View Full Version : Mixed Chapter 1

December 28th, 2012, 08:09 PM
Ok so it's not really edited and needs work on the beginning and well a lot of it but either way I would like some critiques on it now. (By the way lots of mis-spelled words) Also it's the first draft and a lot of the ideas will probably be changed but I worry about it being to short. It's mostly dialogue.

Chapter 1
When David was nine he loved adventure and since his family had many acres of land to explore he was allowed to do so as long as he was home before dark. One sunny late August day David was out exploring, he had just got out of the lake from swimming and was drying off in the grass near the sparkling water. David’s wet light brown hair shined under the sun as he got up to put his dry shirt on. He loved to climb trees so he figured he could climb one before he had to go back to the house. David picked out a tall tree near the edge of the woods that led to the large field that he would have to walk through to get home. As he climbed higher and higher the wind grew stronger but not strong enough to shake him from his perch, even though David was young he was well built and extremely strong. As David sat on the high branch in the blossoming tree he had climbed, he could see the entire field with all the flowers and their glorious colors of red, purple, yellow, pink, and even blue, the grass had grown high over the summer and looked like a ocean of many shades of green, brown, and tan, with the way the warm summer breeze blew the grass under the now setting sun. As David was taking in the beauty of the purple, pink, and yellow sunset he saw a strange shape he did not recognize in the ocean of grass, it was a man. David knew that he should be starting to go home for dinner by now but there was no way to get there without the stranger seeing him. His only choice was to head home and hope the man didn’t notice him. David started down the tree branch by branch making sure to find a firm foothold with every step down. As he neared the ground David missed a limb and fell into the tall grass below. Groaning David got up to check himself for injuries, his knee stung but it was only scraped, something his mom would make a big deal out of when he got home. As he was getting up David didn’t notice that the man had walked towards him.
“Are you ok?” The man asked sounding not at all concerned.
“Yea, I’m fine.” David said about ready to run for it.
“What’s your name?”
“What’s yours?” David retorted.
“I am called Keio.” The man replied.
“Ok, Keio, what are you doing here?”
“I am looking for David. Do you know where I can find him?” Keio replied. He figured that Keio knew that David was right in front of him, but he played along.
“What do you want with David?”
“I want to give him something.”
“You want to give him what?” David sneered
“This.” Keio said taking a golden chain off from around his neck. As Keio held it out to show David, he saw that that hanging at the end of the chain was an emerald stone about the size of a nickel.
“Why would I… I mean David want a necklace?”
“This is not a necklace David, this is a Conductor and it’s very important and you will be needing it very soon.” Keio said sincerely.
“What does it do?” David asked mesmerized by the translucent green rock.
“You will soon find out David. Farewell, for now.” Keio said, and then it all went black.

David shot up in bed. Glancing at his clock he sough that it was four in the morning, and he figured he might as well just stay up. He wished it had just been a dream and for a moment he thought it was, but he knew better. It was real, it’s been six years since that day, it happened and now David was fifteen, with that memory puzzling him every night. David has kept the Conductor, as Keio called it, since then though he still wasn’t completely sure of what it did. David hadn’t seen Keio since the day he gave him the Conductor, however Keio has still been able to communicate with him. The first time it happened David had thought it was just a nightmare, but he soon figured out that they where truly communicating through his dreams. Keio had explained very little to him even though David was bursting with questions “you will learn eventually” Keio had told him. David waked down the stairs to the kitchen, the sun had begun to rise letting the morning light shine through the window. David grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and snuck out the door being sure not to wake his parents. The morning dew dampened the edge of his jeans as David waked towards the shed near the worn cracked road. The old shed opened easily because of frequent use, as the door squeaked open it reveled a beat up motorcycle propped up on the wall covered in rust and chipped red paint. David’s dad had given him the bike to work on as a summer project; he has worked on it every morning of the summer and has managed to get it running but not for long before it broke down again. Even though David didn’t enjoy working on the bike he didn’t want to let his dad down and besides he wanted to get it working so he could drive it to town.

Opening the door to go and get breakfast David heard his parents in the living room and stopped to listen.
“I still think we should tell him today.” David’s mom was saying.
“No lets what for it to be a closer date and surprise him.”
“John, he will be surprised anyway.”
“It’s still going to be a month we can tell him in a week at least.”
“We are going to start working on her room now we should tell him today so he doesn’t get suspicious.”
“Well Abbie is going to have someone drive her hear and as far as I’m concerned we could tell David that very day.”
“John, we are telling him today.” His mom said very firmly.
“Fine, but I’m not going to be the one to say it.”
“Ok you don’t have to I will.” Then the conversation was over and they started talking about whatever T.V show they where watching. David wondered what they were talking about. They had said something about some girl called Abbie coming in a month. Was she a cousin he didn’t know? A student that they were going to let stay with them or something? He pondered over it as he ate his cereal. David heard his dad coming in and looked up maybe he would tell him about there conversation.
“David I’m going to need you to come with me to town and get some things ok?”
“Sure, no problem.” David said “What are we getting?”
“Just some groceries and some fertilizer for your mom’s garden.”
“Ok, when are we going?”
“We can go when you’re done eating.” John said leaving the room. David scoffed down the rest of his cereal and rushed out to the truck where his dad waited for him. David didn’t like going to town but he didn’t want to keep his dad waiting. At least in the summer he didn’t have to go often because it was five miles to the nearest house. Watching the blooming trees flash by out the window David thought about getting back home so he could go swimming, David wanted to talk to Keio about who Abbie is and sometimes he was able to talk to Keio there. David got snapped out of his day dreams as they pulled into the parking lot for the food market. Getting out of the car David heard someone behind him.
“So David I see you decided to come out of the woods.” A mocking voice said.
“What do you want Nathan?” David answered cruelly. Nathan was a rich mans son and thinks he’s all that and is sure that every one knows it. Standing in front of him Nathan’s smug smile made him burn in anger with his little group of followers that just want a good image backing him up. Staring strait into his blue eyes David waited for an answer letting the suspense rise.
“I just wanted to be sure that woods boy here knew that you walk on the sidewalk and not the road. “ Nathan answered
“Nathan you may own everyone else in town but not me, and if you don’t back of right now I’ll…”
“You’ll what. You don’t have anything on me and your to proud of your self to start a fist fight. Not like I’d care I’d beat you anyway.”
“You couldn’t beat me in a million years.” David sneered. Nathan took a step forward staring strait into his eyes. Straitening his back to remind Nathan who was taller he added “Are you done now?”
Turning away he said, “Let’s go and leave green eyes here to get his groceries." David let his shoulders drop as they walked away he knew he had won this one and there was no need to rub it in Nathan’s face.
“I got the stuff we need.” David heard his dad say. Turning to see his dad with bags of food David grabbed some and helped him load the stuff into the truck.
“Well let’s go then.” David said jumping into the truck.
“Ok then, we can go now; I know you want to get home. Why remains a mystery though.” John said.
“I just like being on my own that’s all.”
“Maybe, but you should be out with friends doing things I don’t approve of instead of being at home alone.” David’s dad said smiling.
“Well maybe that why I stay home, because you don’t approve of it.”
“David, why don’t you have friends you’re so amazing, and smart?”
“Being smart has nothing to do with it.”
“Then what is it?”
“People tease me about my green eyes.”
“David, your eyes are fine.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t like the color of my eyes. They also think I’m weird, and there right.”
“David you aren’t weird.”
“No I am and I know it I don’t need to hang out with other people anyway.”
“I just wonder what you do outside alone all day.”
“Not much just work on some stuff it’s not like I’m going to talk you through my day ok dad?”
“Ok sorry I asked lets just forget about it.” John said pulling into the drive way.
“Ok I’ve got to go it’s like three and I want to spent some time outside before it gets dark.” David said jumping out of the truck.
“Ok, just be back for dinner.” David’s dad called as he ran out to the woods.

“Keio… Keio…” David whispered once he was in the woods. When David was in town dealing with Nathan he had heard Keio telling him to meet him in the woods though he couldn’t have responded then he tried to get there as soon as possible. Keio had never asked to meet up with him before. “Keio where are you? It’s David.”
“Yes I know you are here David.” A voice said from the shadows.
“Keio, what do you want? You’ve never done this before.”
“Talked to you? David I have talked to you many times it’s just in person this time.”
“Yeah, whatever what do you want?”
“You need more patience David; I will tell you what I want soon enough.”
“Look I have what’d for six years, now I want to know what’s going on.”
“It is time for me to train you David.”
“Train me what do you mean?”
“I have found that you are ready to be trained so you no longer need the conductor.”
“No longer need it? I don’t even know what it does.”
“I will tell you now but I must start from the beginning and you must listen.” Keio said sitting down on the grass.
“Ok I’ll listen.” David said mimicking Keio’s moments and sitting down.
“Good. Now first you must understand who I am, and who you are. I am part of a unique unknown race called The Zola or people of the earth. The Zola are a powerful people who can manipulate the elements. That conductor is what is used to train the young Zola to use this power…”
“Wait are you saying I’m a part of this unique group of people? Do you expect me to believe that?” David said
“No David listen and you will understand. You are a hybrid of the Zola and humans ones we call Green Eyes because of the distinct green eyes that you all have. Green Eyes are hated by The Zola because they can grow stronger then the Zola themselves, there for it is forbidden for The Zola people to fall in love with humans. I am helping you because I have fallen in love with a human before. Because it is forbidden they found her and killed her and they will kill any Green Eyes they find. The only reason they have not killed me is because my brother, Kenith, is the king of my people and he spared me. David I want to teach you to use your gifts so that you can protect yourself from danger that may come to you in the future.”
“Danger what danger I’ve been fine so far what makes you think I will get found now. Assuming you’re telling the truth that is.”
“David you know I’m telling the truth the Zola can not lie.”
“Well that makes it hard to keep a secret don’t you think.” David said.
“We can twist words and refrain from mentioning things but if asked a direct question we must answer truthfully. That’s another advantage you Green Eyes have.”
“So what makes Green Eyes so powerful? And where are the other ones you are talking about?”
“Green Eyes develop the ability to manipulate all elements instead of just one. Though that is not something I can teach you since I do not possess that power. And for your other question I don’t know where all the other Green Eyes are, they are most likely ether hidden or dead.” Keio answered.
“You didn’t say The Zola can only manipulate one element, explain.”
“The Zola as a people can manipulate all elements but a single Zola can only manipulate one element individual to them. It will be the same for you until you learn the true extent of your power.”
“Ok then prove it what is your, I don’t know, controlled element?”
“Very well my controlled element is earth my brothers is fire that’s why his name means born of fire he was the strongest and fastest learner in the whole generation. Now I will show you a demonstration. ” Keio said. As he began to raise his arms the dirt on the ground rose with them, it spun in a miniature tornado as Keio began forming the spinning dust with his hands. Creating curves and dents in the mass as it spun it took on the shape of a person, a woman began to emerge. The land then added color to her body clocked in a spring green dress of grass her arms and legs appeared to be the color of his own skin though it was structured out of sand, and the woman’s face made of the same colored sand had red rose pedaled lips and small blue flowers for her eyes. Her dark long hair formed of damp soil to look deep brown, as Keio finished she seamed to harden and if he had not looked closely he would have thought it was a real human being staring right at him. As David leaned in to look closer the woman began to blow away to the wind and as soon as he realized that the figure was disappearing all was back to normal the same as it was before Keio just standing staring at where his creation was.
“Who was that Keio?” Jason asked still in awe.
“That was her.” Keio said sounding defeated.
“The woman you loved?” Jason asked sympathetically.
“Yes, you never know who will come through when you do this task; actually controlling who it is takes a lot of skill though it takes much skill to create such a figure in the first place. It is most often someone you know but some times it is someone you will know or someone you did know. Truthfully I expected you to come trough so I was surprised and could not hold it up long.”
“She was beautiful Keio; I wish I could have known her.”
“Yes, if only you knew her.” Keio said looking deep in thought. “Ok, I think you’ve learned enough for today. I expect you to come tomorrow at noon exactly, I will not be patient.”
“Um ok, I’ll be here I must have missed diner by now anyway, so I have to leave like right now.” David said seeing that the sun had almost disappeared. As David ran home Keio stood and watched waiting until he was out of site.

December 28th, 2012, 09:48 PM
This needs a lot of work. It is wordy and there seems to be too many adjectives at times. Also too many proper nouns. You need to watch for things like David wanted to 'drive' his bike to town -- should be 'ride' his bike.
There is a choppy feel in the timing because David gets a "conductor" and then the time is advanced with little explanation. Also,Keio tells David he has essentially outgrown the "conductor" and like David I am not sure what the conductor even did for him.
The dialogue has several places that didn't sound natural.
I did like the moment when Keio referenced the woman that he loved -- I could feel his loss.

Allyson - if I could, I would recommend a total rewrite of this. It seems wordy, which here it is as though you are trying to say too much in too small a space. Take more time to tell the story. Don't be discouraged and don't let your story die -- to write is to rewrite until you get it right.

I really hope that I helped.

December 28th, 2012, 09:59 PM
Yes I was plaining on rewriting it but I always have a hard time with the first chapter. My later chapters I feel are better and when it comes to the point of feeling for the characters that is better later on to. The idea behind the time change is that it is like a dream of the time David is remembering. How could I make it look more like that. But I do agree very munch with this chapter being choppy it is better in the later ones like I said so I'm trying to figure out how to make this one better. More of it makes sense later but how do I keep it interesting without revealing to many things at once. And I have a huge problem with spreading things out if you have any suggestions. I'm a beginning writer to, still in middle school, so I need a lot of suggestions. Plus I mix up a lot of words like drive and ride. I am looking for a lot of advice. And thanks for helping.

December 28th, 2012, 10:24 PM
Hello Allyson,

I read up to the point where time suddenly shifted forward unexpectedly and then you lost me. To be honest, you would have lost many more before that because it's really wordy and doesn't need to be, particularly the opening paragraph where every colour of the field, sky, grass, etc. is described. It's all unnecessary.

Also, try to leave out the name of the character if there is only one in the scene. You mention David a lot of times in the first paragraph (and probably over a hundred times in the story) when we already know that only he is present at the time.

You obviously have a vivid imagination, and that's a great plus. Your dialogue is also good, it just needs a little room to breathe.

This site: Writing | Caro Clarke - writer (http://www.caroclarke.com/writing.html) is excellent at explaining how to avoid certain aspects of writing, and I thought of it a lot when reading your story. I hope it helps.

December 28th, 2012, 10:41 PM
Thanks I have already started to rewrite the chapter and even though I only did one sentence (lol) it sounds better and I'm fixing the very things you mentioned. And like I said before I do plain on keeping the time change I just need a way to make it sound like a dream instead of just a random event. So thanks and I'll check out that site and watch for the things you mentioned. :)

December 28th, 2012, 10:43 PM
Okay you are a beginner - that's great. You need to keep practicing and be patient. Someone on this forum recommended the "snowflake method" of writing [google it] there is a 10 step outline that is very instructive. You are on a good writing forum and that is great place to hang out. So you are off to a good start you need practice.

You may try writing a short story so you can get a feel of completion and sample different aspects of writing in smaller bites.

You are striving to be a wordsmith -- you have to know words like a mechanic knows engines and that takes time and study.

It takes much rewriting to get something to a polished finish.

December 28th, 2012, 10:55 PM
I agree very much I'll google that "snowflake method" and like I said it's just a first draft I expect to do more like 20 if not more before I get it right.

December 28th, 2012, 11:01 PM
I am already interested in learning more about the Zola and what bad things are to come. It seems like the flow is a bit choppy, and the progression is a little rushed. Slow it down and develop the characters more. Have some suspense leading into who Keio really is and why green eyes are so special.

I heard once that a story should aim to be 40,000 words. Take your time in getting into the heart of the story, just leave some hints to carry the reader along.


Mr. Hadsmith III :drinkcoffee:

December 28th, 2012, 11:19 PM
Thank you I'm working on fixing some of those things I am trying on keeping the info. on the characters limited but still interesting to make you want to know more. My ideas sometimes get mixed up but in rewriting it I'm fixing more things taking out a few and make it better mach were I want the story to go.

January 5th, 2013, 04:20 PM
Hi Allyson,
I'd say try and be more economic with your words - it would flow better, I think. Try and find the right few to tell your story. I read a nice quote about writing recently: 'Economy is key and brevity takes time.'

January 6th, 2013, 02:15 PM
Despite how wordy this was I also felt like it was rushed. Does David care about anything? He is fixing a motorbike to go to town on but he doesn't like going to town?

If the color of his eyes are so important then why isn't it mentioned before they are in town? I see descriptions of flowers, description of Keio, and description of a motorbike but nothing describing our protagonist.

The use of the conductor and why it was needed is vague and hazy, I get a feeling that it's kept intentionally vague but when you get a chance to explain what it is we're told that it's an unnecessary item now and not to worry about it. It's just used for training?

Quick tip: run a quick spell check on things and read aloud to yourself as you write. Reading it out loud will let you hear when you're being too wordy because you'll get out of breath. You'll hear grammatical mistakes and you'll hear when something just doesn't sound right.

Very imaginative and quite interesting to read. Keep it up.

January 7th, 2013, 12:22 AM
I think, like an above mentioned. The mystery stone should display some property or ability to tease the reader in to the world. Considering that it is a Stage 1 set piece and seems to carry a great deal of import.

January 7th, 2013, 01:24 AM
Despite how wordy this was I also felt like it was rushed. Does David care about anything? He is fixing a motorbike to go to town on but he doesn't like going to town?

If the color of his eyes are so important then why isn't it mentioned before they are in town? I see descriptions of flowers, description of Keio, and description of a motorbike but nothing describing our protagonist.

The use of the conductor and why it was needed is vague and hazy, I get a feeling that it's kept intentionally vague but when you get a chance to explain what it is we're told that it's an unnecessary item now and not to worry about it. It's just used for training?

Quick tip: run a quick spell check on things and read aloud to yourself as you write. Reading it out loud will let you hear when you're being too wordy because you'll get out of breath. You'll hear grammatical mistakes and you'll hear when something just doesn't sound right.

Very imaginative and quite interesting to read. Keep it up.

Ok I get your point so how do I make it less wordy and rushed but still make sense. I was thinking about taking the motorbike out because when I started the story it mattered but it doesn't anymore. And I would like to make clear that when I wrote this it was rushed because I needed to get the idea down and I was still developing the idea. I have a clearer idea of the character now and it's reflected in later chapters. I think I just need to really fix the first two or three chapters but I want to keep certain things a secret but I don't know how to do that and still keep the readers interest.

January 8th, 2013, 11:16 AM
Hi Allyson
I do the same when I write, using the protagonist's name too many times in ashort period. I normally catch this after a re-read or two. Also you can catch spellingmistakes and if a sentence does not sound right i.e.; too rushed or making nosense.
I enjoyed your style of writing and look forward to more.