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DarkSunshine
September 20th, 2016, 05:38 AM
Join Kinkardine, an average teenage girl whisked into the clutches of her mind. A day of daydreaming of being a hero saving the world comes true for Kinkardine as she must find seventeen precious jewels taken by the "Dark One", before the given time or else, see the her world destroyed. Making a lot of friends, enemies, witnessing betrayals, broken relationships, kindled relationships, fights and many more, she is in for an adventure she shall never forget.

Chapter 1: Prologue

Hey. How's it going? My name is Kinkardine. I'm just an average 14 year old teenager, living in a small town in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Every day, my life is tedious and boring, with my parents nagging me every day to do my homework, chores, and school. Nothing interesting ever happens in my life! I get so bored every time and I have run out of things to do. The thing is, writing has been my gateway from boredom. I love writing fantasy stories to escape the clutches of times. Don't you every feel like living a life of a hero, saving the world? I mean, how cool is that! I've read many books of how a hero overcome darkness to save the world and I myself want to be in the shoes of the hero! Is that too much to ask?! Grah....I'm getting pissed of thinking about the impossible.

Next thing I know is that the sun has fully set hours ago and guess what that means? I have to sleep! And after I wake up in the morning, I have to repeat this whole cycle again! Whatever. I lay in my bed, counting sheep, because I can't fall asleep easily, so I have to go through this torture of being bored out of my mind. After 30 minutes of counting sheep, I finally zone out.

After I woke up and gave a yawn, I realized that I wasn't in my house. This place looks really unfamiliar as I survey the whole place. Where the heck am I? At least they have a restroom....whatever, I don't have time for any of this joke. I give another yawn as I get out of bed and head to the restroom. I look in the mirror to see what a tangled mess my hair has become. I hate having to tame my hair. Sometimes, it just doesn't want to be tamed.

I heard a loud screeching noise as I quickly turn around, alarmed. Out popped a black vortex, swirling with energy. I faced it in awe, not being able to move a single inch. Out of the vortex, popped out a really handsome man. I began blushing profusely. He was surrounded by the darkness and was wearing such a badass cape. He was dressed in pure black energy. He radiated fear and darkness so much that I almost pissed my pants.

"Who the hell are you?" I asked in awe, "Where the hell am I?"

The mysterious figure smiled.

"I will not tell you my name as it is not important," he sneered, "People call me the "Dark One."

"Tight name," I smiled at him as he didn't look impressed, "What? Why aren't you smiling back? Talk about rude!"

His jaw tightened as he flicked his hands and I fell on my knees, clutching my head in pain. My head felt like it was being pounded against a sharp rock multiple times.

"You shall show your master proper respect!" he hissed, the darkness creeping closer and closer to me.

"I am no one's master," I gritted my teeth, "Where the hell am I? What the hell is going on?! I demand answers!"

In an instant, all pain stopped and he soon had me by the throat.

"Listen here you ungrateful little brat," he snarled, "Talk to me like that one more time and I will cut your tongue off."

"This is a nightmare!" I hyperventilated, not being able to take it all in, "This is just a bad dream! I will wake up!"

"That's where you are wrong my dear," he chuckled, "Then how can you feel pain? How can you comprehend this? If it were a dream, wouldn't you be awake by now?"

He dropped me to the floor and pain seared through my body.

"Now, let's start again shall we?" he asked, "The end of the world is nigh! Submit to me and I will spare you and I will give all your little heart desires!"

By this time, I was really freaked. What the hell is happening here? Hey consciousness, do you want to wake up now?

"I don't like people who threaten me and I for sure don't like any bad guys," I taunted, "Screw you. I'm never joining you."

He grinned evilly, "Very well. I have tortures set up for you my dear. Soon, you will be joining me whether you like it or not."

"B-but, why me?" I asked, "Why did you specifically want me to join?"

"You really are naive," he chuckled, "There is no time to answer your question, after all, you are all but a pathetic, wimpy, kid."

Without warning, I swiftly punched him in his groin and he growled in pain and anger.

"You will pay for that you stupid little...." he began as he got me by my throat again.

My vision began burning as I thought this was the end, but there was flash of bright light and my I fell into unconsciousness.
Well, that was just the prologue. Was it good? I'm not sure. Any criticism is accepted! Thank you! I will read your criticism and input it to the next chapter. Thanks.

patskywriter
September 20th, 2016, 09:34 PM
Are you in the same age group as the main character (14 or so)? If so, I'd suggest that you keep reading adventure stories and note how all of the senses are used in storytelling. If we're seeing the world through the character's eyes, let her describe what she sees, hears, feels, smells, and thinks. Keep in mind that readers often like to imagine what it is you're describing. If the character is grabbed by the neck, does she struggle to breathe? Is she really able to tell when she's rendered unconscious? Sometimes stories—especially slice-of-life, simpler stories—work better in the first person (told by the main character). But if it's an epic tale, which I sense this story might be, it might work better told in the third person so the readers can see the full scope of what's happening. (This is definitely not always true, but just something to think about.)

DarkSunshine
September 21st, 2016, 01:16 AM
Thank you for that!
Yes, I will try it out on the next chapter. I also wanted to try shifting POV's to other characters, but I'm not sure how hectic it will turn out. Once again, thank you!

Jay Greenstein
September 21st, 2016, 03:38 AM
Some things to keep in mind:
Hey. How's it going? My name is Kinkardine. I'm just an average 14 year old teenager, living in a small town in the city of St. Louis, Missouri.Think about it: your reader can't hear the warmth and life in your voice because they can't hear you. You can, and when you read it, all the emotion is there for you. You hear the tone, the inflection, the changes in rhythm, the emphasis, the meaningful little pauses, and all the tricks of the storyteller's art. To hear what I mean, have your computer read what's posted to you. It won't be at all like you intended it to sound, but intent dribbles from the words at the keyboard, so the reader must guess at how to read a given line before they know what it will say. And that would seem impossible. Added to that, the reader can't see your expressions, gestures, or anything else. But when telling a story aloud, as you're trying to do here, how you tell it is every bit as meaningful as what you say, because the emotional part of the story comes from the performance, not the words.
Nothing interesting ever happens in my life!When you read this, you build to a climax at the bang because you know it's coming. But for the reader it reads more as "Nothing interesting ever happens in my life. Until the end the reader doesn't know you expect excitement because they haven't seen the bang. Think about the difference between how you read when presented as:

Nothing interesting ever happens in my life!
or:
Susan scowled, her face red with anger. Unable to hold it in anymore she turned to her mother, saying "Dammit Mom, nothing interesting ever happens in my life."

Notice that by setting up the speaker's attitude in the reader's mind before they read the line, and leading off with a word that foreshadows the mood of the line, the bang at the end becomes superfluous. We know how to read it before we begin, so a period works without need of extra instruction.

In general, if you were writing a novel, you'd need about four or five bangs, total. In this short piece you use fifteen. Maybe a few more than needed? Keep in mind that the excitement belongs in the wording, not the punctuation! ;)
Next thing I know is that the sun has fully set hours ago and guess what that means? I have to sleep!Seems unnecessary to tell the reader that one sleeps at night, because they probably already know that. But look at how you constructed this. You open the piece talking to the reader about some things in general. We've not been placed in a scene, because nothing has happened. So since there has been no first thing, how can there be a "next thing?" See the problem?

At the moment you face a few problems, most of which you're not yet aware of. And they're getting in your way. It's not a matter of writing badly or well, or having a talent for writing, but that your teachers have never told you the most critical part of writing fiction, which is that it can't be done with the writing skills you're learning in school. Remember all the essays and reports you've had to write? There's a reason, which is that when you hold a job you'll be writing reports, papers, and letters, all nonfiction. So of course, you're learning nonfiction writing skills. Their goal is to inform. Fiction strives to entertain. A different goal requires different skills.

That makes sense that we're not taught the skills of fiction, since writing fiction is a profession, and like any other, has lots of tricks of the trade and specialized knowledge, needed only by writers. And as we all know, professions are mastered as part of our specialized professional education, usually acquired after high school. So though we don't know it, we all leave our schooldays exactly as prepared to write fiction as to remove a diseased appendix. The difference is that we know we have to learn medicine, but assume we already know how to write. We do, but not as a publisher (and their customers) view that skill.

But you don't want to wait till you leave school. And for that I applaud you. And you might want some other profession as your life's work, so probably aren't going to commit four years to a degree in commercial fiction. You have the desire to write, now. And you can. You just can't get the knowledge and skills in the classrooms you spend your days in. The good news is that if you acquire them, your writing, in general, will improve, and may raise your grades in English.

A very good source of tricks and techniques is the fiction writing section of the local free library (but not usually the school library). But in your case I would recommend you begin with Debra Dixon's, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict. Any online bookseller has it for download, and Deb's site has hard copies available. So if you have a personal Santa...

The thing about talent is that untrained talent and no talent are exactly the same, because talent is only potential until developed. And if you truly are meant to be a writer, you'll find the learning fun, and the result amazing. And if you don't, you've learned something about yourself. Win/win.

There are many articles to be found online, some good and some sincerely offered but imperfect. Even I wrote a few. But in the end, the safest thing to do is go to the pros, because we know their advice at least works for them.

So hang in there, and keep on writing, of course. But while you do, a bit of time spent acquiring the tricks the pros take for granted would be time wisely invested.

DarkSunshine
September 21st, 2016, 04:23 AM
Wow, first of all, I have to thank you for taking your time to post this! I greatly appreciate this and I have taken this into heart. I will absolutely follow through all your suggestion. I will use that critique to make this next chapter even better. Thank you!!

DarkSunshine
September 21st, 2016, 05:00 AM
Chapter 2: Greetings

Kinkardine awoke as pain flared throughout her body. She did not remember clearly what had happened, except that she was almost killed by this mysterious, yet handsome being, but was whisked away in the nick of time. She groggily rose her head, ignoring the pain searing through her body.

"Hey, you should relax," spoke a soft mewing voice.

She immediately got up and winced, "Who are you? Where am I?"

She looked around a room and saw a tabby cat licking its paws.

"No way," she whispered, "This cat wasn't the one talking. It's impossible...."

"Well, then," the tabby cat purred, "Such weak faith you have. I am indeed the one doing the talking."

Kinkardine stared at the cat in disbelief. The cat had a striped coat that was dark gray.

"This is a dream, this isn't reality," she whimpered, "I will wake up."

"Good luck," the cat mewled, "That won't work. Now, will you please stop hyperventilating and listen to me? We haven't got much time you know!"

"Fine!" she hissed, "Tell me cat. Tell me where the hell I am and what the hell is going on."

"Impatient, impatient," the cat sighed as she lay on her stomach, "Ok. So I saved you from "The Dark One," an evil being who wants the world in pieces. He has stolen the sixteen jewels, which I'm to lazy to name right now. You are the chosen hero who must find all the jewels and return it to 'The Sanctuary' before the void grows and consumes us all! Simple right?"

Kinkardine gasped, "Wait what?! He wants to destroy the world? The void? I'm the chosen one? I'm just an average teenage girl you know. I should be in school right now!"

"Uh no," the cat replied, "You are supposed to be saving the world!"

"I'm sorry, I'm confused," she answered, "I remember falling asleep, then I woke up in the middle of nowhere! I didn't choose to be the hero! I want to go home!"

"I'm afraid there is no home," the cat said sadly, "And I am afraid you must pull through this quest or we all will die and fade from existence..."

"But, I don't know where the hell to start!" she growled, "I don't even have a weapon or have any leads to where the first jewel is! I can't fight at all!"

"Then, we must get training, shouldn't we?" the cat asked, "Don't worry! Whatever reality or life you were living in the past will fade away! Don't dwell on the past, just focus on the present and the future! As for the lead, I know where the first jewel is hidden! After we train you and after I am sure you are capable, then we can go!"

"Woah, woah, woah, woah!" she replied, "Who said you could come also? A cat training me? Really?"

The cat seemed to be smirking, "I have the leads after all, and I also have the intellect! I'm not really a cat you know. This is one of my forms. Here is my true form!"

Suddenly, a bright light engulfed the cat and soon, there was a petite girl standing in the cat's place. Kinkardine's eye widened as she witnessed the transformation.

"Hey, my name is Kit," Kit smiled, "I was the one who saved you and the cat was one of my forms I can transform into. I am a shifter."

"Woah, wow," Kinkardine gasped as she looked at the girl, up and down.

The girl had wavy blonde hair down to her shoulders and she was dressed in jeans with a plain purple t-shirt.

"What's your name?" Kit asked, "I should've asked that in the beginning, but I forgot!"

"My name is Kinkardine," she replied, "Just call me Kin for short."

"Pleased to meet you Kin," Kit smiled, "Now, are you ready for training or do you have any other questions?"

"I have a couple more questions," Kin replied as Kit nodded, "How are you a shifter? Why are you here? Where's your family?"

Kit immediately recoiled and her smile was replaced by a deep frown as the mood started dampen.

"Oh! I'm so sorry!" Kin apologized, "You don't have to answer that!"

"No, it's fine! I'm sorry for worrying you!" Kit replied, "My past is a touchy subject and I would not like to touch that right now, if that is all right with you. I'm sorry.

"Hey, don't apologize," Kin smiled, "It is your choice if you want to tell me or not....On that note, I'm ready for training."

"Oh?" Kit grinned evilly, "Let's get started then, shall we?"

Jay Greenstein
September 21st, 2016, 03:21 PM
Much better. But remember, this is a profession, so every time you clear the bar we raise it. :)

A few more hints:
She immediately got up and winced,Watch out for adverbs. A lot of them work in speech because the way we say them gives meaning. When you say, "She slowly turned her head," you may speak it as, "She slooooly turned her head, to set the mood. But the reader can't hear anything but the basic word, so it sounds as if she's deliberately cranking it around that way for unknown purpose. Is there really a difference between her turning her head, and the same thing with commentary on how she moved it? Adverbs are useful and handy, but in print, many of them serve only to clutter.
She looked around a room and saw a tabby cat licking its paws.This is you talking to the reader and explaining, after the fact. But had you said it as, She looked around the room. To her right a dark gray, stripped, tabby cat sat licking its paw.

Presented like that it's more natural, and in her viewpoint. She looks around because she's trying to figure out where she is—as you would. As a result, she notices the cat, and it's natural for her to classify it by size, color, etc. at that time, because she's going to react to what she noticed. Explaining what it looked like, yourself, as you do a few lines later, places you into the story. And how real can that seem if she doesn't ask you who you are? And since we're in the moment she calls "now" the cat can't be licking it's paws, it can only be in the process of licking one. A small change from the original wording, and the reader gets the same information, but it's what matters to her, not you. For the trick behind it, check this article (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/scene.php).
"Well, then," the tabby cat purred,This one you can get away with, but...in reality, the cat can't purr words. But since the word also refers to the way something is spoken, it's okay. I mention it because there are things that don't work, like laughing words. In that case the character can laugh as they speak them. So you can't say, "I won't," he laughed. Instead, it would be, "I won't, he said, laughing (or laughingly, I suppose)
He has stolen the sixteen jewelsTo read as natural speech it has to sound like natural speech. Were you saying this, wouldn't it be "He's stolen the sixteen jewels."? Contractions, placed where that character would use them keep the dialog from reading as artificial. Perhaps one character might never use contractions. That's a personal quirk, and every character needs them to be unique. They might not use contractions, constantly interrupt, misuse words, or favor certain expressions, etc. But when you try to sound formal and literary, it detracts from the realism.
I'm just an average teenage girl you know.Are the last two words really necessary? Were you in her place, confused and upset, would you be as calm as those words imply? Any word you can eliminate, without changing the meaning and feel means the reading goes faster, and hits the reader harder. Fewer words = more punch.
I should be in school right now!"Again, the last two words seem unnecessary. But more then that, dump the bangs. Make the excitement come from the situation and the dialog, not an externally applied character like a bang. Make the reader live the story. Do that and they will want to speak the line with excitement, without you having to give stage directions in the form of punctuation.

Show what matters to her, as it matters to her. Your place is in the prompter's booth. You are God, in the sense that you toss situations at her that will make he react as you want, given her interpretation of what's happening, coupled with her needs and resources.
"My name is Kinkardine," she replied, "Just call me Kin for short."She replied. We know that because it was her turn to speak, and because in context, and based on the words, it can be no one else. Given that, why tell the reader it was a reply? A tag might be used as a kind of meta-punctuation, to create a pause to make the dialog seem natural, or expand on mood or meaning, but in most situation a tag is unnecessary. And no tag equals fewer words, equals faster action, equals more impact. Make implication work for you. And as a matter related to what I said before, what function does "for short" serve but to slow the narrative? Always remember, we provide the essence of the conversation, not the conversation, itself. Our medium is much slower that vision and sound because we notice a hundred visual or audible things at once. But the printed word is a serial medium, so things must be mentioned one at a time. So the fewer unnecessary words the faster the action takes place.

That matters a great deal, because it it takes longer to read about then to live, the pace drags.

In general, you're going much better. Just remember that writing is a journey, not a destination. So if, every day, you write with just a little more skill, and you live long enough...

Hang in there.

patskywriter
September 22nd, 2016, 12:05 AM
I'm already seeing improvement—keep at it. Writing is a lifestyle choice, LOL. :sneakiness:

DarkSunshine
September 22nd, 2016, 01:38 AM
Thank you guys! I'm fine with raising the bar as I want to become a better writer. :)

Without you guys, I still would've been really bad at writing. I owe you guys a lot, thank you. :)

I truly mean it, from the bottom of my heart. :cheerful:

DarkSunshine
September 22nd, 2016, 02:42 AM
Chapter 3: Survival Training Day 1


"Attention!" Kit ordered, "This training will familiarize you with variety of weapons and in the end, once the training with each type of weapon has been completed, you get to choose your very own!"

Excitement and nervousness flooded into Kin. She would get to choose a weapon? She never used a weapon in her life. Her parents would kill her if they knew she had been using a weapon.

"Really?" Kin asked excitedly, "I get to choose a weapon? This is going to be fun! Let's get training then!"

Kit gave out a soft laugh, "Oh, training won't be easy at all! In fact, it will be torture! You will totally not enjoy it! Just don't give up in the middle of training, m'kay?"

"It can't be that hard, can it?" Kin asked as Kit smirked.

"We shall see," Kit hummed as Kin frowned, nervousness instilling within her.

"First, we must change the setting," Kit said, clapping her hands.

Immediately, the room Kin was in vanished and was replaced by a forest.

"What the-? Where are we Kit?" Kin asked as she surveyed the forest.
The forest looked so real to her.

"Is this actually-" Kin began, but was interrupted by Kit.

"The forest? Yep!" she answered, "This is your first test! It's to survive the forest with nothing but yourself and the world. I will provide you with only some materials, but you must do the rest. Since this is your first time, I will provide you "

"I've never been out camping in a forest before!" Kin whined, "I stay cooped up in my house every day! This is impossible."

"Nothing is impossible child," Kit cheekily smiled.

"Child?" Kin asked, "Um, I'm much older than you, you know!"

"Whatever you say Kin," Kit chuckled, "Anyways, here is your backpack and I'll be off! See you in three days, hopefully alive!"

Kit tossed Kin a heavy black backpack which Kin caught with a grunt.

"Kit! Kit! Don't leave me alone here!" Kin wailed, but Kit disappeared in a flash of light.

Kin threw her hands in the air.

"Are you freaking serious?!" Kin yelled at the sky, "I can't survive out here! I'm too young to die!"

Her voice was only met by the chirping of crickets and the cool breeze of the wind embracing her skin. She gave out a shiver as she opened the backpack. The contents came tumbling down to the ground as a mess was made.

"Great," she growled, examining all that was in there.

There was a folded up tent with instructions, sleeping bag, toothbrush, toothpaste, hammer, tent stakes, flashlight with two batteries, some spare clothes, books, a notepad, a pocketknife, a bottle of water, three granola bars, first aid kit, and a survival handbook for dummies.

"Thank you Kit," Kin muttered graciously, thankful that Kit at least provided her with some necessities. Without them, Kin wouldn't have known if she would have survived or not.

Kin heard a deep, terrifying growl, that sent shivers down her spine, as she began packing all the items quickly. She had to get out of there quickly, before that thing could catch up to her. She knew that a measly pocket knife wouldn't be able to protect her against the animal.

She grabbed her backpack and took off running. She didn't know and didn't care where she was running. She was just hoping that luck would be on her side and she would be away from the animal and find a nice, safe place to spend for three days.

She ran and ran for what seemed like hours until she finally dropped down to the ground from pure exhaustion. Sweat covered her entire body which amazed her, since it was a really cool night. She panted as her vision burned. She knew she would become animal food if she fainted. She grabbed the water bottle and the granola bar. Knowing that she had to be conserve her limited source of energy, she broke the granola bar into half and only drank three sips of water.

She surveyed the area to see if it was a good place to pitch her tent. The area seemed clear. She was surrounded by trees that were high and thick enough to give her shelter from the rain, she was at a flat surface, and there was a huge radius of flat ground with minimal weeds, thorns, and plants, so that she could pitch her tent without having to worry about bumps and bulges on the ground.

She took out her tent from her backpack and began reading the instructions out loud.

"Step one," she read loudly, "Lay down a ground cloth to cover up twig, dirt, rocks, and debris and to encompass the space of at least most of the tent."

She found the ground cloth buried in the poles and tent materials and she lay it on the ground.

"Perfect," she smiled, "Next step is to insert the tent poles through the tent frame."

She looked at the tent and saw quite a few holes in the tents.

"How do I know which goes where?" she asked herself as she began touching the tent, trying to figure where to put the tent poles.

After many minutes of experimenting with the tent poles and tent frames, she soon found rage and frustration boiling in her. She bit her tongue and continued to try, but the rage in her were was growing and soon, it became uncontrollable.

"Dang it!" she yelled enraged as she threw the poles down in rage, "How the hell am I supposed to make a tent? The instructions don't help me at all and I've never ever done this before! How the hell am I the hero? I can't even make a simple fricking tent! What the hell am I doing here? I miss home! I want my mother and father!"

Soon, uncontrollable tears began falling down.

"Mother, father" she whispered, "All the times I've cursed you and said I'd be better off without you, I was lying. I miss you guys....."

She didn't have any more time to wallow in her sadness as a loud ravenous howls flooded the air. Instinctively, she rummaged her pocketknife from her backpack as she backed away from the howl.

"Sh-show yourself," she shakily said as looked at the direction of the howl.

All was silent as Kin relaxed and let her guard down, but that was her fatal mistake. In an instant, a huge blur rammed into her as the force knocked her to the ground. She gave an oof as she felt sharp pain burst from her abdomen. The dark night illuminated the animal and Kin gave a sharp gasp.

It was not an animal at all. It was a creature Kin had never seen before. The creature had three dog heads, a body of a man, and the legs of a lion.

"What the hell are you?!" Kin yelled as she extended her arms in front of her face to shield it.

The creature only gave a growl as the right head clamped its jaws over Kin's right arm. She yelled in pain as the grip was too strong and blood began flowing freely from the marks as the creature refused to let go. She tried punching the face with her left hand, but the left head clamped her left arm making her give another strangled yell. She had never experienced fear and pain this bad before. Now, she was crying, because the pain was unbearable. She knew she was dead meat. There was no way she could survive this. She could only give a whimper as the middle head towered over her throat, threatening to rip it off.

She closed her eyes and awaited the death that would greet her.