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The Sorcerers of Hisderat, Chapter 1

by HarryHardy


Chapter 1

The Day That Jellyfish Man and Pink Lady met Green Lightning Lady and the Prince of Dirt.

In the northeast corner of an abandoned courtyard stood several ancient trees. Surrounding them were three massive holly bushes. Tonight, there were four.

The fourth one was grumpy and impatient. Special Agent Rosemary McNamara was not having a fun time having to crouch down and lie perfectly still to pull off the disguise. She scanned the courtyard from her vantage point. Her partner, Special Agent Harrison Danvers, was perched on the wall next to the dimly lit staircase that led into the courtyard, disguised as a beetle. I really should have paid more attention in shapeshifting class. Must be a lot more comfortable.

The trade was to take place tonight. Assuming the sellers were still alive of course. Their kind of group had neither the planning nor the resources to operate for long.

The old building was dimly lit and with the cloudy sky seeming reluctant to allow them any moonlight; the buyers had clearly been forced to set up lighting runes on the walls. Guess not everyone can see perfectly in the dark. The supplier’s team was late. That in itself worried her. If they were so inept as to miss the appointed drop time, it would be much better if they didn’t show up at all.

Suddenly, there was a screech of rubber, shattering the peaceful silence of the courtyard. It looked like the morons were finally here. Her suspicions were confirmed a few moments later as a man holding a briefcase walked into the courtyard through the unlocked gate. Four men were behind him. She watched as they walked to the center. Her eyes flicked to the second floor where a woman stood guard. The woman was looking out of a window, taking care not to be seen.

Three men emerged from the darkness shrouding the stairs, one of them with another briefcase in hand. They walked up to the suppliers.

Briefcase man one looked at the three buyers. The other men tensed behind him.

“You got the goods?” asked briefcase man two.

Frowning, briefcase man one nodded. Simultaneously, they let go of the cases and they started floating across the courtyard.

Then the lighting runes all went out. A figure appeared in the center of the courtyard. Several cries of pain ensued as the men on the two sides of the courtyard were taken off their feet and rapidly introduced to the opposite wall. The figure, a man, immediately reached out with little tendrils of force. Well, someone wanted to crash the party. Damn

Rose watched it all unfold quietly. She couldn’t really do anything but watch. Her orders were pretty clear: Do not give away the hard earned intel by being careless unless their lives were in any kind of immediate danger. The two of them could not do much but watch as the hapless amateurs were beaten. At least no one has noticed that two Special Agents are present.

Her eyes once again flicked to the upper floor where a green shield flickered into existence. Then a lightning bolt was blasted in that direction. An arc of white light impacted the acid green dome with a loud hiss. The shield shattered on impact and the woman collapsed. 

Meanwhile, the men on the ground got up. They fired spells across the courtyard blindly, aiming to hit something using the highly dangerous spray and pray technique.

Her partner flew frantically towards her doing aerial acrobatics that a beetle shouldn’t have been capable of. He ducked around one last fireball as he reached the tree beside her, quickly transforming into a lizard and scampering up to a vantage point.

She shifted restlessy. Unlike Harry she couldn’t move without arousing suspicion. Holly bushes aren’t meant to move after all. But now there wasn’t much choice. She started to slowly shuffle backwards. The darkness would cover her well enough. Besides, most of them are busy with the light show.

Suddenly the darkness surrounding her intensified to an absolute pitch black. Harry. He's transformed I guess. Muttering the relevant spell under her breath she ducked behind a tree as quickly as she could.

Harry was behind the tree next to her. He gave her a questioning glance. She motioned to her communicator. Understanding immediately, he erected a silencing ward around them. She dialed the direct line to her supervisor, who picked up in a matter of seconds.

“Eagle, this is Prickle, location tainted. Interference by a third party. Severe spellfire. Cases may be lost. Should we report back or attempt to intercept the cases?” she said rapidly.

“Prickle, tag the two traders. We have enough intel on both of them to mount a recovery op later. And don’t let them see you if you can afford it. Wings can provide cover," came the orders in the usual dull monotone.

“There’s too much spellfire. The attacker broke up the trade and it looks like he’s going for the cases."

“Change of plans. Recover the cases. Tag anyone you can.” The line went dead.

“We have to get the cases and tag anyone we can,” Rose informed, turning to her partner, who nodded.

“Fine, I’ll see if I can draw the new guy away. You grab the cases and start tagging," he said taking down the silencing ward around them. Putting a silencing spell on his feet, he charged into the middle of the courtyard.

She continued to watch for a bit, waiting for the perfect opportunity. The new guy doesn't seem to be able to see in the dark. But you can never be too careful . One of the traders threw a fireball at the newcomer, who instantly sidestepped and shoved him aside using a blast of air before gesturing at the ground causing the cobblestones to shift as the Earth erupted around the man wrapping around him and dragging him down. Dirt manipulation. That’s new.

She moved out of her hiding spot taking care to cover her bright red hair in a glamour. She began to silently tag the unconscious traders. As she searched for the cases she turned to look as Harry punched the dirt king and grabbed one of the cases, tagging the man and transforming into an eagle before flying away.

The dazed dirt man got up and clapped his hands. A jellyfish fell out of the air with a “SPLAT!”. Ouch. That was like twenty feet. The man grabbed the fallen case and took off into the air running for the edge of the courtyard.

Harry transformed back and scrambled after the man, gaining momentum, and with a blast of wind, he catapulted himself twenty feet into the air. Keeping one hand aimed at his feet to maintain the air cushion, he flew at the man.

Rose turned back to the task at hand. She remembered to cast a wide area anti-teleport spell just to be sure no one could make a quick escape. Should’ve done that earlier. Hope no one teleported away with the cases.

Then the damned lights came back on. She instantly turned to the second floor and saw a woman run straight out of the window, green lightning flashing from her palms. Well, it looks like we have another one joining the party.

The woman didn’t seem to have been affected by the lightning. If anything she was right royally pissed off about it. She started blasting green lightning all over the place, arcs of green energy breaking cobblestones and sending up showers of dirt. Dirt king allowed himself to fall from the sky and promptly slid into the ground, which gave away like quicksand at his touch. Deciding that staying on the ground was a bad idea, Rose floated up. She almost didn't see the green lightning as it flashed at her , missing her narrowly. Crap. Can’t lose focus. The damn lights are back on. Time for some drastic action. She lifted her hands and pink energy flared to life around her glowing with power, the glamour on her hair collapsing.

She saw Harry out of the corner of her eye falling to the ground. Wait, why? Oh, that stupid maneuver of his. Oops. Should’ve told him I was gonna put up a ward. Lightning flashed again. Keep it together girl. Come on.

The woman charged straight at her blasting a series of energy blasts mixed in with the occasional fireball and lightning strike. Her shield managed to hold although the power on the spells pushed her back till she was right up against the wall.

Rose played on the defensive, carefully analyzing her opponents' patterns. The woman held nothing back as she launched spell after spell. She’s either learned a fancy spell set very recently or she’s very powerful.

She risked another glance at Harry as the woman’s shield fizzled out due to the sheer amount of power being directed towards her offensive spells. Harry had gotten back on his feet. A blue shield was flickering into existence along on one arm and a ball of lightning was held in his other palm.

She turned back to her fight, deciding that it was time for some offense. She blasted off a few spells of her own, slipping in a few nasty surprises. Her volley hit the woman’s green shield, breaking it down piece by piece as each pink curse hit the shield like a bright pink bullet. She pressed forward, seizing the advantage, firing volley after volley. The lightning lady was pushed back having to erect shield after shield to cover herself from the onslaught. Rose took a moment to catch her breath and the woman went on the offensive again. A wall of fire flew at her. Cursing, Rose flew up but miscalculated the angle hitting the wall with a thud. Pain flared across her back. 

Luckily for her, at that moment the prince of dirt made his grand reappearance and the lightning lady, spotting the briefcase clutched in his hands, charged towards him screaming in rage.

Rose took a moment to regain her bearings. She spotted the other case and moved to secure it, staggering slightly, as the pain in her lower back intensified. She spared a glance towards Harry  and caught him looking at her worriedly. She gave him a small nod and a weak smile.

He nodded before pointing his arms skyward. A wind tore through the courtyard and the temperature dropped alarmingly. The already cloudy skies opened up drenching them all in ice cold rain. A storm. Of course that’s exactly what he’d do. Show off.

“Prickle, grab the case and get the hell out of here as fast as you can,” he shouted as soon as the soon was going full tilt. It was beginning to move the ancient oak trees in the corner.

“Not going to happen without you,” Rose shot back. Noble git.

She clasped the briefcase in her hand and turned to the lightning lady and dirt king exchanging volleys of black and green. She had to put them out of commission. The storm was only slowing the fight down.

She unleashed one of her specialties. Launching three spells in quick succession, she sandwiched a particularly nasty entrail expelling curse and bracketed it between two lightning bolts. Then she fired off a wide area fire spell behind which she hid an organ rupturing curse. The stakeout-ruining gatecrasher disappeared into the ground as the spell volley hurtled towards them. The green lightning lady, however, was not so lucky. 

The now severely depleted opponent put up a hasty shield, knowing that she couldn’t dodge the three successive spells. Her shield took significant damage, large spidery cracks appearing across the surface, but held through the first onslaught. The ring of fire was too much for her shield, however, and melted right through. Before she could erect another, the bright pink organ rupturing curse slammed right into her chest. The woman cast a some sort of charm on herself but the effort clearly burned the last of her very depleted energy reserves as she fell to the ground, unconscious.

Rose smiled to herself. One down. One to go. She heard a shout and turned to see a black ball of energy headed for her. She hastily erected a shield but it was too late. The curse slammed into her chest opening up a long gash. Pain erupted across her whole torso as blood flowed freely, soaking her blouse. She dispelled her anti teleportation ward fighting to stay conscious. She saw Harry turn towards her. A bright blue light erupted across the courtyard. She felt a pair of strong arms gently scoop her up as everything went black.


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Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:44 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi HarryHardy,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

It was an interesting mix of action and fantasy. I was surprised, at the beginning I thought that the story would only start to roll gradually, but here the tension is immediately ramped up and the plot gets going. I like that very much in a first chapter, to build up so many questions right away and thereby also leave a certain wonder and surprise for the reader.

One thing that struck me right away was that your writing style reads differently than your current one. However, I can't draw a conclusion right now and I also assume that this is the difference between the newer story and the current one I'm reading here. But maybe I'll figure it out as I write.

In contrast to The Escape, you've included more details here, and some of the dialogue is much longer and more "deliberately" written, which gives me the feeling that we're watching the first scene of a film. I think that's good, but as I said, I can't make a judgement about it yet.

I only have one tiny criticism, which applies to the first few sections; you have a very halting tone going on there, which at times makes everything feel so stiff. It's only when the three men show up with the briefcases that it seems as if a new energy emerges from this stasis.

Other points I noticed while reading:

Suddenly, there was a screech of rubber, shattering the peaceful silence of the courtyard. It looked like the morons were finally here. Her suspicions were confirmed a few moments later as a man holding a briefcase walked into the courtyard through the unlocked gate. Four men were behind him. She watched as they walked to the center. Her eyes flicked to the second floor where a woman stood guard. The woman was looking out of a window, taking care not to be seen.

Here is what I meant by this stiffness. You've tried to build up an arc of tension here, but with the too-short sentences, it's more of a rush that sometimes feels like I'm always banging into a wall. :D

Briefcase man one looked at the three buyers. The other men tensed behind him.
“You got the goods?” asked briefcase man two.

This is just me now, but I would capitalise these men's nicknames.

Unlike Harry she couldn’t move without arousing suspicion.

Since I assume Harry here is Harrison, who was introduced earlier, I think you should at least mention that by his full name. I was confused for a moment as to who Harry was.

Overall, the story was very solid. I like dynamic first chapters, where you are thrown right in and only afterwards questions with answers arise bit by bit.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




HarryHardy says...


Thank youu for the review!!

Hmm...yeah this one's a bit of a different style, there's a lot more action in this one. :D Hmm, although you may notice one similarity somewhat soon...maybe ;)



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Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:51 pm
Riverlight wrote a review...



*furrows brows*

Okay. Two down, 90 to go until the next star.

Let's do this!

Ooo, I like this! Magic! Sorcery! Special Agents! Mystical Cases! Interesting... Very believable contact between Rose and her supervisor there in the middle, and I thought that your descriptions of the battle were pretty good, although I personally would've preferred more similes (but that's a personal preference, and I struggle with that myself :P).

Rose smiled to herself. One down. One to go. She heard a shout and turned to see a black ball of energy headed for her. She hastily erected a shield but it was too late. The curse slammed into her chest opening up a long gash. Pain erupted across her whole torso as blood flowed freely, soaking her blouse. She dispelled her anti teleportation ward fighting to stay conscious. She saw Harry turn towards her. A bright blue light erupted across the courtyard. She felt a pair of strong arms gently scoop her up as everything went black.

Haven't you nagged me for cliffhangers before? XD I really lovve this closing paragraph, but I'm not gonna go to the next chapter just yet.

Thanks for the read! <3




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Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:16 pm
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albedo says...



Oooh I like this!




HarryHardy says...


Thanks!!



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Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:32 pm
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MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Hey! Andrew here to review your chapter!
This chapter really throws us straight into the action, and I'm excited to see where it goes, I hope we do get some more downtime with the characters to get to know them.
But to specifics!

Her eyes once again flicked to the upper floor where a green shield flickered into existence.

The double use of flicked is clunky

The woman didn’t seem to have been affected by the lightning. If anything she was right royally pissed off about it. She started blasting green lightning all over the place, arcs of green energy breaking cobblestones and sending up showers of dirt.

This was confusing, who is shooting lightning? Who wasn't affected by it? The same person?
But that's all just my two cents, hope it helped!

I enjoyed this though, well-written action.
Excited to read the rest.
Thanks, and keep writing!
-Andrew




HarryHardy says...


Thanks for the review!!!

The double use of flicked is clunky


Ahh..cool I'll change that.

This was confusing, who is shooting lightning? Who wasn't affected by it? The same person?


That's the lightning blast from earlier fired by the dirt king. And she wasn't effected by it, then she started firing. I can see how it might be confusing..

Glad you liked it!! :D

Thanks again!!



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Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:56 pm
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Cow wrote a review...



Hello, hello! I am here to review! I have a handful of time on me, so I'll be reviewing all of the chapters you have up so far! Yay!

I feel as if the chapter title could be made smaller! It seems overdrawn and the names could be a bit more... unique! Make them personal, per say.

The first paragraph, definitely caught my attention but there was very little description. In the least, I personally could have done with a little bit more description, like what did the trees look like? Were they limp, branches creeping over into others? Or did they look petrified, rough bark with little life?

"I really should have paid more attention to shapeshifting class. Must be a lot more comfortable." For thoughts that are being potrayed as such, I would recommend indenting, or in the least making it known who is saying it if it is not a first-person story. It helps the reader get a better grasp of what's going on! And when describing actual noises, don't use quotation marks or anything, just indent and italic the word you want, or just flat out describe the noise.

Like, instead of using "shiiink" for shores clashing, you could describe them like this -

Ex - The metal clashed, seeming like sparks would fly. The sound it made was shrill to the teeth and turned the nerves in a person's stomach.

When describing a noise, think of how it sounds, high-pitched? Or low? How would ones never react to it? What about how the character in general?

The biggest issue I seemingly have is just description. You seem to leave things be, it's bland to read to be blunt with you. For example, the line " The already cloudy skies opened up drenching them all in ice-cold rain." It would sound better, or even read better if you were to describe what it was like for Harry to actually conjure that up. Did it hurt? Were veins popping in his arms or neck? Were his hands red and clenched from concentration? A storm should not be as easy as that to make it appear. Its a storm!

And don't be afraid to add more dialogue! have your characters interact, make quips at one another. Otherwise, you're adding in actions that spices it up, so good on you for that!

I'm hoping for some more explanation on the magical side of the world, but I'm excited to learn more about everything, including the main character! Good work, overall! The characters seem pretty nice, well thought out in the least. Good work!

- Cow




HarryHardy says...


Thanks for the review!!
I'm pants at description as you have noticed.



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Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:13 pm
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JustPerks wrote a review...



Hello! I just wanted to leave a comment on here to let you know that I've read the story to better understand chapter two.

Special Agent Rosemary seems like an interesting character, and I like getting her observations throughout this whole magical fight. Not to mention there is a really nice humorous touch that gives a really different vibe to this - yes the characters are serious and doing serious work and being serious about looking after suspects and surveying the scenes while the titles of these "bad guys" definitely seem straight out of a comic book, and the fact that Rosemary was disguised as a tree and her partner as a bug.

What I do want is to get more emotions from Agent Rosemary, if she is meant to be a main character/main view in this story. Having a few more details here and there - even during the initial dialogue between the "buyers" and the "sellers" could serve a clearer view point from her, as the current format is a bit muddied, and it doesn't seem like the view is going to become more omniscient-like narration, so the more details and directs thoughts from Rosemary the better, if that makes sense.

One last note is that the fighting scene was pretty cool - I like any description of magic use and the colors kind of helped with setting each character apart, but I do think a good idea would be to even just capitalize the nicknames given to unnamed/unknown characters, to let the text flow a little better, such as Lightning Woman or Dirt Man. Plus, I think it adds a bit to the humorous side as well, thinking of these names with Capital Letters.

I think the storyline is pretty interesting and intriguing, and I like Agent Rosemary's character a lot so far. The bits of serious and humorous stuff is a fun blend, and I look forward to seeing more world-building and explanation (perhaps) of the colorful magic. Nice beginning to the story!




HarryHardy says...


Thank you for the review!!!
I'll see what I can do on those emotions.



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Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:20 am
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felistia wrote a review...



Hi Harry, Felistia here with a review for you. :D

In the northeast corner of an abandoned courtyard stood several ancient trees. Surrounding them were three massive holly bushes. Tonight, there were four.


Good set up, but I feel like you could add in more description here, expand on what you already have. :D

Her partner, Special Agent Harrison Danvers, was perched on the wall next to the dimly lit staircase that led into the courtyard, disguised as a beetle.


Was a touch confused here for a second, thinking there was a giant beetle there. Lol. Then I red that they shape shift. Was a funny image for a moment. :D

Suddenly, there was a screech of rubber, shattering the peaceful silence of the courtyard. It looked like the morons were finally here. Her suspicions were confirmed a few moments later as a man holding a briefcase walked into the courtyard through the unlocked gate. Four men were behind him. She watched as they walked to the center. Her eyes flicked to the second floor where a woman stood guard. The woman was looking out of a window, taking care not to be seen.


Nice bit of description interwoven with the characters thoughts. I like it. :D

Then the lighting runes all went out. A figure appeared in the center of the courtyard. Several cries of pain ensued as the men on the two sides of the courtyard were taken off their feet and rapidly introduced to the opposite wall. The figure, a man, immediately reached out with little tendrils of force. Well, someone wanted to crash the party. Damn

Rose watched it all unfold quietly. She couldn’t really do anything but watch. Her orders were pretty clear: Do not give away the hard earned intel by being careless unless their lives were in any kind of immediate danger. The two of them could not do much but watch as the hapless amateurs were beaten. At least no one has noticed that two Special Agents are present.

Her eyes once again flicked to the upper floor where a green shield flickered into existence. Then a lightning bolt was blasted in that direction. An arc of white light impacted the acid green dome with a loud hiss. The shield shattered on impact and the woman collapsed.

Meanwhile, the men on the ground got up. They fired spells across the courtyard blindly, aiming to hit something using the highly dangerous spray and pray technique.



Really like this fight scene. It's well written and easy to follow.

Her partner flew frantically towards her doing aerial acrobatics that a beetle shouldn’t have been capable of. He ducked around one last fireball as he reached the tree beside her, quickly transforming into a lizard and scampering up to a vantage point.


Still not quite sure how large this beetle is supposed to be?

The dazed dirt man got up and clapped his hands. A jellyfish fell out of the air with a “SPLAT!”. Ouch. That was like twenty feet. The man grabbed the fallen case and took off into the air running for the edge of the courtyard.


This had me laugh a bit. :D


She unleashed one of her specialties. Launching three spells in quick succession, she sandwiched a particularly nasty entrail expelling curse and bracketed it between two lightning bolts. Then she fired off a wide area fire spell behind which she hid an organ rupturing curse.


Nice. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to find this a little funny, but I did. :D

Rose smiled to herself. One down. One to go. She heard a shout and turned to see a black ball of energy headed for her. She hastily erected a shield but it was too late. The curse slammed into her chest opening up a long gash. Pain erupted across her whole torso as blood flowed freely, soaking her blouse. She dispelled her anti teleportation ward fighting to stay conscious. She saw Harry turn towards her. A bright blue light erupted across the courtyard. She felt a pair of strong arms gently scoop her up as everything went black.


Fantastic ending with a great cliff hanger.



So far I can't really tell much about the main plot of the story. I'll need to read more for that.

You introduced the characters well and also set up a lot in regards to the rules behind the magic they use. It's not limitless.

Anyway, that's all I have for now.

Keep writing and I'll see you next time.

Best regards
Felistia.




HarryHardy says...


Thank you for the review!!!
And the description I'm afraid I'm not that good at it but I'll try.



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Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:55 am
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LittleLee wrote a review...



Hi, Harry!
I saw that you've been writing your own novel, so I decided to give it a try and shoot off reviews where I can.
I'll begin by saying this is a very interesting opening to a book. There's plenty of action and magic, and I think the characters have already been set. It's a good start and I look forward to reading more. I also appreciate how you've brought in magical aspects early on in the story.
There are a few things i want to say, though. If you find this review too critical, I apologise in advance. I enjoyed reading this and just want to help you out.

There are a lot of parts where sentences drag on or are grammatically incorrect. This is because you don't use commas as freely as you should. I'd suggest doing that the next time. it makes for a pleasanter read.

In the northeast corner of an abandoned courtyard stood several ancient trees. Surrounding them were three massive holly bushes. Tonight, there were four.

This was actually pretty confusing. I had to reread it before I understood what you meant. You could try rewriting it like this: "Normally, there were only three massive holly bushed surrounding them, but tonight there were four."
There should be a hyphen in "north-east".

Briefcase man one looked at the three buyers. The other men tensed behind him.

“You got the goods?” asked briefcase man two.

Frowning, briefcase man one nodded.

@Gravitem pointed this out, but I'll do it again. This is not a suitable form of writing for prose. You could just say "the man with the briefcase", or use some other little detail to mark each one of them out.

The figure, a man, immediately reached out with little tendrils of force.

Can she see tendrils of "force"? You should add that there were ripples or colours to how they are visible.

If anything she was right royally pissed off about it. She started blasting green lightning all over the place, arcs of green energy breaking cobblestones and sending up showers of dirt. Dirt king allowed himself to fall from the sky and promptly slid into the ground, which gave away like quicksand at his touch. Deciding that staying on the ground was a bad idea, Rose floated up. She almost didn't see the green lightning as it flashed at her, missing her narrowly. Crap. Can’t lose focus. The damn lights are back on. Time for some drastic action. She lifted her hands and pink energy flared to life around her glowing with power, the glamour on her hair collapsing.

I liked this paragraph. It was descriptive, but not too much. I only think you should stop repeating what colour each spell is, I'm quite sure the readers will associate them with the characters without repeated reminders.
That goes for the whole piece; don't repeatedly drop in colours. A few times will be sufficient.

The lightning lady was pushed back having to erect shield after shield to cover herself from the onslaught.

Instead of "lightning lady" and "dirt king", I suggest you use some other way to point them out. It seems a tad bit immature. Besides, everyone seems capable of summoning lightning.

That brings me to something else; what exactly is the system of magic here? It seems very loose, and everyone is capable of everything. If you want to reveal the system later on, I suggest you tune down the amount of magic in the first chapter, or it gets very confusing.

Luckily for her, at that moment the prince of dirt made his grand reappearance and the lightning lady, spotting the briefcase clutched in his hands, charged towards him screaming in rage.

Why is she screaming with rage? He's done nothing to aggravate her that badly.


Overall, it's a good piece of work. I normally don't read Urban Fantasy, but this has convinced me to give it a shot. Once again, if my review upset you or felt too harsh, I'm sorry!
Just one more thing; I don't see anything romantic about this chapter. Not enough to come under that tag, anyway. Even so, great work! Keep writing. I hope this novel comes out well!

- Lee




HarryHardy says...


The sentences, I do tend to have longer sentences sometimes with less commas. And northeast well I'm not sure on that. I use American English and I've seen that you use British English so that could have something to do with it but my auto correct says that that word is fine.

And that passage. Here it's because this is Rose telling us this stuff as she sees and understands. Its not first person but it is the way she sees it. There's no omniscient narrator here so that seemed better as a way of saying but I'll check it out when I do a second draft or more like sixth draft because this is already like the fifth draft.

And the colors. Well I just sort assumed it would be easier to have a color cue so that people figure out who's firing. Otherwise with four characters it's harder to keep track.

With dirt king and lightning lady its kind of the point. It is meant to be immature and funny. This is meant to be fairly light for the most part. Not much of a dark and gritty one.

Also this is a very soft magic system that is very different to most. Its kind of like Harry Potter but I've built a very different type. And its intricate but very simple. Trust me when I say this because I've been worldbuilding for around four years on that. If you read more you'll see that magic is nothing rare or divided by type. Its different to most takes on magic. And the magic in the chapter will make more sense when the rest of the book is laid out.

This is a bit of throw people into the book scene. This scene has been packed with hidden layers and it'll only all fit much later when people get context as to what on earth happened her.

Why is she screaming with rage? He's done nothing to aggravate her that badly.

Trust me he has. I can't say anymore. Spoilers and all that.

And your closing statement. Thanks! Well the chapter tag, thing is actually I assumed it was the whole novel and that's the tag for the novel so I kept that. Don't really see the need to change it but maybe I will.

Anyway thanks for the review! Very helpful!



LittleLee says...


I'm happy I could be of any help!



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Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:34 pm
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TheBlessedCat wrote a review...



Hello! I'm Myth/Grav/whatever and I'm going to be reviewing your chapter today.

Let's begin.

Briefcase man one looked at the three buyers. The other men tensed behind him.

“You got the goods?” asked the briefcase man two.

Frowning, the briefcase man one nodded. Simultaneously, they let go of the cases and they started floating across the courtyard.


I wanted to point out that this kind of dialogue would fit in well with a play but doesn't work that well with a story. You could say; The first briefcase man/man with a briefcase looked at the three buyers, and the same for the reply to that line.

There's nothing else that I found wrong with the story, but just that the beginning went a little too fast and it was pretty hard to keep track of things because of the instant introduction to so many things at once. The story progressed fine after somewhere in the middle. You just need to work on the pacing at the start and you'll be good.

There was nothing else that was wrong. Your descriptions are great and description is just an amazing skill, so, good job! I didn't really see any typos so you're good there.

That's about it, and I look forward to reading the next chapter.

KEEP WRITING!!!!

Yours sincerely,
Myth :D




HarryHardy says...


Hey Myth(I'll stick with that),

Thanks for the review. I'll work on that pacing.
And thank you. I always thought description was something I wasn't very good at.
And as for typos all the credit goes to google docs' spellchecker.
Thanks again :)
Harry



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Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:20 pm
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Que wrote a review...



Hello, HarryHardy!

Wow, what a wild chapter! Here we go. :)

I really should have paid more attention in shapeshifting class. Must be a lot more comfortable.

Funny!

The old building was dimly lit and with the cloudy sky seeming reluctant to allow them any moonlight; the buyers had clearly been forced to set up lighting runes on the walls.

I like your subtlety in introducing the magical aspects of your world; one point here, though, is that we don't see evidence of lighting. I think that they can only speculate about what the buyers did or did not do unless the narrator can actually see these runes or the light coming from them.

Her suspicions were confirmed a few moments later as a man holding a briefcase walked into the courtyard through the unlocked gate. Four men were behind him. She watched as they walked to the center. Her eyes flicked to the second floor where a woman stood guard. The woman was looking out of a window, taking care not to be seen.

You haven't mentioned Rosemary by name in a bit, so the "her" is a little confusing for a moment. ;) Your setting is making me a little confused; it's a courtyard, but the meeting is taking place in a building nearby? When you say "the center" it feels vague to me, and it's just a little hard to picture how exactly this meeting is taking place.

Three men emerged from the darkness shrouding the stairs, one of them with another briefcase in hand. They walked up to the suppliers.

Briefcase man one looked at the three buyers. The other men tensed behind him.

“You got the goods?” asked the briefcase man two.

Frowning, the briefcase man one nodded.

Is there any good way to distinguish between the suppliers and the buyers? This can also get a little confusing, mostly because readers don't know what's in the suitcases or who any of the forces at play are. When they start sending spells everywhere and someone else shows up, it gets a little crazy, and hard for the reader to care for anyone other than the Special Agents, who were introduced at the beginning.

Her orders were pretty clear: Do not give away the hard earned intel by being careless unless their lives were in any kind of immediate danger.

I'm very curious about what kind of 'intel' they're gaining? What are they learning if they aren't intervening? (Hopefully we will find out eventually!) This makes me very curious about who commands the Special Agents and what their motives are. :)

Suddenly the darkness surrounding her intensified to an absolute pitch black. Harry. He's transformed I guess.

I wonder why the darkness is indicative of Harry's transformation?

The dazed dirt man got up and clapped his hands. A jellyfish fell out of the air with a “SPLAT!”. Ouch. That was like twenty feet. The man grabbed the fallen case and took off into the air running for the edge of the courtyard.

Oh, I'm assuming the jellyfish was Harry and the dirt man has a spell that can force a shapeshift, so the case fell down as well?? This was a really tricky part to figure out, it would help I think if you mentioned Harry by name and mentioned the suitcase falling at the same time as the jellyfish so that readers can tell how they're all connected.

Wait, why? Oh, that stupid maneuver of his. Oops. Should’ve told him I was gonna put up a ward.

Things seem clear for Rose, but again it might be a little hard for readers to follow! What maneuver?

She clasped the briefcase in her hand and turned to the lightning lady and dirt king exchanging volleys of black and green. She had to put them out of commission.

It seems like her priority should be the briefcase, even if her fellow agent is in danger. It would be nice here to have some thought or emotion from Rose, like whether she's stopped caring or if she knows that she's breaking orders but doing it anyway.

Overall, this was a pretty nice read. It's clear that more attention is given to the "dirt man" and "green lightning lady" as well as the special agents, but I think you could give some more information about those taking place in the trade. Something is important enough to draw two special agents as well as other powerful people to attack, but readers do not know what is in the cases or who is carrying out the trade. If they're supposed to be amateurs, then why are the cases so important? Why would the special agents have orders not to interfere if they need to retrieve theses cases? Where did the buyers and sellers even go while the fighting occurs?

I'm sure some things will clarify later, but it would be helpful to have labels for the buyers and sellers in this scenario to tell them apart and make it clear that the unknown intruders are more interesting than the known amateurs. Readers are just getting into your world, so anything you can do to point them to the most important facts of the situation would be good. :)

I really like the world that you've created! It seems like it has a ton of room for possibility and lots of magic and mishap. Also, I love how it's so colorful and creative. You've already created a pretty good sense of attachment to Rose in this first chapter, so I hope to see her character growing in the chapters to come! You've done a nice job of intriguing readers in the opening and certainly leaving a lot of questions to be answered by the following chapters. :)

Let me know if you have any questions! I see you've posted the next chapter, so I'll probably stop by in the next few days to read and review that as well. :D

-Q




HarryHardy says...


Hey Q,

Thanks for the review. Very helpful.
I was kinda trying to hint things to the readers without making it look like exposition. Perhaps I was being a bit too subtle. But anyway the next chapters should answer some of those questions. Hopefully :)
Anyway thanks again
Harry :)



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Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:55 pm
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hello HarryHardy, I'm here for the requested review!

I really enjoyed reading this! Your writing style is easy to read and engaging, and I'm liking where this story is going. For the most part, there's a good amount of description, but I would suggest trying to break up some fight scenes with a little bit of nice imagery. You've already started to develop the personalities of the characters - from Harry and Rose's interactions, Harry comes across as a bit arrogant, and Rose seems determined and maybe a little stubborn. So far, they are very believable and relatable characters.

I just have a few very small nitpicky things.

Special Agent Rosemary McNamara was not having a fun time having to crouch down and lie perfectly still to pull off the disguise.

This is really minor but I feel like if Agent Rosemary was crouching down, she wouldn't have to lie still - maybe consider changing that to "hold still" or something?

Her partner, Special Agent Harrison Danvers was perched on the wall next to the dimly lit staircase that led into the courtyard, disguised as a beetle. I really should have paid more attention in shapeshifting class. Must be a lot more comfortable.

First of all, I love the vibe we're getting already! You already let the reader know that they're in for some fantasy stuff, and I'm really intrigued!
Second, I would either remove the comma after "partner" or add a comma after "Danvers" to make the flow more natural.

The old building was dimly lit and with the cloudy sky seeming reluctant to allow them any moonlight, the buyers had clearly been forced to set up lighting runes on the walls.

The comma after "moonlight" should be a semicolon, since the second part of the sentence actually acts as a sentence on its own (if that makes sense).

Briefcase man 1 looked at the three buyers. The other men tensed behind him.

As a technical rule, all numbers below 10 are supposed to be spelled out - so you should say "one", instead of "1". It's really not a huge deal and more of a stylistic choice, but I just thought I'd point it out.

The man grabbed the fallen case and took off into the air running for the edge of the courtyard.

From what I can tell he's flying? I'm not sure if in this world when you fly it looks like you're running through the air, but it just struck me as a bit of an odd way to phrase it.

Overall, this was super fun to read - thanks for requesting a review in my review thread! I hope you found this helpful, and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Keep writing!

whatchamacallit


Image




HarryHardy says...


Hi, whatchamacallit (I hope I spelled that right)

Thank you for the review. You pointed out some great stuff that I never noticed (I know regret paying less attention in English class). I'll change up those small points.

And thanks for the advice on the fight scene, I'll try to add some more imagery. Gotta admit that imagery is a bit of a weak point for me.

Also yeah he's flying, I'll see if that can be rephrased.

Anyway, glad that you enjoyed and I hope you'll check out chapter two which should be out today provided I don't get pulled away for any emergency Underworld duties.

Anyway, have a nice day,
Harry :)



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Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:25 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hey there Harry! I’m doing Team Tortoise and needed something to review; I saw this and it piqued my interest!

The intro was really neat and set the tone nicely. The fact that Agent Rose is disguising herself as a bush is silly and absurd. It definitely drew me in and I’m eager to read more silly things like that! I also really enjoyed Rose’s thoughts/commentary throughout the chapter- it gave me little sneakpeaks into the world you’re creating, as well as personality trait hints!

She began to silently tag the unconscious traders.


What exactly does “tagging” people do? (I’m not familiar with secret-agent type things lol, but I’m guessing it’s tracking them in some way?) I think it would be good to maybe add a little extra description here around what tagging them entails- does Rose just, like, do some magic spell, or does she have to physically touch them?

Upon first read, I’ll admit I was a little confused, mostly because I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of characters/parties. At first I thought Rose and Harry were meant to be part of the trade, lolol, until I realized they were spying (I think that’s an oopsie on my part). Still, I felt like everything was a bit.... blurry, maybe, and I had a hard time keeping track of the characters, particularly Dirt Man and Lightning Girl. I think that’s in part because this chapter was very action filled and fast paced, so it’s hard to cram details in. However, I think maybe if you’re looking to clear it up a little, you could slow down the bits that aren’t intense action (by adding more description, for example).

Still, the fight scenes were really good! I’m no good at writing action scenes. I particularly liked the end scene, where Rose is firing spells at the woman and is debating whether or not she’s very powerful or just learned some new spells haha.

All in all, great intense first chapter! I’m totally intrigued and invested. I wanna know what’s so important about those cases, and more about this secret spy agency! Could you tag me when the second chapter is out?

Peace,
~ EternalRain




HarryHardy says...


Hi, EternalRain,

Glad you liked the first chapter. I see you've discovered the perils of a first chapter fight scene; if you want to keep the fight going you can't bog it down with details, if you don't detail it enough it becomes as you put it "blurry".

I'll see if I can improve that part a bit.

As for the tagging situation, it's a bit of both really, I'll see if I can squeeze in a couple of details here, if not later.

Anyway, second chapter is already written, its being edited right now, I'll be sure to tag you whenever I manage to finish to it.

Thanks for the review,

Harry



EternalRain says...


Cool! I%u2019m excited to read more and learn more about the world!



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Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:47 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hi Harry!

Welcome to YWS - I hope you're enjoying the site so far. It's so nice for me to be able to read a story from the beginning. Usually I end up jumping in at around chapter three or four.

Tonight, there were four.

The fourth one was grumpy and impatient.


Awesome start! Set's a great tone and draws the reader in. It's very Terry Pratchett-esque :)

having to crouch down and lie perfectly still to pull off the disguise

This doesn't flow quite as well. Maybe change to 'crouching down and lying perfectly still'.

The old building was dimly lit and with the cloudy sky seeming reluctant to allow them any moonlight, the buyers had clearly been forced to set up lighting runes on the walls.

This feels like a run on sentence, could you rejig a little?

She unleashed one of her specialties. Launching three spells in quick succession, she sandwiched a particularly nasty entrail expelling curse and bracketed it between two lightning bolts. Then she fired off a wide area fire spell behind which she hid an organ rupturing curse. The stakeout-ruining gatecrasher disappeared into the ground as the spell volley hurtled towards them. The green lightning lady, however, was not so lucky. The now severely depleted opponent put up a hasty shield, knowing that she couldn’t dodge the three successive spells. Her shield took significant damage, large spidery cracks appearing across the surface, but held through the first onslaught. The ring of fire was too much for her shield, however, and melted right through. Before she could erect another, the bright pink organ rupturing curse slammed right into her chest. The woman cast a some sort of charm on herself but the effort clearly burned the last of her very depleted energy reserves as she fell to the ground, unconscious.


I like the pacing of this, but would be good to separate into more than one paragraph. It's a little chunky to read as is.


I'm sorry I don't have much in the way of constructive criticism here but I really enjoyed this! I look forward to reading more when you post it :)


Icy




HarryHardy says...


Glad you liked the opening.
Thanks for the stuff you pointed out. All things that I'll try to address ASAP.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)
Harry
P.S. Definitely enjoying it. This site is awesome.



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Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:35 pm
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Em16 wrote a review...



Hey! I’m Em16. This was a great first chapter. You start in medias res, in the middle of the action, and immediately hook the reader with action and intrigue. One of the common mistakes when writing a story/novel is spending the first few pages on background. But you just dove right in. Great job!
I love how, from the start, you have clearly defined characters, both heroes and villains. I can really get a sense of your world, and the whole environment. And I can tell that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s going to be a lot more these characters do.
I also love your beginning. It’s so clever. It seems so innocent, just talking about trees, and then you mention that there’s an extra tree. That in itself is surprising, and then you talk about how the tree is actually a sentient creature, and not only that, it’s a secret agent. Great work. That’s an amazing hook.
However, I did feel like the story was a little vague. The perspective was confusing. On one hand, it seemed like a close third person, centering around the thoughts of Agent Rosemary McNamara. At the same time, it felt like a very distant third person. There were a lot of things I feel like Rosemary would know, that she doesn’t. For example, the names of the “briefcase men” and what is in their briefcase. Also, it seems like Rosemary is working for a larger secret organization, but there are no details about that organization. I want to know who she works for, and what they do. It would improve my understanding of the story, and make it more interesting and exciting. It’s hard for me, as a reader, to be invested in the fighting and the briefcase when I don’t know much about the situation. There are no stakes. You don’t explain what will happen is Rosemary doesn’t get the briefcase- will the earth explode? Will a lot of people die? Right now, it seems like they have to get the briefcase just because their boss told them to.
Also, I’d like to know more about the characters. As it is, I don’t really know who they are. Who is Rosemary? Why is she doing this? I’d like to know more about her, and more about the people who appear in the middle of the exchange. Clearly, they’re the enemies, but Rosemary doesn’t recognize them and they don’t elicit any strong feelings in her. Shouldn’t she be afraid of them, if she knows who they are, or if they’re familiar in any way? I’d think, as an agent, she would know the types of people who typically crash exchanges of valuable objects. If they aren’t familiar, shouldn’t she be confused? Or worried, that there’s a new enemy? I’d like to see more of Rosemary’s emotions. I’d also like to see characterization of the other people, like Agent Harrison and the attackers. I don’t know much about Agent Harrison; there’s no witty dialogue where the rapport between Harrison and Rosemary is established, or moment that helps you understand their relationship. And the attackers- what do they look like? What clothes are they wearing? How do they fight? What does that reveal about them? Do they say anything, or explain why they want to steal the briefcase? I’d suggest you try and focus on developing the story beyond just the fighting.
I like, though, that you end with Rose getting injured. It’s a good cliffhanger for a first chapter. I look forward to reading more of your writing!




HarryHardy says...


Thank you, Glad you liked the beginning.
As for your questions, I think (I hope) most of them are answered in Chapter 2. I sorta went without any exposition whatsoever here, only the absolute minimum so that the fight scene wouldn't get broken up.
And the emotions, I'm trying to portray Rose as unaffected by the surprises to show her being experienced enough on the field to not think about those things in the middle of the fight.
But I'll see if I can add a few more descriptors on the enemies. You're right, I sorta glossed over most of them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)
Harry




The most important thing is to preserve the world we live in. Unless people understand and learn about our world, habitats, and animals, they won't understand that if we don't protect those habitats, we'll eventually destroy ourselves.
— Jack Hanna