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E - Everyone

What's Beneath the Surface

by hannahbear21

Chapter 1

Do I jump? It always comes down to contingency or refuge doesn’t it? Life is but a paradox. I gaze at the aphotic, musty waters below. They taunt and call me down to their depths, whispering cruel things from my past into my ear. I feel the cool pressure of the cold silver key around my neck, right below my collarbone, close to my heart where it always is and always has been. My florid red curls swirl around me like a ghost whispering for me to jump.


One once said, all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but facing your fear and doing it anyways.

I count down from 20.

20, 19, 18, 17, 16…

15 more seconds, that’s all…

15, 14, 13, 12, 11…

this is insane…

10, 9, 8, 7, 6…

All I have to do is jump…

5, 4, 3, 2…

All the pain will go away…


I jump.

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Points: 240
Reviews: 9

Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:20 am
Minjeong wrote a review...

This is scary. I thought this was awesome, but maybe you could have included a bit more feelings during or before the countdown?
Maybe something like: "I see a foot slowly lifting, and my fears ease like tears often dissolve on my skin. I see the scars on my foot, which reflect to my bitter past. I nod. This was right. One jump, that was all."
Maybe a bit more detail just before you jump or something.

This was just an idea... :)

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1314 Reviews

Points: 23411
Reviews: 1314

Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:44 am
Hannah wrote a review...

It's really hard to write about times of intense emotion that happen in such short periods of time, but it can definitely be done. The thing is that you have to fill every moment of the draining time you have left, and not by doing things like counting down numbers. Why? First of all, your readers are going to skip the countdown. They are not going to read it. They are not going to look at that text on your page because they know how to countdown from twenty. So why are you going to take the time to write something in your book that your readers are going to skip? Give them something they want to read instead. Fill your time. Find a way.

The second thing, is that although I appreciate the attempt to use more rare and more specific words, they come off feeling out of place. When the character says, "This is insane", I don't also expect them to describe something as a contingency. The diction doesn't match up. In addition, I think aphotic is a scientific term, maybe used to describe water in cave and the biology present there, not just some dark water. You can say dark. Dark is what you want to use. It might not be as fancy or as specific, but neither is aphotic. Also, the word "musty" brings up a smell. Can this character smell the water? I don't know why the water would be musty if it's a moving body of water. The bridge/dock/whatever around the water might smell musty, but not the water.

Also, gross, ew!! Do you ever in your entire life describe your hair to other people as florid? It's really hard to get physical descriptions in first-person narrative because it comes off sounding very conceited. You have to find a way around it. Is it really important? You know she has red curly hair. Maybe it becomes important and a topic of discussion later in the book, but this is not the time to interrupt with "HEY GUYS I HAVE RED HAIR", basically. xD

Lemme know if you have any questions! Good luck and keep writing~

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152 Reviews

Points: 1303
Reviews: 152

Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:59 am
ChimeraMania wrote a review...

OMG I so hated how it ended but I loved it all the same. What happens next, or does it go back (like a flashback). I love the words you used in this, very inspiring to mean because I choose not to use words like those. To me only certain type of people should use words like that and you deferentially should. I like the feel to this story as well. It made me actually wanna be there watching the her (I'm hoping its a her). BUT.........

One I didn't know where the person was. I can understand that they are about to jump into water and all, but how high off the ground are they. describe the setting more too. Like what the sun looks like, if the sun is even out.....blah blah blah.......

Two I think you should make this a prologue instead of a chapter. One because it is way too short. Two because it has more of a prologue feel than a chapter feel (if that even makes since). Three Well there really isn't a three for me.

I don't really have anything else either. But I really like this. And the title like tots caught my attention. I think you also need to think about that too. Try to find something that'll make it stand out more. Okay. You don't have to do it, but I was just saying.

Oh and I as soon as I got to the end I was like. WWWWWWHHHHHYYYY????? I hope your next addition to this answers my question.

hannahbear21 says...

Thank you so much! I actually do have the next part already done if you would like to read it?? I'll post it soon! But yes, I agree about the prologue thing, it's far too short. The second chapter explains all the details.

Moxipox says...

I agree with Hannah the words were, at some points, hard to follow because they did not fit what was being described, but I LOVED the overall idea of it! Cant wait to see if she's insane. :)

Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights