View Full Version : My First: A Game of Chance (2750 words)

July 2nd, 2014, 08:38 PM
Hello everyone.
I would like to post my first attempt at writing a story.
Personally I'm having a lot of trouble with the first few chapters.
So if anyone could help i would be really grateful.

A few things to note:
- The chapters are very small because i need to change characters for this type of story.
- What I'm really having trouble is with adding detail. The story moves very fast.
- This story is inspired by the anime "Death Note". By that i mean a battle of wits type clash.

It was grim windy day for Leon Harvard. It was as if the day itself was warning Leon of the menace that lay in store for him. But Leon did not pay attention to such things. He kept up the same old routine. Breakfast, classes, lunch break, more classes, and finally getting home. His home was a 2 story house with 3 bedrooms upstairs, living room and a kitchen downstairs. A standard house. Not that there was anyone special waiting at his house either. His older brother disappeared 2 years ago and his parents were rarely ever home. Both of his parents worked overtime to support his studies. This lack of family had made Leon's personality very odd. He would rarely speak and had only one true friend. 19 Year old Leon was a bright kid in terms of study, considered a genius by everyone around him. Too bad it happened to him. That fateful event sent him off the edge.
One day one his way back home Leon happened upon a Golden card. A Red Ace of Hearts to be precise. Its entire body, except for the engravings, shined gold. No one else seemed to notice the card despite its appearance. Something was gnawing at Leon, telling him to keep walking. But he couldn't. He picked it up and examined it. Suddenly he got dizzy. Next thing he knew, he wasn't in the streets of his hometown anymore. He was in a large empty, black room with shadowed outlines of 51 other people. He couldn't actually see them but instead their shape. The room itself was entirely black. Nothing could be made out in terms of its shape. What was happening to him? Just as he was about to shout out he was back in the streets holding the Golden card. Suddenly a rush of images came into his head. Rules for a game, and special abilities he was now supposed to possess. When the images stopped the card was gone. Not knowing what to do Leon ran back home. As usual his parents weren't home. He went up to his bedroom and sat down in his desk. With hesitation he started to sort through the information. Any sane person would probably try to forget this ghastly experience. Not Leon though, he wanted to sort out this mess in his head even if it was nonsense. Why am I doing this? He thought. It has to be nonsense. To be honest, he himself didn't really know why he was doing this. The card had disappeared right out of Leon's hand. Perhaps that is why he believed it. Or maybe he was just bored, and wanted something to do. It took Leon a while but he finally he got it all sorted out, and it went as follows:
"The 52 of you who have touched the Golden cards are now set to the task of killing each other. The last one who remains shall be given enormous rewards. Each of you has been given an ability according to the card you picked up and the abilities all come with their limits. There are no rules except that you must NOT stop usage of your ability for more than 10 days or you will die. May the best man win." Then afterwards there was a separate message for Leon. It went: "Leon Harvard, your ability is the Red Ace of Hearts. You can alter what a single person around you is seeing. Your ability has a range of 50 meters. The potential of what you can make people see will slowly increase as you further yourself in the game."
Leon Harvard, a silver haired, youth had just acquired the ability to manipulate what people around him saw.

Chapter 1 - Leon
"This actually works. I'm serious!" said Leon to James. Leon trusted James with this information. They were friends since their 10th grade. James Kurt was Leon's closest friend but not quite as smart as him. James was tall like Leon, with a skinny body and long black hair reaching his shoulders. He was also a skilled chess player. He could predict his opponents many moves ahead. "You're kidding right?" asked James. He would always ask that. James was a sceptic. "No man. I just made that dude see a tiger in the middle of the street. You see how he's freaking out? ...Seems like I can only affect one person at a time and only over a short range of about 50 meters". This is bad thought Leon. If this much is true then the other stuff is probably true too. That means there are 51 other people with different powers out to kill me? No way! The fear must have shown on Leon's face. "You alright man?" James inquired. "Yea yea. I'm fine, listen I've got to go. How about we meet later?" Without waiting for a response Leon started toward home. If there were people coming to kill him then he needed to get ready. With this ability he should be able to survive. Leon turned the corner to his house. He could see it now. Something was off. There was a black car parked in the driveway. Not ours. Thought Leon. Worry began to worm its way into Leon. His parents would be home at this time. Maybe it's just a guest. But he couldn't shake this feeling off. Maybe it was because of the competition. Finally he arrived at the house.
Upon arriving home Leon's heart stopped. He couldn't believe his eyes. There lay his parents, dead. They had been Shot through the heart, both of them. Over their corpses stood a averagely muscular man with surprisingly blonde hair holding a gun. He was wearing military camo. That was all Leon noticed before the stink of the corpses assaulted Leon. They must have been dead for quite a while. Leon resented his parents for leaving him home all the time. Even if he understood their reasons were for him. "So your one of us huh? My names Rhode. I'm sorry but I'm here to kill you." No way! ... I've already been found. Mom! Dad! Damn it I have to run. "Now die." No! Rhode fired, but not at Leon. No, he fired at the wall, while Leon ran for his life. This power... I made him believe I was standing near the wall, not the door. Anyways how did he find me this fast. It's only been 4 days. Thought Leon. Without looking back Leon ran all the way to the outskirts of town. His heart was racing. If it weren't for his quick thinking he would have been dead. For a while he kept running aimlessly until he remembered a good place to hide. He ran to a small cabin where he used to come to relax often. Inside he lay on the bed, tears coming to his eyes. "Damn! Mom and Dad, dead and I'm on the run." Slowly his grief turned to rage, and then into surprising calm. This is war then. He wants a fight? Fine, Ill give him one. "I hope your ready to die, Rhode you scum!"
Two days have passed since... Mom, Dad, I couldn't save them. At the least I will be able to get revenge for them.... This plan.. is perfect. Thought Leon as he walked behind Rhode. Leon had searched around town for 2 days for Rhode. He had chanced upon him at the supermarket. From their he was tailing him. The other completely unaware of Leon's presence. Leon had made himself appear as a everyday civilian. A lawyer named Jack Faust to be exact. Jack was your average citizen. Worked a job, had a family. No one would suspect him. If only I had a gun, I could end this now. There would be no link to me. Jack, who I'm appearing as, would be framed for the murder and I would have my revenge. Leon took a look at his watch. "It's already been 15 minutes?" He whispered to himself. "I'm running out of people to become." If I stay one person too long he will catch on. Thought Leon for the 100th time. Just as Leon had finished saying that, Rhode entered a Hotel. Got ya. So this is where he's staying. "Alright here goes everything."

Chapter 2 - Rhode
"Tch, I let him get away." complained Rhode, with his oddly thick accent. It was 2 days after Rhode had attempted to kill Leon Harvard. Him and his partner Harold were at their hotel suite. Rhodes attempt at Leon's life had failed. "Well at least you killed his parents. I'm sure he will seek you out.... Don't worry. I mean you have the best ability for this competition after all. The ability to never miss your target." Replied Harold, a 38 year old, bald accountant, and also Rhodes partner. Harold's personality was very close to Rhode's. They both were extremely ruthless and lacked empathy. The one difference between them was that Rhode would always consider the situation. Harold on the other hand liked to rush into things without a plan. "So how did you miss him anyways?" Asked Harold curiously. Rhode's ability was to never miss his target. He could shoot or throw anything and it would always hit its intended spot. From just one encounter Rhode had already calculated a theory of what Leon's power may have been. It was a testament to his intelligence."Well I'm assuming he used his ability. I shot him in the head but the bullet went right through him. From that I can assume that this Leon guy can alter what I can see or make illusions. Or he can become a ghost but that's unlikely. Anyways we will find out which one according to your observations Harold.... So tell me what did you see?" Asked Rhode firmly. Before being chosen to compete, Rhode was a successful banker. His wits allowed him to venture far in the world of business. His intellectual could easily be compared to that of Leon. "He was tailing you the entire time. I could have killed him right there, but like you asked I didn't." Rhode had Harold follow him close behind to see if anyone was tailing him. Leon's ability would only have affected Rhode and not Harold. So he was following me the entire time but I never noticed him. Which means only MY vision was altered. So he can't make illusions for everyone, but instead only one person at a time. And now he knows where I am.... Perfect.
Rhode and Harold heard loud knocking on the door followed by shouting. Both Rhode and Harold jerked their heads towards the door. Then came the shouting. "This is the police! Come out with your hands up!" The shock on Harold's face was evident. Rhode on the other hand was more calm about it. So the police huh? Thought Rhode. Harold on the other hand was confused. "Are you serious!? The cops!" Said Harold in awe. There was only one way out of this, and Rhode knew. "Get down now. I'll kill them all with my ability and then we need to run, Harold." As Rhode reached for his gun he heard the door being broken down followed by gunshots. Harold hadn't gotten down in time and was dead. Shot through the chest 3 times. Rhode was hidden from the police, unlike Harold. It was fate. Harold's bed had been in clear view of the door. Dammit! Harold! Rhode steadied his gun and shot 4 times one after the other, hitting every cop right in between the eyes. Without batting an eye he ran from his room and down the stairs. Clever move Leon. Seems like you're not an idiot after all. Eliminating Harold so there's no way I can tell where you are. But how did you get the cops to do this. To kill... I made sure not to leave any traces at your house. Yet still here I am on the run. Rhode ran down the stairs into the parking looking for his car. It was the only way out of town now. He had failed, and if he didn't leave the town he'd be arrested. "There." He had found his car only to see its tires slashed. No way! Are you joking. He thought, beginning to panic. "RHODE! This is for my Parents!" shouted Leon. Rhode turned around to see Leon aiming a gun at him. And then he Fired. Rhode's last thoughts were I lost.

Chapter 3 - Leon
My revenge is complete. The plan went as expected. Thought Leon on his way back to his cabin. "Hah it was perfect! Bet you didn't see that coming Rhode!"
I had myself look like a Federal Agent when I went to the counter of the hotel. I asked the woman at the counter for Rhode's room number and details. Things got a bit complicated when I found out Rhode had a partner. If I'm right it was the same guy who was following me while I was following Rhode. Which meant Rhode knew of my abilities limits. I then had the cops break in and kill Harold, by posing as an Agent and going to the Police Department saying those two were suspects in a federal investigation. Technically Harold wasn't supposed to be killed, just captured. Guess I'm just lucky. I knew Rhode would escape using his ability somehow. Even if he didn't he'd just end up in jail.... At least until the cops figured out I was a fake. After his escape he would go to his car and there I would shoot him with a gun I got from an officer. I left no evidence leading to me and everything went perfectly. "This game of wits is interesting.... Alright then. One down fifty to go."
Leon was back at the cabin. "I won." said Leon, gazing up at the wooden roof of his cabin. The fact that he had just taken a life did not seem to bother Leon. The fact that he had already gotten over his parents death didn't either. What was happening to him? Was he always like this? Suddenly a rush of images came to Leon and he was in the Large Black room again with 50 other shadowed outlines. This time he carefully inspected the other players, look for any physical deformities or any such thing which would help him identify them later on. Just like before, almost instantly Leon was back in his cabin, this time with new information in his head. This time the information was more of an announcement. It went: "Rhode Jamal, the player with the ability of the Red 4 of Hearts is Dead. There are now 51 contestants left."
Leon packed his gun away. He would probably need it later. "It seems people are going to come looking for me now since Rhode died here.... Guess I better move." said Leon to himself. He took one last look at the cabin, his favourite place. He probably wouldn't ever see it again. Before he left the town he needed to clean up one thing. The only person who knows of my abilities now is James. Too bad... I liked him. Thought Leon smiling sadistically. He proceeded to James's house and rang the door bell. When James opened the door what he saw wasn't Leon. No, he saw his neighbour Derik. "Can you come with me for a min James?" Asked Derik/Leon. The two of them walked to the abandoned school. Leon knew James and Derik would usually come here. Once James back was turned Leon/Derik whispered "I'm sorry" and shot James in the back 4 times. The bullets penetrated his flesh and all the while Leon kept a straight face. Leon's persinality before was cold and calculating but now he had become a cold machine. Afterwards he proceeded to leave the town. With a little usage of his ability he was able to get a ticket to Toronto Canada free of charge. I should be safe here for now.... My next move should be figuring out who the other players are and their abilities. Perhaps the players are chosen for traits they possess. For that I will need to look up Rhodes past and see if there is any connection or similarities between us at all. "Well then... lets get started"

July 2nd, 2014, 08:40 PM
Im very sorry if the "thought" parts are hard to see. The italics look very similar to the non italic here. When i get some free time ill fix it.

July 2nd, 2014, 09:32 PM
Hi Zenor (:

First, I'll say that while chapters can any length you want them to be, you don't have to start a new chapter when you change character. There are many books (e.g Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series) that show a change of character with an * between two paragraphs. Just a thought.

The second thing I'll say is yes, I agree, you seem to be having problem with detail. And detail is king. So often, detail is what makes a story come alive.
I've critiqued the first paragraph in-depth for you, and maybe you'll find it helpful. If you don't, that's okay too.

It was a average sunny afternoon for Leon Harvard.
- It was AN average.. but besides that, for me, this isn't a great first sentence. I feel that the first sentence of a story should be brilliant or blazing, mysterious, chilling, cold... any of these things. But you say 'average'.
I am uninterested in reading an average story.

Not that there is anything special at his house either. - how is there nothing special about his house? I know houses and it is rare they don't have some kind of quirk. Can you picture this painfully ordinary house and explain it to me?

Leon was a bright kid considered a genius by everyone around him.
- bright, considered genius? So he isn't actually, he's just clever. How does this make him feel coming home at the end of the day, when people think he's a genius and he thinks he's just a bright kid? This is a great idea for some conflict, so tell me more (:

That fateful event cost him his life.
- okay, so you're telling this story in a narrator-knows-everything kind of way. That's okay. Some great stories are written that way. But at this point, I don't want to know that he dies already. You haven't given me anything to care about Leon, so why would I care how he loses his life?

One day one his way back from home Leon happened upon a Golden card. A Red Ace of Hearts to be precise.
- Okay, what's a Golden Card? Saying it's a red ace-of-hearts doesn't help me, because I don't know what being a Golden card entails. More to the point, does Leon know it's a Golden card? Or just the narrator? And, please, please don't try to fob me off with 'he just happened along it.' I know to know exactly how and where and if anyone else was about...

All of a sudden he wasn't in the streets of his hometown anymore. He was in a large empty room with shadowed outlines of 51 other people. Just as he was about to shout out he was back in the streets holding the Golden card.
- magical transportation, and you spend only three sentences on it? Can you tell me how the travelling felt, how Leon felt? There are no feelings in your story at all. How the room looked exactly, how the street looked, was there anyone else about who saw him whisked away? If no, was Leon relieved about that? Disappointed?

Not Leon though, he wanted to sort out this mess in his head even if it was nonsense. Finally he got it all sorted out, and it goes as follows:
- but where was he when he was doing this? Does he have family, asking how-was-school and whatever else when he got home, and did he tell them what happened or did he try pretend nothing was different? Did he go to his room? Did he get something to drink? Flop down on his bed, sit at his desk, or does he think better having a bath? How did he go about sorting the information? Did he write it down? Diagrams? Did it give him a headache? All this kind of thing, I need to know...

So, in short, I think you have some nice story ideas. But I know next to nothing about Leon, and so I don't care about him at all.
And if I don't care about the character, I'm not going to read the story.

Good luck with your writing,
- Ari

July 2nd, 2014, 09:45 PM
Haha that was a horrible beginning as i thought.

Anyways thank you so much for taking time out to write all my mistakes. Ill fix them.
And thanks to you iv'e got some ideas how i can add more detail.

July 2nd, 2014, 09:48 PM
The above post is pretty stellar. I'd also like to add that I think you should get rid of the prologue. Or, rather, you should fold the information from the prologue into the rest of the story. Stuffing this big, supernatural premise into a short paragrah makes it seem trivial, robs it of its magic. I am, however, a fan of air dropping the reader into the heart of the story, as you've done with chapter one. I suggest you begin things there. Above all, keep reading the work of great writers.

July 2nd, 2014, 09:57 PM
Thank you for your advice. Im working on the Prolouge to make it better, but i think ill keep it.

July 2nd, 2014, 10:03 PM
Haha that was a horrible beginning as i thought.

Anyways thank you so much for taking time out to write all my mistakes. Ill fix them.
And thanks to you iv'e got some ideas how i can add more detail.

No problem. Good luck and all ^_^

July 2nd, 2014, 10:37 PM
I patched up the Prologue a bit. (Edited in the main Post.)


Fixed up the first 3 chapters. Added detail, fixed errors, etc (Edited in the main post.)

I would like someone to please review 1 or 2 chapters if its not too much to ask.
I still believe they can be better.