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The Veil - Chapter 1

by megsug


Lekan still didn’t quite understand what was going on…

He got the feeling he’d been duped, and that ticked him off, but he wasn’t sure how or when or why he’d been duped.

Especially the why.

He was a nice guy looking for some thrills, just trying to live life with a little danger thrown in. He hadn’t hurt anyone. He had just gone on a fast boat with goods that may or may not have been illegal with men that may or may not have been smugglers.

He was a good guy though.

Which was the real reason for the puzzled frown as he studied the king even though he was fairly sure he was supposed to be looking at his feet, blinking every time the gavel hit.

He thought the gavel was really a tad overdone.

The charges bounced through the room then through his head, mixing together in a muddle he couldn’t comprehend.

Smuggling. Bang.

Conspiracy against the crown. Bang

A really complicated term for dodging taxes. Bang.

Trading without a license. Bang.

(Really, the gavel was a little too dramatic and obvious. They probably meant for it to be a hammer pounding nails in his coffin. Complete silliness.)

Minor treason. Bang.

All of this was rather blown up. He hadn’t even seen the goods or even looked for the smugglers. They had found him.

Maybe that should have been a hint to the trouble that had ensued.

Glancing at his uncle and mother, he tried to gage what they thought of the entire ordeal. Uncle was stone faced as he stared at the king. One fist clenched and unclenched slowly while the hand gently resting on Mother’s shoulder didn’t twitch. Lekan wondered if he was angry at the king or at him. Probably the latter, but there was always hope. He watched Uncle lean towards a stranger and whisper though his face gave away nothing of the matter.

He could only look at his mother for a short time. She looked composed, hair and makeup done as if she would be going shopping afterward with some friends, but her hands were clenched in front of her and shook. Her eyes darted the way they did when she got nervous, and they were red. Though she hadn’t cried at court, it was obvious she had spent the last three days upset.

He returned his gaze to the king who was talking fervently with an amazonian woman who sat behind him but just barely.

He had no doubts that everything would work out. He was a good guy, and he hadn’t really done anything wrong, a little stupid, but not wrong. He just couldn’t see how everything was going to work out yet.

He bent knees that had gone stiff during the trial and pulled at his tie, loosening it ever so slightly. Catching the fierce look of his uncle and the subtle shake of his head, Lekan stilled, resigning himself to a few more moments of awkward stiffness.

His eyes flickered about the room. They settled on the floor then flicked to the pulpit and the barrel chest of King Rufulo.

He wore ceremonial robes that disguised some of the brute strength he was known for. Black skin held a contrast to the bale blue cloth symbolizing justice and truth. His white teeth flashed into sight as he murmured to the queen who had started a risqué fad.

Lekan liked the style personally, despite what the older aristocrats said.

She wore a gold ring through her right nostril, and sheer cloth of orange and blues that wasn’t quite thick enough to hide the skin underneath. Her blonde wig, obviously fake, was decorated with a bright headband, and her face was unpainted, but she was beautiful without it. Lekan wasn’t the only man who lusted after the queen despite her age. She seemed unaware or uncaring of how her clothing fell as she whispered urgently in her husband’s ear.

The whispering made him nervous, so he studied the phonograph which was nicer than any of the ones he had seen. On a normal day, it would be playing. As it was, nothing could mask the murmurs of the court.

He rolled his shoulders and looked up as Rofulo pounded his gavel.

“We would have given him a life sentence, being generous.”

Lekan’s throat constricted as his mother cried out. His eyes flicked in that direction even though he knew he didn’t want to see. His uncle sheltered her as best he could, removing his jacket to cover her as he embraced her, glaring stonily at the king. The man he had been whispering to earlier leaned forward to speak in his ear again.

Lekan felt sick. He needed to sit down, but he couldn’t. He had to be still. He looked over at his uncle to see if he was watching.

His mother was keeping his attention in her need for consolation.

He decided he would be safe to sit for a few minutes. When his mother was upset, she took a long time to calm herself.

A gasp went up when he sat, but he heard it through the padding of what must have been his pulse but sounded like the ocean. He couldn’t remember when he’d last gone to the ocean. The real one that crashed over cliffs, not the tame channel speed had made exciting for a few moments. He should really find lasting excitement. He pondered the depth of these thoughts and decided he was rather impressed with himself.

“Let’s stand up. You’ve clearly made your point now.”

Lekan looked up.

Now he was being dragged up by his arm. “Will I at least be able to say goodbye to my mom, or will she be able to visit?”

“I will never understand why fools like you get all the luck.”

He studied his uncle calmly, blinking slowly as his mind worked through this conundrum.

“Maybe this isn’t luck. You’re really not prepared to go overseas.”

This new wrench thrown into the slow turning gears that compromised his thoughts, everything came to a grinding halt. “...Uncle Obi?”

The look of disbelief was a familiar one. “Do you ever find it wise to pay attention?”

This question answered none. “What are you talking about?” Surely, now wasn’t the time for a lecture.

Obi glanced up as if asking for help. “You’re going to get beheaded. I don’t know who is going to do it or why. I have the sneaking suspicion it’s going to be me wielding the axe.”

“No one beheads anymore.”

“I’m sorry, but electrocution just isn’t as powerful as beheading is. It doesn’t strike the same fear into the hearts of would be criminals.”

Lekan was still feeling as though he was behind. “Maybe you should ask those being electrocuted.”

His uncle snorted. “Maybe there’s some hope for you yet.” He pushed Lekan forward. “Let’s go home.”

“...Home?”

Obi glanced at him, and Lekan was more terrified to see a slightly pitying look than he had been to see any of the thunderous ones he’d received in the past six months. “I suppose hearing your life end before it’s really had time to begin is a good excuse for not paying attention. I’ll catch you up on the ride to your manor.”

He stumbled after his uncle. “Wait, what-“

“You’re really going to question this?”

For one of the first times Lekan could remember, he decided his uncle had a point.


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Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:07 pm
Pretzelstick says...



Heya megsug, I know that you have a lot of comments/reviews here so I will go through your chapters, read them and maybe see which ones have little reviews so that I can help.
*clicks and starts reading the next chapter*




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Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:11 pm
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Tealessence wrote a review...



The first 3 sentences really drew me in. Great start!

“He was a nice guy looking for…” At this point I was cringing and preparing for an info dump on the main character rather than you showing me what the character is like, but when I read “He had just gone on a fast boat with goods that may or may not have been illegal with men that may or may not have been smugglers”, I was pleasantly surprised. Although this is telling and not showing, it tells in the character’s unique voice. And it’s really awesome that you establish this unique voice within the first few sentences. So great job here!

“He thought the gavel was really a tad overdone.” I love this. It really gives some insight into the character’s… well, character.

“Smuggling. Bang. …” etc. I really liked how you put these all on separate lines; it echoes the ‘banging’ of the gavel very well.

“A really complicated term for dodging taxes. Bang.” I’m finding this character already to be enjoyable and humorous.

“(Really, the gavel was a little too dramatic and obvious … Complete silliness.)” I’m not sure how I feel about the parentheses here. At first it drew my attention a bit too much distracting me from the scene and bringing my attention to grammar instead. But then I read it again and it sounded okay. But given that first impressions are basically everything, in my opinion, you should probably scrap them.

“Glancing at his uncle and mother, he tried to gage what they thought of the entire ordeal.” Isn’t “gage” supposed to be spelled “gauge” here? I could be wrong.

“Uncle was stone faced as he stared at the king.” I’m pretty sure “stone faced” should have a hyphen in it: “stone-faced”.

I like that you’re introducing new characters already, esp. his uncle. I like your description of him. I think it was very well done.

“He could only look at his mother for a short time.” So he does care what his mother thinks of him. More character revelation; good.

“She looked composed, hair and makeup done as if she would be going shopping afterward with some friends, …” Judging from the king’s presence earlier, I can only guess that this is taking place some time in history when monarchies were probably in their prime. So when I read this sentence, especially the phrase “going shopping”, it sounded just a bit too… modern for the time period. In my opinion. I know women have worn makeup for ages but when you combine the makeup with the shopping it sounds very 21-st century to me.

“He returned his gaze to the king who was talking fervently with an amazonian woman who sat behind him but just barely.” I got just a tad confused here at “but just barely”. Just barely behind him? Or just barely talking to him? Perhaps consider rephrasing that?

“He had no doubts that everything would work out... He just couldn’t see how everything was going to work out yet.” I like the optimism of your character.

“He bent knees that had gone stiff during the trial and pulled at his tie…” A tie? Was I wrong about the whole time period thing? I just don’t know of any modern true monarchies that currently exist. I double-checked your genre… and the page just said “general/general”. So that doesn’t really help me much. Sorry if I’m getting confused stupidly.

“He wore ceremonial robes that disguised some of the brute strength he was known for.” I like this little detail. It makes a minor character memorable.

“Black skin held a contrast to the bale blue cloth symbolizing justice and truth.” An African American (?) king? Now I’m even more confused as to what genre this is. I supposed I’ll just have to wait to find out.

“…to the queen who had started a risqué fad.” Same comment I made with the king; you’re making each character, no matter how important, memorable by some means. Kudos. I really like your description of the queen’s clothing.

“The whispering made him nervous, so he studied the phonograph…” A phonograph? I appreciate the clues. I just forget what time period phonographs were popular as that was before my time. Ugh. I apologize for my confusion.

“ “We would have given him a life sentence, being generous.” ” I like that you chose to leave out dialogue tags here. It makes the sentence have more impact.

“Lekan’s throat constricted as his mother cried out.” This reveals a bit about his mother; that she obviously cares for her son. You have great methods of characterization.

“His mother was keeping his attention in her need for consolation.” I like the contrast between the laid-back almost-humor of Lekan’s character in the beginning with his now sympathetic and sensitive side.

“A gasp went up when he sat, but he heard it through the padding of what must have been his pulse but sounded like the ocean.” Excellent description here.

“He pondered the depth of these thoughts and decided he was rather impressed with himself.” I like the brief internal thought revelation here. I think it fits very well.

“ “I will never understand why fools like you get all the luck.” ” I’m not sure who’s talking here, the king or his uncle? I thought it was his uncle because of the following sentence: “He studied his uncle calmly…”

“ “Maybe this isn’t luck. You’re really not prepared to go overseas.” ” Once again I’m not sure who’s talking here. I appreciate it when authors don’t use unnecessary dialogue tags, but maybe you might consider it in this section? Anyway, overseas? I’m interested in what that has to do with his sentencing.

“ “...Home?” ” I’m just as confused as Lekan is. I’m assuming this is intentional.

“Obi glanced at him, and Lekan was more terrified to see a slightly pitying look than he had been to see any of the thunderous ones he’d received in the past six months.” Once again very clever way to say that Lekan has been living with or near his mother and uncle for the past six months.

“ “You’re really going to question this?” ” Question what? I’m confused. I like the sentence you ended with, but I’m still a bit confused… is he getting beheaded or not? Or is this confusion intentional?

Sorry if I missed something and that little something caused my confusion. I hope I didn’t.
So far I really enjoy your writing style. You’re obviously a very skilled writer.




megsug says...


Thanks for the review!
The reason you're confused about the setting is because I wasn't sure what the time period was yet XD It's like a... 20's meets imperial era meets fictional world. XD Sorry for the confusion.



Tealessence says...


You're welcome. :] So, technically it's... well, fantasy? Just not your average fantasy? Or am I making a mistake again?



megsug says...


Weeeeell... I'm not sure what to call it. So far (and probably never) there's no magic or mythical creatures. It's. .. very political, fairly conservative fantasy.



Tealessence says...


Interesting : D Extra points for originality.



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Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:47 am
Blackwood wrote a review...



I'm pretty sure I read this chapter in the past, but I didn't go any further than that. I was looking through the green room and decided I wanted to review one of your chapters but I didn't really want to review randomly chapter 13, so off to the beginning I went. Intending only to read up until the green room chapters, I think I will just go for a review on this one, because I have a couple of things to say. (And also procrastinating. Yes I have so much to procrastinate.)

Now I know that my first drafts of things are terrible, but you always smiled and nodded, telling me everything was well and good to keep me encouraged and working along. (And when I went back I cringed at the style I had written) But unfortunately, as much as I desire it, I do not share your sweetness. I doubt you'll be discouraged by me anyway, just making a statement that that is not my intention.

The problem I felt with this chapter was the lack of establishment. It is a first chapter, and as a reader I felt lost and a bit confused as to where I was and what was going on in the introduction to the story. The very beginning worked a bit more well than the rest, but I still lacked a situation.

The first thing I want to know is the setting, both time and geographical. I want to be immersed in the environment as soon as I start reading so I can begin to imagine where and what this story is unfolding and taking place. The first thing you lack is the establishment of a time period. Obviously this is a fictional sort of world, but I want some sort of clue as o what time setting this is based on. Upon reading the opening I imagined modern setting, with some punked up kid getting around. Then you mentioned King and Queen and I thought maybe this is medieval. And finally you mentioned electricity which thoroughly confused me, it would now be anywhere and anything, futuristic, ancient, alternate society, and even if its not a real time space or period, there needs to be something to anchor the environment to show us how its based. Which comes to my second struggle to find setting. The culture.

What sort of culture is this inspired by? The title, the Veil, makes me think of Indian or middle eastern cultures (Thus my very first impression was some sort of kid in a modern Dubai messing around with some smugglers or what not)
But there is nothing indicating that, it would be a European culture, an African culture, an Asian culture, a pacific island culture. The only thing I know is its not an Amazonian culture because you mentioned an Amazonian woman, but Who knows, you don't give any clue in the setting or descriptions other than that the queen is wearing a blond wig but then again anyone could wear a blond wig no matter what ethnicity they were.

Okay next up onto the actual writing. I felt myself lost very quickly. I am really unsure what the 'gravel' is. Is someone shooting a gravel gun at him? Every time you mentioned gravel I just tore my hair because it wasn't established well in the first place. Everything sort of flitted through, it didn't have a strong flow, and I felt myself lost with the events. What exactly is going on here? Is he on trial? Is what... or .. Yes. I can't even ask questions. I know he has been accused of doing some nasty things, and some king is telling him off, but where are they? A court room? His back yard? The docks? The whole things needs more setting.

Your writing itself of course isn't bad. You know how to put your words together and make good sentences with complete grammatical correctness, just the ideas and sentences themselves need more flesh and more setting to glue them together.




megsug says...


...My reply didn't go through which I'll take as a sign. However, the gravel may make more sense if you read it as gavel. Other than that, I agree with your review. Thanks~



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Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:54 am
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Linkzude16 says...



I'm reading it and enjoying it.




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Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:22 pm
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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there! Noelle here for a Review Day review!

Meg! I think your novel is the only LMS one that I haven't reviewed yet >< So I figured I'd come check it out! Please excuse my binge reviewing of your novel. You're welcome in advance for all the notifications xD

I think that the first three paragraphs would work better if they were combined into one paragraph. It just seems like it's all one big idea that's split into three different paragraphs. And the ellipsis at the end of the first sentence isn't really needed. It represents time passing, which really isn't something that is going on here.

Reading through the beginning of this chapter, I notice that you start a lot of your sentences with the word 'he'. Used sparingly, this works well. But it just seems like every single sentence starts with that word. It gets repetitive over time.

I really like the way you describe everything in this chapter. It's always important, as I'm sure you know, to introduce the readers to the characters and the situation. And that's exactly what you do here. We get a good look at the characters and the area that they're in. There's also good hints in here about the time period and what the government is like. I can tell that this story takes place in an almost present time. But with the king being in the courtroom and the uncle talking about beheadings, I'm not all that sure. So it might just be a mixture of the two.

We also get a good look at your MC as well. Lekan's reactions to his situation is a great way to learn about him. It's nice to have you tell us about how he reacts, but it's even better to show us. That's the whole showing vs. telling debate that's always going on.

Alrigty then, heading over to the next chapter now.

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




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Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:04 pm
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AdjiFlex wrote a review...



So this chapter has left my thoughts in that strange middle ground between utter confusion and great intrigue. Then again, as I reflect upon your first line here, the protagonist is confused too, so I won't feel bad. So your work looks good on a paper, which is a huge plus - meaning your sentence and paragraph structures are varied wonderfully. Also, there are rarely any grammatical glitches, which is quite commendable. I spotted a few lines that could be tweaked, but it would be a real bother to go back and try to find them amidst all the perfect sentences.

So you have developed Lekan wondrously in only a few paragraphs, and without using cheap descriptions. I'm glad you didn't spend a whole paragraph talking about his hair and eye colour and what colour shoes he is wearing, as you have left our minds to develop Lekan's image based on his personality, which again, is well developed. The narrative voice is lovely. It is not just your regular third person omniscient story-teller, but there is the feeling that the narrator is connected to Lekan himself, which makes for wondering if the narrator can be fully trusted. The narrator seems to try to justify Lekan's actions and claim his crimes is really just silliness and nothing sinister.

The latter part of the chapter is highly confusing, but as the character Lekan is also at a loss, you make it clear that the confusion is deliberate and not a result of your inability to write properly. I look forward to reading more of your work. Keep writing!




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Sun May 25, 2014 8:27 am
Snowery wrote a review...



Hey Megsug! Silver here to review for you today! :)

Well, this chapter has a lot of reviews so mine will probably be very short.

I've got no nit picks so I'll just be reviewing characters and content for now.

Lekan. He seems like a great guy at the moment, it's only the first chapter so I don't know him that well but he seems like the type to fall into trouble without realsing or intending to. Are you going for a possible unreliable narrator? I might be batting in the wrong field here but he Keeps saying "I'm a good guy" when he's been caught with smugglers. I know that he claims not have know what was going on but maybe he had a sneaking suspicion but is sort of in self denial?

Either way he has a really interesting and entertaining voice.

What I'm mainly curious about is the fact that the king himself seems to be presiding over the court case. Yes, it was for a crime for treason, but surely there would have been a judge? This is an interesting reflection on the world and society that you have here. If the king sit's as judge then he must think that he has the last word? Or maybe he is known for his just and fair rule? It implies so much and I'm curious to see what is and what isn't.

Lekan seems to have a longing for the sea and for thrill seeking it'll be interesting to see how this affects his character.

Anyway, hopefully I'll have more to say in upcoming chapters. Keep it up and happy writing! :) :)

Silverlock




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Wed May 21, 2014 11:41 pm
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ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Heyo Egs,

Shady here to read your piece, as requested. I figured I might as well leave you a quick review as I read it. :)

He got the feeling he’d been duped, and that ticked him off, but he wasn’t sure how or when or why he’d been duped.
~ Try a synonym, maybe?

Which was the real reason for the puzzled frown as he studied the king even though he was fairly sure he was supposed to be looking at his feet, blinking every time the gavel hit.
~ I feel like you're missing a word here, but I'm not entirely sure what... maybe something after 'puzzled frown'?

Minor treason. Bang.
~ This is really anal, and you should feel free to ignore it-- but I would to suggest you italicizing all of the 'bang's.

Lekan wondered if he was angry at the king or at him. Probably the latter, but there was always hope.
~ Haha, this part literally made me LOL. Well done. :)

He returned his gaze to the king who was talking fervently with an amazonian woman who sat behind him but just barely.
~ "Amazonian" should be capitalized, no?
~

Okay!

So, unsurprisingly, you wrote a chapter that I really enjoyed. I like how you start it with the action of the trial, and I really love how you make Lekan's personality come through so strongly. Like, I really enjoyed that he was noticing such small details when he was in so much trouble. It was a nice touch.

So far Obi is really undeveloped, but that feels okay for the first chapter. Like, there's enough here to get us wondering about Obi, and enough sarcasm to make me like him-- so I'd say you're fine with this chapter.

Hope this helps.

~Shady 8)




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Fri May 16, 2014 3:28 am
MadamKroft wrote a review...



Oh, Megsug, you are so great at writing! I, as a reader, get easily confused and so please take no personal offense to the issues I have at understanding some of the simplest stuff. I apologize!

I was a tad confused about the jumping of punishments, but I do understand that he was released! Right? I hope, otherwise, I'm a total idiot and it's a sign that maybe you shouldn't take any of my reviews into account! :P

He was a good guy though.

In what ways was he a good guy, or at least what evidence helps to prove/hint at him being a good person. This can contain more detail in my perspective, and can even be an opportunity for a small story of how helpful he was; in school, to a kid, chores, trusting even strangers that approach him (possibly causing him to get into messes that he originally had no part in).

Lekan looked up.

Now he was being dragged up by his arm. “Will I at least be able to say goodbye to my mom, or will she be able to visit?”

This feels like a major jump for me. I feel like I disconnected with the story. Once again, I'm a very weird person, I'm sorry!

He stumbled after his uncle. “Wait, what-“

“You’re really going to question this?”

For one of the first times Lekan could remember, he decided his uncle had a point.

This felt so smooth to read that I just had to comment on how, for some odd reason, I love these lines. It had great flow! :D




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Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:52 pm
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Tenyo wrote a review...



Hey Megsug! I fear that if you keep writing things like this then I won't have much to talk about in my reviews.

He had no doubts that everything would work out...

I'm pretty sure they're somebody's famous last words XD I love this repetition of how he's a good guy and hadn't done anything wrong so it would all work out. It's a fantastic way to use foreshadowing without actually forshadowing.

Also, standing in front of a death sentence is an awesome place to start a novel =D

Laying roots

I found the latter part of this quite confusing. I'm guessing it's supposed to be? But there's a fine line between mystery and chaos.

What you've done is put too many puzzles into one chapter. In the first chapter it's important to drag your reader in and ground them before you sweep them off their feet, but here you've swept me off my feet before I figured out which way is up. If this was later in the story you could easily pull it off, just not as an opening.

(To be more specific, it was the issue of who was talking, how his uncle came to be by his side, and why he was going home instead of beheading.)

I'd recommend buffing it out a bit. Make the dialogue and actions clearer like you would in a simpler chapter and just have the one mystery of why he 'would have been given' the life sentence instead of 'will be given'.

That said, I wouldn't worry about it too much right now. Let it sit for a while and when you've written further and have a stronger grip on the characters, then you'll probably have a better idea of what kind of impact you want them to make.

Speaking of characters

Lekan is wonderful, I really like him. I imagine him to be fairly young, late teens to early twenties? Old enough to be hanging out with smugglers but young enough to still be under his parents watch.

He's quite naïve. Everything will be fine. The men may or may not have been smugglers. He was a good guy so of course that means everything works out. It adds a really endearing quality that sets him apart from your average thrill seeking MC, and makes him easy to cheer for.

Sentences and Paragraphs

Watch out for the beginning of your paragraphs. Most of them start with he/she/someone's name. Just a tiny thing to keep in mind for later.

Positives!

Your writing has a good flow to it, good variety of structure and an impressive selection of vocabulary. It's easy to sum that up in a sentence but it takes a lot of practice to get to that standard of writing, to take it as a powerful compliment.

These things are important because the more variety you have in your writing the more flexibility you have to express the story. That means I expect to see really good things from you and this novel =D

Keep up the good work!




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Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:52 am
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BluesClues wrote a review...



Sorry because this is going to be a short review. I love your writing anyway, so...yeah.

I love Lekan being all "I'm a good guy. I was just caught with some smugglers, but seriously, I don't even know what they're smuggling!" Like yes, it might not be entirely his fault, but he's not really taking responsibility for his actions and he's not even listening at his own trial, so that was hilarious, which was a nice contrast with what's actually going on in this scene.

The only complaint I have is--okay, so you've got the spot where the king says "We would have given him a life sentence, being generous," but then after that I didn't really realize that Lekan was STILL not paying attention, since he did hear that line. So I was confused when first there was a mention of sending him overseas, and then his uncle's like, "You're going to be beheaded," and THEN his uncle says "let's go home" like--if he's going to be beheaded, aren't they keeping him in prison until the beheading?

So I think just make it clearer that he once again isn't paying attention. And maybe a bit of why. Like before he wasn't terrible concerned because he's "a good guy," but once you hear "we WOULD HAVE given you a life sentence, being GENEROUS," you'd think he'd freak out a little. So do the words blur together? Is he so freaked out he doesn't hear the rest, or is he still somehow not concerned?

Other than that, I'm loving this so far. Your writing style is awesome.

Blue




megsug says...


Thank you. The part you mentioned, I was conflicted about. I was worried it was too ridiculous. I'll make the reasoning clearer in my next draft. :)



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Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:54 am
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IamTraunt wrote a review...



Hey! IamTruant here!
I am really intrigued by your chapter! I was quickly draw into the action and I felt as I waas there watching the king hammering his mighty gavel and watching Lekan's uncle and mother look at him in different ways, but I can still feel they are searching for hope. Well done!

Just some punctuation is needed in places:

Conspiracy against the crown. Bang .


Characters:
I really enjoyed reading about Lekan's unfortunate involvement with the smugglers. You brought well how determined he is in knowing he is isn't guilty when you put:
He was a good guy, and he hadn’t really done anything wrong, a little stupid, but not wrong

I also like the way you describe the uncle, the way he doesn't show emotion and I also like how you contrast that with the mother, who is obviously distraught. The way you described the king and queen were interesting, especially the added detail of their garments and the queens head wear. Well done!

Dialogue:
Although most of your chapter is description, there is more dialogue near to the end. I found your dialogue fairly awkward as you don't usually put who is saying what, for example:
Now he was being dragged up by his arm. “Will I at least be able to say goodbye to my mom, or will she be able to visit?”
“I will never understand why fools like you get all the luck.”

Who is speaking to him? His Uncle? A guard? Seeing as you don't put "his uncle said" or "the king said" in places where they need to be, the readers get confused. Just a little tip for next time!

Pace:

Your paragraphs flow well, and interlink, making it easy to read and not have huge amounts of info thrown at them (because that makes them bored out of their brains). You did describe in detail the king and queen's appearance but that wasn't gallons of info to drink in, so that's alright. Remember next time, to keep the reader going, add a little more dialogue into your story so the reader will find it easier to read.

Hope this helped ;-) Keep on writing!





"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
— Pablo Neruda