almost felt as if I went into too much detail here in the first chapter, not enough action. Confirm/deny?


The detail is okay, but I hate it when the writer beats around the bush by calling the enemy "those things" or "those beings" or "aliens" and what not. It's extremely pretentious and the reader is easily bored by that unless they are drawn in on other aspects of the story, like the action, which you haven't perfected.

Do NOT try writing anymore action until you get the above sorted out... it's difficult to read. You should try reading more action packed books, like ones by Barry Eisler to see how they portray these stuff, right now you're prose is broken in too many places.