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Caelestis: Keeper's Throne (Chapter one: Relucant leader)



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Mon May 12, 2008 4:39 am
AWritersFantasy says...



This is a newer story that's meant to be a sequel to my Child of Ashes: Outcast story. I do have reasons for writing them out of order, I swear. XD Any way...I only just recently finished this chapter, so it's still fairly fresh.

What I would mainly like to know is what you think of it overall. I'd also like to know if my switching from calling the main character Lucretia to Tia back and forth is too confusing, since I don't mention that Tia is her nickname. It should be fairly obvious that she's Tia/Lucretia, because there's only two people in the first scene, but...yeah.

This is the only chapter I have written at the moment, so it could take a while before I post more of it.

Chapter One:
Reluctant Leader

Lucretia remembered the last time it was this silent in the throne room.

She had hoped it would never be this silent again, under the same circumstances.

She stood in the middle of the room, looking up at the high glass ceiling. Her heart pounded in her chest as she waited to hear the approaching footsteps enter the room.

“Lucretia?” a man’s voice called. “Your Highness, we must leave.”

Lucretia brought her gaze down from the ceiling and to the man who had entered, slowly walking toward her. She nodded slowly as she turned her head away so that he would not see the sadness in her eyes.

“You do realize how vulnerable down there,” Lucretia said. “The further away I am from here, from the stone, the weaker I’ll become.”

“I know,” he said. “But we no longer have a choice.”

“I don’t like this decision to leave the City and go down there, Daemyn. I don’t like leading the Clans down there without having a full plan,” she said, looking back at him with fierce blue eyes.

Daemyn sighed and walked closer, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“Tia, you are a good, strong leader. The people look to you for guidance, and know that you will not willingly lead them to danger. It was unfortunate that we had to make the decision to leave so quickly, but there is no other alternative. Now, come. We must leave so that the Orrick can be hidden.”

Lucretia nodded slowly. “I hope you’re right about this.”

The two walked out of the throne room, leaving it silent once more.

******

Lucretia was now slowly climbing down the branches of the Orrick, reaching one hand after another for a branch as she climbed further away from her home. She stopped, sitting on one branch and catching her breath with a gasp as she closed her eyes.

“Your Highness? Are you all right?”

This time it was Eirian, one of the other counselors of her Clan, speaking. He was a few branches below her and had stopped when he no longer heard her climbing.

“Yes, I’m . . . fine,” she answered. “I just had to catch my breath.”

The truth was, she could feel herself slowly beginning to weaken as she moved further away from the palace.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” Lucretia insisted. With that, she continued climbing downwards.

Soon, the ground was right below her. She waited until Eirian had dropped to the ground and moved before she swung herself from the lowest branch and let go, falling to the ground.

“Are all the Clans on the ground?” Lucretia asked.

“Yes. There are a few leaders coming after you, but we should all be here,” Eirian answered.

“Good. We’ll need to move as quickly as possible. I’d like to get to safety before nightfall.”

“There’s a set of caves up ahead. We could be a little squashed, but it will work for the night. There should be enough room for everyone to fit in them,” he suggested.

“That will have to work for now,” Tia agreed.

After the rest of the leaders had climbed down from the Orrick, Tia turned toward everyone so she could address them.

“We’re heading into the caves up ahead. It’s not too long of a walk, and there’s enough room for everyone,” she said.

Tia waited until the Clan members had begun walking before turning back to the Orrick. She moved in front of it, reaching out and touching its rough bark as she closed her eyes, beginning to concentrate. She tuned in to the Orrick, focusing on the connection she had to it. It was not long until she felt its energy in her mind. She waited another moment before she pulled her hand back.

When she opened her eyes, the Orrick had disappeared. Good, it had worked. Satisfied, she turned back toward the others and started following behind them.

Lucretia walked at a slow pace, various thoughts running through her mind as she followed her people toward safety. While some would expect her to be at the head of the group, Tia preferred to stay at a fair distance from the front, though it was also part of security for her safety.

In the distance to her left, she saw a lake glistening in the evening sun, and a sad smile came to her lips.

Hawk would have enjoyed this sight, she thought with a soft sigh. She turned her head away and kept her gaze forward, remembering one of the last times she had seen Hawk.

The bounty hunter, whose actual name was Hawklin, stood across from her, his arms folded across his chest. His gaze was fierce and steady, showing no emotion on his features. He turned his head away and to the lake that was a few feet to his right.

“Tia, your status and race don’t matter to me. I fell in love with who you are as a person, not who you are as the Braighar of Caelestis,” Hawk said.

“What is it you want me to do, Hawk?” Tia turned to face him. “I can’t just change the minds of the other leaders with the snap of a finger so that we can live happily ever after. It doesn’t work like that. There are complications.”

“I want you to fight for what we have, Tia. I want you to stop caring so much about what their laws say and just . . .” Hawk sighed. Tia turned her head away as Hawk walked toward her, putting his hands on her arms. “I’m sorry, Tia. I’m just frustrated. It’s not fair of me to ask you to go against the Clan leaders.”

“It is fair of you, Hawk,” Tia replied. “I’m just . . . scared, of not being able to be with you.”

Tia stopped in her tracks, catching her breath, suddenly feeling overwhelmed with emotion. She closed her eyes, forcing the tears she knew were in them to keep from flowing.

“Your Highness?” a voice asked. “Are you all right?”

Tia opened her eyes and saw Eirian standing there, concern crossing his face.

“I’m fine, Eirian,” Tia replied. “Let’s keep going.”

*****

Lucretia now stood at the mouth of the caves the Clans had found. She stood leaning against the rocky wall, gazing up at the moon. A soft breeze made her shiver in its cold embrace, which made her hug her arms around herself. Tia turned her head slightly, looking in the direction she knew her true home was in, watching the clouds roll slowly by.

“Your Highness?” A voice asked.

Tia jumped, standing straight backed again and turned to look at whoever had approached her. People seemed to have a knack for startling her lately.

“The other leaders would like to speak with you.” It was Daemyn this time.

Tia nodded, tight lipped. She had figured they’d want to, since they needed to figure out their next move. She moved away from the cave’s wall and followed him into the cave.

The cave was large enough that the Clans did not have to squeeze in too close, and the leaders were able to use the main cavern to meet in while the Clans slept in the other caverns that had been discovered. Some of the leaders stood, while some sat on the floor of the cave. Tia chose to lean against a rocky wall once more.

“We can’t stay in these caves forever. We’ll need to find a place to go, and quickly. Our people need nourishment that these caves can’t provide,” said one Clan leader.

“Where will we go? Even if we find a place, how will we stay protected? We don’t have enough of a force to possibly be able to fight,” another said.

The leaders continued bickering back and forth. Tia rolled her eyes in annoyance and was about to speak when Eirian spoke instead.

“Gentlemen,” he said, his voice raised. He waited until they’d stopped and their attention was on him. “We need to discuss this as calmly as possible so that it does not take us all night to do. Now . . . what I propose is that we find one of the Earth kingdoms near by and form an alliance.”

“What do we have to offer them that would make a kingdom ally with us?” Tia asked.

“Well,” Eirian hesitated. “I hate to even suggest this, Your Highness, but it is not uncommon that the daughter of a ruler’s hand in marriage is offered when forming an alliance. Since you are our leader and have no daughters yet . . .”

Tia stared at her friend, one of her most trusted advisors, and closed her lips tightly, biting hard on the inside of her lip.

I don’t know whether to be angry at the very idea or just . . . accept it, she thought.

Lucretia looked at the other leaders, her eyes landing on Daemyn this time. “Daemyn, what do you think?”

“Well . . . you are of the right age for marriage, Tia, and it would benefit us to form an alliance. I realize, of course, that this is a lot of pressure to put on you, but I won’t disagree with the fact that it would be most beneficial for our people,” Daemyn answered, his brown eyes narrowing to the floor of the cave.

Tia had to keep herself from growling and muttering under her breath. It was bad enough she had been chosen- no, practically forced- to be the leader of the Sky Empire, but to be forced into marriage, too?

On the other hand, there was no longer anything holding her back from getting married. Hawk is dead, she thought. And this is for the good of what still lives of the Empire.

Tia closed her eyes, taking a deep breath, then letting it out. She nodded slowly. “All right. We can go to one of the nearby kingdoms and offer my hand to them in marriage.” She started walking away, but stopped and turned toward the leaders. “Am I needed any longer?”

“No, Your Highness. We can discuss everything else in the morning,” Eirian replied.

She nodded, “I’ll be going to sleep, then. Wake me up if anything happens.”

Tia walked back to the spot she had been before, by the mouth of the cave. Four guards stood outside of the cave, keeping watch.

She leaned against the wall again and hugged her arms around herself, looking at the moon once more. Slowly, she slid down the wall and to the ground. She sat down, bringing her legs up to rest her arms on them.

A tear slowly slid down her cheek. “I’m sorry, Hawk,” she whispered. She put her face into her arms and cried softly.

----------
Edit: if you find any more capitalized STONEs, let me know. I explained why they're capitalized in my response below, but it's possible I might have missed a few before I posted this. Although I think it's only ever mentioned once.
Last edited by AWritersFantasy on Tue May 20, 2008 3:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  





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Sat May 17, 2008 7:31 am
ink_on_fire says...



Hey,

I was planning on critiquing this for you but it hurts my eyes too much.
Why don't you change the font, then perhaps more people will review.

If you get around to it, PM me and I'll be glad to review this for you. :)
Smile - ur alive
  





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Sat May 17, 2008 8:58 am
deleted6 says...



First thing I noticed, if ya wanna emphasise something, never ever, put it all in caps. It looks untidy and unprofessional. You're right about the names, can't ya just write it one way and then someone says her nickname? Because you just changed too much. And we never really get an idea of the scenery the background. A lot of it seems a tad rushed. Where you skip to next part, you could instead write about the journey. Don't ever skip a long journey for laziness, so much could happen. A lot of this is never explained, you seem to miss key elements like how many people are travelling, what's going on? It's just all blurry. There isn't much character development on anyone but her. You've gotta think and remember the readers want to feel sympathy and compassion, but hurrying along so fast is detrimental here. So sadly not emotion is put through.

Overall: This needs so much work, don't skip stuff for quick alternative, write it out. It'll be better and keep the pace of the peice more reasonably. Hope this helps.

Good luck
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Sat May 17, 2008 2:33 pm
AWritersFantasy says...



ink_on_fire wrote:Hey,

I was planning on critiquing this for you but it hurts my eyes too much.
Why don't you change the font, then perhaps more people will review.

If you get around to it, PM me and I'll be glad to review this for you. :)


The font is like that because when you click on the 'pre' button above where all the bold and other buttons are, that's what it does. It's supposed to keep the format of the way you typed the story, though it didn't really seem to do that. I guess I can get rid of it, though.
  





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Sat May 17, 2008 2:43 pm
AWritersFantasy says...



First thing I noticed, if ya wanna emphasise something, never ever, put it all in caps. It looks untidy and unprofessional.


Actually, I never meant to emphasize the word "stone," and I'm glad you pointed it out. You know how if you can't think of a term for, like, a certain important object, you can just put a word in caps and then do a find and replace later when you find the term? That's basically what that is, I just forgot to take the capitalized "stone" out. It should be "crystal" instead.

You're right about the names, can't ya just write it one way and then someone says her nickname?


Umm. That's basically what I did. I called her by her full name in the first sentence, but then someone says her nickname through dialogue a few sentences later.

Where you skip to next part, you could instead write about the journey. Don't ever skip a long journey for laziness, so much could happen.


While I agree that I do need to say how many people are traveling, why would I put more effort into describing -that- part of the journey- the journey from the City/Orrick to the cave, which isn't very long- when nothing is happening? Nothing happens until they're in the caves.

None of it was skipped or rushed. A lot of what you're talking about is just detail about the setting, which is one of my weaker points, but not something that I'm going to go back and edit into the chapter at this point.

Thanks for the critique.
  





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Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:57 pm
JFW1415 says...



I am sooooo sorry I took so long to critique this. You asked for it ages ago, but I couldn’t get to it ‘til now. Life’s been a bit insane lately.

Anyway, I’ll get straight to the critique, so I don’t take too much longer.

Nit-Picks

Lucretia remembered the last time it was this silent in the throne room.

You tell us this, but you never tell us what it was like, what the circumstanceswere. Unless the whole thing was this? Hang on, I’ll read ahead… All right, I read ahead. I really don’t get this (or the next line.) How do they tie in? Is what follows the last time it happened, or is it actually happening again? You need to be more clear.

“You do realize how vulnerable I am down there,” Lucretia said.

Missed some words. Also, is this a question or what? It's kind of a fake-out sentence - half statement, half question.

“I don’t like this decision to leave the City and go down there, Daemyn. I don’t like leading the Clans down there without having a full plan,” she said, looking back at him with fierce blue eyes.

I think the ‘she said’ should be scratched here. Also, the first part, while it gives vital information (the plan and the guy’s name,) it’s forced. Who says that? Just give us hints. I think ‘I don’t like leading the Clans down there without having a full plan, Daemyn’ would work much better. It still gives us information, and it sounds realistic.

“Tia, you are a good, strong leader. The people look to you for guidance, and know that you will not willingly lead them to danger. It was unfortunate that we had to make the decision to leave so quickly, but there is no other alternative. Now, come. We must leave so that the Orrick can be hidden.”

Yes, the switch was clear. No, it did not make sense. J It works, but it doesn’t seem like something he’d call her. You need to show us their close relationship if you want this to work. Right now, it just sounds disrespectful.

Lucretia nodded slowly. “I hope you’re right about this.”

I’d end (this part) here. The next line isn’t that important (we can assume that’s what they did,) and this is a much stronger ending. It makes me want to read after the *****.

******

According to my English teacher, it is custom for these to be in odd numbers. (Usually three or five.) You have six. (I think it was just a typo - I see only five next time.)

Lucretia was now slowly climbing down the branches of the Orrick, reaching one hand after another for a branch as she climbed further away from her home. She stopped, sitting on one branch and catching her breath with a gasp as she closed her eyes.

‘Lucretia slowly climbed down the…’ Don’t switch tenses – the ‘now’ made it seem that way.

This time it was Eirian, one of the other counselors of her Clan, speaking. He was a few branches below her and had stopped when he no longer heard her climbing.

So, you know how you’ve kind of been seeing everything through Lucretia’s eyes up ‘til now? Like when the man entered the room in the previous section. We are her, watching him come up. If we were him, we’d see her ahead, and be walking towards her. It’s kind of like first person within third person. You’re pretty good about it up ‘til here. If we are Lucretia, then how do we know why he stopped climbing? Why did we suddenly become him? (Long story short – edit the last sentence. Maybe something like ‘She looked down to see him just a few branches below her, his body frozen in mid-climb.’)

“Yes[s], [/s]. I[s]’[/s] am fine,” Lucretia insisted. With that, she continued climbing downwards.

If she's insisted, make her insistent. 'I am' rather than 'I'm.' Two sentences instead of one.

Soon, the ground was right below her. She waited until Eirian had dropped to the ground and moved before she swung herself from the lowest branch and let go, falling to the ground.

Show us the last sentence. It was confusing, mainly because it was pure telling.

“Yes. There are a few leaders coming after you, but we should all be here,” Eirian answered.

At first, ‘coming after you’ sounded threatening. Maybe rephrase a bit?
“That will have to work for now,” Tia agreed.

This is where the nickname becomes bad. Others can call her both, but the narrator can’t. You need to choose – are you formal or informal with her? Either call her Lucretia the whole time, or Tia. (And, if you go with calling her Tia, maybe have her roll her eyes when her guard calls her by her full name? Something.) Narrators can’t really switch like this.

When she opened her eyes, the Orrick had disappeared. Good, it had worked. Satisfied, she turned back toward the others and started following behind them.

The second sentence was boring – spice it up! Also, I’m still confused as to what the Orrick is… at first I thought it was the stone.

The bounty hunter, whose actual name was Hawklin, stood across from her, his arms folded across his chest. His gaze was fierce and steady, showing no emotion on his features. He turned his head away and to the lake that was a few feet to his right.

“Tia, your status and race don’t matter to me. I fell in love with who you are as a person, not who you are as the Braighar of Caelestis,” Hawk said.

“What is it you want me to do, Hawk?” Tia turned to face him. “I can’t just change the minds of the other leaders with the snap of a finger so that we can live happily ever after. It doesn’t work like that. There are complications.”

“I want you to fight for what we have, Tia. I want you to stop caring so much about what their laws say and just . . .” Hawk sighed. Tia turned her head away as Hawk walked toward her, putting his hands on her arms. “I’m sorry, Tia. I’m just frustrated. It’s not fair of me to ask you to go against the Clan leaders.”

“It is fair of you, Hawk,” Tia replied. “I’m just . . . scared, of not being able to be with you.”

You need to italicize all of that.

“I’m fine, Eirian,” Tia replied. “Let’s keep going.”

Don’t forget about the first guard! You can’t just ignore him as you see fit. J

Lucretia now stood at the mouth of the caves the Clans had found. She stood leaning against the rocky wall, gazing up at the moon. A soft breeze made her shiver in its cold embrace, which made her hug her arms around herself. Tia turned her head slightly, looking in the direction she knew her true home was in, watching the clouds roll slowly by.

Start this as: ‘Lucretia stood at the mouth of the caves the Clans had found. She leaned against the rocky wall, gazing up at the moon.’ The stars let us know that we switched time – don’t use ‘now.’ And don’t repeat ‘stood.’ Also, didn’t the guard find the caves, not the Clans?

“Your Highness?” [s]A [/s]a voice asked.

Tia jumped, standing straight backed again and turned to look at whoever had approached her. People seemed to have a knack for startling her lately.

1. When wasn’t she straight backed? And what’s the point of this? 2. When has she been startled lately? Don’t give us useless information just to lengthen something. Also, use this paragraph to have her turn around and see who was speaking.

“The other leaders would like to speak with you.” It was Daemyn this time.

Don’t use that phrase so much (‘it was [name] this time.’) Also, does this mean someone else had said ‘your highness?’ See the above comment for more on this.

Tia nodded, tight lipped.

Reword. She doesn’t use her lips to nod. Maybe ‘her lips pursed/tight?’

“Gentlemen,” he said, his voice raised. He waited until they’d stopped and their attention was on him. “We need to discuss this as calmly as possible so that it does not take us all night to do. Now . . . what I propose is that we find one of the Earth kingdoms near by and form an alliance.”

Isn’t he just a guard? You need to show how much authority a guard has in this world, and early on. Oh – I see he isn’t a guard. I thought he was – maybe make this more clear?

Oh, and nearby is one word.

I don’t know whether to be angry at the very idea or just . . . accept it, she thought.

Show us this instead. You have the anger down, just how her thinking it over a bit. Actually, you do that in the next paragraph. This paragraph can be dropped.

Tia had to keep herself from growling and muttering under her breath. It was bad enough she had been chosen- no, practically forced- to be the leader of the Sky Empire, but to be forced into marriage, too?

She’s not being forced – she’s being given the option.

Slowly[s],[/s] she slid down the wall and to the ground. She sat down, bringing her legs up to rest her arms on them.

Pick one of those sentences – don’t repeat yourself so much.

Overall Comments

Info Overload

Let’s review some facts.

- She is very important. Apparently the leader of an empire.
- She loves this man called Hawk.
- Hawk died.
- There’s some rock that she relies on.
- There are many clans she is in charge of.
- She was forced to be leader.
- She has no children.
- She will do anything for the Empire.
- There's this thing called an Orrick that she already hid.

See, that’s a lot of information. (And I don't even think I put it all in.) This is only chapter one – slow down! You have all the time in the world to show us this. Make it a bit mysterious. Let us wonder who Hawk is – don’t show us yet.

It’s all clumped together here. We don’t need all this so fast – just give us the basics to make us want to continue reading.

Details

Sensory details!

These are the things that will make me feel like I’m there. Sight, touch, sound, smell, taste, (and feeling.) Taste can usually be ditched, but the others are needed.

Especially for the beginning, when they are running away, you need to create an atmosphere. What time of day is it? Does she slip on the wet ground below? Are they running on cobblestones – what’s that sound like?

More often than not, you should set up a scene. Here you need to set up the cave. That means you need to show us the cave before you start the rapid-fire dialogue. Then you can nearly forget about description, only throwing in a few comments on the atmosphere so we don’t forget it.

Last Notes

I feel bad about taking so long, so I really want to get this to you. Meaning? I wasn’t that clear. PM me with question – I can go more in-depth if needed.

This didn’t really need a huge critique. My main problem was the lack of details. If you let me feel like I’m there, then this piece will be great. (And you know how to do it, too. You have some things, like the rough bark. You just need more.)

PM me for anything! And sorry for taking so long.

~JFW1415
  





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Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:50 pm
AWritersFantasy says...



Quote:
“You do realize how vulnerable I am down there,” Lucretia said.

Missed some words. Also, is this a question or what? It's kind of a fake-out sentence - half statement, half question.


It's a statement. I suppose the emphasis in this case would be the word "do." So she's saying "you do realize how vulnerable I am down there."

Also, the first part, while it gives vital information (the plan and the guy’s name,) it’s forced. Who says that? Just give us hints. I think ‘I don’t like leading the Clans down there without having a full plan, Daemyn’ would work much better. It still gives us information, and it sounds realistic.


Lucretia is saying it. She and Daemyn are the only two in the throne room. Lucretia is alone until Daemyn enters to tell them that they need to leave.

I'm still very unsure about the first part of the scene in the palace. I struggled with how I wanted to start the scene off, and I ended up with the way it is now. But, doesn't the question of "what is she talking about?" when referring to the very first sentence kind of add onto the questions for the readers, which makes them want to know more? By not having it go into much more detail than what I have right now, I could use it as a way to refer to it further in the story, and give more information.

...In fact, I think I just thought of a way to start off a future chapter, when she returns to the palace.

No, it did not make sense. J It works, but it doesn’t seem like something he’d call her. You need to show us their close relationship if you want this to work. Right now, it just sounds disrespectful.


How does it not make sense? Daemyn isn't a guard, he's one of her counselors/one of the leaders of the Clans. Basically, it's set up like this.

Tia=Empress/temporary ruler
Daemyn and Eiras=counselors/leaders of the two groups that make up two/thirds (possibly fourth...actually, yeah, I think it is fourth) of the Sky Clans.

Him calling her "Tia" isn't meant to be disrespectful, it's meant to show that they're at least acquaintances, if not friends. Also, there are cases where rulers/people of high authority prefer not to be addressed in such a way. Take Princess Leia- after Alderaan, she doesn't really like being addressed as "princess," and it continues not only in the movies but the books as well. /Star Wars geek moment.

I’d end (this part) here. The next line isn’t that important (we can assume that’s what they did,) and this is a much stronger ending. It makes me want to read after the *****.


Mm, agreed. Will change that.

According to my English teacher, it is custom for these to be in odd numbers. (Usually three or five.) You have six. (I think it was just a typo - I see only five next time.)


Umm. I've never heard of this (and actually, the teacher of the fiction writing class whom I had as an English teacher in high school told me that it's, apparently, preferred to use ### for page breaks instead of *****). But I never count how many stars I'm putting in each section, I just put them in to show that it's a scene break. I suppose once/if I get to the next draft I'll pay attention more, but at this point I don't care too much.

At first, ‘coming after you’ sounded threatening. Maybe rephrase a bit?


I suppose that's poor phrasing on my part, but it's not meant in a threatening way. He's basically saying that there are leaders following her down the Orrick (which is a tree, not the crystal). So it'd be like saying "hey, I'm coming after you finish school" or...something. I don't know.

The second sentence was boring – spice it up! Also, I’m still confused as to what the Orrick is… at first I thought it was the stone.


I knew when I was writing that part that it'd end up needing work, but I wasn't sure how to describe what I was trying to have her magic abilities do, so I wrote what I could so that I could keep going and not be blocked.

As I said above, the Orrick is a very, very tall tree that reaches up to where the edge of the....land, I guess, of the Sky City is. The Clans use it to get down to earth in the first scene because the Sky Arrows (see this story's prequel, Child of Ashes: Outcast- chapter one, towards the end of that chapter) have pretty much been destroyed. They climb down its branches and eventually come to the bottom, which is earth. The Orrick is magical, and has the spirits of past leaders within it. It, Lucretia, and the crystal (I had put "stone" there as a place holder, but I'm pretty certain that it's a crystal) are all connected through a magic bond.

You need to italicize all of that.


It is all italicized, I just missed it when I was editing in the various italic tags so that I could post it on the board. Will fix it.

Don’t forget about the first guard! You can’t just ignore him as you see fit. J


o_O He's not being ignored, he's just the first to notice and ask if she's okay.

Also, didn’t the guard find the caves, not the Clans?


As I said, they're not guards, they're counselors, and it was one of the counselors that told her about the caves.

1. When wasn’t she straight backed? And what’s the point of this? 2. When has she been startled lately? Don’t give us useless information just to lengthen something. Also, use this paragraph to have her turn around and see who was speaking.


It says that she was leaning, which would indicate that she wasn't straight backed.

Mmm, I guess she wasn't startled, at least not in any way that I wrote into words. I suppose it could have been while she was climbing down the Orrick, and/or when she was in the palace.

Also, does this mean someone else had said ‘your highness?’ See the above comment for more on this.


It was Daemyn who said "your highness?" and "the other leaders would like to speak with you." He was just waiting for her to acknowledge him before saying what he'd needed to.

Isn’t he just a guard? You need to show how much authority a guard has in this world, and early on. Oh – I see he isn’t a guard. I thought he was – maybe make this more clear?


If you read this part:

This time it was Eirian, one of the other counselors of her Clan, speaking


it says who he is. That part is written in the beginning of the second scene, when she's climbing down the tree.

She’s not being forced – she’s being given the option.


Not really. She has no argument against agreeing to offer her hand in marriage, and she's being strongly advised/basically forced into it.

See, that’s a lot of information. (And I don't even think I put it all in.) This is only chapter one – slow down! You have all the time in the world to show us this. Make it a bit mysterious. Let us wonder who Hawk is – don’t show us yet.


Actually, I disagree. I think there's enough information for the beginning chapter, but there are still a number of questions that will make the readers want to read more. But, maybe it's just a difference of opinion thing.

The sensory thing is one of my weakest things in my writing. I always have a hard time describing a scene, or someone's clothing or what they're smelling and touching. I can picture it, but putting it into words is another story.

Thank you for the critique. ^_^ I didn't mind the long wait. A lot of this will be helpful when I start editing.
  








"The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them."
— Louis C.K.