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Rebirth. "chapter one"

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Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:19 am
Suddenly says...



Morgan Grae was like any other boy in the sprawling city of Abalon, spending his days doing ordinary things ordinary children do, running, hiding, exploring. But little did Morgan know, he was about to become the savior of this once beautiful city with the discovery of the Ditrexus, but more on that later, lets start at the beginning....

Abalon was once among one of the major capitals of the skyworld, in its heyday it was a bustling, colourful city filled with people, tourists mostly. The tourists all came to see the fabled temple of rebirth, a ginormous titan of a building standing tall against the brightly lit city, it didn't fit in with the neon skyscrapers of Abalon, but it had its place. A long time ago settlers came looking for land to start work on their ambitious plans for a home, they came across the temple of rebirth and decided that it was to be the site for the great city.

Many locals believe that the ancients built the temple. The ancients were told to be humongous biengs who created the first human and built the first city's, each city had its own set ancient, the one who built it. Abalon was the first city to have been built by man so it did not have an ancient like all the other city's, and was gradually shunned by the rest of the world, hence the scrapyard like position it is in today. The 51 residents of Abalon were the ones who had no place anywhere else, thieves and con-artists, the misunderstood.

Anyway, enough on the history of the city. Lets get back to Morgan and his story. It was a particularly drab day in Abalon, the skies filled with dark smirks on the would be faces of clouds about to burst and release the water within. Morgan didn't mind days like this, he was only twelve years old and so like most twelve year olds enjoyed any day as long as he was outside. He met up with his two friends Anna and Rodrick, twins from the Dale house. They went to the same place they went everyday, the "playground".

The playground was what they called it, but this place was not meant for playing in, it was the garbage dump of the city. Jagged edges and the innards of machines were wherever you dared to look. Okay you get it, it was a dangerous place for them to be but none of them were stupid enough to get hurt, they were all taught basic first aid at school as well. They sat in the usual spot, a crater at the center of the dump. They stared at the sky and pondered what it would be like to live in another city, little did they know they would soon find out....




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Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:37 am
Noelle says...



Hi there!

Morgan Grae was like any other boy in the sprawling city of Abalon, spending his days doing ordinary things ordinary children do, running, hiding, exploring. But little did Morgan know, he was about to become the savior of this once beautiful city with the discovery of the Ditrexus, but more on that later, lets start at the beginning....

I personally do not like this. I think that you shouldn't mention this and bring up throughout the story with subtle hints that Morgan will save the city. I'd rather find out later on about this than before I even start reading. But that's just my opinion.

This is a good start. I like how you leave us hanging at the end. It makes me want to read more of it! :) Anyway, this was written very well and I think the story line is a great one. This was a very short piece however. And to me it seems more like a prolouge than a first chapter. You are giving us background information so I think it should be a prolouge.

Also, there isn't much description in this. You described the city all right, but what about Morgan? What does he look like? The readers should know what he looks like, especially if he's the main character, so they can get a good picture of him in their head. And what about the playground? I know you said it wasn't really a playground, but give us more. What did it smell like? Was there garbage everywhere, or was it just a rusted out swingset? Give the setting a little more.

Overall this is a great start. I really hoped this helped you. PM me if you have questions about anything. I can't wait to read the rest of this. Keep writing! :)
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Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:44 pm
LauraMae says...



This is very interesting, although I agree with Noelle that it reads more like a prologue than Chapter One, as a. it reads like a history of this town/the world and b. contains no actual action, just backstory. There's not a problem with that at all, it will just suit being a prologue instead of a chapter. Also, it is a little on the short side to be a chapter, particularly in a fantasy story (loosely used term, anything 'other-worldy') as chapters are often longer than chapters in other genres, usually upwards of 3 or 4k, at least.

Anyway, onto the actual review... I'll do this paragraph by paragraph, and colour code it all, because I know how much you like that ;) haha. I have four main things I'm going to cover in this:
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Tense
  • Formality

Morgan Grae was like any other boy in the sprawling city of Abalon, spending his days doing ordinary things ordinary children do, running, hiding, exploring. But little did Morgan know, he was about to become the savior of this once beautiful city with the discovery of the Ditrexus, but more on that later, lets start at the beginning....

  1. Blue comma:: I think this should be a colon ( : ) or semi colon ( ; ) as it is a list, and you don't want a comma overload
  2. But little did Morgan...: This feels too informal, that is, unless you're writing a children's story, in which case it's fine
  3. Savior: sp. Saviour (Savior is American spelling)
  4. But more on that...: Again, seems a bit informal, like you're talking to the reader rather than telling/showing them something



Abalon was once among one of the major capitals of the skyworld, in its heyday it was a bustling, colourful city filled with people, tourists mostly. The tourists all came to see the fabled temple of rebirth, a ginormous titan of a building standing tall against the brightly lit city, it didn't fit in with the neon skyscrapers of Abalon, but it had its place. A long time ago settlers came looking for land to start work on their ambitious plans for a home, they came across the temple of rebirth and decided that it was to be the site for the great city.

  1. Among: Unnecessary word
  2. Blue comma: Use a semi colon, joining two separate but relevant clauses
  3. Tourists mostly: Mostly tourists, switch round
  4. All: Use often/mostly/usually, all too informal
  5. Ginormous: Not actually a word lol go for another adjective, maybe overbearing, majestic, colossal
  6. Building standing tall...: Building, standing tall against the brightly lit city. It (didn't - I think it's ok to keep contractions, it wouldn't sound right as 'did not' here) shine as brightly as the neon colours of Abalon, but it had its place
  7. Settlers: A long time ago (could use something like hundreds of years ago here), settlers (you could say from wherever here, maybe from the North or a particular area of the skyworld) began their search for a new homeland. Upon discovering the temple, they settled in what would become Abalon.
  8. Came across the temple...: See above
  9. The city: See above



Many locals believe that the ancients built the temple. The ancients were told to be humongous biengs who created the first human and built the first city's, each city had its own set ancient, the one who built it. Abalon was the first city to have been built by man so it did not have an ancient like all the other city's, and was gradually shunned by the rest of the world, hence the scrapyard like position it is in today. The 51 residents of Abalon were the ones who had no place anywhere else, thieves and con-artists, the misunderstood.

  1. Believe: Past tense, should be believed
  2. Told: Said to have been, it's gossip/idle talk so said
  3. Humongous: Humungous isn't a word either, ref. to ginormous above ^ / beings
  4. From who created... to... it's own set ancient: This is confusing, are you saying each city has its own 'patron' or 'guardian' ancient? If that's what you are trying to say, then I think maybe the sentence should go like this: ... who created the first humans, (unless they are asexual, then you'd need two humans) and built the first (cities). Each city was watched over (if you want the ancients to be seen as 'guardians') by the ancients who built it.
  5. By man so it did not...: Again, a little confusing: Abalon was the first city to have been built by man, so it did not have an ancient to watch over it like the other cities; because of this, it was shunned by the rest of the world, who allowed the once (think of an adjective here) to fall into a decaying and desolate shadow of its former self.
  6. The 51 residents...: I don't think you really need to give a specific number, unless it is relevant to the story. If it's not particularly relevant, you could just say something approximate or something that indicates that most of the city is unihabitated, as a city would have a population of thousands, 50 people would be almost lost in such a large area - The ----- residents were those who had no where else to go: the con artists, the thieves, the misunderstood.



Anyway, enough on the history of the city. Lets get back to Morgan and his story. It was a particularly drab day in Abalon, the skies filled with dark smirks on the would be faces of clouds about to burst and release the water within. Morgan didn't mind days like this, he was only twelve years old and so like most twelve year olds enjoyed any day as long as he was outside. He met up with his two friends Anna and Rodrick, twins from the Dale house. They went to the same place they went everyday, the "playground".

  1. Anyway...: This section feels too informal, using anyway and let's get back to etc. I can't really think of a way you could write this without making it sound informal, as essentially it feels like you're talking to the reader in a conversation style, rather than giving the history of Abalon
  2. Rest of the paragraph: Previous to this section you've been describing the back story, so it seems jarring to begin a section of the actual 'story' here. It is very well written, but I feel as this acts more like a prologue that you should end the prologue here if all the explaining is done, and begin Chapter One with what Morgan and his friends are doing. Also, be careful not to jump between tenses, as this is written in present (kind of) and so you don't want to slip into past while writing. Present is good for action, but not so great for detail. You'll have to decide which you prefer, but I think present works well here so it's entirely up to you



The playground was what they called it, but this place was not meant for playing in, it was the garbage dump of the city. Jagged edges and the innards of machines were wherever you dared to look. Okay you get it, it was a dangerous place for them to be but none of them were stupid enough to get hurt, they were all taught basic first aid at school as well. They sat in the usual spot, a crater at the center of the dump. They stared at the sky and pondered what it would be like to live in another city, little did they know they would soon find out....

  1. Too informal and switching tense and point of view: Like I said before, this doesn't fit right in the prologue as it's the beginning of the story, so stick this in Chapter One. It reads as too informal because of 'but this place' and 'okay you get it' and the ellipse at the end ( ... ). The description is great, e.g. the innards of machine, sound a bit like a graveyard for machinery and scrap metal. However, you also switch POV from 1st in Morgan's perspective (you write about his thoughts in the previous paragraph) to 2nd where you speak to the reader ('okay you get it') which is very risky. 2nd person should be used in D&D style adventure books and things like that, I'd stick with' 1st or 3rd POV. Also, you included foreshadowing which is great, but I think it should be more subtle because atm it seems too predictable now that the reader knows something bad will happen, rather than not knowing exactly what will happen.




Wow, that took ages lol. I do really like your idea, I can tell this is going to be a compelling adventure story. Most of the stuff I commented on was pretty minor and would take moments to check over, things like grammar/spelling. However, the tense and POV stuff (mainly the last two paragraphs) need some thorough editing, because although your story is very interesting and keeps the reader's attention, the informality and switching of tenses are confusing and off-putting. I apologise if I sound critical because I don't want to be, there are just some small issues that are preventing your story from shining as bright as it can. If anything I've commented on is confusing, you know where to find me. Good luck with this, I would love to read more, seriously! :)
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Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:03 pm
joshuapaul says...



Laura seems to have been pretty thorough so I won't nit pick. I will say this though - by the time I finished the first sentence I was done with the piece. I read it, however. But, I didn't want to not after that start. The problem is it is so cliche that it comes across as very amateur and annoying. The rest, it turned out, was much better.

If someone starts a story

"Little Tommy was just like any other kid..." and so on.

No one wants to read this story because they've already read it one hundred times before. You, inadvertently, set this pre tense of this kid with humble beginnings but something is going to happen extraordinary, and that's the story. Perhaps the most frequent critique of the Harry Potter series is of the first book. The overly cliche beginning. But, she just get's away with it - that is to say, atleast seven publishers turned her novel away, I would go as far as saying many didn't get beyond the first couple of pages.

You need to choose a much more effective hook. Because as it stands it is extremely generic. So cliche that it offers nothing, but rather detracts because we think we know where this is going and even if we read on, we still don't pay your piece the attention and respect it deserves. I know it is harsh, but introductions are my thing, I can't stand poor intro's. You have just a few words to hook the read, and here you failed.

Anyway hope that wasn't too harsh! If you have any questions feel free to PM me,
JP
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Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:53 pm
DarthAJ says...



I have a suggestion regarding this part:

Abalon was once among one of the major capitals of the skyworld, in its heyday it was a bustling, colourful city filled with people, tourists mostly.


I think the sentence is too long and ends up being a bit awkward. You should add a semi colon or break this up into two sentences (by maybe adding a full stop after skyworld).

Some of the ideas explored are nice, like most cities being made by ancients but Abalon being man made leading to conflicts. I hope you delve into this issue even more in future chapters.

The chapter was a little shorter than I expected and the ending is clearly designed to be a hook. This would be an effective hook if you had at least made the characters more noticeable through interaction or more development. You could have had a part in the playground where the characters chat with each other, this would give us a view into their personality and then you could have ended with what you did. This would result in your hook being more effective as we would care a bit more about your characters.

Overall Thoughts -- I enjoyed reading it and look forward to chapter 2 :)