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Why. Ch. 2

by Black Ghost


The white ball began to glow very bright, and the haze was forcibly drawn to it.

"Then let us go," the white ball said, and the both of them rocketed off into the nothingness.

After what seemed like an eternity, the haze spotted something.

"Look over there!" it shouted. A bright light in the shape of a rectangle was off in the distance. The ball immediately headed towards it.

When they had finally reached it, the haze floated there, perplexed by what it saw.

"This is a door," said the white ball. "It is used by the creatures of the otherworld. You will go through it, that is, after we change your appearance.

"Why?" questioned the haze. "Can I not survive in this form?"

"It isn't that," answered the ball. "The creatures in the other world will not accept you unless you resemble them."

"What are the creatures exactly?" asked the haze. It already had many questions to ask.

"They are called humans," replied the ball. "They are the intelligent beings of this world, which is called Earth."

"I see," the haze said softly. "Is this the only other world?"

"I don't know," the ball admitted, "There could be more, but this is the only one I have found. But enough questions now, you must be changed."

The white ball's humming grew louder than ever. It began to give off a light, and spun very rapidly. The haze began to ball up, and soon became a mass of glowing jelly.

"What is happening to me?" said the haze.

"Wait," the ball said, it's humming getting louder still.

The jelly started to glow brighter and brighter, and when the ball spun in another direction, it began to change.

First a limb extended out of the mass, and began to take shape of an arm. The ball switched directions again, which caused a leg to protrude, while the arm's hand was being sculpted.

The ball changed directions again and again, each time a new body part being made. This process went on for quite some time, until finally the mass stopped glowing.

All that was left was a small boy, kneeling on the floor. He had brown hair and could not have looked more than seven years old. He slowly lifted his hands up, with an incredulous look on his face.

He seemed to be struggling, for he was forming strange facial expressions.

"You must open your mouth to speak," said the ball. The boy slowly opened his mouth, and then let out a cough.

"What am I?" he asked. He began to flex his fingers and move his arms, amazed at his new form.

"You are now a human boy," said the white ball. "This is how you will be during your stay on Earth."

The boy, now aware of his other limbs, stood up and wiggled his toes.

"I think I will be okay in this form," the boy said happily.

"Now open the door and go," said the ball. "On Earth you also need names to Identify yourself. From now on you will adress yourself as "Max". Anytime someone asks you your name you will respond with that."

"I understand," said Max.

Max sighed. Then he turned to the door and slowly grasped the doorknob.

"Now turn it." the ball instructed. Max then turned the knob to the left, and it opened. He stepped back to let it open fully, and then was blinded for a moment by the bright light.

Max then took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and stepped through.


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Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:52 pm
Black Ghost says...



Thanxs alot Snoink! Your comments were very helpful. I completely changed this chapter and now it is
MUCH, MUCH, better.

-Tony




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Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:50 pm
Snoink wrote a review...



"You are curious," said the ball. "I'm not sure, but it means that you want to know something, that you want to gain knowledge." The haze seemed to consider this, and began to swim very rapidly again in the nothingness. The white ball stayed still. And the humming grew louder. "There is nothing to lose. If you want to know about things beyond this place, it is waiting for you."

The haze stopped abruptly. It settled back to where it originally was, and it could hardly be seen. The only evidence of it being there is that the white ball appeared distorted because the haze was standing in front of it.

"Maybe I do."


Ah… a fantastic ending. But wait… it’s not in this chapter! Why am I even bringing it up?

It’s because I am under the firm belief that chapter should blend seamlessly into the next chapter. This ending is good because it describes more of what the characters are doing, and then stops abruptly with a cliffhanger. Always a good think. And then… this:

"Are you sure?" The white ball said. "Do you really want to go?"


Okay…

What you just did was to stop the movement. When you have a cliffhanger as good as the one you have there, you want to start in a different path so as to contrast your ending. Instead of starting the dialogue again, making the reader wonder why you even ended your chapter, you should take it in a different path. Instead of going off to more dialogue, you should describe something.

Now mind you, don’t take me wrong! I’m not asking for a ridiculously long explanation. I want something short. Maybe what the white ball does. I’m not sure. Play with creating some description that leads into the story better.

The haze stayed still, and after a few minutes it replied. "What if I don't like it?"


Dialogue grammar…

Would I write a sentence like this:

The green ball said.

No! As soon as I say the word said, you want to know what the dialogue is. It just flows naturally. Because of this, the sentence does not end. If I write “The green ball said” as a sentence, then I would consider that a fragment. Instead, you separate the “said” and the dialogue with a comma. So it would look like this:

The haze stayed still, and after a few minutes it replied, “What if I don’t like it?”

Another thing: the word “few.” Now, I’m being *really* picky here, so if you just want to ignore me, then be that way. But I don’t like the word “few” in this sentence. I would prefer “couple.” Now, that’s the short explanation, but considering that I’m currently grounded from the internet, and I’m STARVING to critique something, I’m going into it with more detail.

Right now, these are the vowel sounds of your sentence:

Uh (the)
A (haze)
A (stayed)
Eugh (still)
Aah (and)
Aah (after)
A (a)
Ew (few)
Eh (min)
Et (utes)
Eh (it)
E (re)
I (plied)

That’s for the non dialogue part. There are four strong A’s, one strong E, and one strong I. Okay. But the overwhelming sound is – you guessed it – the “ew” sound. With couple, it has softer syllables, which make it sound nicer. You might want to revise the word “reply” for the same reason.

Yeah… just in case you wanted to know, what I’m being picky about is called assonance. It basically means keeping the vowels similar. Mostly poets worry about it, but stories should be poetic works too.

"You can come back at anytime, you only have to say so," the ball reassured.

"Then I will do it," the haze declared.

"Fine. Now you must come with me," ordered the white ball.


I have a feeling I know what you’re doing, because I did it too. When I was just beginning to write, I mainly used the word “said” in my work, because that what I had seen used. But then I found other words for said. They became my best friends! My characters no longer said anything; they reassured, assumed, pretended, jubilated, barked, roared, squealed, screamed, cried, begged… the list goes on. But finally, after I had written at least forty pages of story, all with these words I had used, I reread it and actually found it to distract the reader from my actual story.

Worst yet, as I changed everything back to said, I found out something far more frightening. Once I isolated the dialogue, the dialogue was LAME. I wasn’t trying to make good dialogue, because I knew that I could just hide the dialogue away with a verb that wasn’t said.

You see, “said” is a soft verb. If you say it, it has a soft sound, a gentle sound. It doesn’t overpower any dialogue; it can’t. That’s why it’s so good. It lets the dialogue ring out.

You aren’t a bad dialogue writer, much better than me anyway, so why are you trying to hide your dialogue away with strong words? Just use said.

The haze obeyed and stayed close to the ball as it began to zoom through the nothingness. "I'm not sure I can find it again," said the ball as they were traveling along, "but let's hope it turns up."


Split:

The nothing stayed consistent throughout the whole of the trip, and the haze wondered how the ball was going to find anything here.


This sentence seems a little too wordy. I like the next sentence better, but that sentence needs to be led up to, so… yeah. This sentence, I’m afraid, is a transition problem, and I’m quite bad at those. In fact, I’m struggling with chapter 2 of FREAK for the exact reason.

But I think that the haze wondering sounds a little strange, so you might want to become more detached.

After what seemed like an eternity, the haze spotted something.

"Look over there!" it shouted. A bright light could be seen in the distance that seemed to take the shape of a rectangle. The ball immediately headed towards it.


*keff*passive*keff*

A bright light could be seen? This is in the passive tense. What is the passive tense? Here’s an example of the active tense:

He hit the ball.

Subject verb. Good stuff.

The passive tense would look like this:

She was hit by the ball.

There are times that the passive tense is good, but generally, English teachers will rip out your guts and string them along telephone poles when they see it. And, at this moment, I am considering joining them….

Another (better?) way you can write it would be:

“A bright light in the shape of a rectangle was off in the distance.”

Or at least that’s what I would like to see.

When they had finally reached it, the haze floated their, apparently perplexed by what it was seeing.


Okay… check out this sentence:

They’re going to their car over there.

Cool huh?

Just in case my humor missed you (entirely possible, I assure you) there are many homophones that are there. Or their. Or they’re. They’re pronounced the same, see?

Long story short?

They’re = they are
Their = possessive
There = er… more like “haber” if you know Spanish.

“Apparently perplexed.” What’s that supposed to mean? Is it apparent that it’s perplexed? With that said, how do we know that? It’s hardly apparent to me, as a reader. Try to avoid the words “obviously,” “apparently,” or any words that say something similar. Remember: we can’t see it, therefore it isn’t apparent. Besides, you don’t need the word, really.

“…what it was seeing.” Gah. A shorter, less painful way of saying the exact thing is this:

“…what it saw.”

"What is this?" it questioned.


NO!

You just missed an opportunity. What if the white ball knew what the haze was thinking and responded to its question without being asked. That would be awesome. Plus, it would mean that this awkward sentence is deleted – always a good thing.

"It is a door," replied the white ball. "It is used by the creatures of the other world for entering and exiting."


Um… the definition of the word “door” should tell us that whatever uses it will enter or exit from it. There’s really no other alternative. So you can just delete the last four words. And “otherworld” is one word.

"Will I use it to enter the world?" the haze asked. He floated to the other side of the door, finding nothing there.

"Yes you will," said the ball. "that is precisely what you will do. But first we must change your appearance."


Hmm… you have an opportunity to shorten this chapter, which is always a good thing. I think the haze’s dialogue is kind of pointless at this point. We want to get to the action, not sit here reading dialogue. So, I think you should just have the ball tell the haze that it will enter the otherworld. Something like….

"It is a door," replied the white ball. "It is used by the creatures of the otherworld. You’ll go through it too, after we change your appearance."

Shorter is nice. ^_^ I think on the chat, you said something about chapter 6 or 7 where the action really began. That shouldn’t be the case. By taking away some of the dialogue here, you might make the action sooner, which is always the best thing.

"Why?" questioned the haze. "Can I not survive in this form?"

"It isn't that," answered the ball. "In order for you to gain any knowledge, you must be able to interact with the creatures, and the only way that is possible is for you to look like one of them. Otherwise they will not accept you."


There’s gotta be a better way of imparting this knowledge to the readers…

"What are the creatures exactly?" asked the haze. It already had many questions to ask, when it hadn't even entered the other world yet.


Second sentence isn’t needed. It’s already obvious.

"They are called humans," replied the ball. "They are the intelligent beings of this world, which is called Earth."

"I see," the haze said softly, taking all this in. "Is this the only other world?"


Once more, “taking all this in” is unnecessary. And… I think his question is unnecessary. If this were my story (which it isn’t) I would look around and identify any dialogue that seems to be too long. By that, I mean I would go around and delete anything that doesn’t add anything to the plot. Unless Max does go to another world, then his question is probably not needed and should be cut.

"I don't know," the ball admitted, "There could be more, but this is the only one I have found."

"Ok then, I'm ready," the haze said. "Change my appearance, so I may go to the other world."


Pet peeve of mine… Ok should be Okay. Okay? And this bit of dialogue seems very awkward… look at it.

"Alright.


Another pet peeve of mine… it should be “all right.” Two words.

But the humans of this world are not all friendly. Some are evil with no knowledge to give. But to ensure that you will face the minimum amount of evil in the other world, I will turn you into a being less prone to it; A human child."


I would trim this sentence, because right now it seems really long. Because you have a bunch of dialogue that doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere (or it’s not going there quickly enough) I’m losing interest. You had such a great start… don’t lose momentum because of dialogue!

Analyze your dialogue. If it seems to be rambling on, then by all means, cut it. It might be interesting if the haze doesn’t know about evil before this happens. In fact, you could probably just leave out this entire paragraph and just have the white ball hum. Just remember: a story is like a river. It flows even when it’s calm.

The white ball's humming grew louder than ever. It began to give off a light, and spun very rapidly. The haze began to ball up, and soon became a mass of glowing jelly.

"What is happening to me?" it asked.


The words “it asked” are holding up the sentence and dragging it down. Delete. We already know that the haze is asking it.

"Nothing, I am just changing your form, it will be over soon," the ball said, it's humming getting louder still.


Remember: it’s = it is. Does this sentence make sense?

“It is humming getting louder soon.”

I thought not. The possessive form is “its.”

And it might be interesting if you cut up the dialogue so the ball just says, “Wait.”

The jelly started to glow brighter and brighter, and when the ball spun in another direction, it began to change.

First a limb extended out of the mass, and began to take shape of an arm. The ball switched directions again, which caused a leg to protrude, while the arm's hand was being sculpted.


Don’t separate these paragraphs…

The ball changed directions again and again, each time a new body part being made. This process went on for quite some time, until finally the mass stopped glowing.

All that was left was a small boy, kneeling on the floor. He had brown hair and could not have looked more than seven years old. He slowly lifted his hands up, with an incredulous look on his face.

He seemed to be struggling, for he was forming strange facial expressions.


Don’t separate these paragraphs… they’re too similar to each other to split.

"You must open your mouth to speak," said the ball. The boy slowly opened his mouth, and then let out a small cough.

"What am I?" he asked. He began to flex his fingers and move his arms, amazed at his new form.

"You are now a human boy," said the white ball. "This is how you will be during your stay on Earth."


The boy, now aware of his other limbs, began to stand up. When he had risen he started to wiggle his toes. [/quote]

The last sentence is awkward. “Rise” is already a strong word that is usually misused, but your use of “once” is awkward too. I would write: “The boy, now aware of his other limbs, stood up and wiggled his toes.”

"I think I will be okay in this form," the boy said happily.


Fine, fine…

But then he looked down between his legs. "But what is that?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I almost forgot to put clothes on you," the ball said quickly. He started humming louldy again, and a pair of jeans appeared on the boy. He spun in another direction, and then a plain black t-shirt appeared.

"What are these for?" asked the boy.

"On Earth you must be covered, for it is not proper to be seen in your natural form in there society." the ball replied.

"How strange," the boy remarked.

"I know." agreed the ball. "Are you ready to step through the door?"

"Yes. But first what is this strange senstation in my "feet". Are those what they are called?" the boy questioned.

"Oh, yes, you need shoes." the ball said. And with another spin a pair of shoes were put on the boy's feet. "and yes, they are called feet, and the sensation you were feeling was cold. I will arm you with a basic knowledge of your form before you go."

The ball then proceeded to explain the boy's various body parts and such, until the boy undertood the functions of most of his body.


Oh gawd…

First of all, penises are nice and everything, but…

This stuff is just so unneeded that it’s annoying. We’re HUMANS already. We don’t need to have a briefing about penises, clothes, etc. In fact, most of us don’t care. I would cut out everything in the quote box.

"Now open the door and go," said the ball. "On Earth you also need names to Identify yourself. From now on you will adress yourself as "Max". Anytime someone asks you your name you will respond with that."


Too long, and you’ve spelled “address” wrong. And the grammar is incorrect and…

I would write:

“On Earth, you need a name to identify yourself. From now on, you are ‘Max.’ Any time someone asks you for your name, you will respond with that.”

It’s a lot more clear and direct.

"I understand," said Max. "I will go now."


The last sentence isn’t needed.

Max then heaved a heavy sigh, and turned toward the door.


The “then” isn’t needed.

He Stood in front of it and extended his arm.


Good gracious, why did you just capitalize a perfectly good verb?

He put his hand on the doorknob and slowly grasped it.


Gah, kill me now.

“Max sighed. Then he turned to the door and slowly grasped the doorknob.”

See? Much quicker. Now we can get to the action!

"Now turn it." the ball instructed. Max then turned the knob to the left, and it opened. He stepped back to let it open fully, and then was blinded for a moment by the bright light.

Max then took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and stepped through.


Okay, fine, fine…

All in all, I thought it was repetitive. You have such a great beginning, but you seem to kill it with this! Cut down some of the unnecessary dialogue and clean up sentences. I know what you’re trying to do – I’m doing it myself for my story. You’re trying to have a very simple style. That’s good, but don’t make it too simple.

Good luck.




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Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:49 pm
-KayJuran- wrote a review...



"On Earth you must be covered, for it is not proper to be seen in you natural form in thier society." the ball replied.


*your instead of you

*their instead of thier

i like the story; it really makes me want to know what happens next...




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Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:07 pm
Zelithan says...



Plot is picking up. i will read more. Its not like my writting anymore.





I am a guard of the green order and I am the captain of the guard of troops who protect the strong holds of YWS.
— LadyBird