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King of the Court [Chapter 3 + 4]

by Yoshikrab


A/n: I have never done this before, but I am putting two chapters in 1 post. Why? For a few reasons. 1. The two chapters are very similar (just from two different points of view), 2. They're both short, and 3. I don't want to waste my points. Hope you enjoy!

P.S. Don't worry. I didn't forget the picture of Alex. It's actually just wedged between the two chapters! :) 

CHAPTER 3

The day is quiet. The day is peaceful. The day is basically what one would expect to see from the opening scene of a quiet movie. 

However, the peace is limited to the outer borders of the Marble Creek Gym, where a basketball team is practicing. At least, where two bitter rivals are facing off. 

With both Colin and Spencer observing, Dwayne and Chris are battling head-on.

The ball bounces off the rim, and Colin instinctively glances at Chris, knowing that the taller person must be able to get the ball faster. However, that isn’t the case. Dwayne growls and shoots up with amazing speed and power, grabbing hold of the ball, and landing on the floor with a bang.

"How did you . . . ?" Colin murmurs to himself. That was the fourth time that day that Chris tried to wrench the rebound from Dwayne, but unsuccessfully.

Dwayne smiles, "See! I can get the rebound even from the tallest player! I'm obviously the best center!"

Colin suddenly has the horrible image of a team walking on court with their shortest person screaming, "I'm center! I'm center!".

"Everyone come over here," says Alex, who is standing near the door. He’s holding a paper and a clipboard.

"What is it?" sneered Chris. He twirls a basketball in his hand, staring down at everyone else with his enormous height.

Alex sighs (again?!?), "I want to schedule a practice game, but we have neither a coach, nor any subs."

"Subs?" asks Spencer.

"Substitutes," Alex clarifies, "If someone fouls out or is injured, you put in a substitute. Or sometimes the substitute just switches out with a player when the coach feels like it. And again, we really need a coach."

This time, it's Dwayne's turn to sneer, "We don't need a coach. I'm already better than all of you."

That was a mistake. Colin could see the daggers shooting out of Alex's eyes; Alex glares at Dwayne with pure ferocity.

"Then you should be able to prevent me from scoring, right?" Colin has never seen Alex this distasteful. Could it be that Alex is actually capable of emotions? thinks Colin. 

Dwayne grins, "Of course."

Colin blinks, wondering how this same situation has been repeated. First with Chris, now with Alex. 

"First," Alex points at Dwayne, "How long have you played basketball?"

"Two years," Dwayne tries to look as intimidating as possible. It's actually quite impressive how intimidating he looks, considering that he is basically one head shorter than Alex.

Alex then grabs the ball, "I've played for six. Since that makes me more experienced than you are, you can go first."

Dwayne approaches Alex cautiously and snatches it. A moment later, they're on the court as Dwayne begins to dribble. It's obvious that he's not the best ball handler, and Alex immediately slaps the ball away from him.

From there, Alex moves out of the three point line with the ball, calmly staring at Dwayne.

"Why'd he go out there?" asks Spencer, "He had an open shot!"

Chris, who is next to him shrugs, "Alex has to go out of the three-point line with the ball in his possession before shooting. Half-court rules."

Spencer nods. Colin then turns his attention back to the game.

Alex suddenly fakes left, then bursts to the right, past Dwayne.

Colin blinks, and suddenly the ball is falling through the hoop.

Swish.

CHAPTER 4

Dwayne stares as Alex moves the ball to the left, then to the right in a swaying motion. It's slightly mesmerizing. The captain can't be that good. He never even plays at practices, thinks Dwayne.

Suddenly, Alex darts to the left, but Dwayne is too smart for that, he was expecting Alex to do that. Since Alex is left handed, going left is the obvious choice. Dwayne also darts to the left, but Alex is fast, and Dwayne has to rush over to follow.

Somehow, Alex twists, and pulls off a fake, going to the right instead. He brushes past Dwayne, and Dwayne topples over, his legs attempting to follow Alex, but his body still going left.

Then, Dwayne gapes in astonishment as Alex drops a ball into the hoop.

Swish.

"H-how?" Dwayne stares at Alex.

Alex points at Dwayne, "You're good, and your defense is pretty solid, but no one is the best player. There will always be someone stronger than you are."

Chris laughs, "Well said, captain. Hey, so when are we going to play a game?"

"We need a coach first," says Alex, which is basically the tenth time he said that today.

Dwayne quickly stops himself from saying 'WE'RE TOO GOOD FOR COACHES'. From the look on Alex's face, Alex probably thinks Dwayne was going to say that too.

"How do we get one?" asks Spencer, who is practicing his dribbling. Spencer is picking up the game pretty quickly. He had studied the rules, and is now perfecting his technique.

"Dribble a little lower, Spencer," says Alex, "And for a coach, we just need to find someone experienced in basketball."

Spencer nods, and switches the ball over to his left hand, "How do we do that?"

And the truth dawns on Dwayne, "We don't know."

Alex seems to know this too, "I really think we should have a coach before we play matches, but in the meantime, we can practice. I should be able to handle this."

They nod. 

Alex motions for them to go practice, so Dwayne and Colin join up in a team, while Chris teams up with Spencer.

"Wanna play a game?" asks Dwayne.

"Sure," Chris cracks his knuckles. The ball starts off with Chris. Since Chris already is pretty wary of Dwayne's jumping, he know's he'll start off with . . .

"Colin! Watch for the pass!" shouts Dwayne. Chris goes up with the motion of shooting, and Dwayne jumps up with him, Chris brings the ball back down and passes it in the direction of Spencer.

Colin, who had already been warned by Dwayne, leaps forward and intercepts the pass.

Colin then dribbles the ball back up to the top.

Dwayne cuts in to the other side of the basketball hoop, and recieves a pass from Colin. He slams his feet on the ground, releasing his momentum in one huge jump, soaring higher than Chris. For a moment, Dwayne feels unbeatable. Then, he drops the ball in the hoop, relishing the wide, angry eyes of Chris.

And the only thing he can feel is his hunger for victory-- and his desire to be the King of the Court. 


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20 Reviews


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Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:32 am
winterwolf0100 wrote a review...



Ooh! I have many thoughts on this : D

Okay so this is going to be out of order, but I must say, the inclusion of the name gave me a thrill. It was definitely an awesome way to wrap up the end of the chapter.

Secondly, these chapters were, indeed, very short. I honestly didn't see the need for them to be separated into two chapters, besides you wanting to switch the point of view up. They also flowed so well into each other and there didn't feel like there was a natural break to switch point of views. Trying to shift that a little bit might help, and then you can go back in time a little if you're wanting Alex scoring from Dwayne's point of view as well.

Third-- characterization. It's coming along. But physical descriptions and reminders would really help. I've caught myself a few times trying to remember all their names, or remember who is who. Just leaving subtle physical hints can remind a reader which character they are. If Alex has dark black hair, simply saying, "The captain, dark hair covering his judgemental eyes, let out another sigh" will make it so much clearer who he is versus saying "The captain let out another sigh." (The same goes for all the other players. Just little reminders will help a lot!)

Next up. I love the casual dropping of basketball knowledge, like needing to go to the three pointer line in a half-court game before going back in for a shot. I have nothing to say on it other than I love it.

Alex being left-handed-- nice little detail you included there. I wish we could've known that sooner as readers. Dropping it as a small "he shifted the ball to his dominant left hand" in the very first chapter would make it feel more integrated. Currently, it feels like you added that almost as an afterthought, so going back to add those small details will make it feel like it's truly a part of the piece and the world.

So this is a bit of a sudden ending to the review, but honestly, I'm not sure what else to add. I really like everything you've done so far, and I think you're definitely on the right track for this story. I'm excited to see where you go from here!

As always, my PMs are open for writing talk or just regular. Stay safe! : D

~Winter




Yoshikrab says...


Thank you for the review! <33333





Of course! <333



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Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:06 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi Yoshikrab,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Since you're putting two chapters in one work, I'll have to do two reviews in one too! :D
You're right about merging the two, since they were both short. I also really liked that it went to a seamless transition and I liked the picture in between too.


The day is quiet. The day is peaceful. The day is basically what one would expect to see from the opening scene of a quiet movie.


A great start to the chapter, using a rhetorical term. But I would perhaps replace the full stops with commas. I think it gives more or less the same effect but reads more fluently.

Colin suddenly has the horrible image of a team walking on court with their shortest person screaming, "I'm centre! I'm centre!".


I can picture it, Dwayne bouncing between all the tall ones and not being able to reach his teammates' heads even with both arms stretched in the air. :D Also, one point too many at the end.

This time, it's Dwayne's turn to sneer, "We don't need a coach. I'm already better than all of you."


It's still good to show off some small stylistic elements of characters who aren't exactly the centre of attention.

So, what I noticed is that I liked Chapter 4 better than Chapter 3. It was something that I felt was missing in Chapter 3. I thought the story moved too fast a few times there. I couldn't clearly see what it was even on a second quick read through. Sorry not to give you such a clear explanation there.

But I thought it was good to get to know Colin a bit better and you can see that he's a bit insecure about his comrades, but also it seems in places like he wants to improve his image a bit himself, but not with people like Dwayne. I think to myself that Colin is a bit anxious and would like to be seen for what he does and not what he looks like, but at the same time, just when he imagines that about Dwayne, where he's shouting "centre, centre", he comes across to me as having a social phobia or just being afraid of making a fool of himself in front of a running audience. That would then also fit with him playing guard and thus staying on defence all the time, out of caution.

I thought the fourth chapter was very good. It had that familiar style again, as I have come to know it in the previous chapters. I also think you got more insight into the different characters here and in the third chapter that was more sporadic. Maybe I also just found Colin's perspective a bit too one-sided. (At the beginning I also had some problems recognising who was the protagonist in Chapter 3).

But what I like is how you continue to anchor the characters and their personalities and make them visual to the reader through the short thoughts, statements or paragraphs.

I like Dwayne in particular, how he doubts Alex, which is another insight that he is too full of himself and riding what is arguably too high-horse. Or even Alex sighing. That's where it's important to keep those points, (let's call them little quirks), and not make them a running gag. I think that's the difficult thing about writing a story about a team sport, that you have to address all the characters without making anyone (apart from the current protagonist) too much the centre of attention. So far, though, I think you're doing a great job of that and I'm also curious to see how they'll play their first real game, because it seems to me like everyone is their own team when they play.

Especially towards the end, I love the way you describe the short game. It creates a good tension for a brief moment with the right insight into Dwayne, Colin and Stickman.

In general I can say that both chapters were very nice, (just this one point where I'm not sure myself what bothers me about chapter 3) and you should keep it up!

I guess that just leaves Spencer to get to know a little better now, doesn't it?

Have a great time writing! :D

Mailice.




Yoshikrab says...


OK I think I meant to explain Spencer in chapter 2, but from your insights, I guess it'll have to be in Chapter 5 :)

Again, thank you so much for this review! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all these comments!

So, what I noticed is that I liked Chapter 4 better than Chapter 3. It was something that I felt was missing in Chapter 3. I thought the story moved too fast a few times there. I couldn't clearly see what it was even on a second quick read through. Sorry not to give you such a clear explanation there.


Well, @MalicedeNamedy a main difference between Chapters 3 and 4 is that they are from two different characters' points of view. Colin doesn't notice all of the complicated moves that Alex makes. However, I tried to make a point by showing that Dwayne is much more observant than Colin is, since he can actually see what Alex is doing.

I also tried connecting the two chapters with the "Swish." for that purpose.

Again, I don't know HOW MUCH I should thank you but

THANK YOU :)








Hi Yoshikrab,

Thanks for the explanation. That's a bit more understandable again and gives one a new insight into Colin's character. I noticed that it was told a bit from the other perspective. Maybe then what I missed in chapter 3, what you have now explained here; was that Colin doesn't recognise the complicated moves properly.

I also forgot that Spencer was more in focus in chapter 2. (I've been reading a bit too much the last few days :D) I had more Dwayne in mind as the main character, but now that you mention it, it comes back to me :D





@MailicedeNamedy Can I ask a question only if you don't mind? Why do you write that %u2018short review%u2019 in your review? Your reviews are never short!



Yoshikrab says...


@ForeverYoung299 that is a question you can ask on mailice's wall




If I were a girl in a book, this would all be so easy.
— Jo March