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Becoming Genesee's Child



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Sun May 30, 2010 1:24 am
captain.classy says...



For Rosey's Beginnings of Magic contest. It may seem long, but it reads fast. At least for me. (:


When I awoke, the sun was just rising over the tall mountains. I quickly rose, knowing that I would have to catch up with the men in the village. They were early risers, mostly because they had been waking up early since they were born. A man was born a hunter, and a woman was born to sleep. Or, at least, that’s what my father had always told me. I was going to prove him wrong, though.

I walked over to him and my mother in their sleep and sighed. He didn’t seem so mean and hostile when he was asleep. And she, well, mother was always beautiful and kind, no matter what she was doing. I looked past my father and there, on the dirt floor next to him was his bow, and a stack of arrows were carefully inserted in his leather bag. I grabbed them and slung both over my shoulder, ready to hunt.


When I awoke in the cold shade of our wooden hut, I was cold. But, as soon as the morning sunrays hit my back, I could feel energy escaping into my body. In the distance, I could see male hunters heading off to the rising sun. But I knew better. Animals would want to travel towards light, and the last place they saw it was where it set. I turned and ran in the opposite direction of the hunters.

The forest was green and alive. I touched every leaf and blessed all flowers, assuring them that I was not there to harvest their lives. When I stroked a brown fern, I started to see its green reappearing. That’s what sunlight can do to you, I thought as I looked back towards the rising sun. My long black hair was caught in the bow for a moment, so I let out a howl.

I mentally cursed myself, realizing that it must have chased off game. I listened for a moment, and heard large breaths of air in my right ear. I whipped around. I was in a small empty circle, surrounded by thick trees, and in the distance, I could see a body of light colored fur, easily the same size of me. And I was a tall woman.

I looked around, searching for something to climb. But I was taking too long, and soon enough the large-toothed beast was circling me. I took my bow off my shoulder, very slowly, not wanting to show any sudden signs of movement, or he would.

I loaded an arrow and pointed towards the ground, readying myself to shoot the beast in the face as soon as it pounced.

But, when it was behind me, it looked off into the distance. I listened, too. I took my chance and hopped onto one of the trees I had previously blessed. Maybe it would save me.

I climbed up a few branches before the beast noticed that I was gone. He turned back to me and forced open his jaw, a loud and menacing growl streaming from it. I cringed, hoping that it hadn’t woken my father.

I climbed higher into the tree, not keeping an eye on the beast, who was now rounding the trunk, looking for the easiest way up.

When I looked back down, my biggest nightmares had come true. There were now four large-toothed beasts surrounding the tree. I closed my eyes and wished for a miracle. Sadly, none came.

I didn’t want to kill the beasts, trust me, I didn’t. But, I had set out to bring back a lavish animal pelt to show my father that he was wrong. So… why not bring back one – or four – from out biggest competitors?

I readied my bow and arrow once more and aimed at the largest beast’s head, just like I had been taught by Altsoba, our spiritual leader. Since I was young, she had told me that our tribe was nearing a time of great sorrow. She said that the warriors wouldn’t be enough, and that my tribe would need me with a bow and arrow. I tried to tell father this but he refused to believe it, and was firm with his opinion that Altsoba was growing old and weak, and that her mind could not process the thoughts of our Gods anymore.

He forbade me from handling a spear, let alone a bow.

But Altsoba could see that they would need me, and had been training me secretly for many moons. She told me that I must prove myself to father, and told me to hunt with the others, and bring back a pelt for his enjoyment.

I aimed below and shot the arrow. It landed right between the beasts two eyes.

I was adjusting my arrow to shoot at another one, but they ran away, crying with fear. I sighed, hoping one would be enough to impress father.

I slowly climbed down the tree, hoping that the beasts weren’t planning a surprise attack. When my naked feet touched the grassy forest floor, I gasped with fear. The beast… it was female.

I ran to its side and cried into its belly.

“I’m sorry Genesee!” I cried to our God, the God of the valley. I stroked the wild beast and cried in front it its open eyes. Genesee punished those who killed females. Female animals were gods in themselves. They preserved the life of the forest. Without female animals, there would be no babies. With no babies, there would be no food for us. That was bad. That was wrong. “I’m so sorry. Forgive me for stealing your child, Genesee.”

I looked down at the head and pulled out my arrow. Blood followed and covered up anything else escaping from its big head. I took some water from my pouch and poured it over the wound, washing away all the blood and chunks.

“Forgive me sister,” I said , continuing to let drops of water fall from my fingertips to the hole. Once the wound was cleaned, I had decided that I would not take the animal back with me. It was too sad of a loss, and killing a female animal would not show off my hunting skills, but rather my stupidity. I turned from it and walked back to camp to face my furious father.


“Ama!” I heard as soon as I stepped in the meadow where our village was set. I found it ironic that the only dirt in our village was that of where we slept.

I turned my head and saw Yareli running towards me, her arms in the air. Her brows were shaped in a peculiar and exhausting way. I tipped my head, puzzled by her expression.

“Ama!” she whispered when she reached me. She was extremely out of breath. How long had she made her short stubby legs run? “Ama, they cursed you!”

I gasped. “Who cursed me?”

“Your father,” she said, pointing towards the center of camp. I looked at the people of my village. All of them had either a bruise or a wound, some worse than others.

“What happened?” I begged Yareli to tell me.

She looked at the flower on the grass below that she was nudging with her toe. She sniffed, and I knew at that moment that something terrible had happened. “Where are mother and father?”

Yareli pointed towards our hut and I ran as fast as my long legs could carry me. I pounced into the hut, only to see my mother, her beautiful face stained with blood, lying on her bed. Father was by her side, holding her hand and praying to Genesee. I ran to her side and grabbed her other hand.

“Ama…” she stated. She said it in such a peculiar way. It was neither a question nor an exclamation. It was more of a push, like she had to push the words out from the bottom of her lungs.

“Mother, oh what happened?” I tried to say it as calmly as possible, but my words just tangled into one mess of worry.

“The Eastern Village came. They attacked.” Father didn’t look up from mother’s face.
“They attacked? Were we defeated?”

“Of course not,” father spat. “Have we ever lost to the Eastern Village? No. Because they’re stupid.”

“Why is mother hurt? More than the rest?”

Father looked at my shoulder, then at me. “Because when I went to get my bow when a blood thirsty Plain-Walker came through out door, it was gone. Because it’s on your shoulder.”
I stood, and so did father. “Now because of you, your mother is dying. Half of our village is dying. It’s all because of you.”

“Father-“

He started walking towards me, his fists clenched. I was being backed farther towards the door, and soon enough out of the hut.

Mother had mumbled something, but father ignored her. Once I was out, he started shouting. “You are cursed! You are not my daughter! You are the daughter of an evil spirit! Be gone! Leave here! Never come back.”

He backed me farther out of the village, and I was verbally tortured, more and more of my former friends turned to foes, and joined in father’s chants.

“You are an evil spirit!” some shouted. Other’s said simple things like “be gone” and “Leave here.” But the worst of all was “You were never blessed by Genesee. You are as bad as those of the Plain.”

I was at the edge of the meadow when a great shadow struck my head for a moment. Something large and loud landed in front of me, causing screams from everyone watching. I opened my flinching eyes to see the wolf that I had shot between the eyes staring back at me. Her body was in defense mode, towards the humans, but her face was soft and calm, assuring me that everyone would be alright. I looked at the spot of the wound, and only a small black scar lay on her white face. Impossible… right?

“Evil Spirit! Call away your animal!” shouted a villager. I looked to see who it was. Yareli was standing behind her father, who had called. I looked into Yareli’s small innocent brown eyes and frowned. She would be forced to grow in a village that would never grasp the full meaning of Genesee.

I stood and walked over to the wolf, bent down and stroked my hand on her warm fur, as I had when she was dying. When my fingers touched her scar, her fur stuck straight up, and her eyes became dilated. Something happened to me, too. I could hear her.

‘What are we waiting for? Genesee is waiting for you,’ she said, her tail moving impatiently.

“My people!” I shouted, trying to get them to calm down. But more and more men flooded into the field with their bows and arrows.

“You are not one of the people!” one man exclaimed as I stood from my crouch. The wolf bent down and growled at the foul creature of the same race as I.

“You’re right,” I said looking at my hands. Something was rushing wildly inside of them, but I couldn’t lay my finger on what. “I am Genesee’s child now. Like her,” I said, pointing to the wolf.

I looked towards my father, who, though furious of his wife’s death, was still curious. No one would ever know what I meant. Except for those who appreciated Genesee’s power.

“Be gone!” was the final straw.

“Come on, girl,” I said, looking down at the wolf.

I turned and walked towards the forest, through the gates from village to nature, from sane to mystical, from normal to magical.



Spoiler! :
This is a work-in-progress. I would love to hear your comments on plot. (:
  





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Sun May 30, 2010 6:26 pm
canislupis says...



Hi! I’m actually the first! :o Anyhow, on to the review as requested.

Line-by-line first:

When I awoke, the sun was just rising over the tall mountains. I quickly rose, knowing that I would have to catch up with the men in the village. They were early risers, mostly because they had been waking up early since they were born. A man was born a hunter, and a woman was born to sleep. Or, at least, that’s what my father had always told me. I was going to prove him wrong, though.

Like this opening in that it develops the culture right away, but the first few sentences feel a bit boring to me.
He didn’t seem so mean and hostile when he was asleep.

But why isn’t he awake, considering that you just said all men rise early?
When I awoke in the cold shade of our wooden hut, I was cold.

Repetition of cold.
Animals would want to travel towards light, and the last place they saw it was where it set. I turned and ran in the opposite direction of the hunters.

Hmm... No they wouldn’t. But, I guess since this is fantasy it doesn’t matter. 
My long black hair was caught in the bow for a moment, so I let out a howl.

I’ll confess this confused me quite a bit. Clarify?
I whipped around. I was in a small empty circle, surrounded by thick trees, and in the distance, I could see a body of light colored fur, easily the same size of me.

This is the first time you mention a circle. And this also kinda makes it sound like the fur is the same size as her, not the body.
I loaded an arrow and pointed towards the ground, readying myself to shoot the beast in the face as soon as it pounced.

I dunno if “loaded” is the right word here as that generally applies to guns, but that may be a matter of opinion.
But, when it was behind me, it looked off into the distance. I listened, too. I took my chance and hopped onto one of the trees I had previously blessed. Maybe it would save me.
I climbed up a few branches before the beast noticed that I was gone. He turned back to me and forced open his jaw, a loud and menacing growl streaming from it. I cringed, hoping that it hadn’t woken my father.

I’m confused again. If she’s afraid of it, why turn her back? And if it is stalking her, why doesn’t it notice what she’s doing?
I closed my eyes and wished for a miracle. Sadly, none came.

This didn’t feel quite real either. Maybe she wants a god to save her or something? And I think we can figure out that none came for ourselves. ;)
So… why not bring back one – or four – from out biggest competitors?

Ahh, so these aren’t strange beasts but ones she knows. Definitely I want more description of what they look like. Also—nitpick—“out” should be “our”.
taught by Altsoba, our spiritual leader. Since I was young, she had told me that our tribe was nearing a time of great sorrow. She said that the warriors wouldn’t be enough, and that my tribe would need me with a bow and arrow. I tried to tell father this but he refused to believe it, and was firm with his opinion that Altsoba was growing old and weak, and that her mind could not process the thoughts of our Gods anymore.
He forbade me from handling a spear, let alone a bow.

Big info drop here. Just saying something like “I need to show my father that she was right” or something would be enough. Generally we don’t go through long monologues in our head I in times of stress.
“I’m sorry Genesee!” I cried to our God, the God of the valley. I stroked the wild beast and cried in front it its open eyes. Genesee punished those who killed females. Female animals were gods in themselves. They preserved the life of the forest. Without female animals, there would be no babies. With no babies, there would be no food for us. That was bad. That was wrong. “I’m so sorry. Forgive me for stealing your child, Genesee.”
I looked down at the head and pulled out my arrow. Blood followed and covered up anything else escaping from its big head. I took some water from my pouch and poured it over the wound, washing away all the blood and chunks.
“Forgive me sister,” I said , continuing to let drops of water fall from my fingertips to the hole. Once the wound was cleaned, I had decided that I would not take the animal back with me. It was too sad of a loss, and killing a female animal would not show off my hunting skills, but rather my stupidity. I turned from it and walked back to camp to face my furious father.

I really like this bit. :)
in a peculiar and exhausting way.

How can their shape be exhausting?
“Of course not,” father spat. “Have we ever lost to the Eastern Village? No. Because they’re stupid.”
“Why is mother hurt? More than the rest?”
Father looked at my shoulder, then at me. “Because when I went to get my bow when a blood thirsty Plain-Walker came through out door, it was gone. Because it’s on your shoulder.”

The “because they’re stupid” part sounded almost juvenile. Also, the last bit of dialogue was very awkward. I had to read through it three times before I got it. :)
Impossible… right?

I think you can find a better way to show her astonishment.
Her body was in defense mode, towards the humans, but her face was soft and calm, assuring me that everyone would be alright.

Should be “defence” and also, if the wolf is between her and the humans, how is her face visible?
I looked towards my father, who, though furious of his wife’s death, was still curious. No one would ever know what I meant. Except for those who appreciated Genesee’s power.
“Be gone!” was the final straw.
“Come on, girl,” I said, looking down at the wolf.
I turned and walked towards the forest, through the gates from village to nature, from sane to mystical, from normal to magical.

I like the ending. ^_^

Overall:

What I liked:
The setting was very well imagined, and I liked that you’ve given them a believable and unique culture.
I love the way the story panned out, and I like your MC. I also like the fact that you have a good grasp of basic grammar and spelling XD.


What I wasn’t so sure about:

I almost feel like this would be better without the “beginning of magic” part. I know this is for a contest, but I think it would be stronger if you focused on the culture and plot, and maybe made it longer? I hate to say it, but maybe after the contest you could edit?

I also noticed quite a few places where the culture could have a stronger influence. It seems rather primitive, but in some places the language is very modern.

I like the characters you have, but they could all be a bit more developed. Especially her father—I want him to have more depth. And we also don’t really know what any of them look like, (except for maybe the hair and eyes of Yareli. Who is she, btw? The MC’s sister?) which brings me to my next point:

Perhaps a bit more description? I really like it when I get a feel for what everything looks like, smells like, tastes like! :D Ok, maybe not tastes, but you get the idea. You have a good amount now, but I really want to feel like I’m there.

But other than that, I really did like this story. I also like wolves, so reading about them is fun. (Haha, but you might have guessed that by my username)

And you were right, that did read really fast. :D

Let me know if you ever need a review!
Lupis
  





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Mon May 31, 2010 12:33 am
SilverSharpie says...



My review is going to be so lame after canislupis's but here goes...

THAT WAS AWESOME! Really, I liked it a lot. I mean, the beginning was a little awkward and then the hunt felt a little unclear and shaky but the plot was strong and I could feel and understand the whole thing. I would have liked for you to pan it out a little, add a few more of your excellent descriptions and what have you. I feel like this should be a novel... I know I'd read it. Keep on writing!
Know what I would love? A review!
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Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:23 am
Apple says...



Oh, hehe, you were right on the length part. But I will percieve onwards because I'm both a coward and will not go an watch TV while there is a maniac clown on it and because I have made a promise for food. So; onward I say, to the review.

Okay, some terms that I must say before I get onto my analysis. This is just my way of explaining what the heck I am going. :D

Red = Punctuation error or spelling mistake.
Blue = General wording or reccomendations.
Green = A general comment.


When I awoke, the sun was just rising over the tall mountains. I quickly rose, knowing that I would have to catch up with the men in the village. They were early risers; mostly because they had been waking up early ever since they were born. A man was born a hunter, and a woman was born to sleep. Or, at least, that’s what my Father had always told me. I was going to prove him wrong, though. I like this girl, I would do the exact thing to my father. No wait, I already do! That shows him, can't hunt! PFFT tell that to the fly I acidently stood on yesterday.

I walked over to him and my Mother in their sleep and sighed. He didn’t seem so mean and hostile when he was asleep. And she, well; Mother was always beautiful and kind, no matter what she was doing. I looked past my Father and there, on the dirt floor next to him was his bow, and a stack of arrows were carefully inserted in his leather bag. I grabbed them and slung both over my shoulder, ready to hunt. The second last sentence seems a little wordy to me. I can't really place my finger on it, but I think yoiu could add a few conjunctions within it.


When I awoke in the cold shade of our wooden hut, I was freezing. But, as soon as the morning sunrays hit my back, I could feel energy escaping into my body. In the distance, I could see male hunters heading off to the rising sun. But I knew better. Animals would want to travel towards light, and the last place they saw it was where it set. I turned and ran in the opposite direction of the hunters. If they were hunters they would know that also, right?

The forest was green and alive. I touched every leaf and blessed all flowers, assuring them that I was not there to harvest their lives. When I stroked a brown fern, I started to see its green reappearing. That’s what sunlight can do to you, I thought as I looked back towards the rising sun. My long black hair was caught in the bow for a moment, so I let out a howl.Hehe, hair caught in a bow can't tell you how many times that has happened to me.

I mentally cursed myself, realizing that it must have chased off game. I listened for a moment, and heard large breaths of air in my right ear. I whipped around. I was in a small empty circle, surrounded by thick trees, and in the distance. I could see a body of light colored fur, easily the same size of me. And I was a tall woman.

I looked around, searching for something to climb. But I was taking too long, and soon enough the large-toothed beast was circling me. I took my bow off my shoulder, very slowly, not wanting to show any sudden signs of movement, or he would. Where's the drama in that. You should really emphasise this a little more, and explain it so we're on the edge of our seats.

I loaded an arrow and pointed towards the ground, readying myself to shoot the beast in the face as soon as it pounced.

But, when it was behind me, it looked off into the distance. I listened, too. I took my chance and hopped onto one of the trees I had previously blessed. Maybe it would save me.

I climbed up a few branches before the beast noticed that I was gone. He turned back to me and forced open his jaw, a loud and menacing growl streaming from it. I cringed, hoping that it hadn’t woken my father.

I climbed higher into the tree, not keeping an eye on the beast, who was now rounding the trunk, looking for the easiest way up. To much commars, I would reccomend that it be shortened.

When I looked back down, my biggest nightmares had come true. There were now four large-toothed beasts surrounding the tree. I closed my eyes and wished for a miracle. Sadly, none came. Add more excitement to this part. It's as if you're telling us instead of showing.

I didn’t want to kill the beasts, trust me, I didn’t. But, I had set out to bring back a lavish animal pelt to show my father that he was wrong. So… why not bring back one – or four – from out biggest competitors?

I readied my bow and arrow once more and aimed at the largest beast’s head, just like I had been taught by Altsoba, our spiritual leader. Since I was young, she had told me that our tribe was nearing a time of great sorrow. She said that the warriors wouldn’t be enough, and that my tribe would need me with a bow and arrow. I tried to tell father this but he refused to believe it, and was firm with his opinion that Altsoba was growing old and weak, and that her mind could not process the thoughts of our Gods anymore.

He forbade me from handling a spear, let alone a bow.

But Altsoba could see that they would need me, and had been training me secretly for many moons. She told me that I must prove myself to father, and told me to hunt with the others, and bring back a pelt for his enjoyment.

I aimed below and shot the arrow. It landed right between the beasts two eyes.

I was adjusting my arrow to shoot at another one, but they ran away, crying with fear. I sighed, hoping one would be enough to impress father. On both these last sentences I think drama could've and most definietly been added.

I slowly climbed down the tree, hoping that the beasts weren’t planning a surprise attack. When my naked feet touched the grassy forest floor, I gasped with fear. The beast… it was female.

I ran to its side and cried into its belly.

“I’m sorry Genesee!” I cried to our God, the God of the valley. I stroked the wild beast and cried in front it its open eyes. Genesee punished those who killed females. Female animals were Gods in themselves. They preserved the life of the forest. Without female animals, there would be no babies. With no babies, there would be no food for us. That was bad. That was wrong. “I’m so sorry. Forgive me for stealing your child, Genesee.”

I looked down at the head and pulled out my arrow. Blood followed and covered up anything else escaping from its big head. I took some water from my pouch and poured it over the wound, washing away all the blood and chunks.

“Forgive me sister,” I said , continuing to let drops of water fall from my fingertips to the hole. Once the wound was cleaned, I had decided that I would not take the animal back with me. It was too sad of a loss, and killing a female animal would not show off my hunting skills, but rather my stupidity. I turned from it and walked back to camp to face my furious father.


“Ama!” I heard as soon as I stepped in the meadow where our village was set. I found it ironic that the only dirt in our village was that of where we slept.

I turned my head and saw Yareli running towards me, her arms in the air. Her brows were shaped in a peculiar and exhausting way. I tipped my head, puzzled by her expression.

“Ama!” she whispered when she reached me. She was extremely out of breath. How long had she made her short stubby legs run? “Ama, they cursed you!”

I gasped. “Who cursed me?”

“Your father,” she said, pointing towards the center of camp. I looked at the people of my village. All of them had either a bruise or a wound, some worse than others.

“What happened?” I begged Yareli to tell me.

She looked at the flower on the grass below that she was nudging with her toe. She sniffed, and I knew at that moment that something terrible had happened. “Where are mother and father?”

Yareli pointed towards our hut and I ran as fast as my long legs could carry me. I pounced into the hut, only to see my mother, her beautiful face stained with blood, lying on her bed. Father was by her side, holding her hand and praying to Genesee. I ran to her side and grabbed her other hand.

“Ama…” she stated. She said it in such a peculiar way. It was neither a question nor an exclamation. It was more of a push, like she had to push the words out from the bottom of her lungs.

“Mother, oh what happened?” I tried to say it as calmly as possible, but my words just tangled into one mess of worry.

“The Eastern Village came. They attacked.” Father didn’t look up from mother’s face.
“They attacked? Were we defeated?”

“Of course not,” father spat. “Have we ever lost to the Eastern Village? No. Because they’re stupid.”

“Why is mother hurt? More than the rest?”

Father looked at my shoulder, then at me. “Because when I went to get my bow when a blood thirsty Plain-Walker came through out door, it was gone. Because it’s on your shoulder.”
I stood, and so did father. “Now because of you, your mother is dying. Half of our village is dying. It’s all because of you.”

“Father-“

He started walking towards me, his fists clenched. I was being backed farther towards the door, and soon enough out of the hut.

Mother had mumbled something, but father ignored her. Once I was out, he started shouting. “You are cursed! You are not my daughter! You are the daughter of an evil spirit! Be gone! Leave here! Never come back.”

He backed me farther out of the village, and I was verbally tortured, more and more of my former friends turned to foes, and joined in father’s chants.

“You are an evil spirit!” some shouted. Other’s said simple things like “be gone” and “Leave here.” But the worst of all was “You were never blessed by Genesee. You are as bad as those of the Plain.”

I was at the edge of the meadow when a great shadow struck my head for a moment. Something large and loud landed in front of me, causing screams from everyone watching. I opened my flinching eyes to see the wolf that I had shot between the eyes staring back at me. Her body was in defense mode, towards the humans, but her face was soft and calm, assuring me that everyone would be alright. I looked at the spot of the wound, and only a small black scar lay on her white face. Impossible… right?

“Evil Spirit! Call away your animal!” houted a villager. I looked to see who it was. Yareli was standing behind her father, who had called. I looked into Yareli’s small innocent brown eyes and frowned. She would be forced to grow in a village that would never grasp the full meaning of Genesee.

I stood and walked over to the wolf, bent down and stroked my hand on her warm fur, as I had when she was dying. When my fingers touched her scar, her fur stuck straight up, and her eyes became dilated. Something happened to me, too. I could hear her.

"What are we waiting for? Genesee is waiting for you," she said, her tail moving impatiently.

“My people!” I shouted, trying to get them to calm down. But more and more men flooded into the field with their bows and arrows.

“You are not one of the people!” One man exclaimed, as I stood from my crouch. The wolf bent down and growled at the foul creature of the same race as I.

“You’re right,” I said looking at my hands. Something was rushing wildly inside of them, but I couldn’t lay my finger on what. “I am Genesee’s child now, like her.” I said, pointing to the wolf.

I looked towards my father, who, though furious of his wife’s death, was still curious. No one would ever know what I meant. Except for those who appreciated Genesee’s power.

“Be gone!” Was the final straw.

“Come on, girl.” I said, looking down at the wolf.

I turned and walked towards the forest, through the gates from village to nature, from sane to mystical, from normal to magical.


Personally I think this is really good and I hope you do win the contest. I do think though that more drama could've been added to make this an extra touch more perfect. Your use of commars got the best of you I must say, and I found that it jumbled your work. I've added all the necessary fix up's I could think of. This is rather long and took me some time but I'm done, and my school work is kicking me in the head for it. But, that is because I would rather do this then algebra. I wish you the best of luck for the contest.
:D

~Apple.
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Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:29 pm
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Rydia says...



Hey there hun <3

There's a lot I really like about this but I felt that you didn't delve deep enough into the ins and outs of the culture, the characters and the general plot. It all feels a little rushed and piled together but maybe I can help you smooth it out?

When I awoke, the sun was just rising over the tall mountains. I quickly rose, knowing that I would have to catch up with the men in the village. They were early risers, [Rising, rose, risers. You need a new verb hun. Possibly replace rose with, 'I quickly forced myself awake'] mostly because they had been waking up early since they were born. A man was born a hunter, and a woman was born to sleep. Or, at least, that’s what my father had always told me. I was going to prove him wrong, though.


I walked over to him and my mother in their sleep and sighed. He didn’t seem so mean and hostile when he was asleep. And she, well, mother was always beautiful and kind, no matter what she was doing. I looked past my father and there, on the dirt floor next to him was his bow, and a stack of arrows were carefully inserted in his leather bag. I grabbed them and slung both over my shoulder, ready to hunt.
[Okay so I'd like to see more than such a base description here. It would actually be preferable to know nothing of the mother's character as opposed to her being kind. That's too typical and half-hearted. Maybe just describe her physically so that we can imagine her beauty and what is it about the father that makes him look less hostile? Do the wrinkles around his eyes relax? Does his arm trail across his wife's shoulders? Here's a tip, take a look at some of your sleeping family members and ask yourself what's different. My little sister has this puckered brow most of the time she's awake, like she's all frowny. But! When she's sleeping, it softens out and she has a little dimple on her cheek, her lips tend to be all moist and shiny and she looks like such an ickle girl again that it makes me want to stick her thumb in her mouth XD][/Quote]

When I awoke in the cold shade of our wooden hut, I was cold. [Buuuuut she already woke up? Why is she waking up again? I'm very confused by this, plus it's repetetive. Was she sleeping outside? How did she get there? Did she take her dad's weapons the night before and then sneak outside and sleep with them there? If so, why? That seems very pointless to me ^^] But, as soon as the morning sunrays hit my back, I could feel energy escaping into my body. In the distance, I could see male hunters heading off to the rising sun. [I agree with the reviewer who said the hunters would know how to hunt as well as she and also with the discrepancy of her father not being up. Has she drugged him? That would give her more reason to feel guilt/ be cursed later.] But I knew better. Animals would want to travel towards light, and the last place they saw it was where it set. I turned and ran in the opposite direction of the hunters.


The forest was green and alive. I touched every leaf and blessed all flowers, assuring them that I was not there to harvest their lives. When I stroked a brown fern, I started to see its green reappearing. That’s what sunlight can do to you, I thought as I looked back towards the rising sun. My long black hair was caught in the bow for a moment, so I let out a howl.
Hmmm. Okay I has comments XD

Action

I wanted to give you a few tips on this before I get side-tracked. The action of a scene like this is very important and there should be a clear change of pace, a building of tension. If you describe her creeping about, stepping carefully and lightly across the forest floor and turning in all directions with the bow, eyes peeled back, fighting off the remnants of sleep. That's a more full description and your reader will be caught up in it and then you spring the attack on them. Something catching hold of her hair, spinning around, fearing it's her father come to drag her back, the pulling continuing, building panic and then the slow and sheepish realisation that it has just been caught in her own bow and she's been screaming wildly and completely ruined her stealth. And I'm not writing it out in a story format on purpose because I just want you to take inspiration from that and write your own scene.

Then. There's beasties chasing her! I mean, practiced with a bow or not, this is probably the first time she's seen a big scary wolf. And tell us what it is earlier, describe it. I didn't know what to visualise at this point and was thinking lion but in my head it was a furry blob that kept changing shape as I tried to follow you. Describe the wolf. Tell us her fear and fascination with such a creature.

Most importantly of all, she should already be thinking, 'oh shit, how do I tell if it's a male?' If that's her culture, it will be so ingrained into her that even when trying to run or climb a tree, she'd be worrying. Basically, I want to see more tension and more awareness of who she is and what she's up to.

I mentally cursed myself, realizing that it must have chased off game. I listened for a moment, and heard large breaths of air in my right ear. I whipped around. I was in a small empty circle, surrounded by thick trees, and in the distance, I could see a body of light colored fur, easily the same size of me. And I was a tall woman.
Right. Large breaths in her ear but the beastie is in the distance? Noooo. Doesn't work. You're giving her excuses to turn around when you don't need to. If she's a good hunter, she'd hear the animal and know better than to turn and face it yet. While an animal thinks the prey is unaware, it will stalk slowly and the prey can edge toward a tree and then get their arse up there. If the animal sees that it has been noticed, it will drop the slow stealth and be more ready to pounce.

I looked around, searching for something to climb. But I was taking too long, and soon enough the large-toothed beast was circling me. I took my bow off my shoulder, very slowly, not wanting to show any sudden signs of movement, or he would.
He would... what? Your sentence drops off here.

But, when it was behind me, it looked off into the distance. I listened, too. I took my chance and hopped onto one of the trees I had previously blessed. Maybe it would save me.
Hmmm. I think you don't want to say that she listened too. In that situation I'd just take my chance and then try to hear what the creature did but only if I was safe and very briefly. Animals have better hearing than us so leave the listening to birds singing at the other side of the woods to them.

I didn’t want to kill the beasts, trust me, I didn’t. But, I had set out to bring back a lavish animal pelt to show my father that he was wrong. So… why not bring back one – or four – from out biggest competitors?
Is she suppsoed to seem foolish? Only, how is one little girl going to carry even one animal back? Okay so she says pelt... she has a skinning knife on her maybe? And even then, four heavy, nasty animal pelts? That's more work than a man can handle and the meet going to waste and the possibility that at least one of those is female... she needs to think this through ^^

I was adjusting my arrow to shoot at another one, but they ran away, crying with fear. I sighed, hoping one would be enough to impress father.
The actions don't seem very beasty to me. Wolves can scamper away and whimper but crying... don't make them too human. It's hard enough to visualise them already ;)

“Your father,” she said, pointing towards the center of camp. I looked at the people of my village. All of them had either a bruise or a wound, some worse than others.
How does it feel to be cursed, what does this mean for her? I'd love it if I could feel more emotion from Ama. Clearly it's something big for her friend to run to tell her but... what? In some tribal lore if one was cursed, others had to ignore their very prescence because acknowledging a spirit or a cursed one gave them power over you. Is this something like that? If so, explanation would be really cool and the friend should be more cautious. These are her beliefs. Even for friendship, beliefs are not easily discarded.

“Why is mother hurt? More than the rest?”
Her mother is dying and she's asking silly questions? O.o

Okay all done! And it was a fun read, I love the feel of culture you have but it would be even better if you could dig further. Maybe do some research? Research is good ^^

Plot

Since you asked for plot comments, that is what you get, yup yup. Okay so the ending bugged me. I could see it coming but it was more that... there wasn't really enough show of the bond forming for my liking. There wasn't enough penitence and grief, sorrow or forgiveness. There was no taking her cloak off to cover the animal, stroking her muzzle, digging her a grave so the other creatures don't nom on her. I'd like to be able to see more reason why a spirit animal chooses to side with one who killed it. Or is that not an option? Is the animal forcefully enslaved? That would be kind of funky but doesn't seem to be the case lol. *reigns imagination in*

The whole stealing daddy's bow is odd too. If she has been training to use a bow, how? Does she not therefore own a bow secretly stashed somewhere made to her measurements and strength? Yes bows can be used by anyone but a female is always better with a bow adjusted for them and every hunter/ expert should have one that suits their arm. Especially if it's all tribal. A person's bow would have been important to them.

I love the ideas you have here. Sacred females and such but - how do the males even check if the creature is female? Hey there Mr. Lion, steady on now, I need to get a good look at you just to check that you're not a very big female. It's your world so make it possible. Magic amulets or totem poles or something but make it so that it's believable and workable in your story.


I think that's enough to work on now but if you've got any questions or further requests, just drop me a message, okay? :)

Heather xx
Writing Gooder

~Previously KittyKatSparklesExplosion15~

The light shines brightest in the darkest places.
  








"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
— Lewis Carroll