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The Lost (Part 1)

by Basil


You’ll never save them, a voice sneers in my head. They’ll die, and it’ll be your fault Sashyndral.

The classroom behind the door is falling under the water, and there is a giant crack in the roof. All the students in the room are running around and screaming. Only one boy is calm, watching me with troubled, black eyes. I shiver as he turns his pale face from me to look at the teacher.

“Children, children please,” the schoolteacher barks, hands in the air. His normally neat and tidy comb over is mussed, and his glasses are askew on his face. “Let’s not get carried away here, it’s just water!” He’s trying to calm them all down.

The ‘just water’ is filling up the classroom quickly. Soon all thirty teenagers in there plus the teacher will drown. All of them will die if nothing is done.

I hate being a Form-Shifter, I silently snarl, and grab the metal doorknob. My scaly hand is like armour, but even with skin like this I can feel the scorching heat radiating from the door. I wince as my claws dig into the handle of the door, and I pull. The door handle groans and finally gives way. I fall back, the doorknob coming free from the door, and crash into the wall behind me. I quickly recover and shake my draconic head. I stand up straight and run at the door, my shoulder braced for the impact …

I sit up in bed, breathing hard. My head is throbbing and my muscles ache. My right shoulder hurts like hell, too. It’s always like this when I have dreams. I hate it.

I lie back down and pull the blankets over my head. I lie there for a while, wondering what the time is. Eventually, I roll out from under the covers and land on my hands and knees on the cold, metal floor. I crawl to the door and sit there, shivering in the pre-dawn cold. I let my eyes close, and my mind wander. For some people, they’d think I’m scared, sitting here, shivering. Others may think I’m escaping my bed because there is something there.

Well, all those assumptions are wrong. What I’m really doing is waiting for the door to unlock.

See, it’s very simple. The mechanism is activated by heat. At exactly seven o’clock, the sun hits the door and gives off enough heat to unlock it. While I wait, I could turn on a light, because there are no windows in my room what so ever, but I’d prefer to wait in the darkness. Like always. There is a faint tapping sound, and the air vents turn on. The low droning is enough to make me want to go to sleep again, but I resist the urge, and press harder against the freezing door.

Finally, I hear the click of the lock turning, and I get up. I grab the door handle and stop. There are claw marks on it, and it is nearly wrenched out of the door. I sigh and shake my head, pulling it down and pulling open the door with enough power to send me staggering from my feet.

At least the door works, I mentally note dryly. But I will need to replace the handle … again.

The sunlight filters through the thick vines hanging in front of the cave mouth, lighting up my room. I turn around to assess the damage, but to my surprise, there is only a massive dent in the back wall where I, no doubt, would have hit the wall. I sigh and walk over to the pile of clothes on the floor. I pick them up and put them in the large, leather bag hanging on a hook outside my room. I close the door and walk out from under the cave, and into the morning light. I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with icy air, and start coughing.

I hate winter more than any other season of the year! At least in summer I can be up earlier, and in spring there are more animals. But in winter it’s freezing, I have nightmares, and the air is icy. Which means my bath will be agony …

Once I’ve washed all my clothes and hung them to dry on some branches right in the sun, I take off my clothes and slip into the icy creek. The water bights into my skin, and I resist the urge to run out. I grab the sand on the ground and start scrubbing at my skin. When my skin is raw and tingly, I unbraid my hair and start washing it with the sand. This process would normally take about ten minutes, but in this freezing weather it takes half n hour because my fingers are nearly frozen from cold.

Now, all that being said, I’m sure you’re wondering why that is. Why I live out here, in the wilderness of this forest, away from the smelly, noisy, daily life of other humans. That’s because my mother sent me to live with my father, who owned a block near here. But a few years ago, when I was ten, he died from some sort of disease. So now I live in the old bomb shelter he’d made when he was younger, and spend most of my time out here alone. I say most of my time alone because I visit my two aunties every now and then, and I go to school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have to go to school at least three times a week other wise my aunties will take me in and look after me, making me go to school for the full five days.

And that’s pretty much my life, except for the fact that during winter, or when it’s cold, I have these weird nightmares where I change my form, and do all kinds of things, like saving people, killing people, run away from people … usually to do with people. And in all my nightmares, I’m around the age of fifteen. I know they’re just dreams, but I can’t help but feel scared because in about two months, I will be fifteen.

Every night, as I lie there, in my bed in the dark, I tell myself it will be ok. I tell myself that none of those dreams will come true. And I go to sleep with that reassurance … until, of course, I dream.

I finish my bath and climb out of the water and wrap myself in a large, coarse blanket. I sit down on a rock, in the sun, and close my eyes. I doze off for a while, and then realize what the day is.

“Shit!” I breathe. “Shit, shit, shit, shit!”

I jump up and grab my uniform and put it on, a little damp, and run back to my room. I grab my pack, shove in my books and pencil case, and put on my work boots. Well, technically they’re not work boots, but they’re boots all the same that nearly reach my knees. I run out of the room, slam the door shut behind me, and run through the forest until I reach a long, straight, gravel road. I stand there, staring up and down the road, catching my breath back.

“I think I’ve missed my bus,” I say to myself. “Can this day get any better?”

Then again, it is Monday … what a way to start to the day, huh? That’s why I hate winter. That’s why I hate my aunties right now, and that’s why I hate school. Because … no, there is no reason, I just hate it all! I wish my father never died, or my mother never gave me up and sent me away … but then again, she did have to, because her job was hunting creatures like me.

Oh, right … in my dream, I Form-Shift into a strange, draconic creature. That’s what I do. Form-Shift. And my mother hunts my kind, because they are dangerous and don’t know how to control their powers and therefore end up getting mad and kill people.

But Mum taught me how to control my Shifting … when I am conscious. You can’t control you’re Shifting if you’re unconscious, and I think that’s where most of my problems begins. Most.

I hear a faint rumbling sound and stare up the road to stop a large, orange and white bus making it’s way down the road toward me. I jump up and down happily on the spot, crying out in triumph. Looks like I haven’t missed my bus, and I won’t be late for the first day of school for term four!

“Remind me again why I hate school?”

I tap my pencil on my notebook, thinking.

“Right, because I don’t fit in, what I learn is nonsense, and no one here knows what the hell they’re doing!”

The teacher slams her book down on my desk. I look up at her, my eyes boring into hers. I don’t even flinch, or shrink down in fright, as most other people would have done. This, of course, makes her angrier.

“What was that, Miss Bellitrè?” She snaps.

“I didn’t say that,” I say before the last word leaves her mouth.

“It was your voice I heard,” she growls, frustrated.

Behind me, everyone giggles and laughs. They all know perfectly well that I said that, but they also know that I’m the only student in this class capable of getting away with it, because the teacher, Mrs Robbe, thinks me too stupid to think up reasonable excuses as to why I’d call out that in class.

“Maybe you thought you heard me, but it wasn’t me, Ma’am. I wouldn’t say that anyway. I like science,” I drawl.

This makes everyone laugh some more, because it is a well-known fact that I hate science, and maths, and anything to do with science and numbers and what not.

“I’m sure I heard you –”

“Maybe it was someone from the other class? These walls are awfully thin, aren’t they, Ma’am?” I cut in.

Mrs Robbe narrows her eyes at me, and then turns back to her black board. I smile with satisfaction as she continues her long speech on how Isaac Newton discovered energy. I yawn widely to emphasise my boredom, and get a glare from Mrs Robbe, but she ignores me. Suddenly the small clock on Mrs Robbe’s desk starts chiming, and Mrs Robbe turns to the class.

“Alright class, pack everything away. We will continue with this tomorrow,” she says, and then watches us all leave.

I shove my science book into my bag and jump out of my seat. I stroll across to the door and make my way out of the room, down the corridor, and to the front door that leads to outside. With a large group of other teenagers, I walk across a large, grassy area to where the change rooms are. Today I have sport, and luckily I have my sport shirt – clean too – so I won’t get in trouble.

I push open the door and walk down to the end of the change rooms and put my bag in the corner. I quickly change into my sport shirt and get out of the change rooms before the other girls get here.

“Always the first one out, aren’t you Bellitrè?” The sport teacher comments.

I smile. “Of course. Couldn’t do to be late,” I look around as though I could be over heard. “Better to be five minutes early than late, right?”

She smiles. “Yes, yes Bellitrè, of course.”

“I mean, it’s better to get out of that room before all those other girls get in. I hate them, and they treat me like crap,” I add with a smile.

The sport teacher gives me a strained look and just shakes her head.

And for the next hour, all I have to do is run around the oval while everyone else has to play stupid baseball. I don’t really like playing team sports because that means I have to talk to other people. And running laps around the oval is good enough for me, because I can keep up my fitness anyway.

“Hey!” Someone calls out behind me.

I throw a look over my shoulder to spot a boy running to catch me up. I look forward, hoping he’ll keep going, but he doesn’t. He jogs alongside me and smiles.

“Hey,” he says.

I nod in response.

“I’m Aaron,” he tries to start a conversation.

I just nod.

“What year are you in?” He tries again.

I look at him and narrow my eyes. “Why are you talking to me?” I ask simply.

He baulks. “I thought this was a free country?” He says.

I scoff. “Don’t believe all the crap you hear on TV. Not everyone is right.”

Aaron opens his mouth to say something, but I pick up my pace and run off. After a few strides, he catches up again and smiles, nearly out of breath.

“I don’t. I was just saying. But you didn’t answer my question,” he puffs.

I growl and run faster. Once again, Aaron tries to catch up with me, but I keep going faster. Next thing I know, I’m sprinting laps around the oval, just to get away from this kid. I hear a whistle blow, and skid to a stop. The sport teacher runs over to me, and I double over, panting.

“You may go and get changed now, Bellitrè,” she says.

I nod and hold my thumb up in the air. She smiles and pats my back. I walk back with her, and allow her to talk to me. I throw a glance over my shoulder, but don’t see Aaron.

“You should think about doing cross-country,” the teacher is saying.

I look back at her. “No thanks. Sorry, but I’d rather not,” I say.

“What about any sport at all? Is there anything you want to do?” She asks, half-heartedly.

I think about it. I have everything I could possibly ask for, maybe even more. “No, not really,” I admit after a while.

We reach the change rooms and I walk in, saying a terse good bye to the teacher. I walk into the change rooms and over to my small corner, get changed, and walk back out. No one talks to me as I walk by. I go past the library, which is closed at lunch 1, and keep going, past all the other classrooms, and the little alleyway that leads to the oval. After a few more strides I make it to a small space between two buildings. I sit down and realize I have no food to eat.

I’m about to curse in a very colourful language when someone sits down beside me. I glance up to see Aaron riffling through his school bag, a wide smile on his face.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I bark incredulously.

“You never answered my question, and I thought, you know, since you’re all alone here, I’d hang out with you,” he says, getting an apple from his bag.

I stare at him blankly. “You do know I’m a loner by choice, right?” I venture.

Aaron shrugs. “Never could hurt to have a friend,” he retorts.

I’m not going to be able to get rid of this kid easily, so I might as well just put up with him. And besides, maybe he isn’t all that bad. Though he is extremely annoying, I like his persistence.

“What was the question again?” I ask.

Aaron smiles widely and leans against the wall of the room behind us, and rests his legs on his bag. “What year are you in?”

“Nine,” I say absentmindedly, staring at the sky.

“How old are you?” Aaron then asks.

I glare at him. “What’s with all the personal questions?” I retort.

He baulks. “I’m just asking! And besides, you look like you’re nineteen,” he says.

“Well I’m not,” I snap. “I’m fourteen.” I lean back against the wall and stare up at the sky again.

“When did you turn fourteen?” Aaron asks. In other words he’s asking when my birthday is. Cheeky.

“Last year, in November,” I say quietly.

“So you’ll be fifteen in two months?” Aaron looks at me in astonishment.

“I was held down a year, ok?” I growl. “But yes, I’ll be fifteen in two months,” I hold my finger in the air above my nose and twirl it around. “Hip hooray.”

“Love the sarcasm,” Aaron says. I glance at him, an eyebrow raised. Well, I try to raise an eyebrow, but it doesn’t really work. Instead, both rise, with one higher than the other.

“Didn’t think you had a sense of humour,” I quip.

“Didn’t know yours is so blunt,” Aaron laughs.

I roll my eyes. “Have you ever been punched in the face for being annoying?” I ask casually.

Aaron laughs. “No … you don’t plan on hitting me … do you?” He asks worriedly.

“Only unless you want me to,” I say with a lopsided smile.

Aaron studies me for a while, a slight grin on his face. He has short, wavy brown hair with blonde streaks, lots of freckles on his face, and proud, sharp features. I suppose you could say he’s handsome, but in a way only mythical beings are.

“What are you?” I ask.

Aaron’s smile changes. “A human. What are you?”

“You’re not …” I pause and study his face. “I’m as human as I can get.”

Aaron’s smile changes again, looking more human and innocent, and he starts eating his apple. The shift of his face scares me a little, and that’s not an easy thing. But there a two possible explanations for the face shift if he isn’t really a human.

The first possible explanation is that he’s a demon, and he’s in hiding or whatever, and he’s just showing me he’s not human, or … he’s just a demon.

The second is that he’s a Shape-Shifter. Technically, he’s the same as me, only he doesn’t change his form, just his shape. Like an illusionist, but a little different. His shape can physically change, but he’s still, logically speaking, human. I’m a Form­-Shifter, which means I can change my whole biological scale and everything, and become the creature I have Shifted into.

Shape-Shifters and Form-Shifters don’t get along either, and Shape-Shifters hunt my kind. That’s why I’m scared. My mother taught me enough about Shape-Shifters to know I should fear them. But I don’t as much as I should because my mother … is a Shape-Shifter. And that’s why she had to send me away to live with my Dad, because otherwise she would have had to have killed me, or hand me over to a secret organisation that would have conducted experiments on my body to figure out ways to destroy my kind, and allow Shape-Shifters to breed with humans without producing Form-Shifters most of the time.

“Hey, what’s your name? You know, your real name. Bellitrè isn’t really your name, is it?” Aaron looks at me expectantly.

“Bellitrè is my name. My last name,” I say flatly. “My mother’s maiden name.”

“Oh like … wait, is your Mum Huntress Bellitrè of the Wolf Clan?” Aaron asks, his face changing again. His eyes become black with red stripes swirling around, and I can see the demon in him clearly. I almost sigh with relief.

“Yep, that’s my Mum!” I say loudly.

Aaron looks at me as though I’ve just grown another head. Though assuming he’s a demon, he’s probably seen that happen before.

“If that’s your Mum … shouldn’t you be dead or something?”

“No!” I growl. “My Mum gave me away to my father ages ago … um, when I was five. I’ve been living with him since,” I tell him.

“Didn’t your father die, though? Like five years ago?” Aaron raises an eyebrow, and pulls it off better than I do.

I narrow my eyes. “How do you know about that?” I ask suspiciously.

“I’m with the Blood Clan. I’m supposed to investigate the sudden deaths of humans in this area. They made me go to school so I don’t seem suspicious. I started on the last day of term … 3, is it?” Aaron looks at me and I nod. “So it’s technically my second day here.”

“Explains a lot, like why I haven’t seen you around before, and how you know about my father,” I look away briefly. “But his death wasn’t sudden. It was a disease.”

“No,” Aaron says quickly. “He was killed. Murdered. The disease was just a diversion. It wasn’t a human that killed him though, which is why the Blood Clan was called in. We deal with human deaths by non-humans. I think they were …” Aaron trails off.

“What do you mean?” I snap, jumping to my feet. “That my father was murdered? And you know who did it?”

Aaron stands up and grabs my arms. “No, that’s not what I’m saying,” he says, trying to calm me down. “Well, it is, but I don’t know who killed him. Or why. But we know he wasn’t the target, and there was a massive struggle before he was killed.” Aaron smiles sympathetically.

My eyes well up with tears. “He must have been protecting me,” I murmur.

“Most likely. That’s what we assume he was doing anyway,” Aaron nods.

I lean against the wall, my breath coming out in small gasps. “Who … who could have killed him?” I ask.

Aaron frowns. “I don’t know,” I notice how he says ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ this time. “It could have been anyone.”

I look at the sky just as call goes up. People start rushing to their next class, so I grab my bag and sling the strap over my head. The bag rests in the groove of my back, where it is most comfortable for me.

“It’s time for class now,” I say, wiping my eyes.

“Ok. What class do you have now?” Aaron asks.

“Drama. My teacher is weird … but I love her. She looks after me, and lets me mess around with her makeup,” I say with a wide smile.

Aaron blinks at me. “You? Capable of love?”

“She’s my aunty,” I snap, and throw a finger in his face. “And Form-Shifters are capable of love, thank you very much!”

I spin around without saying good bye and walk to my next class. I really do like drama, and not just because my teacher is one of my aunties. There are few students in the class, and all fifteen of them actually don’t annoy me. It’s the one time I can be myself, and no one will say anything. As we all established on the very first day, what happens in the drama room stays in the drama room.


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1210 Reviews


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Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:42 am
niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there Sage! Niteowl here to review for the KotGR and the Flaming Keys this fine Review Day!

First off, I must say I'm glad you made this a more manageable chunk, although it still feels a bit long.

Okay so here's what I like about this

The Powers: I've seen shape-shifting done before, but I think the way you use these powers is interesting. I also like the politics between the different fantasy forms here.

The Plot: It shows promise. A mystery of the father's murder, a likely side of inter-fantastical creature romance? Could be interesting.

However, there's a large issue with info-dumping. That's when you give the reader so much information that they become bogged down and lose interest.

Take the beginning It starts off with an interesting dream sequence that shows us the implications of the power. Then we devolve into the MC telling us her entire life story, and one point even using the second person.

Is this how you'd meet a person in the real world? No, you'd learn bits and pieces about them more organically. For example, you could show her looking at the calendar and realizing how close 15 is, which could segue into an explanation of the power.

For some people, they'd think I'm scared, sitting here, shivering. Others may think I'm escaping my bed because there is something there.


This struck me as odd. She lives in a bomb shelter? Then who on Earth is watching her wait for this door to open? I suppose this could be hypothetical, but it feels odd that she assumes she has an audience.

Also, could she realistically live undisturbed anywhere near a school? It seems more likely that there'd be hikers, stupid teenagers, campers...something that could run across this shelter and probably mess with her. This whole setup seems a little ridiculous to me. I'd seriously consider her living with an aunt or something, especially since actually changing form isn't an issue yet.

Another side note: Why would she go by her mother's last name? That just sounds like a beacon "HEY BAD GUYS COME FIND ME!" I could see her shortening it to like Bell or something.

This happens again in the conversation with Aaron. Their relationship seems to go from strangers to trusted supernatural colleagues in a matter of minutes. Again, that doesn't happen in the real world. Some initial suspicion would make sense. He might even make a cryptic comment about her name. But there's no way he would just flat-out say "Hey I'm a demon and somebody murdered your dad!" Especially given that everyone in this story can appear to be something they're not.

A better way to start this relationship might be him asking her about the deaths he's investigating (but not letting on that they're supernatural). Like maybe saying it's not safe to be alone or something. I will say I do like the pre-supernatural dialogue, as it feels more natural.

To end on a positive, I do think the character has a strong voice that's entertaining to read. Just be careful about the parts where she explains a lot and makes it sound like she knows there's an audience.

Overall, you have a solid premise here, but I'd be careful about the info dumps and the believeability. I know I can sound harsh, but I do want to help you make this better. It sounds like you already have a first draft, which is an awesome feat! With further revision, you can make this an awesome story. Keep writing! :)

P.S. If you haven't, you should read the Switchers trilogy by Kate Thompson. It's also about teen shapeshifters. :)




SageN says...


Thanks! I'll see what I can do. I usually wait for a bit and then edit my works, but seeing as this is the second story I've finished, that may be a while. But I will take your words into consideration ;)



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Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:29 am
EloquentDragon wrote a review...



Well, ED here to review.

First off, although you trimmed this down considerably, it’s still incredibly long. Generally, if you want more reviews, try not to submit anything that’s longer than 4 pages on Word. It saves all parties involved some headaches, although I know that you can’t really count that as a chapter proper. Heh.

You’ll never save them, a voice sneers in my head. They’ll die, and it’ll be your fault Sashyndral.


I don’t know why you’ve chosen to start things off this way. It sort of lacks impact. Big things are happening here, to start with a rather flat line of dialogue doesn’t make much sense. See here for what you should… and shouldn’t do in your first sentence.

Also, “Sashyndral” doesn’t really click for me as a name, mostly because it’s unpronounceable. It sounds sort of Indian, but definitely it doesn’t follow any familiar pronunciation system. Is that sahine-dral, sashin-dral, SAshindral, saSHINdral…. It’s sort of… I don’t know. Sounds like you pulled it out of a generator. Try to convey meaning with the sounds that you pick, or use literal imagery in your names. Names are important to the reader, thus picking the right one is important.

All the students in the room are running around and screaming.


“Running around and screaming” kind of negates the suspense here. It reads rather comically. Try and use more serious imagery.

Only one boy is calm, watching me with troubled, black eyes. I shiver as he turns his pale face…


Whoah, cool. Although he’s calm and troubled at the same time?

from me to look at the teacher.
“Children, children please,” the schoolteacher barks, hands in the air. His normally neat and tidy comb over is mussed, and his glasses are askew on his face. “Let’s not get carried away here, it’s just water!” He’s trying to calm them all down.


Yeah, this is unrealistic. No matter how cool your teacher is, I don’t think anyone would be saying stuff like that in a situation like that. I know it’s a dream, but still. Try and give him more realistic, panic-driven actions here.

The ‘just water’ is filling up the classroom quickly. Soon all thirty teenagers in there plus the teacher will drown. All of them will die if nothing is done.
I hate being a Form-Shifter, I silently snarl,


This is telling, not showing. You need to convey, through action and description, as opposed to just stating what is happening here.

Also, something seems to fall a little flat here. A chaotic, surreal dream-sequence should be, well, chaotic and surreal. This just reads like a preview of future events or something. I think you should try and make it more dream-esque.

Well, all those assumptions are wrong. What I’m really doing is waiting for the door to unlock.
See, it’s very simple. The mechanism is activated by heat. At exactly seven o’clock, the sun hits the door and gives off enough heat to unlock it.


Well, okay. But that seems a bit complicated and, not too functional. And isn’t she a dragon shape-shifter? Couldn’t she just heat it up herself? Also, you slip into blurting out dry facts here again, as opposed to “showing.”

I pause here to mention that, most of your sentences start with “I.” This makes it very hard to read. “I did this,” “I do this,” etc. etc. It lulls us to sleep. Try to vary sentence patterns and openers. Keep us on our toes!

I hate winter more than any other season of the year!


Try to avoid all exclamation points, unless a character is shouting. Otherwise… well. They’re really just over the top.

The water bights into my skin, and I resist the urge to run out. I grab the sand on the ground and start scrubbing at my skin. When my skin is raw and tingly, I unbraid my hair and start washing it with the sand. This process would normally take about ten minutes, but in this freezing weather it takes half n hour because my fingers are nearly frozen from cold.


Yeah that’s… not something anyone would do. Ever. Shape-shifter or not, she’s gonna get hypothermia in five minutes, not to mention thirty! She doesn’t need a bath in the middle of winter, and it makes the reader discredit her intelligence level.

Also, it’s “bites,” not “bights.”

I’m sure you’re wondering why that is… (to) … usually to do with people.


Well, yes, We are wondering. But we don’t just want you to tell us like this out of the blue! We’re here for the ride, we want to be shown, not told. Let her reveal why she’s out here gradually. Don’t info-dump like this. Ever read the Fifth Wave? The first person, wilderness-dwelling author there also has a lot of info that she conveys to the reader. But she buries it in exposition—mainly action. You could try to do that too. Bury info in action.
And in all my nightmares, I’m around the age of fifteen. I know they’re just dreams, but I can’t help but feel scared because in about two months, I will be fifteen.


This makes no sense. How would she know that her dreams are about to become reality? It kills suspense. You should make us, the reader, suspect that that is what is going to happen, but don’t just tell us blatantly in this manner.

“I think I’ve missed my bus,” I say to myself. “Can this day get any better?”
Then again, it is Monday … what a way to start to the day, huh? That’s why I hate winter. That’s why I hate my aunties right now, and that’s why I hate school. Because … no, there is no reason, I just hate it all! I wish my father never died, or my mother never gave me up and sent me away … but then again, she did have to, because her job was hunting creatures like me.


Who is she saying this to? Why is she saying this to herself? It doesn’t make sense to have her start monologuing here, it’s not effective.

“Remind me again why I hate school?”


Please delineate the scene transition here. Have a line or something in there. It’s just a bit jumpy.

away with it, because the teacher, Mrs Robbe, thinks me too stupid to think up reasonable excuses as to why I’d call out that in class.


Thinks “I’m” too stupid. Not “me.”

energy. I yawn widely to emphasise my boredom,


Emphasize. Spell check will fix most of your errors. And it’s Mrs.< Robbe, not “Mrs”

I walk across a large, grassy area to where the change rooms are. Today I have sport, and luckily I have my sport shirt – clean too – so I won’t get in trouble.


A large grassy area. Hmm. Where is this? Try and be just a tad clearer with your details. Also, it’s “changing” not “change.” And what, exactly, is a “sport class?”

He baulks.


That’s “balks,” I believe.

I have everything I could possibly ask for, maybe even more. “No, not really,” I admit after a while.


And now, you see, this is a problem. Story is about conflict. And conflict can only happen when there are two opposing goals. What is her goal? What does she want, more than anything? THAT needs to be what drives both your character and your story. Right now it seems like things are just aimlessly meandering around. Goal gives the plot direction. You need to identify her goal from page one, even if it’s just a temporary goal, and make sure you readers know that she has a goal too.

We reach the change rooms and I walk in, saying a terse good bye to the teacher. I walk into the change rooms and over to my small corner, get changed, and walk back out.


Keep walking walking walking… keep walking walking walking…

Try to use some synonyms here. Vary your sentence structure so you don’t have to keep repeating the same verb over and over again.


I’m a Form­-Shifter, which means I can change my whole biological scale and everything, and become the creature I have Shifted into.
Shape-Shifters and Form-Shifters don’t get along either, and Shape-Shifters hunt my kind. That’s why I’m scared. My mother taught me enough about Shape-Shifters to know I should fear them. But I don’t as much as I should because my mother … is a Shape-Shifter. And that’s why she had to send me away to live with my Dad, because otherwise she would have had to have killed me, or hand me over to a secret organisation that would have conducted experiments on my body to figure out ways to destroy my kind, and allow Shape-Shifters to breed with humans without producing Form-Shifters most of the time.


Again, why is she telling us all this? It’s like reading a report. Try and reveal the nitty gritty details of this world bit by bit. There is no reason for her to start explaining this to herself now. It breaks the flow of the story.

One last thing. You are telling a very big story here. Demons, form-shifters, etc. Most of us know what average school life is like. Unless her going to school and dealing with normal teenage drama is connected directly with the plot in some way, try and have as little of that in there as possible.

Hope I could help!
~ED




SageN says...


Thanks!! I'll consider it all and, as I've said before, I will then edit it ;)



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Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:10 am
D4RKR4VEN says...



Hi... I am The Raven, Squire of The Knights of the Green Room. My recommendation for you is to chop down this chapter into smaller ones. I've ran this chapter through Microsoft Word, and it is over 22,000 words long.

The ordinary denizen would not normally review anything above 1,500 words, and 2,000 words would require a more 'benevolent' denizen to 'go out of his way' to review. A Knight of the Green Room, I'm sure, would go for something above that, maybe two to three times that limit (although I'm not sure, I'm just gauging based on my experience with them). Personally, I won't mind anything around the region of 4000+ to 8000+ words, if I have the time. However, 22,000 is unimaginable even to me.

An average novel is around 80,000 words... Your chapter here is no chapter, except in the most extreme cases, but I've never seen a chapter that takes up a quarter of a novel before.




emjayc says...


Your microsoft word counter is obviously a little messed up, heh, because I checked to verify and I got that it was 9 pages long and about 3800 words. You scared me for a bit because I thought there was no way it could be that long. My novel is over 35000 words so far and seventy pages long and I knew this could not be anywhere close to that. It takes me ages to scroll down and this doesn't take that long.



D4RKR4VEN says...


No, I think he changed it upon seeing my comment. It was 22,000 words long. Now it's only as long as you said it is.



emjayc says...


Oh haha wow!



TheMessenger says...


Uh. . . it's a she:)



D4RKR4VEN says...


lol, and certainly not an it! :D



SageN says...


Yes ... I'm a she
And I certainly did change it after reading @D4ARKR4AVEN 's post.
I WAS going to say that the reason it is so long it because it is one book, but I though putting it in chapters is a better idea, so thank you Raven.



SageN says...


Yes ... I'm a she
And I certainly did change it after reading @D4RKR4AVEN 's post.
I WAS going to say that the reason it is so long it because it is one book, but I though putting it in chapters is a better idea, so thank you Raven.
(Sorry I spelt your name wrong!! So this one is an edit and ignore the first post)



SageN says...


@D4RKR4VEN
I am so sorry I have no idea why my spelling is so bad. I think I didn't get enough sleep last night ... or maybe because it's so early in the morning ... -.-"




The reason a boat sinks isn't the water around it. It sinks when water gets into it. Don't let what's happening around you weigh you down.
— dalisay