Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Teen Fiction


The Dark - Chapter One

by fight4whatisright

Hi all! This is just the first part of the first chapter because I feel like my writing is really clunky in this part then the rest is fine. In partcilular, I'm looking for feedback on sentence structure and wording. Also, the MC is female but I'm not sure how to make that clear at the beginning. 

Chapter One


The drought of the summer made the long grass itch like wheat at my bare calves as I ran from the wailing alarm. The way was lit by a bright moon, but I had to shove my long fringe out of my sweaty face to see where I was damn going.

Sirens started in the distance. I ran like my life depended on it; if I got arrested, my step-dad would kill me.

Hurry!” a voice shouted somewhere out there in the darkness, but it wasn’t for me. The guys were already leaving me behind. Great, thanks. Why did I let them talk me into this mess?

Something silvery glinted through the gum leaves ahead. A chain-link fence, gleaming in the moonlight. I threw myself up and over it. As my feet hit the ground on the other side, my hoodie tightened around my neck and yanked me back. Crap! I struggled, kicked and thrashed, then realised struggling was futile. I slipped out of my hoodie, leaving it behind.

A root snagged my foot, jerking me out of my sprint. The ground met my face the way a chunk of steak hits the chopping board. "Oomph." I looked back, expecting to see a security guard or a cop gaining on me. The jolt of relief was almost worth the fall; no one had grabbed me - my damn hoodie was just snagged on a loose wire. The grey fabric hung halfway up the fence, looking lonely and abandoned in the moonlight. I scrambled to my feet and took off again.

Breaking through the trees and onto my street, my sneakers now pounded the tarmac. I slowed to a walk as I approached my house, catching my breath. The lights were on and the TV’s chattering flowed through the open window. Could I sneak in so quietly that my family wouldn’t notice me?

Paranoia forced me to spare one last glance behind me, checking my back for cops. There were no police, but something caught my eye, something not quite human...

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
783 Reviews

Points: 47580
Reviews: 783

Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:50 am
IcyFlame wrote a review...

Hi there,

I completely agree with Silver, I don't think it's a problem at all that you can't tell your character is female within the first few paragraphs. Don't force it and I'm sure it will come naturally. It's becoming way less common to describe your character straight away in a novel - it's more about getting your reader hooked.

Crap! I struggled, kicked and thrashed, then realised struggling was futile. I slipped out of my hoodie, leaving it behind.

You've introduced some good tension here, but I think perhaps your character gets out of the situation a little too quickly? Especially as in the next paragraph, I didn't realise she thought someone had grabbed her... I immediately assumed it was stuck on the fence.

I always find beginnings to be clunky to write. I find it's much easier when you know your character a bit better so perhaps continue writing and then come back to change this later on when you have more of a feel for the narrative?

Good luck!


User avatar
53 Reviews

Points: 475
Reviews: 53

Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:59 pm
silverquill12 wrote a review...

Ok! You asked for feedback, so here goes.

1. Right off the bat, I'd change "the drought of the summer" to just "summer drought."

2. The damn in the first paragraph seems unnecessary.

3. The way you wrote "I threw myself up and over it" makes the moment a bit too brief. You could elaborate on that moment of action to build suspense and make it even more devastating when her hoodie snags.

And I think it's totally fine if you don't specify exactly whether the main character is female at the very beginning. I think that "long fringe" is enough for now, and then it will become clearer the first time someone uses her name. Overall, great job! I hope you post more of this story; I'm very intrigued. That cliffhanger is top-notch.

A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.
— Markus Zusak, The Book Thief