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(old) Atana: Chapter 7

by Charm

In the morning, Novah was fast asleep in the black chair with her arms wrapped around her legs and her head resting on her shoulder. Calix watched from his bed and smiled. Something about her made him feel strange, an unusual kind of happiness. A feeling of weight, almost like a responsibility but not a burden.

Opening hours started again and he knew that meant Seiko was going to come. He didn’t know why but that made him worry. He started to think about what he would say. Is it strange that Novah was with him all night? Why does the thought make him feel so embarrassed and defensive?

Part of him told him to wake up Novah but he didn’t want to disturb her and ruin the moment. So instead he waited and not for long, because in only an hour, he could hear Seiko coming.

When she pulled back the curtain she looked at Novah with a confused face and a bit of a smirk, “Uh?”

Calix heart fluttered, “She couldn’t sleep,” he answered nonchalantly, “So we hanged out last night.”

“Oh okay,” Seiko replied kind of passive-aggressively.

“You jealous she likes me more than you?” he teased.

“I’m not jealous,” Seiko frowned a little.

With a quiet groan, Novah moved a little and opened eyes. Seiko and Calix both looked over at her. Calix, his heart racing, and Seiko, her eyes waiting for something. “Morning sunshine,” Seiko announced.

Novah looked around confused and mumbled, “Morning.” She looked over at Calix and felt something strange. Like last night had formed some sort of connection, she could tell Seiko felt it to. Well, more of felt the absence of that connection. Seiko knew there was something and Novah even though she had just met them both, hoped she hadn’t come in between them.

“Novah, do you want to go get breakfast?” Seiko asked.

Novah looked at Calix and then looked down at herself and replied, “Sure, I’m just need to get dressed first.

Seiko smiled and replied a little pettily, “Yeah.”

Together, the girls left the ward and went on their way back to Novah’s bedroom. Novah felt awkward and shy, but not like when she first met Seiko. This time she felt like she did something wrong.

When they got to Novah’s bedroom, Novah opened the door and went inside. Seiko opened the blinds, letting the starlight brighten up the room, while Novah went over to her closet. She put on a grey tank top, some grey pants, and a grey sweater, all made from cotton. Then Novah went in her bathroom and cleaned up a bit, before she was ready to go.

The cafeteria was a large white room filled with many people sitting alone and working or sitting in group chatting on long tables with benches. Seiko lead the way to the cafeteria line where they got trays filled with food.

“Yes!” Seiko grinned, “It’s waffle day.” Novah smiled and gladly accepted her waffle. Then they walked to the back of the room and sat down at an empty end of a table.

Novah poured syrup on her waffle and began to eat. They didn’t talk much at all for a few minutes, until Seiko placed her fork down. With a mouth full of food she looked up in awe. Novah looked over her shoulder to where Seiko was looking and saw a girl walking towards the them with a young man behind her.

The girl was gorgeous and kind of scary. Her skin was brown and her head was shaved but it still showed the shadow of her natural dark blue hair. Her face held a stern look and her walk was confident. The young man was a bit taller than her and his skin was tan and muscular. Her hair was blond waves, rippling as they walked to the table.

Seiko swallowed her bite of food and exclaimed, “Reah! You’re back!”

A beautiful smile broke out on that girl’s stern face as she answered, “Haha, yeah.”

The girl and the boy sat down at the table and ignored Novah. She felt out of place as she silently ate her waffle.

“This is Elijah,” Reah grinned and pointed at the blond boy, who was shoveling down his waffle, next to Novah.

“Cool,” Seiko smiled, “Welcome to Atana-32.”

“Thanks,” He laughed and looked over at Reah.

Seiko gave Reah a weird look and laughed, “Are you two a thing?”

Elijah grinned and looked at Reah, they both answered, “Yeah,” while laughing.

Seiko snorted and remember Novah was there, “Oh! This is Novah.”

Reah looked Novah up and down and replied, “Oh yeah. Nice to meet you.”

Novah smiled politely and replied, “Nice to meet you, too,” quietly.

“Novah, Reah was out on an expedition with some of the scientists for a couple weeks,” Seiko explained.

“Oh, cool,” Novah replied and took a sip of her drink.

For the rest of the meal, Novah was silent, as Seiko, Reah and Reah’s boyfriend talked away about the expedition and inside jokes. Novah couldn’t help but feel irritated. Maybe she was angry at Seiko but hadn’t realized it. Novah felt like Seiko was irritated at her and that made Novah upset. All she could think about was talking to Calix again.

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494 Reviews

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Reviews: 494

Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:51 pm
Holysocks wrote a review...

Heya Marm! Happy Review Day!!! C:

You've got a cool novel going on here, from what I can see! I love the names, especially Calix and Reah! Also kudos for naming your world (planet?) a pretty awesome name! I can NEVER seem to think of good names for worlds/cities/cultures/etc.! Dx

A feeling of weight, almost like a responsibility but not a burden.

"Weight" feels like an awkward way to describe that, to me. I get what the character means, but I feel like there's a more... positive word that could be used...? It's not a big deal, I just thought I'd mention it.

“Oh okay,” Seiko replied kind of passive-aggressively.

This is, again, sort of to do with word choice- but not really. In this story, there's a fair amount of instances where we're told what the tone of the dialogue is, but we're not shown what the tone is. If I say: "No. You can not have that." I don't need to tell you: she said sternly because you already know. So think about ways to make dialogue really convey your intentions, rather then just explaining it. How can you show in the dialogue that Seiko is passive-aggressive? Maybe something like "Mhm... Right." Also italics can be a great friend in this department because it can really indicate HOW a person is saying what they're saying- the same goes for punctuation!

Her face held a stern look and her walk was confident.

So this is kind of the same thing as what I've been talking about, only now it's not dialogue. We can show people what we mean in regular narration, the same as dialogue- well, not quite the same as dialogue. ;) But this is when imagery and stuff comes in super helpful! What exactly is stern? What makes a person look confident? How does a walk look confident? Does she hold her chin high, and walk like she's always late for a meeting? Does her hips sway effortlessly as she walks? Do people always hear her coming first, because of her clomping work boots, or her high-heels, or...? Mainly my point is, try to figure out how you want confident to look, and then try to give us the essence of that. By doing this, it gives the reader a really clear image of the scene and characters!

Elijah grinned and looked at Reah, they both answered, “Yeah,” while laughing.

This felt kinda awkward to me. It's a bit cute, but the whole situation where Seiko asks if they're a thing and they answer so easily... it just doesn't seem like something that would happen naturally, to me. I mean, I get it if Seiko and Reah are close friends- teasing then, is essential :P But they're also in the company of people they perhaps don't know as well; Seiko doesn't know the guy friend (from what I gathered) and Reah and her guy friend don't know Novah. When people are in situations with people they don't know, often they act a lot different, and even if their friends are there, they often tone things down a bit. But, that's just my thoughts.

“Novah, Reah was out on an expedition with some of the scientists for a couple weeks,”

Normally, I think specialists have their own special name for themselves- like, scientist is a very broad title. Like there's Zoologists, Geologists, Archaeologists... I don't know much about titles and stuff (which is why I'm bad at naming things) but what kind of scientists are these scientists? Generally in stories like this, there's like more specific names for things, and names that we might not use very much. If that makes sense. This is actually the exact reason I don't write things in genre's like Science Fiction- because everything would be called a Lazer Gun! XP But anyway.

So one more thing. What happened in this chapter? What is this chapter contributing to the novel? Novah got up, and went to breakfast with Seiko. She was introduced to Reah and her boyfriend... but what's this chapter and information doing for the story? How's it moving the story forward? Just something to think about! Sometimes we think we have to write everything that happens in a story, but that's not the case. Follow the story~

I hope this was somewhat helpful. I'm interested in knowing what you'll do with this! Keep it up!!! ^_^


Charm says...


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25 Reviews

Points: 1985
Reviews: 25

Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:00 am
Kbug1997 wrote a review...


I like this. Your characters are relatable and easy to connect with. This chapter was not bad, I can see a plot line without reading the rest of the book which is great! I like the SiFi theme as well as the futuristic setting.

In your first paragraph the last line, 'A feeling of weight, almost like a responsibility but not a burden.' just reads a bit odd but it is needed due to it helps explain the connection between your main character and her love inserts. I would recommend rewording it a bit, or incorporating it into your previous line.

Make sure you stay in the same tense throughout the whole story, the line in particular is 'So instead he waited and not for long, because in only an hour, he could hear Seiko coming.' You start in the past tense, then shift to future then go to present. In order to help stay in the same tense, you could change 'and' to 'but' and change 'could' to 'would'. This would help you stay consistent in your tense.

The last thing is to tell your chapter from one person. You started the chapter with Calix as the narrator and then jump over to Novah. This is can get a little confusing for the reader to follow because they are not sure whose head they are in. As a reader, I feel that Calix's POV is needed and would still include it. A way to do this is to add a bit of break, when Novah is waking up and then let her take over.

All in all, I really like what you have here! I hope this was not too nit picky! If it is I am sorry! I hope this helps!

Happy Writing!


“And how shall I think of you?' He considered a moment and then laughed. 'Think of me with my nose in a book!”
— Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell