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The Chosen Grandma, Prologuish Thing

by BlueAfrica


Centius the Wise had the flu.

The other members of the Council of Wizards were not pleased about this. It was all fine and well to get the flu, there was no helping it happening now and then, but it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. It was time for the Council to name the Chosen One.

Situations popped up every century or so in which a Chosen One was called for. Necromancers, belligerent aliens, evil overlords. Compared to that, the current situation was nothing. A sorcerer on the rise was picking off the Knights, which was a far cry from world domination. But the Council had recently decided to be a little more proactive and name someone early, ever since that business in Germany when they’d waited too long and the whole world had had to go to war.

Centius, the wisest and most senior member of the Council, was supposed to name the Chosen One. Not that there wasn’t a backup plan. Once, three hundred years ago, he’d been on vacation when evil arose. Five hundred years before that, he’d been visiting his mother in the hospital, or what passed for a hospital in those days. In those cases, other wizards had named a Chosen One, and everything had been fine.

But this time around, it was Philostratus’ turn. All the wizards knew what that meant.

Philostratus’ official title was Philostratus the Curious, but he was known around the Council as Philostratus the Kind of Kooky. He was infamous for conducting pointless experiments with magic and science, which, as they all knew, wasn’t the domain of wizards anyway. Who would want to bother with science when you had magic? Philostratus, apparently.

Not that his application of the scientific method to magical experiments wasn’t appreciated, Methodius the Just thought as he took his seat in the council chamber. He glanced at Philostratus’ seat, several rows closer to the floor, and went unrewarded. The violet cushion was empty.

Late as usual. Methodius shifted in his seat, trying to get comfortable. You wouldn’t think purple velvet would be so firm. Probably Philostratus didn’t even remember there was a meeting today.

Maybe someone else would get to choose, in that case.

A gentle murmur swelled as the wizards filled the room and took their seats, but it died away as a portly wizard took the podium. Blathyllos the Orator looked more like a friar than a wizard, but he was the Vice President of the Council and likely to give you a dull and lengthy lecture if you mentioned it, so no one ever did.

“Brothers,” he said grandly. There were no witches on the Council, which had long been a source of contention with the Grand Coven. “The time has come, once again, to name the one destined to defeat the evil that has arisen in the world. It is a long and proud tradition of the council…”

Methodius settled back in his chair. The speech was the same one Blathyllos gave every time some evil or another reared its ugly head and they all met so Centius could name a Chosen One. Methodius was pretty sure virtually all of them had memorized it by now, so he felt one hundred percent comfortable not listening at all. Blah blah blah “long tradition” blah blah blah “a great honor” blah blah blah “Centius the Wise.”

Well, Philostratus the Curious, today, because there’d be that slightest of slight changes to the speech wherein Blathyllos mentioned that, unfortunately, Centius was detained by circumstances beyond our control and therefore it would fall to one of our brethren to…

Et cetera, et cetera.

Methodius was just nodding off when the door of the chamber banged open and a violet-robed blur tumbled in: Philostratus, his robe charred and splattered with ink as usual, dropping scrolls everywhere.

“Sorry, sorry,” he could be heard saying as he struggled toward the front of the room. He plucked up his lost scrolls, tugged the hem of his robe free of someone’s chair, and dropped the scrolls again. They scattered across the floor and rolled along the carpet, bumping into council members’ feet. Disgruntled whispers, punctuated by the odd snort of derision, echoed around the chamber.

“Brothers,” Blathyllos said, his voice not so grand now; he had set himself up for a good long speech and couldn’t stand interruption. “Philostratus the Curious. Will now. Name. The Chosen One. If he is prepared.”

And by Blathyllos’ raised eyebrow, there could be no doubt that he was skeptical of that.

“Yes, yes, completely prepared,” Philostratus said, tripping up the steps. His eyebrows, which looked like nothing so much as two white caterpillars that had decided to grow some hair to make themselves less appealing to predators, were singed. Another experiment, was Methodius’ guess. Few of Philostratus’ experiments involved flame of any kind, yet different bits of him always seemed to be singed.

“Friends!” Philostratus cried, throwing his skinny arms wide so Blathyllos narrowly avoided a punch to the nose. Titters rippled through the chamber, whether because of Blathyllos’ hasty step back or the idea that Philostratus considered the other wizards his friends, Methodius couldn’t have said. “I’ve been experimenting with different methods of Choosing, different types of prophecy and the like—whoops! There goes everything—” as the few scrolls he’d managed to gather up again on his way to the podium crumpled, unrolled, caught on his robe, fell to the floor, got caught underfoot.

“It’s around here somewhere—” He dove to the floor, his rump stuck up in the air as he hunted for a particular scroll. “Ah, Blathyllos, if you wouldn’t mind, I believe the one I want is stuck beneath your shoe—”

Blathyllos looked like he certainly did mind, thank you very much, but he stepped back and allowed Philostratus to grab the scroll in question.

“Yes, yes, this one. I know we’re all used to relying on oracles and prophecies and ancient texts, but have any of you tried the Internet? It’s amazing! There are entire websites dedicated to sifting through piles of candidates for any number of jobs, and you can even view their background checks—”

The muttering renewed at the mention of background checks. What were they, the police? Wizards didn’t need to run background checks when oracles and prophecies had a way of working out so the Chosen One was always some tough-but-good-hearted person who didn’t have anything nasty in their past. Or, you know, nothing criminally nasty. There were dead parents and whatnot, but what did that matter to anyone else?

“Brothers, please!” Philostratus cried, waving his arms to silence the Council. “I know these measures are untraditional, but—”

“But that’s Philostratus for you,” Methodius’ neighbor muttered to him. Methodius nodded vigorously.

“—so I set up a program to run an algorithm to pick out the very best candidates, and from there—”

Outraged hissing and booing now. Philostratus had the honor, the privilege to name the Chosen One in Centius the Wise’s absence, and he set up a computer program to do it for him?

Methodius, however, had had enough. The whole point in naming someone early, before the lowly but ambitious sorcerer had become an evil overlord, was to get a head start on things. Save the world before it needed saving. Which was not going to happen if the wizards spent so much time arguing that Philostratus never got to name the Chosen One. Methodius got to his feet with difficulty. It was no fun being old.

“Brethren,” he called in his clear, ringing voice, and then he waited. Slowly, the chaos died down. That was a favorite trick of his, calling for silence and then waiting until the whole room was listening. Once you had them, you could sit there quietly as long as you wanted and watch them squirm as they waited for your announcement.

“Brethren,” he repeated once everyone was listening. “I realize Philostratus’ methods are…untraditional, to say the least, but as he was the one who pinpointed Redway the Terrible as the next great threat of our age, it’s only fair that we allow him to speak and accept his choice.”

Blathyllos, still looking thoroughly disgruntled, stepped back up to the podium, tugged on his robe to straighten it, and said, “Yes. Brother Philostratus. We care nothing for your methods, so if you would care to name your choice…”

“Oh—yes, I suppose, I could…” Philostratus looked crestfallen. He loved explaining his ideas. “Well—”

He unrolled his scroll with a flourish. White light flashed and then balled together and formed a picture.

It was the portrait of a girl—no, not a girl. A woman. An old woman. She had an old-lady perm and frumpy glasses and wrinkles and everything.

“Brother—Brother Philostratus?” Blathyllos said. The other wizards felt the same.

“Behold, the Chosen One!” Philostratus said proudly. “Edna Fisher.”

“Er…” Blathyllos said. “Er, are you, well, are you quite sure that’s the right picture?”

Philostratus peered up at the orb of light and beamed.

“Oh, yes. Quite sure. That’s her. Edna Fisher.”

“Er…” Blathyllos said again. The other wizards had never heard him speechless before. “Er, exactly how old is she?”

“Eighty-three,” Philostratus said proudly.

The entire room had fallen silent, but after a brief pause in which all the wizards tried to think of what to say first and failed, Methodius finally said, “A teenager is the traditional choice.”

Philostratus gave an indulgent smile and rolled the scroll back up. The image of Edna Fisher, old lady, vanished.

“Teenagers! Pimply sacks of hormones trying to deal with puberty and impending adulthood and the prospect of debilitating student loans. Don’t you think they’ve got quite enough on their minds without also going off on some quest to defeat evil? Oughtn’t we to pick someone a little more emotionally stable? Someone with more life experience? Well, Edna has it!”

“She’s eighty-three,” Blathyllos mumbled, but Philostratus had finally gotten fed up with them all.

“Yes, she’s eighty-three! Good heavens, how old is that to you, Blathyllos the Nine-Hundred-and-Twenty-Seven? We’ve all of us gone and left eighty-three centuries ago. As for it being untraditional, well, what else did you expect from me? Now, I have a very important Scientifick trip to Mars coming up, so accept my choice or don’t, but decide quickly.”

The wizards all suddenly found the floor very interesting. They knew how they’d decide. Never, in the history of the Council, had they voted down a Chosen One.

“All in favor?” Blathyllos said unenthusiastically.

Every wizard in the chamber put his hand up.

“All opposed?”

The room was still.

“Very well, then,” Blathyllos said, more unenthusiastically than ever. “There’s no time to waste, Philostratus, so if you would alert Miss…Mrs…Ms. Fisher to her new honor first thing tomorrow, that would be—”

“Pegasus feathers!” Philostratus said. “Haven’t I just told you I’m leaving for an expedition? My space shuttle departs in two hours. Someone else will have to do it.”

Blathyllos stiffened. Now that things were decided, the wizards had begun to relax again. Nothing they could do about it now that Edna Fisher had been chosen, except hope she would succeed.

But Blathyllos was still sore about being interrupted, and Methodius could tell by the expression on his face that he wasn’t done speaking. Not that the knowledge did Methodius any good. He didn’t expect what happened next, which was that Blathyllos’ eyes met him, widened, and then crinkled into a cold smile.

“Methodius the Just!” the Orator said over the rising hubbub of the ended meeting. “Since you so generously insisted we hear Philostratus’ choice, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind taking his place in informing her of her new destiny.”

The room fell silent, and Methodius felt like kicking himself. He’d just had to defend Philostratus, hadn’t he? And now he didn’t even agree with the choice. How could she not be a teenager?

But before he could argue, Blathyllos said, “Meeting adjourned!” and there was no argument to be had.

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Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:07 pm
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DougalOfBiscuits wrote a review...



Hey, I know I said I wouldn't bother doing this but a) you said it would be useful for rewriting b) my god the tennis is boring today and c) I'm only 3 reviews away from my next star.

Nit-picks and nice moments:

A sorcerer on the rise was picking off the Knights, which was a far cry from world domination. But the Council had recently decided to be a little more proactive and name someone early, ever since that business in Germany when they’d waited too long and the whole world had had to go to war.


This is actually both a nit-pick and a nice moment. At first it's a bit tell-y, almost D&D levels of opening scene plot exposition, but you save it elegantly with the joke at the end, which makes the paragraph serve a good purpose ^.^

Titters rippled through the chamber, whether because of Blathyllos’ hasty step back or the idea that Philostratus considered the other wizards his friends, Methodius couldn’t have said.

I think grammatically this should be a new sentence at "whether". It's a grammatically correct sentence from "Titters" to "friends" or from "whether" to "said". Personally I'd recommend the split I suggested, but either would work.

It was the portrait of a girl—no, not a girl. A woman. An old woman. She had an old-lady perm and frumpy glasses and wrinkles and everything.

I can see that this is engineered to emphasise how old the woman is, but if she's that old it seems unlikely that she would be mistaken for a girl in the first place.

“Brother—Brother Philostratus?” Blathyllos said. The other wizards felt the same.

Just to check - felt the same as the emotion that Blathyllos is expressing here? Also is your POV omniscient or limited to Methodius? It seems like it's omniscient here but it seems to be switching a lot.

He’d just had to defend Philostratus, hadn’t he? And now he didn’t even agree with the choice.

I think the latter sentence here should be expressed in more aggravated terms. It's a bit spelling out of the issue, rather than Methodius's actual reaction to the situation.

Overall:

Welp, this was as awesome as I remember it being when I first skimmed through it ages ago. The characters are all as funny as each other but also well-defined. The setting could maybe have a couple more details added in (I'm curious just how big this council is. For some reason my first instinct was several hundred members like a parliament, but then with how well they seemed to know each other I was thinking more like twenty. I'd also kind of like to know how well-kept, expensive looking the room is.) and the plot is clearly defined and obviously original.

The danger arising seems kind of a little bit too far in the background? I realise it's meant to be not that important because this isn't that big of a deal that they have to decide on a new Chosen One, but in order for me to invest in Edna succeeding, I'm going to have to at some point believe that a real danger is posed by the enemy.

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)




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Thu May 10, 2018 6:49 pm
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barefootrunner says...



I just want to say that this is pure genius. Absolute gold.




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.



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Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:36 pm
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Boluk wrote a review...



Oh god. I remember I wanted to review the final chapter to get extra points because today is review day but I soon realized that it would not make much sense to me and so I decided to go allllllll the way back to where the amazing story began.

What I liked: This story seems to set off a lot of lore and we get to meet some characters who I am guessing will be very important in the future. We as an audience could also probably try to look at this prologue in a more in depth look which I greatly respect. I remember how when I made my first chapter and you review it you said something about how I should show not tell. You explained to me about how show is about the senses whilst Telling is about well telling and therefore isn't as interesting to the reader. I admit at first I was feeling a bit peeved but after I read this for the first time I immediately knew how it gained such popularity.

What I disliked: this story clearly isn't perfect I'll explain why in the conclusion

Conclusion: In conclusion this story is amazing. It gives us a feeling of being strangers faced in a whole new world. But yet as I stated earlier it isn't perfect....it's godly. And I mean it this story is just so awesome that I can't describe it in words. But I'll try to at least think of five
1. Outstanding
2. Astounding
3. Staggering
4. Breathtaking
5. Wholesome.....good? I think I did good
Overall I rate this 5 kooky wizards out of 5
Boluk out




BlueAfrica says...


Omg somehow I didn't see this review when you wrote it, but THANK YOU. It's always nice to read a lovely review in the middle of the work day.



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Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:59 pm
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Messenger wrote a review...



I'm home mom!! Don't know how long lol anyway

Centius the Wise had the flu.

Who doesn't right now -_-

Philostratus, his robe charred and splattered with ink as usual, dropping scrolls everywhere
not felling this line. Technically I believe it's grammatically correct, but it just felt kind of clunky and took me a couple read-throughs to actually get. (to be fair I didn't go to bed last night) It's mostly the scrolls part that felt disjointed. If you want to keep that maybe move it to the front of the sentence for something like "Philostratus: dropping scrolls everywhere from his charred and ink-splattered robe." anyway it's your call.

Blathyllos looked like he certainly did mind, thank you very much, but he stepped back and allowed Philostratus to grab the scroll in question.

Just how did he look like he minded? raised eye brow? curled lip?

"Blathyllos" is such a terrific name. It sounds how I imagine Blathyllos is. Booooring. Just sound like blah blah blah

I love your humor. The beginning was great. It had me smiling a lot. I know you have 20 reviews so I'm sure this has been thoroughly covered, as well as many other facets of this piece. I will say I got a very heavy Harry Potter vibe to the whole thing.
Also, Edna Fisher is a great name. I don't know why I like it, but I do.

I'll try to get a couple reviews done the rest of this month (finals is coming soooo we'll see) but The Book Man was great so you have my trust that this will be another good one :D Hope this helped a little bit.

~Messy




BlueAfrica says...


MY SON <33333



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Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:36 pm
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TheBlueCat wrote a review...



Hello! Cat here to add some thoughts to this before I get too far in the reading! c: I don't know if this is really a review, but it'll probably be long enough, so I say yes :P my secret goal is to review every chapter, or at least add my thoughts, so I'd better get my butt moving since I have 28 works to get to where I stopped reading, and then a bunch more until I catch up
Okay so! *rereads quickly* Thoughts away!

Centius the Wise had the flu.

The other members of the Council of Wizards were not pleased about this. It was all fine and well to get the flu, there was no helping it happening now and then, but it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
I really appreciate that is wasn't some magical disease or that he wasn't like about to die. Little things that get a tad overused c: Also a great way to pull me in to the story. But who said it was fine and well to get the flu? :P

But the Council had recently decided to be a little more proactive and name someone early, ever since that business in Germany when they’d waited too long and the whole world had had to go to war.
*gasp* Haha well I do really love how you start to marry the real world and its events and the fantasy world. I'll probably say that a few more times before I'm done with this novel :P

Centius, the wisest and most senior member of the Council, was supposed to name the Chosen One.
Almost read this as 'most seniorest' xD My brain is weird lol

He was infamous for conducting pointless experiments with magic and science, which, as they all knew, wasn’t the domain of wizards anyway. Who would want to bother with science when you had magic? Philostratus, apparently.
Tbh, I probably would too :P Although magic.

Ah, so I have a suggestion for you. Whenever you are giving the thoughts of someone, I like the look of it being italicized, and I'm used to it in all the books I read. Suggestion though.

His eyebrows, which looked like nothing so much as two white caterpillars that had decided to grow some hair to make themselves less appealing to predators, were singed.
So I love the image here, but this sentence is a little clunky? Like it took me a second read through to understand what you were saying.

Haha I also love Philostratus and his clumsy unique quirks! He's so different from all the other wizards and what I would have a wizard be like. Reminds me of myself a bit ;)

“It’s around here somewhere—” He dove to the floor, his rump stuck up in the air as he hunted for a particular scroll. “Ah, Blathyllos, if you wouldn’t mind, I believe the one I want is stuck beneath your shoe—”

Blathyllos looked like he certainly did mind, thank you very much, but he stepped back and allowed Philostratus to grab the scroll in question.
Just this lol

Basically this whole section of poking fun at 'chosen ones' and using the internet to decide is the greatest xD I <3 v much

Methodius got to his feet with difficulty. It was no fun being old.
Hm, I've already read the next couple of chapters and I've noticed that you've characterized the wizards as old but not being old if you know what I mean. This just feels out of place.

“Teenagers! Pimply sacks of hormones trying to deal with puberty and impending adulthood and the prospect of debilitating student loans.
Yuuuuuuuuuuuuupppp xD

Alright so finished! I can see how you classify this as a prologue(prologue-ish lol) and from my experience it perfectly fits. If you really had to you could remove it and the story would still make sense, but I would definitely not remove it! It is the perfect hook and draws me into the story, and sets me into this world very nicely. I don't know what else to say but <33 I love it very much!
Okay so let's move on to the next(first) chapter(in a week lol) and be done here. I adore your writing so keep going, m'kay? I will eventually get caught up haha. Okay byeee until next time!
~Cat




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Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:40 am
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Kanome wrote a review...



Hello, BlueAfrica. I am here to provide you a review. Let’s get started, shall we?
I kept seeing chapters of this novel everyday so I figured I’d give it a read because y’know, I heard it was good and all.

OVERALL OPINION
Overall, the prologue ( pfft. I meant prologuish. Lel. ) was just simply excellent. I loved the way you portrayed the characters or I guess the Council members. Philostratus is going to be one of my favorite characters because you made him stand out from the others. He’s quirky and intelligent in his own way. I love the development you put into him. My favorite scene throughout the whole prologuish chapter is where he revealed the Chosen One, which happened to be an elderly woman. Everyone was surprised by that decision, I was laughing out loud because of the reaction. I don’t know if you did that intentionally or what, but you made me laugh.
I am glad I decided to read your novel. I love the pacing and plot seems interesting, which I am assuming it’s about the Chosen One ( which is Edna Fisher ‘Chosen Grandma’ haha ) has to defeat some evil sorcerer?
Keep up the amazing work on the novel. Keep writing and enjoy the rest of your day! Moving on to chapter one!

- Kanome




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! There are serious moments in the story, but I definitely am going for humor. Beware of the garbage pacing coming up Thanks so much for reading!



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Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:07 am
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Thundahguy wrote a review...



Hi, I'm Thundahguy, and I'm watching a show about an old man turning into a robot, so now I'm going to review your story about an old woman becoming a wizard.

(As you most undoubtedly have a lot of reviews already, I'm just going to do reviews every 5 full chapters until I catch up, okay? Now, onto my review):

So far this prologuish thing has been able to make me chuckle out loud a few times. I don't know if you intentionally made it so, but the wizard names are kind of funny to me. Especially Philostratus, which seems fitting somehow.

Speaking of Philostratus, you did a good job with him. Out of all the wizards, he was the one that really stood out, and not just for his role in choosing the chosen one. The way he speaks, as well as how you described his actions, made him definitely shine. He's currently my favourite character.

Of course, there's the opposite side of things. In making a character against the norm, you've subsequently dulled the effect of every other wizard in the room. Blathyllos is serious, but that's all I really got out of him. Methodius didn't even really get a character trait himself, just a 'he's stuck with this' role. The rest of the wizards are weirdly submissive, which doesn't fit their whole fancy sounding 'Council of Wizards'.

Overall, though, a great prologuish thing. Characters may need some work, while Philostratus needs to maintain the whole senile outlook. I tend to focus on character development and progression, so expect reviews on that stuff from me. I'll see you in about... 5 or so chapters from now.




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Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:37 pm
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vetas wrote a review...



Hello there :) I'm not much of a critic of grammar but I look for what catches my attention. I thought this was very original! Having an old women chosen puts a new twist on things. I love the comedy in it and how interesting it is. While I was reading this, I was imagining this as a show or a movie. Something I would go and watch. Cant wait to read more! goodjob! keep it up!




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.



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Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:57 pm
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Lavvie wrote a review...



Hello, Blue!

I'm going to pretend that I am your very first reviewer and ignore all other comments and reviews before me. I'm sure I'll end up sounding like a broken record, but I'd argue that's okay because then you'll know what really needs to be tweaked here.

This chapter reminds me of something. It reminds me of a lot of different stories, but the tone is probably most similar to Patricia C. Wrede's fabulous series, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. If you have never read it, I highly recommend you do, despite it being for younger people. While we're following what would seem to be a very serious convening of powerful wizards about a very serious matter, the matter-of-factness to it all just makes everything so... ridiculous. And it's great.

The biggest things for me in this chapter were that a) I felt like sometimes you tried to put way too much into one sentence and b) the events of this chapter seem very dialogue driven. Let's start with a).

Usually, you were pretty good at making sure things were coherent and flowed well - not too long, not too short. However, there were certain instances where you kind of just went on, especially early on in the chapter, and it was very confusing to get through and grasp at the meaning of the sentence. I find that wordiness of this sort often plagues stories like this, because you get so caught up and trying to normalize everything that you begin writing like you're verbally story-telling. This is beneficial with keeping up with the matter-of-factness, but not at all when it comes to conveying meaning to a new reader. Be mindful of this.

Secondly, I understand that it can be easier to rely on characters to drive the story, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, things are destined to get busier later on, especially with the rise of evil, etc. How do you intend for such a busy, weighty plot to be potentially so dialogue-driven? (Obviously, you're already many chapters deep and I'm the one in the dark here, but I still think this is a valid point to bring up.)

Overall, this is very endearing and ridiculous. I'm totally excited to read more!

Best,
Lavvie




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! I don't mind broken recordness, for precisely the reason you stated. The more people who comment on something, the more likely it is that's a real issue and not merely someone's personal preference.

And I tend to get wordy. Hopefully it's mostly better in later chapters...but rereading some of my favorite books, I realize why I get so wordy. Have you read Harry Potter lately? Because Joanne can get quite wordy, and I grew up on that. (She's not the only one, either.) I try to police myself, but it's easier to take care of in revision!

Thanks again, I can't believe you started in on this so quickly!



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Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:37 am
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Charm wrote a review...



Hey Blue! Here I am. Finally. I know you asked me to review this quite a while ago but I’m extremely lazy and I’ve been barely able to get enough motivation together to work on my own novel, haha. But here I am and I’m here to help, so I’ll try my best. Gosh! I’m surprised by how popular this novel is. I mean, I heard about it, just like everyone else on this website but I’m still really shocked, haha and I mean, reading the first few sentences I could see why it’s popular. Not only is the idea original, quirky, and strange, but you’re writing style is very story-telly but still approachable for all ages. I find most story-telly writers write in a way that only children can enjoy. There are already so many reviews so I don’t know if there’s anything I say that you haven’t heard, but I hope I help in some way.

So far I love Philostratus I think he’s a really cool character and very funny. I think just the way you write is humorous and then to have a character like Philostratus just really makes it something to chuckle about. I love the way you talked about him and him experimenting with science. I already knew that whoever he was going to chose would be interesting to say the least (and of course I know the grandma is chosen, haha).

I don’t have much to say with this prologue just because I thought it was really good and interesting. It’s definitely not something I would normally pick up but that’s just my preference (I don’t like reading comedy or...old people that much). Like I said, obviously it’s popular and I can definitely see it being popular outside YWS if you ever get it published. I got confused with all the wizard names and I found it hard to tell which wizard was the narrator and which wizard was what. The names didn’t stick in my head either. That’s pretty much the only issue.

I got confused with this paragraph,

Well, Philostratus the Curious, today, because there’d be that slightest of slight changes to the speech wherein Blathyllos mentioned that, unfortunately, Centius was detained by circumstances beyond our control and therefore it would fall to one of our brethren to…

I couldn’t tell if it was another character talking or the narrator’s internal dialogue. I’m not sure why I found it so confusing but it didn’t make much sense to me with the wording either. I only began to understand what this meant when you mentioned “circumstances beyond our control” and I had a ‘oh yeah the flu’ moment.

Anyway that’s my review. Like I said, hopefully it’s helpful but I feel like you’re a better writer than I am so it’s hard to critique you, haha. Have a great day or night (it’s 1:30 am and I should probably head to bed).

marms




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Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:53 pm
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RubyRed wrote a review...



Hello, BlueAfrica!

I have never before read anything from you, and it had kind of been on my to-do-list... I'm glad I did! The title is very goofy, and I immediately associated humor with it. Then I read the beginning, and I was a little confused because of all the backstory being somewhat serious... but then came the juicy and addictive meat of the story. XD

I absolutely LOVE Philostratus! And here...

“Friends!” Philostratus cried, throwing his skinny arms wide so Blathyllos narrowly avoided a punch to the nose. Titters rippled through the chamber, whether because of Blathyllos’ hasty step back or the idea that Philostratus considered the other wizards his friends, Methodius couldn’t have said. “I’ve been experimenting with different methods of Choosing, different types of prophecy and the like—whoops! There goes everything—” as the few scrolls he’d managed to gather up again on his way to the podium crumpled, unrolled, caught on his robe, fell to the floor, got caught underfoot.

“It’s around here somewhere—” He dove to the floor, his rump stuck up in the air as he hunted for a particular scroll. “Ah, Blathyllos, if you wouldn’t mind, I believe the one I want is stuck beneath your shoe—”

Blathyllos looked like he certainly did mind, thank you very much, but he stepped back and allowed Philostratus to grab the scroll in question.

“Yes, yes, this one. I know we’re all used to relying on oracles and prophecies and ancient texts, but have any of you tried the Internet? It’s amazing! There are entire websites dedicated to sifting through piles of candidates for any number of jobs, and you can even view their background checks—”


I just picture him as a somewhat clumbsy old man with like a long white beard, and a somewhat balding head. He almost reminds me of the wizard from the cartoon version of "The Sword and the Stone".

Needless to say I loved it, and I want to go read up to your very last chapter. However, it may take me awhile. But it'll be worth it. Great prologue!

~Ruby




BlueAfrica says...


Omg yes! I wasn't thinking of Merlin when I wrote Philostratus, but you're right, I can totally picture him that way, too.

Thanks for the review!



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Kaylaa wrote a review...



There are a lot of comments and a lot of reviews here, so I'm just going to ignore them so I can act like what I end up saying about this is original. I've read this before, but it's been awhile. Months, even--because it has been a couple months.

So I usually complain about prologues being long and dragging on for too long, but I'm in the belief that this introduction to this world does what a prologue should do. The prologue introduces us to some characters that might be important when we get deeper into the plot of the actual novel, which in this case is the Council of Wizards (I can't tell if you couldn't think of a better name or if you're doing that to be humorous. Either way, I thought the name happened to be great.) and it's nice to see that we're being introduced to Edna by the way of learning who the Chosen One actually is, and what they do. I agree with papillote in that it begins standard but breaks cliche as it progresses.

The concept that we'll be following is pretty straightforward, yet we get this total plot twist with the Chosen One being a grandma. That's what I love about this concept. I also loved how they took turns picking and how Philostratus decides to pick someone untraditional. At the same time, I probably would've raised an eyebrow to Edna too, since eighty-three is quite the age to be saving the world, but as the reader we're persuaded by his reasoning even if it is a little off-putting.

What I do have to say, is that this novel does seem to enjoy being over-the-top in regards to dialogue, so I don't know how it'll end up being when the stakes are higher. That's something I'm a bit worried about since most everything in this chapter is pretty silly and fun, though I put my trust in you to also make this a story have its gambles, though from what I've read, I can tell this is going to be relatively lighthearted, and there's nothing wrong with that. The description in this prologue could have been fleshed out a little more, though that's a minor issue in my mind since I found this to be a pretty strong and solid start to a novel.

I'm glad you commented in my WRFF thread, because I'm hooked! If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask. I hope I helped and have a great day, you.




BlueAfrica says...


I'm glad you commented in my WRFF thread, because I'm hooked!


Hooray! Thanks for the review! It is pretty light-hearted for the most part, but I have Seriousness planned ahead, and at the very least I can promise it won't be 100% silliness all the time. (I think it'd be hard to keep a plot going with that, even though I like the idea of it.)

And I'm pretty sure you'll see "you need more description" will probably be a common theme as you read on. I did so great with description in Book Man (but there are *still* gaping plot holes, so UGH), but then in this story it's barely there at all.

But in my defense, at least as far as Edna goes, it's because I can never quite decide what she looks like. I'm to the point where I think I've got it narrowed down to white and plump (before I was like "White or black? Fat or thin? Sometimes I picture her one way and sometimes another and I JUST DON'T KNOW"), so that's something.



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papillote says...



It was amazing. I loved it. It began like a fairytale. Then, it turned out more like a satire. I can't wait to read the rest. I love Fantastic as a genre. And what kind of geek doesn't love doomsday prophecies and chosen ones? But it will be nice to shake up the genre a little.




BlueAfrica says...


HOORAY I have like a thousand reviews from you!!! *off to read them*



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ILived says...



Wow, wow, wow! You've got real talent here BlueAfrica! This might be months old but I had to comment anyway. The people, scene, and overall flow was amazingly natural and it was an easy read, which is actually saying a lot!
I'm glad I came across this piece!
~ILived




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! And it's all right that it's months old, I *am* still working on this story, so it's all right to review older bits of it. I only post one installment a week, so.



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Mon May 01, 2017 1:20 pm
LordWolf wrote a review...



Hey there BlueAfrica. Welcome to YWS! Oh sorry wrong entrance speech, I haven't yet written a new one for the old mold. It's just Lizzy dropping by real quick, so without a further ado, let the reviewing begin.

After I reviewed your latest chapter last night, I felt like I should go back and read the rest of them, just to get a clue as to what was going on. And normally I would leave reviews on a piece with 6 already but novel chapters are always my exception to the rule. Especially after I read your first line.

I never judge a book by its cover, only by its first chapter. The line is certainly attention grabbing because you're naming this obviously important person, with no other context than the title, and giving them a very ordinary thing. So it's something that a writer could go many very different ways with. And I was intrigued with which way you were going to go about.

It seems in the last reviews, there was mentions of it being hard to keep the names straight but these are less complex that some in the HP universe soooo. I mean they're a bit funky in the manner of your introductions like Centius the Wise is obviously the wisest. Otherwise that would be some very awkward moments in the break room.

The humor of the piece also drew me in because I love comedies above all else. Not like sitcom comedy style because that's not very much humor anymore, but more subtle comedy. I like the whole idea of 'well teenagers are really messed up, why do we choose them for quests?' I feel like this whole thing is being played off of that idea a couple years back on Tumblr or a similar thing. I don't know really what it was but this just reminded me of it.

And yeah so everything has been well been picked over and I'll be on my way. As always, if you've got questions, drop me a line.

Have a nice day.
~Lady Lizz
Lieutenant Knight of the Green Room




BlueAfrica says...


It is totally completely 100% based on that Tumblr post!

Image

I have this "writing ref/inspo" folder on my computer, and any time I see an idea I like on the Internet - whether as a reader or writer - I save it there. So when LMS came up and I was like, "But I don't have ideas for something new???" I looked through there and decided to try this idea. It's been super fun so far.



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MeisterChan wrote a review...



Hey, BlueAfrica! Scythe here for a review :)

This'll be my first time reading and reviewing some of your work, I think, so I hope I can give you some helpful criticism!

What I liked:

First of all, I absolutely adored this! It was definitely humorous in some aspects, especially with the odd character of Philostratus. Not only that, it had a rare flare to it, quite captivating actually. The way you began the story with the council was amazing! Great Job. I think it was interesting that you began with the source of the selection, rather than going straight to the protagonist; it was quite refreshing.

The young like aura was noticeable; it blatantly presented itself towards a younger audience. I'd say 10+ or so, not so sure, but whilst reading I could sense a sort of Roald Dahl likeness.

Secondly, the characters are amazing! They all had a unique personality and odd (yet intriguing) name and title, so memorising them all worked a treat! (If I'm being honest, I'd love to see a background into their lives. If it doesn't happen in this, you should make a sort of prequel for them ;))

Like the other reviewers have said, I loved the first line. It really caught my attention. It set the mood for the story; child-like. Not in a way that is downgrading, in the sense that it's adventurous and imaginative.

I found their disbelief at Philostratus's choice quite funny. It not only show a realistic view point, but shows the little trust they have in their comrade. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing, but it shows the clear difference in personalities of the characters.

I think it shows the general view of people; when Philostratus declares Edna as the chosen one, they're shocked to find out her age. No brave hero won feats at such an age, because who actually could?

Not only is it based on the fact that there literally has been no well known person to do so at that age (story, or no story), it also seems impossible. I think that's based on our prejudice for age. At 80, you'd expect a person to be physically inactive, so defeating enemies in physical battles is out of the question. I somewhat agree with that reasoning; it's not ignorant or misjudging, it's just a matter of fact, but not all chosen ones have to take upon that physical role, right? I'm sure they have other roles to pursue in the art of ending the enemy. A tactician, for example.

So basically, I loved that you defied that norm of rejecting the old based on prejudice and belief and made an old person the protagonist. :D


What I dislikes:

I didn't really find anything plot wise that I didn't like, there was something grammatical (ish) I had a slight issue with:

“Philostratus the Curious. Will now. Name. The Chosen One. If he is prepared.”


The use of the fullstops added the wrong effect. I take it you used them to make a dramatic effect, a pause between each word or two. Rather than that, it seemed more like the end of a short sentence and fuddled up the flow. I would suggest another use of punctuation, perhaps a comma or a hyphen? But also, you don't even need to use anything to separate the sentence, it would work perfectly fine without.

Here's what I suggest:

“Philostratus the Curious will now name the chosen one, if he is prepared."


or,

“Philostratus the Curious...will now name... The Chosen One! ....but only if he is prepared.”




Hope this helped! I adored the story, it's amazing and has great potential <3 Keep Writing, you have a unique style that everyone is bound to adore.

-- ScytheMeister




BlueAfrica says...


Omg thank you for the lovely review!



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LemonadeKiss wrote a review...



Despite what other reviewers have said, I haven't had a single issue separating the characters—in fact, they all have wonderfully unique appearances in my head.

I was immediately caught by your first sentence, and the fantastic way you framed the story with just the right amount of humor (and there's something to be said about your skill for unforced amusement) made me quickly continue reading.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that this is precisely the type of book I would take home from the library or purchase at a store. If fact, if I were able to purchase it, it would likely be lauded as one of my favorite books.

I realize this seems a bit over the top, but you've managed to nail my favorite kind of story in a way that hasn't been done in a long time (the last one was The Last Dragon by Silvana De Mari. You might enjoy it).

My only gripes are the locations of a few commas, which is hardly worth mentioning considering the scope of what you've created here. I will bookmark this and eagerly be keeping up.




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. If you're interested in following along, I have a club you can join. I post a new chapter there every week!



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OliveDreams wrote a review...



Hi BlueAfrica - here as promised! <3

That first line is probably one of the best lines I've ever read. It’s so simple yet so genius! It’s made me laugh, want to read more and the fact he's ‘the wise’ means this is exactly my type of book!

The names jar me sometimes. I find that I trip over Philostratus’ name and Methodius’ name which breaks my flow. But hey, this could just be a problem that I have.

You have just the right balance of humour and information for a first chapter. I don’t want to be bogged down by an info dump so you’ve made it much lighter and easier to read with the droplets of humour put here and there. I like that.

Love your characters. Love the fun, lively narration. Love the originality!

I can’t really find any fault so far!

Favourite line;

His eyebrows, which looked like nothing so much as two white caterpillars that had decided to grow some hair to make themselves less appealing to predators, were singed.


Keep writing! Olive <3




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)



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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello hello!! Finally here as requested! :D So sorry it took so long!!

Well what a fun opening! I've never read anything quite like this and that's a good thing :) I really liked the play on a common fantasy trope. I don't read a ton of fantasy, but I know that the "chosen one" is very tried and true. But this is a perfect example of what people mean when they talk about "new fresh takes on familiar stories". I loved the play on how it's usually a teenager and who needs an angsty, hormonal teenager doing the mission, why can't it be a grandma. Why can't it indeed! :D

I have two small qualms.

First (the smaller). The first little chunk almost started to breach into info-dump zone with all of the background information about Chosen Ones of the past and how they were chosen. The playful tone kept it interesting so I was still motivated to continue reading, but I found myself waiting for everything to get started.

My other small qualm is that a lot of characters are introduced in this chapter. Other than the grandma, I'm having a difficult time keeping them all separated in my mind. They all have long complicated names and not only do I remember zero names, but I would also have a very difficult time telling you who is who and how they differ. Do they all need to be introduced in this chapter? Are they going to be important to the story or is it okay if the reader doesn't remember them all? Because the tone was so light and fun I didn't find myself becoming frustrated (which I probably would have been had the tone been more serious) but I was definitely confused.

Overall though, I think this is a strong opening. I love the voice and the tone so far. It's clear that you're going for some silliness :) I also appreciated that you got us right into the plot and got things moving. I'm never quite sure how I feel about prologues because sometimes they work and sometimes I don't think they're necessary. It's too soon for me to decide on this prologue, but so far I like it.

I'll leave things there for now and hop on over to the next part you have posted! Let me know if you have any questions or if there's something you'd like feedback about that I didn't mention! :D




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FallWolf says...



This is simply amazing as a first draft! You have already set up the important characters, introduced us into your world quite nicely (there's a couple kinks you could iron our here and there to make me less confused about the this way that way time of your story, but I'm thinking a more lengthy explanation will come in a later chapter?) and have overall quirky characters that work well with their cliches. I also love how you use cliches for every character, even if it's just through a title (Methodius the Just. BTW was your character's name derived from "methodical" as in set in his ways? Because that is just awesome) except for the Chosen one, which really puts a whimsical twist on this story.

The story is amazing, I cant wait to see the rest! Of course, the writing could use a bit of tinkering (the paragraphs seem almost too short in some places, and the overall writing has that rough feel that all unfinished works do) but seeing as I'm looking at this story as if it was on a shelf at Chapters, I think this could turn out to be an even sell-worthy novel!

I am a bit confused by one sentence of course. I always find something to nitpick ;)
[quote] "Not that his application of the scientific method to magical experiments wasn’t appreciated, Methodius the Just thought as he took his seat in the council chamber. He glanced at Philostratus’ seat, several rows closer to the floor, and went unrewarded. The violet cushion was empty." [quote]
In my knowledge, Methodius is hoping that the scatterbrained Philostratus will NOT show up, so why is he unrewarded when he see's Philostratus' seat empty?

Now I have no idea if this is a comment or a review, because I just spent most of it spewing about the good aspects :'/ Ah well, whatever.

Thanks for giving me a laugh and please post more soon!
-FallWolf




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. If you're interested in reading more, you can follow the story club so you'll know when I post new chapters.



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Lemikita says...



Love it! <3
I am going to enjoy the heck out of this, I know it already. I genuinely loved this chapter, it set up everything we need going forward.




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EscaSkye says...



I really like this chapter. It had me laughing a lot... but why do I feel I might be bawling my eyes out come the end of the novel? >>;;




BlueAfrica says...


Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)



Lemikita says...


Because that is what will happen. BlueAfrica is nothing if not a cruel author.



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erilea wrote a review...



Hey, BlueAfrica! Lupa here for a review. :D Let's jump right in...

1) "He glanced at Philostratus’ seat, several rows closer to the floor, and went unrewarded." Here, I had to read the sentence twice to actually get what you meant. "Unrewarded" is a funny adjective to use in this scenario. Maybe put, "and to no avail." I don't really know what you want, but unrewarded doesn't fit here.

2) "Now, I have a very important Scientifick trip to Mars coming up," I think this is just a typo here, but shouldn't it be "Scientific?" :)

3) I know you said "Prologueish," but I'm still thinking this is nothing like a prologue. It's more like a chapter one, if nothing else. The title is probably slightly misleading.

Overall, I found this pretty hard to review because you executed the idea so perfectly! I love how this Edna person broke the stereotypes of being the Chosen One. I wonder how she will play out. :) This was a pretty funny piece, to be honest, and I would like to see this evolve into a story. Keep writing!

XOX,
Lupa22




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks for the review! "Scientifick" is actually an archaic spelling of the word, which I imagine the wizards using. But everyone else would just spell it the usual way.



erilea says...


Ah, I see. Well, you're welcome! :D



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Rydia wrote a review...



Hi! I saw 'chosen grandma' and 'Philostratus' and decided I'm in the mood for something vaguely ridiculous and I hope this is as silly as I'm anticipating ;)

Specifics

1. I love the first sentence. I think you're maybe a little anti climatic in the paragraph which follows and could have drawn that out a bit more - I really want to see a long, run-on sentence because I feel like that would set a nice rambling storyteller vibe. Maybe something like: 'It was all fine and well to get the flu, there was no helping it happening now and then, and sometimes it had to happen at inconvenient moments like the first day of the Winter Gardening festival or just before a mysterious rendezvous with the very compelling Suzie Mcpheerson, who still had most of her own teeth. However, it was not supposed to happen on the day the Council were gathered to name the Chosen One.'

2.

But the Council had recently decided to be a little more proactive and name someone early, ever since that business in Germany when they’d waited too long and the whole world had had to go to war.
I'd always say to try and avoid being in a situation where you have to write 'had had' because it looks messy and while it's often technically correct, most readers don't like it. Instead you could have 'and the whole world had gone to war' or 'And the whole world had to go to war' or even 'and the whole world decided to have a war'.

3.
But this time around, it was Philostratus’ turn. All the wizards knew what that meant.
Philistratus' turn for what? To be the chosen one? It hasn't been made clear yet that the cold is enough to keep Centius from doing the choosing so I think you should make that clearer here with something like 'But this time around, Philostratus was standing in.'

4.
Not that his application of the scientific method to magical experiments wasn’t appreciated, Methodius the Just thought as he took his seat in the council chamber. He glanced at Philostratus’ seat, several rows closer to the floor, and went unrewarded. The violet cushion was empty.
This feels late to suddenly tell us we're in a named person's head. Until this point it has been a general third person narrative and I feel if you want to have it be a named narrative, you should have a few sentences earlier describing him arriving at the gathering or looking around or something. Set our expectations early of who the storyteller is.

5.
“Brothers,” he said grandly. There were no witches on the Council, which had long been a source of contention with the Grand Coven.
I feel like if you want to make a point of drawing our attention to this, it has to be a more interesting break from the current story. This line feels too throw away as it's not particularly interesting or amusing.

6.
“Yes, yes, completely prepared,” Philostratus said, tripping up the steps. His eyebrows, which looked like nothing so much as two white caterpillars that had decided to grow some hair to make themselves less appealing to predators, were singed. Another experiment, was Methodius’ guess.
Love the description of the eyebrows! The last line here is awkward though. I'd suggest instead 'Another experiment most likely' or 'Methodius pondered what the experiment might have been; few of...'

Overall

It was as fun spirited as I had hoped! It's a very nice piece and sets the scene well and there's some great pieces of irony and general playing about with stereotypes. I think a little more scenery description would have been nice and just a few more flashes of detail like the caterpillar eyebrows but for the most part it's a very engaging start and there's a strong, narrative tone.

I hope the few things I pointed above are helpful and I wish you the best of luck with this.

Keep writing!

~Heather




BlueAfrica says...


Thanks for the review! I'm hoping it will mostly be silly myself, which honestly takes a lot of pressure off the actual writing of it.



Rydia says...


I love writing silly things for exactly that reason (and because I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan and a great believer that silly books need to exist and can make a serious statement and a serious impact on others).




If you run now, you will be running the rest of your life.
— Reborn