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Chapter 5: The Academy

by artemis15sc

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1634 Reviews

Points: 67548
Reviews: 1634

Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:28 am
Deanie wrote a review...

Hi Artemis!

I am really slow at reviewing this, and I want to say sorry for it :( I also haven't seen you around too much lately but I will leave my reviews for it you come back anyway :3

Even though this chapter seemed to be largely for just explaining what the school looks like, I felt like we got a lot more than simply that from the chapter. Yes, we had your brilliant descriptions but then we were also introduced to some new characters as well as gleaming how this school works a bit. As well as that, as I always say I love the voice of the main character as well as the way you include so much detail in her emotions. Some people might not have given any heed to the moment when the first wizard she ever met disappears but you remember to do so and it makes her seem like such a realistic character. I loved It ^.^ Also, in this review I am going to try and stay away from the nitpicking because so many people before me have covered everything that needs to be said.

“How so,” I gasp.

But I will mention this one tiny little nitpick. I felt like this needed to have a question mark at the end of the dialogue. Another thing I understood was that you wanted her gasp to come after her speech when she enters into the training room. But the gasp comes too quickly afterwards and it seems like she is gasping the words. So maybe you can have her ask the question and then mentions that she lifts her eyes from the floor and gasps as she takes in her surroundings. I think that is the effect you were trying to go for here.

Everyone you have described so far is pretty. Does everyone really have to be pretty? Even if that is a common trait between wizards, it doesn't mean Billie will happen to find everyone pretty. And it seems unrealistic to me, if not a bit annoying. I am not a fan of stories where every single person is pretty unless there is a reason.

I felt it was also odd having the president squeeze a student's shoulder. Even if the said student is one of the top ones in the school, it seems surprisingly intimate for that kind of relationship. I feel like shaking hands or a nod in the direction of the student is much more appropriate. Or at least, that is the way it works at my school.

There was a very short but still evident info dump when it comes to the history of the school. Two huge paragraph clumps that blinked to me. I think that when they were there as well, it seemed like everything else fell away. But I wouldn't change the dump because it's information we do need. What I would suggest you do is break it into sentences. And while she is talking, even though Billie is listening, have her keep an eye on their male companion or look more at her surroundings or even think her own thoughts in between the sentences. That way the dump gets hidden as it is broken into smaller parts and interwoven with other things as well.

I can't think of anything more to say for this chapter. I will work on reading more of this soon, so keep up the writing ^.^

Deanie x

artemis15sc says...

Thanks Deanie! Just one little quick comment. Everyone is pretty because they use magic to alter their appearance. I've been trying to contrast this with the rustland, where everyone is less pretty but like good people, whereas the magicians are less cool people. Maybe if I have Billie notice this more it'll work better?

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260 Reviews

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Reviews: 260

Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:54 am
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TriSARAHtops wrote a review...

I'm back! I've been meaning to get back to Alpha for ages, but now I'm reviewing. Definitely.

I don't have massive amounts of stuff to pount out, but I'll start with some of the more technical stuff.

She girl smile, brushing her golden hair out of her blue eyes. She’s really pretty, in a sort of cute school girl kind of way.
“Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ms. Waverunner.”

Just be aware of the typos at the start of this bit. Main reason I point this out, though is because you don't need to start the dialogue on the new line (at least, I'm assuming that it's Gwen speaking, right?) because the bit before is talking about Gwen. There's probably a more technical way to explain it, but basically the space shouldn't be there - it actually makes it more confusing. Throw in some dialogue tags if you so desire, but it'll work fine without. I'm also a bit iffy about the 'golden hair out of her blue eyes'. I wouldn't say that it's wrong, or anything, but it feels a bit unadventurous. It doesn't really tell me all that much, and I just feel like you could experiement a little more with how you describe her, to give a much stronger visual image.

And the way they keeping looking at me, are they talking about me.

For one, this should also end in a question mark. I also think you could use stronger punctuation between 'me' and 'are', rather than a comma. An ellipsis would work well, as it would give it a train-of-thought feel, adding to the reader's sense of being in Billie's head.

“Our conflict did influence there’s*,” Arthur says. “But the human and mortals wars have always been distinct. Connected, but distinct.” Arthur interjects.

*theirs. Also having the two speaker's tags doesn't really work. I'd suggest getting rid of 'Arthur interjects', because he's not interrupting, anyone, and it doesn't feel like the end of his previous sentence is cut off. It looks and sounds fine ending without tags.

There weren’t any sorcerers in the rustlands, at least not pure sorcerers, but I’d heard the older misfits talking about them enough to know they were sort of the black sheep of the magical community

You've got a weird tense moment here, where you have a couple of past tenses with 'were'. The first time - 'there weren't any sorcerers in the rustlands' - works well enough, because from Billie's perspective the rustlands and her experience there is in the past, but the second time you use were - 'the were the black sheep' - I think should be present, to be consistent with the rest of the story.

This,” Gwen says, “Is the training room.”

I noticed you did this at least on other time, so I thought I'd point it out. When you've got speaker's tags in the middle of a sentence, like you have above, the dialogue after the tags, where the sentence continues, isn't capitalised. So the dialogue pretty much works as it would if the tags weren't there. So basically, it would be "This," Gwen says, "is the training room.".

So that's it for the technical side of things. I thought you handled this chapter very well. It could have potentially been a massive info dump, but I think you managed to feed the reader enough information so that they understand, but not so much that their brain explodes. I was a little worried at first, when you were talking about the school's history, but I think you hit the balance quite well.

Good description, but you could add even more. Is Billie distracted by anything on the school grounds when she zones out during Gwen and Arthur's tour? Are there other students about, and if so what is her reaction to them? And so on. More depth and worldbuilding is never a bad thing.

I'm not sure if you've said this in a previous chapter (and it's entirely possible that I've forgotten), but how old is Billie? Because it's said here that she's a freshman, so that's about fourteen, I'm guessing? It's not a major issue, but just an area of uncertainty.

As you know, it's been months since I last read this, but I was pretty well able to remember what has happened up to this point, which says a fair bit about your story. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing reading it.

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92 Reviews

Points: 4553
Reviews: 92

Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:26 am
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pendr wrote a review...

Hello :D I don't feel there's a need for an introduction XD I promise, I'm going to keep from correcting any errors you could find by proof reading by yourself. I keep saying that, but I keep failing at it XD

"Ter, the shortened form of daughter. She’s a wizard." Why is this here? It was random and very confusing. Please figure it out so you can clear it up.

“I had the privilege of attending the Academy with your mother, Diana was one of the finest magicians Alpha’s ever seen. Now I’m certain you have many questions I’m trusting you to Gwen’s and Arthur’s capable hands" Change the comma before Diana to a period. Put a period after questions, and change 'trusting' to 'entrusting'

“After the formation of the union in 1812, the original union races," capitalize Union because it's a place/race/something else that's official.

“Our conflict did influence there’s,” Arthur says." It should be their's

"I wanted to learn about magic, not whether Madame--something-- lina likes typical Victorian shutters or roman-inspired architecture." capitalize Lina and Roman

Okay. You have an Arthur, Gwen, Freya, and Morlec (which is pretty similar to Merlin). Where's Morgana? :D Just Kidding XD So, either there's a good reason for these Merlin names, or you just really like the names. Both are ok with me. My day just got brighter because I now know you like Merlin :D

artemis15sc says...

Arthur and Gwen are from the legends( and I do love the TV show) but Freya refers to the Norse God of beauty. And I changed Morlec to Malak in my current draft.

Anyway, thanks again!

pendr says...

Oh, ok! Yea, I don't know anything about Norse gods XD
Cool! Keep working! Because if you stop writing, my life will be over forever.

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639 Reviews

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Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:24 pm
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SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...

Hello again, Artemis, Wolf here for a review.

I like this chapter, since here we get some more info on this realm you've created, specifically the academe, Alpha. It's really cool all the different races that go there, and the history seems interesting. Usually I'm against info-dumping, but here I feel like it's fine, since sometimes in novels it kind of has to happen, especially in novels with a lot of world building.

You do a good job of keeping most elements in this real, for example how Billie reacts to all this new stuff coming at her. Some points she's in awe, and in others she is struggling to try and take note of everything for future reference. They way you incorporated her guides was nice, but I am kind of confused, are they students or grown people? Because I think at one point it was said Gwen was their best student, but I'm led to believe they are adults.

Another thing, the dialogue kind of confused me, especially at this part:

“I was asked to be president of Alpha a few years ago, and how could I refuse such an honor?”

“He means,” the girl steps forward, her long blond hair fluttering and blue eyes bright, “how could we accept such an honor?”

I'm kind of confused on what the girl was trying to say, but after rereading it a few times, I think she means it was an honor for him to accept being the president? Please try to make this more clear.

Otherwise, I am very excited for next parts! Happy Review Day and Keep Writing,

artemis15sc says...

Thanks again, yes, Gwen and Arthur are the student body president and vice president, I'll try to clear that up...

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49 Reviews

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:38 pm
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PassionateReader wrote a review...

Ok this chapter is great! But I really. really. really think that it should have been divided into two separate chapters. Like The Academy might stop at "Don't worry, you'll get your chance." Then the next chapter could be something like The Dome or The Past or The Truth. Whatever you want. But it was awfully long for one chapter.

This sentence, "You can see from one end of the school to the city of Alexandria sprawling in the distance", should be changed to "I can see from one end..." You suddenly added a second person point of view instead of staying consistent with first person.

This sentence, "The dome spun to show a group of people, warlocks, standing in a circle, holding a weird glowing orb over their heads, which quickly dissolves into warlocks razing the cities of the fey, while the fey fled". The dome spun is past tense. Keep it present; you're doing great!

Also I was really lost trying to follow all the different races. I kept up with the fey and the sorcerers. But that was it and the history was really confusing. But I don't know how else you would not lose me with all those races. Maybe it's just me...

That said, I love the way you explained the history. Spot on! It wasn't lots of facts in a boring academy classroom. It was colorful, interactive, real, and totally magic! I wish my history class was that exciting! Billie found out the truth about her heritage in a remarkable way. And it was special for her. Something she will always remember.

Ooh!! And Sedna!!! She was like a warlock Tanya! But way more important! Tanya was totally afraid of Billie and covered it up with bullying and toughness. Sedna tho... Maybe she's intimidated by Billie's new comer-ness. Or maybe she's trying to show who's really the boss around here. I don't know yet and only more reading will tell. I love your characters!!!!!

Arthur seems to be nice enough. I still really like Hunter tho!!! I'm shipping Hunter and Billie. What should the name be? Huntillie? Or maybe Billunter?


Keep up the good work. :)

artemis15sc says...

You are seriously my favorite person. Thank you so much, I will keep all of this in mind when I get around to editing this chapter again, but I've got lots of other chapters to edit so that may take a while. And sure, I'll break it up. Also. I love hunter too. He's probably going to be my favorite character, however, he....doesn't come back...for a while, don't hate me. he will come back, just not in this book...

Thanks! Happy editing. But don't feel stressed or pressured or anything. Writing should be fun, not a chore. Awe.. That's sad. I'll miss him. :P But I don't hate you and I can see that Billie has a lot to do in the realm before she gets back to school. If she ever does... But I need help with a ship name still. I'm sorta leaning toward Billunter. Which one do you like better? Or do you have an even better ship name? Ship names are very important ;)

artemis15sc says...

They are, I've been tentatively calling them Hillie, since I think that sounds funny, but Billunter's good. However....I have a lot of ship names for are my potential couples, since no shipping is set in stone yet...

Nice! Lol I love shipping...

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Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:01 pm
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TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...

Hello, artemis!
Aurora here for a Review day review!
Alright, down to business.

First thing that caught my attention: Split this chapter up. It's so long, really, that you could easily have two chapters that were still a good length. As I was reading this I found myself wanting to just go on. Maybe throw in some sarcastic banter there to amuse your reads. Because right now, you're losing me interest really quickly. Granted, I haven't read the previous chapters, so I may be missing something.

I'm not going to point out your grammatical or technical errors. I trust that you can do that on your own.

I must congratulate you on your use of the word 'faerie'. I thought I was the only person who used that anymore. Just one correction about your usage; there is no plural of faerie. It's spelled faerie for singular, and if you've got a large group you want to talk about, you use faeriekind. Or just abbreviate with fae, or fey, as you like to spell it. So faeries? That doen't exist, as far as I know. Although, I suppose I could be wrong. But that doesn't usually happen. :)

Phoebe smiles, swirling her wrist like she’s about to perform a spell.

Ah.... what? Swirling her wrist? Did I read that right? Pray tell, love, how do you swirl a wrist? Maybe her hand. But not her wrist. As far as I know, she's have to be doing huge circles with her arms to be 'swirling' her wrists. :)

About the part where you say that WW1 and WW2 were started by wizards and just took place in the human world too... yeah, Rick Riordan already used that in his Percy Jackson series. I mean, you might have had no idea about this (heaven knows I do this a lot accidentally too), but I really would suggest you change it.

What can I say.... I really liked reading this chapter but would have liked to have the building described to me, too. Although, your descriptions of the characters is amazing, apart form this line:

At the top are a boy, a girl, and a man wearing a turban.

A boy and a girl?! Add some description!

Anyway, this was a fantastic chapter, love!
Keep persisting,

artemis15sc says...

Thank you very much Aurora P :)

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131 Reviews

Points: 11451
Reviews: 131

Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:08 pm
MaryEvans wrote a review...

The dialogue, where he says he’s the president and all, and from Sinai, it sounds a bit expository, not too much, but I’d question myself if it’s really necessary. Her asking about the turban too.

Is every new recruit greeted by the president and the head students personally at the stairs? I’d imagine more of a: here’s your room, oh and the authorities want to see you so we’ll go to the principal’s office after I show you around. You know like in Harry Potter, he wasn’t personally greeted by Dumbledore the moment he got off the train even though Harry was kind of famous in their world. You get what I mean? Plus showing preference to one student is kind of unfair. I mean do they welcome every single student that way? How many students do they have? 10? Else it’s kind of… difficult to welcome all.

The rest is ok, though maybe a bit expository. It’s nice to tell the history and but focus a bit more on showing. It drags at times, and you can read it outloud to yourself to see where. I do think this whole thing can be shorter than it is. And like I mentioned in the previous review take your time with visuals. Though here I think your scenes are well formatted and the paragraphs and descriptions not too skinny. Be careful with repetitions though.

So again, nicely done, keep up the good work.

artemis15sc says...

This gave me a great idea for an improved scene so thank you :)

Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
— J.K. Rowling