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Shaping the world: Spirits Enraged

by Alchemist


"Jae, I'm going to pull us through this", red-haired man said. Besides him was a woman; they were both standing on a side of a mountain, watching the forest in flames.

"No you won't!" Jae angrily answered. "We will face hard times together. You, me, and Ferrin." She turned her sight towards a boy sitting on the ground, confused.

"Dad, why is forest burning?" boy said slowly, as if it was still hard for him. "Did we do something wrong?"

The man gazed into the flames, emotionless. "Lat!", Jae whispered, poking his side with her elbow.

"Oh", he gasped, noticing his son. "No, this is not our fault", he kneeled down and picked up boy, placing him on his shoulders. "This time we did nothing wrong. Spirits have gone mad. I'm sure of it." Boy still seemed confused. "Let me tell you a story. After all, you are now old enough to hear it." Child atop of his shoulders smiled, then laid down his cheek on his father's head.

The group of three started walking away from the fire, descending down the other side of the mountain.

"Sometime in the distant past, the humans were many in numbers and they lived happily. They lived in forests and bathed in rivers and lakes. They were friends with critters and they fought off the corrupted beasts. This changed, one they, when a man had taught others how to shape things.

Soon, humans started cutting down the woods..." little boy straightened his back in surprise, "they chopped them and created many things. Stories tell they were beautiful, but soon forests started disappearing. Humans also learned how to cut stone and create forests of caves where no beast would ever enter."

***

Jae watched with joy how the expressions changed across her son's face. She remembered the first time she had heard it. The story of how humans had ruined the world, and how they were punished.

"Humans were soo greedy that they chopped down each and every mountain on the world. Soon, the grass fields would disappear too, being replaced with more and more caves. After many years, there was no place for critters to run from beasts, and they were all eaten... after being protected by humans for so many years, they also died by their hand. And soon, beasts had nothing left to eat too, so they vanished also. 

Humans were left alone in this world.

That's when the gods finally enraged. They decided to curse humans and make them destroy the dead world they had created. They made humans breathe fire; it was painful, and they could not control it. Soon, their own breaths melted down the stone caverns and killed their families, and only few were to survive.

One man then fell down to his knees, shed a tear and asked Gods for foriveness. He offered his arms as a food to surviving beasts, showing that he would do anything to rebuild the world Gods had shaped. They pitied upon him, but left mankind with a grim reminder of what they had done.

Humans were to exhale smoke forever. Just like we do."

Boy's eyes suddenly started following the trail of smoke flowing from his mouth.

Jae was the same. She spent days after playing with the smoke. She was holding her breath or trying to breathe really fast, hoping the smoke would go away.

"It's good people don't do these things anymore, dad", Ferrin smiled. Jae noticed her husband clenching his fists.

"Yeah. It sure is." 


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401 Reviews


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Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:33 pm
ThereseCricket wrote a review...



Hi! Cricket here for a review!

I see you've already received an excellent critique from Flite, so I shall do my best to do the same. xD Unfortunately, I haven't read any of the previous installments so please excuse me if I mess up when it comes to your storyline, and the like. Here goes.

I can say that I do love how you told that story in the end. Although, I could tell that the boy is young, I could also tell that he is mature and prepared to hear such a story of destruction. From the way you had him react to the story, I could see that he was thinking with a mind of a mature child. Not a child that was used to thinking of destruction and the like, but one that was innocent and only wanted to think of happy things. So that when he heard this story, it made him sad but it also made him happy that people didn't do those things anymore. Although, from his father's reaction I think that maybe it does still happen. Right? Clearly, you are foreshadowing something here. Most likely I will need to read the other chapters, and the future ones to find out what, though, eh?

While I loved how you had the story told, I also would appreciate a bit more detail when it comes to the actual detailing of the story that Lat told to Ferrin. If you want your reader to feel the horror of what the humans had done to the earth then go into some more detail. Put more emotional detail into it. For instance, if the humans are destroying the earth by cutting down the trees, then have Lat give an example. Have him point to something that shows what humans did. Is there something that he could show Ferrin that would bring across what destruction the humans had done? Some sort of relic from those times nearby, perhaps? Just a thought. I really think you could bring in some detail on this. Put in some more descriptive words, bring some more color in. Take your sentences and try and build more from them. For instance, you mention how painful something is. Instead of just saying how painful it was, why not go into it more. Describe the pain a little. I understand that since Lat is telling the story that might seem a bit strange, but since he is trying to give a good picture to his son... he would want to describe just how exactly everything felt like. Make sense? Hope this helps a bit. :)

Now, I will try and focus just a little on the more technical side of things.

his", the red-haired man said.


You are missing an article right there.

Besides him was a woman; they were both standing on a side of a mountain, watching the forest in flames.


Two nitpicks.

1) I would suggest not using the semi-colon when necessary. They really drag down the flow of your writing. A comma on the other does not, and flows right along with the sentence.

2) I would change the wording of watching the forest in flames to watching the forest go up in flames. "Go up" in flames put's more action in it and that will give the reader more of an image and will insure that they feel that the story is still moving forward.

"No you won't!"


Comma after "no".

, he kneeled down


Kneeled isn't technically a legitimate word. In this circumstance, use knelt.

Before I close up this review, I would like to mention how in the first part you mention how they start to walk down the side of a mountain. Then as we go on you never make any mention (while the story is being told) of what they are doing. Obviously, we can gather that they are still walking, but give us some sort of picture. Make mentions of them kicking up dirt with their feet. Are there rocks on the ground? Give us some sort of idea of what exactly is going on.

Aaaand, I believe that's it for my review. Hope this helps.

Keep writing!

~Cricket




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Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:23 pm
Rosendorn wrote a review...



Hello.

First things first: dialogue punctuation. You have quite a few errors in this piece (!", should be !" for example) and I'd suggest proofreading again after reading the linked article.

Past that.

Your descriptions are weak. You spend very little time on the actual nuances of description and instead use shorthand, especially when dealing with character emotion and body language. Using words like "angrily" are alright if you've set up a situation where "angrily" has a clear picture, but right now you're using that as the only description for how the characters are behaving.

Expressing emotion is a very unique thing among people, and writing out how they actually display their emotion helps characterize them. Is "angry" a raised voice, red face, and visible veins? Or is it icy quiet, cold, and stiff shoulders? I can't tell right now. Lists like this can help you figure out how your characters are expressing the emotions you want them to display, and writing out the descriptions instead of using adverbs will make your writing much stronger.

There's also a certain amount of ambient description missing. Everything is stark visuals, when you can use more senses than simply sight. This article goes into some ways you can beef up your descriptions, and this article describes how you can use the setting to help set the mood of the scene.

Overall, there's potential here. Once you've cleaned up your grammar and punched up the descriptions so we get more vivid pictures, you'll be well on your way to something amazing.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

~Rosey




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Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:22 pm
Morrigan wrote a review...



Hello!

This was quite gripping. I really liked it! The story was nice and tells us about the time when this story is taking place.

However, there were a few things I'd consider changing.

I understand your decision to leave out the smoke until the end of the chapter, as it is normal for the characters to have smoke coming out of their mouths. However, since this is in third person and not in first person, I suggest adding something at the beginning about it. It would make perfect sense if it was in first person, though, as they wouldn't really mention anything that was too ordinary about themselves.

I'd like to know exactly what's burning. I know it's a forest, but is that their home? Did they live in a hollowed out tree? A tent? What is this forest to them, and why are they watching it instead of fleeing it? Give us some more context so we can connect emotionally with the characters as well.

I'd like to have a sense of who is the MC out of this family. Get inside one of their heads and allow us to latch onto one person rather than giving us a scene of people, who we don't really know anything about.

Overall, though, I think it's an interesting concept and you did a pretty nice job! Happy YWSing!




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Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:17 am
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Apricity wrote a review...



Heyo Alchemist, Flite here for a review. I'm not going to spend time on the grammatical nitpicks, I believe that there will be other reviewers who are more apt at those type of things than I am. So, this is set in a fantastical realm and the people are condemned to smoke due to the crimes they've committed. It's an original idea and I really like it, it's fresh and it's promising, you've got an interesting plot so you've already hooked me in.

That being said, this piece is not without flaw. I'm just gonna point out three main points for you to consider, three main points that really jarred out and disrupted the smoothness of the chapter.

I have noticed that throughout the chapter you struggle with correct dialogue punctuation so take a look at the article provided. This is the encloypedia of dialogue punctuation

Now that's finished, let's move onto the content of your dialogue. It's a bit info-dumpy, but because your sentences aren't long and windy it isn't terribly boring or flat, though it is best not to include such a large amount of information in one go. I get the feeling that the entire dialogue was created to give us a background on the story, because it showed no charatcer development whatsoever, and the fact they had smoke coming out of their mouths was a surprise (foreshadow this at the start? They talked at the beginning too.)

I would recommend putting this story's background in context, so that it doesn't seem like an info dump and will also appear as more interesting. You left us with a lot of questions during that dialogue, such as where are they and who are they. I would seriously like to see more world-building in here, more descriptions as to what kind of world they live in. I know this is only the first chapter, but you really need to give the readers a strong sense of what is to come. First chapters are about character, mood establishement. But I know that takes time, so work your way into it.

So, going reverse to the beginning. I feel that the first paragraph was incredibly abrupt, as if there was meant to be another paragraph before it. There was suddenly a forest burning and three characters standing on top of some plateau overlooking it. But that seems so random, why are they there? Do you see what I mean about putting information in context now?

That brings me to the end of this review, if you've got any questions, please feel free to ask me.

-Flite




Alchemist says...


Hey, tnx for revew! Somehow it didn't pop in my notifications though..




There's a Brazilian things you could write about. You just gotta pick Juan.
— Hattable