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16+ Violence

Time Spirit - Chapter 1

by DrinkingTea


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

Crackle And Click

Opening my eyes to feel the flaky crust located at the edge of my eyelid, to my left on my bedside able is my digital alarm clock. It reads 5:57 in the morning, three minutes before my ever so annoying alarm rings to wake me up. I rub the crust out of the corner of my eye, rubbing my closed eyes to wake me up. I begin to get up out of my bed, snoozing my alarm right when it turns to six o'clock, slipping on my running shoes, and made my way to my front door.



In a shaky voice I say out loud "It is really freaking cold, why do I even do this everyday?"



Next to my apartment door, a neighbor I seem to catch everyday coming out at the same time as me. Her and I look at each other, I look away immediately, she comments "Jesus why the hell is it so damn cold?"



Complimenting what I said, if only I said it three seconds later I could be having an actual conversation. Yet there she goes, off to wherever Mrs. 305 goes at six in the morning.



Standing in the middle of the apartment hallway looking ridiculous, I thought to myself "I best get going, before I have to go to work."



I trotted my way towards the main street my apartment is on. My daily routine is to follow this sidewalk north into a path that branches out into a national park. Pine trees as far as the eye can see, the smell is quite intoxicating. I began to make my way five kilometers deeper into the woods. A few more minutes and my mundane life will change, as if I imagined these events to carry out.



The sun with great effort shining through the pine tree needles lighting the trail ahead of me. Behind me I begin to hear a small crackling noise growing louder and louder until I hear one final burst of noise. I dived onto the dirt ground, covering my ears in reaction to the piercing noise and yelling in confusion "Thunder?"



With effort I stand up from the ground, scared from this noise that shot my eye drums. I turned around and pointed right in between my eyes was a revolver. Reflective metal with a leather grip with a design peering from the users steady hand that had a distinct roman numeral nine tattooed onto the ring finger. In a split second I counted only two bullets in the reserves, my eyes making their way to the mans face. Features such as dirty and rugged were the first descriptions to come to mind along with piercing blue eyes. The mysterious man was outfitted in a full cowboy apparel, cowboy hat and all. In three seconds of silence my thoughts were interrupted with a click of the revolver.



There was no bullet ready to fire. The strange man looked at his revolver and pointed it at the ground. Sweat began to drip from my forehead and anxiety consumed my body, my legs shaking from confusion, tears developing from fear, mouth becoming dry ever so slowly from suspense. A shot was discharged from the revolver, I jumped from the bang, the man smiled revealing his yellow teeth. He pointed the revolver between my eyes, the bridge of my nose covered in sweat.



Seconds away from getting my head blown off, an aura of the color blue surrounded the man. It crawled its way to me, connecting him and I. A warm sensation overwhelmed my senses, for a moment I would feel what he was feeling. The man was also scared, was he scared from this aura? Was he scared because he appeared out of nowhere? I do not know the answer but him and I felt the same emotion.



The aura slowly disappeared from the both of us. Along with the missing aura followed our normal individuality of our emotions. Astonished to what occurred, the mans baby blue eyes and my purple colored eyes met. A brotherly feeling flooded my brain.


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Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:00 pm
mellifera wrote a review...



Hey DrinkingTea!

I hope you don't mind if I stop by for a review today :)


Opening my eyes to feel the flaky crust located at the edge of my eyelid, to my left on my bedside able is my digital alarm clock.


As far as an opening goes, I'm not drawn in by this? It also doesn't go anywhere. You start with "Opening my eyes to feel" should lead into something else (for example "Opening my eyes to feel the crust flaked at the corner of my eyes, I brought my hand up to swipe it away"). Or it should be "I open my eyes".

Though technical nitpicks aside, I go back to my original point. This is a really basic way to start out a story, and not a particularly interesting one either? Starting a novel off with a character waking up isn't that effective because there's nothing for us to sink our teeth into. Your readers don't know who your character is yet, so they have no emotional attachment, and there are no stakes because nothing is happening.

My best advice here is to reconsider your starting point. Is this really where the novel needs to start? Why here? When you're opening a novel, you want to think about going into it in medias res. You give your reader stakes and something to really grab onto. It makes a reader want to find out what happens next.

This is all to say that domesticity is fine, but I'd advise not starting your novel out with it.

I rub the crust out of the corner of my eye, rubbing my closed eyes to wake me up.


You say the same thing twice here. Repetition, unless for a stylistic choice or dramatic effect, is not usually your friend.

In a shaky voice I say out loud "It is really freaking cold, why do I even do this everyday?"


you know, as opposed to saying it not out loud.

This is actually something you do want to avoid doing, in all seriousness. By putting in the dialogue (in the quotation marks), you're already showing your reader that your character is talking. Don't tell them this as well. If you really want to include that your character's voice is shaking (although is it really necessary here? it has no emotional impact), write it like: "It is really freaking cold. Why do I even do this every day?" My voice shakes as I speak before it fades into the empty room. [<- I changed "everyday" into "every day", I added the bit about the voice shaking without telling the reader something they already know, and I also slipped in a little description]

Next to my apartment door, a neighbor I seem to catch everyday coming out at the same time as me. Her and I look at each other, I look away immediately, she comments "Jesus why the hell is it so damn cold?"


This should be broken up more! All the sentences run together and there's not a lot of separation, which can make it confusing to read. Try instead something like:

As I step outside, my neighbor's door creaks open. I glance over towards her [<- why not say her name?] but immediately glance away, avoiding her eye. Somehow, we always catch each other coming out at the same time.

"Jesus," she says, through gritted teeth as she locks her door. "Why the hell is it so damn cold?"


See how I separated the sentences? I fed the information a little bit at a time, and clumped together what was relevant. I also put her (???) dialogue on the next line, to separate it from the MC's thoughts and actions, because now she's talking and has the spotlight for a moment (if that analogy makes sense). Plus, I also gave her an action to perform, so she's not just hovering in space in our imaginations!

Speaking of, there's a distinct lack of description so far of the setting/surroundings. They could be in battered up old tavern inn in the middle of nowhere (though idk why they would have their own rooms or call them apartments, but that's beside the point) or they could be in five-star suites with marble-floored hallways and chandeliers of gold. Regardless of the setting or time (because I'm sure that five-star suites don't exist in this time yet, since you marked it as historical fiction, but maybe I'm wrong), you really should include what the character can sense around them. What does it smell like, sound like, look like, feel like, or even taste like? Right now, they're just sort of there, but I don't know where there is. I don't have any visuals or other senses to go on.


Standing in the middle of the apartment hallway looking ridiculous, I thought to myself "I best get going, before I have to go to work."


This is another instance where you tell the reader blatantly what's happening, rather than showing them. Rather than tell us that your character is thinking, put it in italics, or whatever else you want to do to separate thought from dialogue. Dialogue and "thought speech" (if you will) needs to look different, otherwise you will have to tell the reader what is spoken and what's not, and that will do you more harm than good. Instead, this could be:

I stand in the middle of the hallway [<- we already know its an apartment hallway], probably looking quite ridiculous. I best get going, before I have to go to work.



I trotted my way towards the main street my apartment is on. My daily routine is to follow this sidewalk north into a path that branches out into a national park. Pine trees as far as the eye can see, the smell is quite intoxicating. I began to make my way five kilometers deeper into the woods.


Again, don't tell your readers what your character is doing exactly how they're doing it. Would you think about your day like this? No, probably not (unless you do I guess??), so don't make your characters do it either. Make them pursue their goal without going "I walked five feet to the fridge, which I did every day. I grabbed the orange juice jug from the top shelf of the fridge and leaned back to close the door. Then I turned and walked five feet again to the kitchen counter and put down the jug. Then I reached for the cabinet door, which I pulled open, and from the bottom shelf I grabbed a glass[...]" and so on (obviously exaggerated greatly). Readers don't need a play-by-play on what's happening. That example paragraph I wrote could be "I drank my morning orange juice" and it has the exact same meaning without beating around the bush for all those sentences.

Focus on how your character is perceiving their world! Describe the surrounding pines, and how this path makes them feel. Since this is routine, how do they feel about the routine? Do they love it, hate it? You can flesh out your character even performing simple tasks such as walking like this, and you should! The play-by-play recounting of "and this is what I do every day and how I do it" doesn't make sense as far as character voice/action, so show the reader the world through the character's eyes and how they perceive and react to it.

The sun with great effort shining through the pine tree needles lighting the trail ahead of me.


This is a really, really good description! This is what I'm talking about. Now we now it's probably summer, since the sun is already in the sky enough that it's trying to break through the pines. Plus, it's really cool imagery that it's lighting the path ahead.

It is written just a little off, though. It should be something like "With great effort, the sun was shining through the pine trees, lighting the needle-strewn path ahead." <- this explains that it's with great effort the sun is shining through and flows better than if it was flipped. Also, you can use "pine tree needs" if you want, but when pine needles are mentioned I usually think of them being on the ground. It's technically correct, but I would just stick with mentioning the sun trying to break through the pines themselves and the path being full of pine needles.

Behind me I begin to hear a small crackling noise growing louder and louder until I hear one final burst of noise.


Usually, saying a character "hears" something (or "sees" is a big one) is just filtering your writing. It's from that characters perspective. Of course they're seeing it. Don't kneecap your writing like this! Describe the cracking noise ("A small, cracking noise goes off behind me. More follow in succession, growing louder and louder, until one final boom! shakes the pines" <- described from someone who doesn't actually know what the noise is but assumes it's gunfire and explosions, so you could obviously play around with that if it wasn't, and it's more of an example anyway), and describe it getting louder, but don't tell us that your character "hears" it.

scared from this noise that shot my eye drums.


their what?

Reflective metal with a leather grip with a design peering from the users steady hand that had a distinct roman numeral nine tattooed onto the ring finger. In a split second I counted only two bullets in the reserves, my eyes making their way to the mans face.


Why is this what he's focusing on? I mean, maybe he is that methodical and needs focus in a stressful situation, but I'd be freaking out about the gun pointed at my head and not on what it looks like or how many bullets are in it (which is helpful, but again, unless he's experienced with being at gun point and just goes with it by now, why wouldn't he be reacting to the gun in his face?)

(also there should be an apostrophe in "man's face")

In three seconds of silence my thoughts were interrupted with a click of the revolver.


that's a crazy long paragraph for only having taken place in three seconds.

Sweat began to drip from my forehead and anxiety consumed my body, my legs shaking from confusion, tears developing from fear, mouth becoming dry ever so slowly from suspense.


You had the right idea for describing your character's fear, but you also did tell your readers he was afraid quite plainly as well. Describe those symptoms of fear (which I wouldn't really call anxiety in this situation, but that's more of a personal opinion), but don't write in the "developing from fear" or "from suspense". Writing that into it can be done very well without ever mentioning the emotion, because your readers will be able to relate (usually) to the sensations of each different emotion. I'm not saying never write in what the character is feeling, but in this situation, you don't need to and therefore it's really unnecessary.

Sweat began to drip from my forehead and anxiety consumed my body, my legs shaking from confusion, tears developing from fear, mouth becoming dry ever so slowly from suspense. A shot was discharged from the revolver, I jumped from the bang, the man smiled revealing his yellow teeth. He pointed the revolver between my eyes, the bridge of my nose covered in sweat.


Again, careful of repetition! The second sentence could have easily be: "the bridge of my noes damp" or "the bridge of my nose warm with perspiration".

Also, why did the guy take the revolver away from the MC's face, shoot it, and then point it right back the MC? What was,,, the point.

Was he scared because he appeared out of nowhere?


xD this would certainly be alarming

my purple colored eyes met.


oh? interesting.


Ok! So, as I had said before, the introduction doesn't grab me. I think you wanted to show the Mysterious Neighbour, which is fine, except I'd suggestion doing that in a later chapter. Perhaps as the MC is returning to their apartment later after these shenanigans and glowing men have happened. Maybe MC sees her and thinks about how they see her every day and don't know what she gets up to but that she leaves at 6am every morning? But there's not enough that seems plot relevant to me in the first half of the chapter to warrant starting there. Why not start as MC gets that gun pointed at them? You can still cover some things that happened prior to it ("I was just walking on my normal path when he appeared. The next thing I knew was that I had a gun pointed between my eyes and a man in a cowboy's get-up smiling down at me." <- see how that's attention-grabbing, while still covering what happened before in just two sentences?), while starting right in the middle of the action.


Also! You switched tenses a lot throughout the story, so that will be something you want to watch out for!


Otherwise, I'm intrigued by what this aura was around this mysterious cowboy figure. The MC really seems to have gotten himself in a spot of trouble here!


That is all I have for you today! If you have any questions or comments about anything I said in my review, I'd be happy to discuss them!

I hope you have a wonderful day :D Happy RevMo!

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Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:20 pm
Starve wrote a review...



Hello @DrinkingTea and welcome to YWS! Traves here for a quick review.

This is definitely an interesting story, I do expect more in coming chapters. I think your strongest point is moving the plot along quickly or slowly as you want it to. Your descriptions are vivid too, I especially liked the one about "the sun struggling to shine through..." , first time I read something like that.

I do have some nitpicks—

- you are changing tense back and forth from present to past. I would recommend making it consistent, preferably past tense.
- Now considering the first paragraph

Opening my eyes to feel the flaky crust located at the edge of my eyelid, to my left on my bedside able is my digital alarm clock. It reads 5:57 in the morning, three minutes before my ever so annoying alarm rings to wake me up. I rub the crust out of the corner of my eye, rubbing my closed eyes to wake me up. I begin to get up out of my bed, snoozing my alarm right when it turns to six o'clock, slipping on my running shoes, and made my way to my front door.

there are too much details specificity irrelevant to the story. You simply can say" I struggle to wake up at 5:57 am and get ready and head out anyway for the 6 am run." or some sentence of similar length instead of the whole paragraph and nothing important will be lost from the story imo. Especially since the chapter is not that long yet this paragraph takes up a lot of space in terms of percentage of total word count.
From the way you describe things, I feel like you have heard of show-not-tell. ( https://kidlit.com/2009/12/18/what-show ... lly-means/) But your first paragraph here is one case where telling is preferred to showing — here's a nice article which talks in detail about the concept https://kidlit.com/2010/06/23/when-to-t ... d-of-show/

- lastly, although this was intriguing and I read it quickly enough, I wanted a bit more of the plot to be revealed if this is a proper chapter. At its current plot progression it feels more like a prologue.

I don't have a lot more to say, as this was a nice short introduction to the work, and I would have wanted more to get a feel for it. Still, I feel that your descriptions and pacing are good, you should work a bit on sentence structure and clarity. Do tag me when you release the next chapter.

Keep writing and sharing!



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DrinkingTea says...


Thank you so much for your advice and criticism! <3



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Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:22 am
brotherGeo wrote a review...



A review for you!
Hey there DrinkingTea, this is an interesting concept, i'm assuming its about a cowboy coming into the modern world. i apologise if i'm wrong. Anyhow, onto the topic at hand this could use a lot of editing, it has got a lot of great descriptive words but the words don't really flow. there are lot of words that don't fit and some that are completely wrong. so many in fact i don't even know where to begin explain how to fix it up. best thing you can do is reread it over and over again. reading out loud is also helpful in finding errors. (I sound like a bloody English teacher)
One thing did made me very happy, you used the metric system, coming from a country that uses the metric system it was nice change seeing kilometres instead of miles. i like where this story is going so keep up the good work. Also DrinkingTea if you want you can private message me (PM) through my account and if you want you i could edit this story for you if you want, free of charge i wont take any credit either, but that's entirely up to you man, if you don't want someone editing your work that is fine.
keep up the good work.
thanks and good luck!



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DrinkingTea says...


Thank you so much for your advice and criticism! <3

I will PM when I can friend.




For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle ... anyone can get angry—that is easy—or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.
— Aristotle