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Fei
February 21st, 2013, 03:25 PM
<i>They shouldn't be here.

The thought kept flashing through his mind, suffocating him with dread, drowning him in fear. He didn't know where the others were but suspected that they would be searching for him. Pushing off from the rock he'd been sprawled on seconds before, he took off into the forest.

Sprinting lightly, he covered ground quickly. Still, the fear refused to leave him, clinging to him with a suffocating intensity. He didn't know much but this he knew:

It wasn't safe here.

His pace quickened as he sought not to think, not to allow the fear control him. They needed him. He would not-

He ran into something, landing on top of it.

It was soft.

It was Rae, she'd been searching for him. He rolled away from her then sat up to look her over for any injuries.

Her cheeks were almost feverishly red, she was panting heavily, trying to get her breath but her eyes never left his.

He leaned over, placing his palm on her forehead, she seemed to sway lightly before catching herself. She shivered delicately, her doe eyes widening as he tucked a lock of her hair behind her ears.

Ignoring the myriad of expressions running across the girl's face, he pulled off a heavy leather jacket and wrapped around her. He helped her to her feet and took her hand, letting her lead him back to the others.

Cian, as usual was quiet, gazing thoughtfully at the large oak trees while Paris stood beside Rae, sopping wet. He'd probably landed in water. At his appearance at the wide clearing, they'dbeen visibly relieved. After the excitement had somewhat died down, they all began to talk at the same time not stopping to wonder who was actually listening to the other person.

He only had ears for Rae's twin, Cora. She was rambling on about some creature they'd found in cave. Apparently they'd decided he should be the one to check it out, electing him the leader as they always did. Being the team captain sucked sometimes.

Was no one worried they were suddenly in the middle of nowhere?

Sighing with resignation, he let himself be led once again to the entrance of the cave, some distance away. He heard it before he saw it. It was a bright as the sunlight and as dark as the depths of the earth.

The creature's massive body rose and fell with seemingly labored breathing. It was simply magnificent and he was sure it had definitely not existed in his world, the real world.

As he moved forward, a growing sense of impending doom threatened to crush him. Warning bells went off at record speed yet he did not turn back. Closer still, he drew into the cave. Finally, he was deep enough that he could see the entire body.

Out of the creature's face, blood red eyes shone back at him, radiating menace.

They promised death.</i>



Chapter 1



It was one of those Saturdays. The ones where you absolutely refused to do anything that involved actually getting up, then proceeded to complain about it.The sun was beating down relentlessly on the humid summer afternoon. Six teenagers gathered in a basement, finding it somewhat cooler than the rest of the house. The 11 year old boy ventured into the basement, he too had found the Saturday offensive.

"Let's have an adventure!" he suggested.

"Let's not," Paris drawled, his lanky frame spread comfortably over the length of the futon.

The 11 year old started to pout, disappointed.

"Zack, we're not sneaking into Mrs. Wittleby's basement," Blaise said tiredly, "I've told you a thousand times; she does not keep zombies."

"Fine, be that way," Zack said, his lips pulling into a pout as he moved away from his older brother.

"Sure will," Blaise muttered, watching his errant brother move over to examine the ceramic vase with the Cheshire cat's face.

After a few seconds he redirected his attention back to his algebra assignment, his brother forgotten.

There was a loud noise which made every head in the room snap to attention.

"I didn't do it!" Zack cried, backing away from the broken shards, his hands raised in front of him.

Everyone just kept staring.

"I swear, I didn't touch it" he said with desperation.

"Well, who the hell did?" Trix wanted to know.

Seeing the carefully blank look on their faces, Zack realized he had a snowball's chance in hell of convincing them he hadn't pushed over the vase.

"I'm outta here." he concluded, taking off up the stairs.

"We all saw him playing with it,"Rae stated, trying to be fair.

"He didn't touch it," Cian asserted, not looking up from his book.

"And how would you know?" Cora shot back, "You've had your nose stuck in a book all day-"

"Hey guys? Do you feel that?" Paris cut in, straightening up from the futon. The ground was vibrating with increasing pressure.

Panic ensued.

The windows were shaking violently, the room tilted sharply, ornaments fell, crashing into a million pieces on the tiled floor. The furniture tumbled over. Paris was knocked into Cian and they both landed hard against the wall. The lights went out.Someone screamed. Then silence.

Squinting into the darkness, Blaise started to feel his way around.

"Cian? Paris? Rae?" he called out, but there was only silence. "Anyone?"

bazz cargo
February 23rd, 2013, 10:13 PM
Hi Fei,
the problem with something as good as this is it is hard to pick over. Yes there is a typo ' they'dbeen'.

Everything is well written. Your SPaG is way better than mine. It's just somehow. Sterile.

I don't connect with any of the characters. And very little of anything is given away to hook me in. I feel there is something behind this that has potential only I am missing it. Bear in mind it is only my impression, others are available.

Bazz

NathanBrazil
February 24th, 2013, 05:30 AM
Fei,

This was an easy read, with good flow. I preferred chapter one to the prologue. There is some decent dialogue and I particularly liked the "Let's not" by Paris which echoed my sentiments and the pacing was bit better. The prologue actually feels like chapter two or three of the story. A fore-shadowing?

There's a lot of talk about showing not telling. In general, I would rather not say how fearful someone is but write about the actions or facial expressions that make it evident that the character is fearful.

Remove "with dread, drowning him in fear" from this paragraph. See how it reads. That may not work for you but I would try it.
The thought kept flashing through his mind, suffocating him with dread, drowning him in fear. He didn't know where the others were but suspected that they would be searching for him. Pushing off from the rock he'd been sprawled on seconds before, he took off into the forest.

HTH

dolphinlee
February 24th, 2013, 02:36 PM
I like the fact thatthe prologue is a ‘taster’ to get me into the story. The story flowed but for meit was a little difficult to read. Please do not be discouraged by that statement or anything that I have written below. It feels a little like you are finding your feet.

You know when someone grabs you and turns you round and round and thenreleases you. You are dizzy and you stagger about for a while until the dizziness clears. We all go through this stage. We write but we are dizzy with all the thoughts about what we want to write, all the ideas jumping in in the wrong order and at the wrong time, all the rules we should be following and all the ‘good’advice we have been given. Gradually our minds become calmer and our voice becomes clearer and clearer. I think you are still finding your voice. This will come with practice.

I like the basic story. I think you are on to something. So please keep on writing and posting your work.

They shouldn't be here.

The thought kept flashing through his mind, suffocating him with dread,drowning him in fear. (I am not sure if both the descriptions are needed.) He didn't know where the others were but suspected thatthey would be searching for him. Pushing off from the rock he'd been sprawledon seconds before, he took off into the forest. (How can he push off from the rock when by using the words “He’s been sprawled on seconds before” you have implied that he is no longer on the rock)

Sprinting lightly, he covered (the)ground quickly. Still, the fear refused to leave him, clinging to him with a suffocating intensity. He didn't know much but this he knew:


Her cheeks were almost feverishly red, shewas panting heavily, trying to get her breath but her eyes never left his. (again you have a double description of the same thing)

He leaned over, placing his palm on her forehead, she seemed to sway lightly before catching herself. She shivered delicately, her doe eyes widening as he tucked a lock of her hair behind her ears.

Ignoring the myriad of expressions running across the girl's face, he pulled off a (his) heavyleather jacket and wrapped (it) around her. He helped her to her feet and took her hand, letting her lead him back to the others.

Cian, as usual was quiet, gazing thoughtfully at the large oak trees while Paris stood beside Rae, sopping wet. He'd probably landed in water. (If Rae is leading the MC then how can Paris be standing beside her? I have to assume that some time has passed but this is not clear.)

At his appearance at the wide clearing,they'd been visibly relieved. After the excitement had somewhat died down, (somewhatis a wooly word and it serves no purpose here.) they all began to talk at the same time not stopping to wonder who was actuallyl istening to the other person. (I think this last bit is unnecessary. This seems a little wrong. At this point I do not know how ‘experienced’ the group is but I am getting the impression that they are rank amateurs)

He only had ears for Rae's twin, Cora. She was rambling on about some creaturethey'd found in cave. Apparently they'd decided he should be the one to check it out, electing him the leader as they always did. Being the team captain sucked sometimes. (I likethis paragraph. It tells me a lot about the group dynamics.)

Was no one worried they were suddenly in the middle of nowhere?

Sighing with resignation, he let himself be led once again to the entrance ofthe cave, some distance away. He heard it before he saw it. It was a bright as the sunlight and as dark as thedepths of the earth. (If the thing is so bright then surely he would have seen it before he heard it?)

The creature's massive body rose and fell with seemingly (either it was or it wasn’t) labored breathing. It was simply magnificent and he was sure it had definitely not existed in his world, the real world.

As he moved forward, a growing sense of impending doom threatened to crush him. Warning bells went off at record speed yet he did not turn back. Closer still, he drew into the cave. Finally, he was deep enough that he could see the entire body. (again the double description)

Out of the creature's face, blood red eyes shone back at him, radiating menace.

They promised death.

Chapter 1


It was one of those Saturdays. The ones where you absolutely refused to do anything that involved actually getting up, then proceeded to complain about it. (when you were forced to get up??) The sun was beating down relentlessly on the humid summer afternoon. Six teenagers gathered in a basement, finding it somewhat cooler than the rest of the house. The 11 year old boy ventured into the basement, he too had found the Saturday offensive.

"Let's have an adventure!" he suggested.

"Let's not," Paris drawled, his lanky frame spread comfortably overthe length of the futon.

The 11 year old started to pout, disappointed.

"Zack, we're not sneaking into Mrs. Wittleby's basement," Blaise said tiredly, "I've told you a thousand times; she does not keep zombies." (Wonderful piece of dialogue – I smiled!)

The dialogue in this part of the piece is excellent.

"Hey guys? Do you feel that?" Paris cut in, straightening up from the futon. The ground was vibrating with increasing pressure. (How would they know the reason?)

Panic ensued. (As a way of describing what happened I think this is weak.)

The windows were shaking violently, the room tilted sharply, ornaments fell, crashing into a million pieces on the tiled floor. The furniture tumbled over. Paris was knocked into Cian and they both landed hard against the wall. The lights went out. Someone screamed. Then silence. (If the room really tilted and I find it hard to believe that a basement room would tilt, then it might be better to reorder the effects from smallest to largest to build up the overall effect.)

Squinting into the darkness, Blaise started to feel his way around.

"Cian? Paris? Rae?" he called out, but there was only silence."Anyone?"

Nice build up to the end of this section!

As I said at the beginning you have something here and I want to know what happens next!

Fei
February 25th, 2013, 03:55 PM
Thanks for the comments and critiques, re-write coming up!

dolphinlee
February 25th, 2013, 04:14 PM
Fei, remember that the work is yours and that comments made by others are only their opinion. Please take time to think aboout whether you are comfortable with any change before you make it.

You are the 'expert' when it comes to your work.

DaveinJapan
February 28th, 2013, 05:46 AM
Fei, remember that the work is yours and that comments made by others are only their opinion. Please take time to think aboout whether you are comfortable with any change before you make it.

You are the 'expert' when it comes to your work.

This is very important. May I copy it and save it as a desktop quote!? ;)

Fei
February 28th, 2013, 09:08 AM
LOL

Wee Red Bird
March 11th, 2013, 10:22 PM
One thing I have to say. There were a lot of names thrown in at once.
Maybe its just my bird-brained inability to remember names, especially when I get so many in a sharp burst.
Its something that you can often get away with on TV by having people stand out from each other in appearance (take the first episode of Lost for example, would be a nightmare to throw all their names in).

But, like every other comment you will see on here, its just the individual's opinion. Don't go chopping and changing just to suit what one person says.

BluntAshwater
March 12th, 2013, 09:22 PM
Really enjoyed this, would love to read more. The only part which I find unnecessary is:

'The 11 year old started to pout, disappointed.'

"Fine, be that way," Zack said, his lips pulling into a pout as he moved away from his older brother.'

Double pout!

Fei
April 13th, 2013, 11:41 AM
thanks for reading and pointing that out, even if I'd read it ten times I still wouldn't have seen it.

Pelwrath
April 15th, 2013, 01:32 AM
I liked this. A question. Is the prologue a mirror of the 1st chapter? A creation of their sneaking into Mrs. Wittleby's basement? Now, trying to put myself in the mindset o an 11 year old was hard. I agree that there is good merit here. Keep the work up.

Nevermore
April 15th, 2013, 01:54 AM
Yep, it's already been mentioned, but you're biggest pitfall here is the giant character dump. It's probably about two pages tops + 8 characters at once. Biggest problem within said biggest problem is that they aren't even introduced, they just sort of . . . pop up.

So, you've definately got a steady, neato flow going. It's fast paced and easy to read, but at the same time, can make it hard to tell exactly which character the story's perspective is from, which can make the shift to Blaise just a little bit awkward at the end. That, and maybe two other times are the only cases where you can tell it's rom Blaise's eyes.

Another thing, some transitions between sentances can be a bit sudden and oddball. For example, "The 11 year old boy ventured into the basement, he too had found the Saturday offensive." The appearance of said 11 year old boy from nowhere is kind of random.

So, my recommendation would be to somehow slow it up, make sure you don't dump everything in everyone's face at once, especially with regard to the characters. But other than that, you seem to have a good grip on the choppy, rapid fire style, especially in the prologue-thingy-part.

Fei
April 15th, 2013, 08:42 AM
Yep, it's already been mentioned, but you're biggest pitfall here is the giant character dump. It's probably about two pages tops + 8 characters at once. Biggest problem within said biggest problem is that they aren't even introduced, they just sort of . . . pop up.

So, you've definately got a steady, neato flow going. It's fast paced and easy to read, but at the same time, can make it hard to tell exactly which character the story's perspective is from, which can make the shift to Blaise just a little bit awkward at the end. That, and maybe two other times are the only cases where you can tell it's rom Blaise's eyes.

Another thing, some transitions between sentances can be a bit sudden and oddball. For example, "The 11 year old boy ventured into the basement, he too had found the Saturday offensive." The appearance of said 11 year old boy from nowhere is kind of random.

So, my recommendation would be to somehow slow it up, make sure you don't dump everything in everyone's face at once, especially with regard to the characters. But other than that, you seem to have a good grip on the choppy, rapid fire style, especially in the prologue-thingy-part.

thanks for reading, I guess there actually doesn't have to be six main characters. I think I'll chop it down to four and try to ease into their intros.

Jeko
April 15th, 2013, 03:11 PM
That's a cracking opening line.

They shouldn't be here.

Reminds me of the same ambiguous 'they' garth Nix employed in Mister Monday, the same 'they' that drew me in.

The prologue has a wonderful flow until the line containing Rae's 'myriad of expressions'. For me, this knocks the pace off the horse it's riding and then shoots the horse dead, which is sad because it's a really good horse. You're more looking for something to slow the horse down, as I know the cut in pace is justified and effective, but it needs to still flow as effectively as the opening of the prologue.

Also, the latter end of the prologue is a lot less easy to understand for me. You set me up to read at the same pace I do for the likes of Darren Shan (whose horses are an incredible breed) but then try to introduce too many elements at once to both the story and my imagery. Make it simpler, and keep up the action for longer.

I feel you write a little like I do - you become impatient as you unfold the story, rather quickly. Still, it makes for effective drafting.

The first chapter felt like the skeleton of a YA novel's first chapter without the memorable characters and/or setting and/or tone it requires, and in comparison to the excitement of the prologue it falls flat. It is again impatient. I would work on introducing your characters in a way that makes them slot into the story smoothly and interestingly.

This looks like the start of a great YA novel. I can't guess where it is going, so you have me hooked.

Good luck with this,

Cadence

Fei
April 16th, 2013, 02:53 AM
I liked this. A question. Is the prologue a mirror of the 1st chapter? A creation of their sneaking into Mrs. Wittleby's basement? Now, trying to put myself in the mindset o an 11 year old was hard. I agree that there is good merit here. Keep the work up.

thanks Pelwrah. The basement has nothing to do with the prologue ;) it was just for the dialogue. I can't even remember being 11 and I just turned 17 three hours ago :)

Fei
April 16th, 2013, 02:58 AM
That's a cracking opening line.

They shouldn't be here.

Reminds me of the same ambiguous 'they' garth Nix employed in Mister Monday, the same 'they' that drew me in.

The prologue has a wonderful flow until the line containing Rae's 'myriad of expressions'. For me, this knocks the pace off the horse it's riding and then shoots the horse dead, which is sad because it's a really good horse. You're more looking for something to slow the horse down, as I know the cut in pace is justified and effective, but it needs to still flow as effectively as the opening of the prologue.

Also, the latter end of the prologue is a lot less easy to understand for me. You set me up to read at the same pace I do for the likes of Darren Shan (whose horses are an incredible breed) but then try to introduce too many elements at once to both the story and my imagery. Make it simpler, and keep up the action for longer.

I feel you write a little like I do - you become impatient as you unfold the story, rather quickly. Still, it makes for effective drafting.

The first chapter felt like the skeleton of a YA novel's first chapter without the memorable characters and/or setting and/or tone it requires, and in comparison to the excitement of the prologue it falls flat. It is again impatient. I would work on introducing your characters in a way that makes them slot into the story smoothly and interestingly.

This looks like the start of a great YA novel. I can't guess where it is going, so you have me hooked.

Good luck with this,

Cadence

Well, you love your horses. Thanks for reading, I guess I'll have to re-write this thing fast since everyone is pretty much saying the same thing. I'll need that luck too so thanks again.