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The Pack Chapter 1 Part 1

by Lethero


*This all I got so far, but I just took some medicine and am too tired to continue. I'll get more up soon.*

“Tomorrow is one of the most important days of your training, Pups” the teacher said.”You will get to-” Caelum, sitting in his usual seat in the very back let out a loud snore, interrupting the teacher, and making the entire class laugh. “Though to some of you, it doesn’t seem so important,” the teacher said loudly. “Caelum!” Caelum jumped up as he heard his name called, making the class laugh even harder, but after realizing it was only the teacher laid his head back down.

“Sit up!” the teacher growled, slapping his switch down on Caelum’s hand. Caelum sat up resentfully, rubbing the back of his hand while glaring at his teacher. “I swear, pup, if you gave the effort you do on tests and sword training to fixing your attitude you could be an Alpha in a few years.” The teacher turned away and began talking about what was going to happen tomorrow, but once again, Caelum spaced out. He stared at the opposite wall, only catching every other word.

Caelum didn’t even realize class was over till he saw people began to leave. Getting up he ran to the door out of the class as fast as he could. He was almost free until . . . “Caelum, I would like to have a word with you.” Caelum sighed, turned around, and walked in front of the desk.

As soon as the last person was out the door, the teacher said, “What did I tell you guys today?”

“Don’t know,” Caelum said, not bothering to lie.

“As I thought,” the teacher sighed. “Caelum, I wish you would try, I really do. You excel in everything you do, but you don’t have the attitude of a leader. You sleep in class, you slack off during combat training, and you show direct disregard for authority. You can do good, I know it. Tomorrow is the day you get to choose your first weapon, a great milestone for all pups. All I ask is that you show up on time.”

“Is that all?” Caelum asked, not bothering to hide his impatience.

“Yes, you may go.” Caelum was out the door and onto the Pack Grounds before the teacher could finish the entire sentence.


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Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:46 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

Anyway let's get right to it,

“Tomorrow is one of the most important days of your training, Pups” the teacher said.”You will get to-” Caelum, sitting in his usual seat in the very back let out a loud snore, interrupting the teacher, and making the entire class laugh. “Though to some of you, it doesn’t seem so important,” the teacher said loudly. “Caelum!” Caelum jumped up as he heard his name called, making the class laugh even harder, but after realizing it was only the teacher laid his head back down.

“Sit up!” the teacher growled, slapping his switch down on Caelum’s hand. Caelum sat up resentfully, rubbing the back of his hand while glaring at his teacher. “I swear, pup, if you gave the effort you do on tests and sword training to fixing your attitude you could be an Alpha in a few years.” The teacher turned away and began talking about what was going to happen tomorrow, but once again, Caelum spaced out. He stared at the opposite wall, only catching every other word.


Well this is off to an interesting start here right off the bat. The situation seems ordinary enough, just someone that's spaced out a little as they are in what seems to be a bit of a classroom situation but the words there that are clearly no consistent with the normal human classrooms situation we are so used to hearing about making this much more unique and much more interesting. Loving this start so far.

Caelum didn’t even realize class was over till he saw people began to leave. Getting up he ran to the door out of the class as fast as he could. He was almost free until . . . “Caelum, I would like to have a word with you.” Caelum sighed, turned around, and walked in front of the desk.

As soon as the last person was out the door, the teacher said, “What did I tell you guys today?”

“Don’t know,” Caelum said, not bothering to lie.

“As I thought,” the teacher sighed. “Caelum, I wish you would try, I really do. You excel in everything you do, but you don’t have the attitude of a leader. You sleep in class, you slack off during combat training, and you show direct disregard for authority. You can do good, I know it. Tomorrow is the day you get to choose your first weapon, a great milestone for all pups. All I ask is that you show up on time.”


Okayy...that's a cool little discussion there. I think you manage to bring out what appear to be quite a few important plot point there and hints at our protagonist personality without making it sound too much like it was all simple being laid out to us. You managed to balance the exposition part of that little conversation with the part that made sense for that situation pretty well I think.

“Is that all?” Caelum asked, not bothering to hide his impatience.

“Yes, you may go.” Caelum was out the door and onto the Pack Grounds before the teacher could finish the entire sentence.


Well that indicates this one's personality rather well. It seems he's not someone that's too interested in whatever is being taught here at all and is rather dismissive to the point of being very clearly quite rude there. Not the most likeable of traits to see in a protagonist first up but its an interesting flaw that I assume probably is there for a reason so let's see where this goes.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:58 am
seeminglymeaningless wrote a review...



Hey Lethero :) Here to review.

Lethero wrote:*This all I got so far, but I just took some medicine and am too tired to continue. I'll get more up soon.*

First off, this should be at the end of the story, so it doesn't announce to all your readers that you've posted this up without really editing it because you were too tired to. You could completely remove this - there's no need to tell the reader that you'll put more up later :P

“Tomorrow is one of the most important days of your training, #FF8000 ">Pups#FF0000 ">.” the teacher said.#FF0000 ">[space] ”You will get to-” Caelum, sitting in his usual seat in the very back#FF0000 ">, let out a loud snore, interrupting the teacher, and making the entire class laugh. “Though to some of you, it doesn’t seem so important,” the teacher said loudly. “Caelum!” Caelum jumped up as he heard his name called, making the class laugh even harder, but after realizing it was only the teacher#FF0000 ">, laid his head back down.

"Pups" shouldn't be capitalized. Think of everyday situations: when generals are talking to their soldiers, are they called Soldiers? Do teachers call their pupils Students? Do you say, "This is my Brother."? As a first paragraph, this didn't strike me as being completely honed. I'm just thinking of how this could be made more exciting. Could they be in weapons training instead? Could you start with blades whirling and Caelum owning his opponent? Then the trainer could say something like, "Weapons down." and then launch into his speech about the special event happening the next day.

“Sit up!” the teacher growled, slapping his switch down on Caelum’s hand. Caelum sat up resentfully, rubbing the back of his hand while glaring at his teacher. “I swear, pup, if you gave the effort you do on tests and sword training to fixing your attitude you could be an Alpha in a few years.”

Did you do your research? There can only be one Alpha in a pack, and the alpha male has to be the most dominant, smartest and strongest to hold their position. If Caelum is lazy, the other people of his pack will not elect him to reign. Unless you've got a whole different system going on. How would I know? Also, this is sounding a bit sciencefictiony, not fantasy. You've got a beginning setting where a teacher, called a teacher, is talking to a bunch of students about an event going on the next day. It's very now sounding.

Caelum didn’t even realize class was over till he saw people began to leave. Getting up he ran to the door out of the class as fast as he could. He was almost free until . . . “Caelum, I would like to have a word with you.” Caelum sighed, turned around, and walked in front of the desk.

Does the ellipse need to be there? It looks silly :P

As soon as the last person was out the door, the teacher said, “What did I tell you guys today?”

Another thing that doesn't make the scene fantasy is the speech and language use chosen. Words like "guys" don't generally occur in fantasy fiction.

“As I thought,” the teacher sighed. “Caelum, I wish you would try, I really do. You excel in everything you do, but you don’t have the attitude of a leader. You sleep in class, you slack off during combat training, and you show direct disregard for authority. You can do good, I know it. Tomorrow is the day you get to choose your first weapon, a great milestone for all pups. All I ask is that you show up on time.”

Earlier the teacher says that he puts effort into his sword training, and now you say he slacks off. Be careful of contradictions. This pep talk also makes me cringe :)

Well, as far as stories go, this one isn't bad. You've got a grasp of grammar, but you lack the skills in knowledge of where to place commas. Read through your sentences aloud. If you can't get through a whole sentence without pausing and wondering why it sounds wrong, then you know you've missed some form of punctuation.

As Bickazer said, this beginning is really short, and not very descriptive. The reader knows nothing of this world you're trying to depict, and I think you need to do some heavy elaboration on Caelum - we know nothing other than the fact that he's lazy and yet still exceeds expectations.

PM with any comments.

- Jai




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Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:27 am
Bickazer wrote a review...



Hi Lethero, let me take a crack at your piece. Be warned that I can get very nitpicky and in-depth, though I won't be as rambly as I sometimes am because this piece is rather short. :) Still, don't freak out if you see paragraphs dissecting a single sentence, because that's just the way I roll, mmkay?


“Tomorrow is one of the most important days of your training, Pups” the teacher said.


Needs to be a comma after "Pups."

First sentences are usually the ones that I analyze to death, because they're the ones that create the first impression of the story. And it's very, very easy for them to go wrong. There's nothing wrong with yours--it catches my interest--though it's nothing special. Then again, not every first sentence has to be eye-grabbingly awesome and exciting. This introduces us to the story, and the fact that this is an alternate world (since the students are called "pups").

I do admit I have a bit of an issue with beginning a story/scene with dialogue. It's easy to do, which is one of its greatest appeals, but not too original, and some people are put off by it.

Caelum, sitting in his usual seat in the very back let out a loud snore, interrupting the teacher, and making the entire class laugh.


The comma between "teacher" and "and" is not necessary. As a sentence, this works, but it seems to have a preponderance of commas (and a misplaced one--I think you need a comma between "back" and "let"). "Let out" is a phrase that particularly aggravates me. It's almost impossible to use it and not sound awkward.

“I swear, pup, if you gave the effort you do on tests and sword training to fixing your attitude you could be an Alpha in a few years.”


I've read this sentence forwards, backwards, sideways, and from a ninety-degree angle. I kind of understand the impression that you're trying to convey but the specific images are lost on me. Find a clearer, less awkward, way to say this.

rwas


Typo alert! Think you mean "was."

He stared at the opposite wall, only catching every other word.


I get that you're trying for hyperbole here, but the image here still seems stiltedly unrealistic. When you're drifting off in class (I should know...I was a master at that XD), you don't just miss every other word--you hear everything the teacher says but it doesn't have any meaning at all, it might as well be buzzing. On occasion patches of interesting phrases will jump out on you, but I guarantee you that there is nothing so selective as ignoring every other word.

Getting up he ran to the door out of the class as fast as he could.


Needs to be a comma between "getting up" and "he."

Okay, now that was short. Hopefully that was just a first scene, not a first chapter, because as it is...it's very sparse. I find the events of this story serviceably interesting, but they could stand to be better described and explored in greater detail. I'm really not getting a "fantasy world" vibe from it so far, despite the kids being pups and there's something about alphas and packs, which sounds pretty damn interesting. But the way everything's depicted, with no description whatsoever, makes it seem very dry. Not dry as in boring, but dry as in lacking any juice, any...life. You're pulling us into a complete alternate world here! Splurge on some description. Steer clear of purple prose, okay, but come on, you could at least describe what these people look like. Are they humanoid or some kind of anthro (which I'd assume based on all the pack talk)? Is the classroom set up like a normal Earth classroom? What kind of things are they learning? What do the characters look like, for that matter?

At this point I don't really care for any characters so far. There aren't any in this scene except the nameless teacher (who seems rather inconsistent in his harshness) and Caelum, who seems to be the stereotypical slacker genius. A lot of elements have been ripped from stock school life tropes. Lazy kid who the teacher chews out for falling asleep in class, lazy kid who's disrespectful to his teachers and gets away with it, classmates who all laugh at him. About the only thing that was surprising and unique was the corporal punishment bit, which I liked because it was so unexpected. A nice sign of this society's difference from ours.

The main character is the heart of a story, but I find Caelum rather uninspiring as a main character, even a little unlikeable. So far he's been rude, lazy, and inattentive. Not exactly traits I'd want to get behind. Hopefully he gets presented in a more positive light soon, or better yet, give him a few positive elements from the beginning.

As it is, to be honest, it reads as if you've typed this up on the fly. It shows in the lack of description, grammar and punctuation errors, and typos. This reads more like the outline of a first scene than an actual first scene. It's not badly written, just empty-feeling. Bare bones. Flesh it out! Give it life! You'd have a fun and compelling story if you did that.

Tl; dr: not bad, but not good, either.

PM me if you have any questions, and good luck with your writing.





The words you speak become the house you live in.
— Hafiz