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Different - chapter one (Edited)

by writerkitty

The faint, calming sound of birds chirping nearby soothed my ears. The warmth of probable sunlight embracing my face gave me a wonderful feeling like I've been whisked off to a wonderland or something.

But the smell, something felt wrong as I took in a deep breath of air.

I expected the smell of fresh flowers and grass, but instead, the strong smell of antiseptics invaded my nose. My lungs started to burn as if someone was pouring lava into it. I exhaled the air through my mouth quickly, hoping the pain would go away.

My eyes opened to a white ceiling.

I stared at it blankly, wondering why my eyes didn't get blinded by the sun shining up in the sky. I tried to turn my neck, but it had gone stiff. Even the slightest movement caused tremendous pain.

My limbs felt the same, promising me that I won't be able to get up anytime soon. I lay there, staring blankly at the ceiling as the faint chirps and the warmth I felt earlier die down, leaving me in complete silence and solitude.

What happened to me? What am I doing here? Okay, first try to remember the basics, I told myself.

I tried to make a mind map, hoping to fill up the gaps in my memories later, but to my shock, I didn't have any memories of myself at all. Everything was just a big blur, just like my deteriorating vision.

I could feel beads of sweat pouring down my face, my lips quiver as I take in short breaths, trying hard not to hurt my lungs.

"Oh, you're awake! " A female voice broke into my thoughts.

I tried to turn my head towards the owner of the voice, but my neck gave a painful 'crack' refusing to obey my command.

"Whoa, you'd better stay still," The person replied with a giggle. "The nurse will be furious if you broke another bone."

Another? Why did she say another? How many have I broken already?

I opened my mouth to speak. But nothing came out because it was drier than a desert and I felt lumps stuck in my throat. The only thing which did come out was a painful cough. It burned my lungs, making my eyes go teary with pain.

"Easy there tiger," I felt a hand on my forehead, brushing away strands of hair that had fallen over my eyes.

A face, presumably that of a girl in her mid-teens entered into my field of vision. She had dazzling curly brown hair with orange highlights, giving it a fiery appearance. I couldn't focus my eyes on her face well because my vision was getting more and more blurry each second, but I could see that she was smiling.

Whether her smile was genuine or not, it gave me a feeling of reassurance.

Why does a simple smile seem so foreign and yet comforting? I stared at her, unable to utter a single word.

"When you are feeling better can you tell me your name?" She asked in a bubbly voice, her eyes still locked with mine.

Anger rushed through my veins. I was dying here and she seems so happy about it. What's her problem?

I opened my mouth to shout, only to flinch as every single muscle in my face throbbed with pain.

The strange twinge on my right arm made my whole body tingle.

I heard footsteps rushing in my way. With one more glance at the girl with fiery hair, I blacked out.

I was in a grassy meadow, flecked with thousands of wildflowers of various color. Tiny butterflies were fluttering about gracefully, occasionally landing on the white flowers that move rhythmically due to the breeze. My head was resting against the trunk of a tall Pine tree.

Have I been here before? Those flowers seem familiar. I tried to fill my empty mind with thoughts.

The refreshing, flowery smell and the pleasant breeze invited me to relax and enjoy the view, which I did without hesitation because I was getting tired with all the unanswered questions.

My lungs didn't hurt anymore, my vision was sharp and perfect. I sat there cross-legged, staring at the tall mountains in the distance, trying to reach up to the cloudless blue sky above. I was slowly forgetting what little memory I had left, but the strange little book with a bloody cover resting on my lap send a shiver up my spine.

Startled, I thrust it away from me. The fresh smears of blood on its leather cover smeared on the edges of my trembling fingers.

The pages of the book started to flip on its own, mixing the scent of fresh blood with the fresh air.

Everything around me began to stir, the calming view gets replaced with shadows of strange figures. They start to moan and scream as the book disappears into a puddle of fresh blood. The blood-curdling screams pierced through my ears.

I fall to my knees, burying my head between my hands, begging for them to stop. But the screams only became louder, and I cupped my ears with my hands and shouted as loud as I could, hoping it would all end.

Then everything went silent. I opened my eyes slowly to realize I was in the middle of a blazing fire. It was engulfing me, but I couldn't move a muscle or felt any pain. But the screams were still haunting my mind.

A shadowy figure little girl emerged out of the flames as if she was made out of smoke. She extended her hand, on her palm was a single white wildflower.

Without any clear thought why, I reached out one of my bloodstained hands, trying hard to see through the rising flames. Just as my trembling fingers touched the soft petals, I was stranded in complete darkness once again.

I was floating in complete nothingness while my mind tried to hold onto the memories I have left. A vaguely familiar voice whisked me out of the void I was stuck in. My eyes flutter open, meeting a blurry vision of a white ceiling. 

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1080 Reviews

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Reviews: 1080

Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:41 pm
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Sins wrote a review...

Hihi :D

Here to review as promised!

The faint, calming sound of birds chirping nearby soothed my ears. The warmth of probable sunlight embracing my face gave me a wonderful feeling like I've been whisked off to a wonderland or something.

But the smell, something felt wrong as I took in a deep breath of air.

I expected the smell of fresh flowers and grass, but instead, the strong smell of antiseptics invaded my nose. My lungs started to burn as if someone was pouring lava into it. I exhaled the air through my mouth quickly, hoping the pain would go away.

My eyes opened to a white ceiling.

So I really like this concept as an opening to your novel, but I actually wish it was a bit longer. Opening with a description of a beautiful place, only for it to start turning to become something a lot more sinister is a really cool idea. I want a bit more tension though, a bit more drama, and just generally a bit 'more'. I think the simple solution here would be to make it a little longer so that we get super immersed into the protagonist's beautiful surroundings, and then when it starts turning, it'll leave a bit more of an impact.

Okay, so, let's get into the juicy stuff! As an opening chapter, this is engaging and intriguing, and you definitely stir up a lot of questions and intrigue. That's probably the most important thing about a first chapter because if you can create all those things, especially with the kind of hook you have, you're going to grab your readers' attention. So yeah, as a concept, this chapter is super interesting. Something else I thought was pretty impressive was how you created uncertainty around determining when your protagonist was or wasn't dreaming. It felt quite original and unique, and definitely added another layer of intrigue. Your pace was steady, which is good, however I did find myself wishing it was a bit slower just so that I could take every detail in and really get immersed into the story. On the whole, you've got a good start here!

I don't have heaps of critiques to throw at you because concept-wise, I really enjoyed this chapter. There were some technical type issues, such as the occasional slip to present tense instead of past. If I recall correctly though, that was a bit of an issue in 'The Myth' and other writing of yours I reviewed before, and I can definitely see an improvement here compared to those pieces. So you're obviously on the right path! Sentence structure, punctuation, spelling etc all seemed good otherwise, so I don't have any more qualms there.

The main critique I have is in regards to the drama of the situation your protagonist has found themselves in. It doesn't' always feel super, well, dramatic. What I'm basically saying is that I want to feel a bit more panic, sense more tensions, and really just feel your protagonist's fear. You portray his or her confusion well, so that's good, but it sometimes feels like he or she is on the outside simply describing what has happened. It's a bit of a classic telling, not showing, situation. There are a few ways to overcome such an issue, so it's definitely worth trying them out. Your descriptions are good, but I'd like more physical descriptions of your protagonist's reaction to what's happening to him or her. Palms sweating, heart beating, body quaking, hands shaking, short breathing etc. You can also try grammatical things, like shorter sentences. They can be super useful in creating tension and fear.

Part of me is actually a tiny bit tempted to suggest you consider writing in third person because again, I have a feeling this may be something I used to say a bit in previous reviews. The advantage you would have in writing in third person is that a more 'distanced' feel like you have here is perfectly acceptable, and can often be an asset for mystery and the likes. I completely understand if you don't want to go down that road though, as I myself refuse to write in anything but first person :P However, it is something that could be worth considering. You'd still need to create drama, tension, panic etc, but you wouldn't have to worry so much about delving deeply into your characters' heads, which is where I think you sometimes struggle in that department.

Anywho, critiques aside, you've definitely got something intriguing here. Something different (eyyy, see what I did there?). I'm definitely interested in reading on when you post the next chapter, so be sure to let me know (tag me in a post, message me, whatever you prefer) when you post it. Hopefully I've been at least a little bit helpful here, and be sure to let me know if you have any comments or questions regarding this review!

Keep writing,



writerkitty says...

Thank you so much for the awesome review!! I'm so glad that my writing has improved. I agree with what you said about making the first part longer. I'll also try to add in more detail and more drama.
^^ I've actually tried writing a few short stories using third person, I think I need more practice with that. :)

Thanks again for the review!
I hope you have a great day/night! :D

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115 Reviews

Points: 2390
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Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:36 am
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Shikora wrote a review...

Hi @Shikora here to leave you with a well deserved review.

First this was amazing kitty! I really loved reading this. I like how you opened up the chapter. It just gets the reader wanting to no what will happen next. I have to say this chapter is way better then your other one. I'm glad you rewrote it.

I really like how your going with this story I'm not really sure what the plot is yet but I'm dying to find out, which keeps me hooked.

I like how you introduced your characters, and the way you describe them in small ways as the chapter goes. I like how you didn't just pile it on in one go.

I also like how you keep us interested through out the chapter. I like that sort of chapter, and how you just jumped right into the story. Giving us a problem to worry about right form the start i just love that.

Now the name is really interesting. That was what really made me want to read this. You really no how to pick a good name. Well done.

I really want to no what will happen in the next chapter so never stop writing, and i hope you have a good day/night.

Form your friend @Shikora

Ps. I felt like giving you a nice review for all your hard work, and all the reviews you have given me! :D

writerkitty says...

Thank you so much for the wonderful review Shikora, I really appreciate it! :D :D :D

Shikora says...

Your welcome! :D

Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
— Maya Angelou