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Something More, Something Unique Chapter 1

by DeerInBacPac


  

ATTENTION - I will start every chapter with a quote and tell you who's perspective it is in!!!

Chapter 1 - Nayleth 

"Take my hand,” crowed Light.  

“Why?” Darkness asked. 

“Because,” Happiness said. "We can not live without one another.” - Flumadiddle 

   My head was pounding again, it feeling as if it was a piggy bank that was smashed open against it's will. The back of my eyes hurt and my hands were sore, as if they had been in fist for most of the night. Beads of blood also littered the palm of my hand, making it look like a disheveled painting. 

   Sighing, I got out of the rock like bed and rested my bare feet against the cold tiled floor. The wax was shiny, my reflection showing back. My hair was a black that even the Grim Reaper would approve of, it now a roosters nest. Even though I had gotten at least eight hours, fifty seven minutes and twenty seconds of complete sleep, bags were under my chocolate brown, doe eyes. The bags were a slight purple, making it look like mascara to the less observant. My lips and cheeks were a rosy color and my skin rather fair. No freckles adorned my body or face. Although, zits and pimples loved to call it home. 

   I was eighteen today. October 31st: Halloween. The usually bleak room with its gray walls and pale blue floor was decorated with a single pumpkin. Nothing else. I really wish there was more decor here but that was never going to happen, considering the last ten years I've been here. Every holiday is the same, we all gather in the same room, sit in the same rusty metal chairs, the bright hospital lights blinding. The same patients holler and scream, while others sit there, staring at walls and mumbling to themselves. A few hum the same tunes over and over again. Honestly, by this point, I should be done with Hey Jude by The Beatles but come on, that song is legendary. Anyways, I was the only one who actually cooperated and behaved normally here at Ripper.  

   Ripper was built in 1813, it's paint still gleaming and the flowers still blooming profusely. Now, in 2017, the tulips, roses, and daisies were never replanted and never grew back. The paint on the outside had begun to chip and had lost it's once exuberant color. The windows were covered in dirt and slime while dead bugs littering the sills. The floors were waxed very often but only to very weakly cover the grit that caked it. The beds, as I said before, are like rocks and nothing is ever decorated appropriately for the holidays.  

   I got up, the muscles in my legs contracting. I looked at my arms and rubbed my hands over the lines that crossed them like blood thats splattered a mirror. The scars were faded but still clearly visible and slightly red. I would prefer to wear long sleeves but those were against protocol here at Ripper. The reason they are against it is because some are scared of the patience hanging themselves. 

   The space between my shoulder blades and a bit above my hips began to spike with pain but I brushed it off. It would go away later. Hopefully. 

   Just then Bird walked in, my nurse. She had thin, chestnut colored hair and was skinny as a twig. She had large eyes and small, thin lips with a freckle filled face. Her skin was a pale as snow, her eyes a jolly rancher blue. 

   Looking at me, she smiled. But then she frowned. I had a feeling I knew what she was going to say.   

   "Sleep well Nayleth?" she asked me, her voice sounding slightly hoarse and high pitched from normal. 

   "Yup." That was a damn lie for sure. I have trouble with night terrors and this was one of the worst. I was standing on top of a building, it awakening acrophobia and only my heels were touching the cement roof. A man was behind me, his dragon like wings resting upon his back. He looked exactly like my father. Horns rested upon his head, a tail flickering behind him and I remember him smiling at me, telling me he was going to push me off, to trust him. He pushed me off but then, as I was falling, and the world twisted and all around me was the thoughts that plagued me. My doubts and worries. My insecurities and broken dreams. Everything that is wrong. 

   "Good. Now, Nayleth I need to tell you something and your not going to like it." Bird began to tell me and worried lathered her voice like cake icing. 

   I just slowly nodded my head, lacing my fingers back and forth. 

   "I am leaving this retched place. I'm sorry but I am wasting away here. Although I did run into a young man in the lobby, he is your age too. I can't quite remember his name but he is taking my spot tomorrow. This place doesn't care if he has training or not." 

   "No worries Bird, I had a feeling that you were going to leave anyways. I notice more then you think. Just because I was framed for being insane doesn't mean I can't notice things." 

   She didn't say anything for a few minutes, us both sitting there in uncomfortable silence. 

   "Well, happy birthday and Halloween Nayleth." and with that she left. 

   "Yeah." I mumbled and grabbed Catcher In The Rye from the one nightstand. Luckily, they allow books here and I cling to them. Not the best thing but what else do I have to do? No way am I knitting or playing bingo!

   I spent the rest of my day walking around the room, only leaving to get food. nurses had to escort em of course. They have killer food here though. No joke, one of the former patience's here, Lucy I believe her name was, once beat a man to death. And it was spaghetti day! That's the worst one! She was stopped but not before he was sent to hospital with a few broken ribs and severe head injuries. Lucy only suffered broken hands. They didn't get him there in time, to say the least. Anyways, after eating I returned to my room, escorted by a nurse. 

   This nurse was rather plump and seemed to love pink as she was dressed in a full pink uniform. Her eyes were small and beady while her blonde hair was put in a tight looking bun. A mole had rested it self atop her nose and gave her a cliche witch look.  

   Once in my room, by this time it was 7:32pm, I laid in bed. The moon shone though the windows, casting an eerie glow through everything. The sheets were thin and cold, while the pillow flat and smelled of vomit. Cherry Cola vomit to be precise. The moon light bounced off the floor and shone in every corner of the room. 

   Just as I was about to pass out the door opened. Two security guards entered and took me by the arms. I ran around the room, ducking and jumping. A few times I punched them but to no avail. After a few minutes of struggling to stay away, the men finally got a hold of me. Their grip was making marks in my arms and their nails digging into it, my skin coming off.  

   I flailed and kicked and screamed. I knew where they were taking me.  

   Most able-bodied patients (the ones who can talk properly), call it the Slicing room. Patients are taken there, the ones who are recommend the most insane, and are literally cut open. Their back, skull, legs, arms, the whole ordeal. The worst parts is though, is that you're awake and can feel the pain when they are cutting you. My former "neighbor," Cy, was there. When he came back he stopped eating and you could see where they cut him. Some of his own blood had stained the scars. He lost pints of blood because of it and then, one day, disappeared. No one knows where he is or how he got out in the first place.    

   I retaliated against the men but they held tight. So I did the logical thing of kicking them where it hurts. Their grip slackened immediately and both crumpled in pain, hands and heads between their legs. Neither were moving for a long while. 

   I ran, not caring that I was in thin, plain pants and shirt. My hair was flying behind me and people were whispering. Nurses looked at me, astonished but ran after me. Many were yelling at me to go back to my ward. No thank you. I pumped my legs harder, gaining more ground.

   I turned a corner and hit something warm and strong. My head hit the floor, making my headache worse and my spine shake. The pain between my shoulders and above my hips was back but worse. A few of my fingers were, specifically under my nails, were also in blistering pain but I ignored it. It was odd but not worth mentioning. 

   Then a voice that sounded so comforting to me. It was like the most warm, friendly and wonderful thing in years, spoke to me

    "Oh, sorry. Here, let me. What's your name, anyways?" The voice asked me while helping me up off the floor. 

    "It's Nayleth. Nayleth Drequinn. Now, move because I am not staying here any longer and if you don't, I will drag you with me!" I fired at the man and he moved, a flabbergasted yet intrigued look on his face. A smile played across his lips then I teared off and ran out the doors. 

   I let the fresh fall air fill my lungs, the first I'd have since I first got here. Then I heard the pounding of boots against ground. I began to walk again. I knew where I was going, even though it was the worst place to go.  

   The guards steps were echoing through the air and their voices etching into my brain. They were catching up but I knew these street better then most. This town never changes. Why should it? 

   I was playing with the ring my father had given me, twirling it round and round. One of the few things left from him actually. The ring that he had given to me had a elegant lead base. The middle of the ring had a dragon engraved into it, the shape filled with one glinting sapphire and finished with a clear polish and swirls of gold wrapped around it. I never took it off. 

   "The names Claric, by the way. Claric Griffin. Mind if I follow?" he asked me. 

   "Nope." I mumbled and walked on, Griffin keeping up easily. His legs were quite close to being long and he wasn't really muscular. He was rather skinny, as if he was a rockstar. His eyes were a bright green and his hair a mahogany brown. He wore a plain white shirt and over top that, a tan L.L Bean jacket. The jeans he wore were bright blue and his whole outfit hugged his body, showing off his shape.  

   Something about Griffin, the way he held himself or just his presence, it felt familiar. I looked at him again and decided that my decision to let him follow was alright. 

   Before I realized I was staring, he caught me. 

   Smirking, he answered. "Staring I see, Nat. Anyways, where are we going?" he asked me, emphasizing the new nickname.

   I was shivering and my feet were freezing. It was quite cold, even for an October night. 

   "My mom's. She runs Talon Side Manor but no one really stays anymore. Why were you even at the asylum and why do you want to know where we are going?" I told him, my teeth chattering without realizing it. 

   To my relative astonishment, he immediately took off his jacket and gave it to me. His hands brushed my neck and sent warmth blistering through it.

   I stared at him, blinking dazedly. 

   He chuckled at me. "Your cold and I radiate heat like a volcano. Go on, take it. You feel like the dead. Also, I was there because I needed a job and I want to make sure that I am not being dragged to some slaughter house by a stranger. A stranger who doesn't seem to have lost her mind."  

   "Oh." Was my only response. 

   We trudged our way up the pine tree filled road, my feet freezing but feeling relatively warmer. Griffins steps linked up with mine, echoing through the forest. By this time the voices of nurses and gaurds had been long gone. 

   My thoughts lingered as the birds began to die down and the crickets began to play. I wondered how Gram would react and if any of them would recognize me. Would my mother be worse then she was ten years ago? Would my Gram still be here? Would Zelda be here? Was my father's study still intact? Was my room still intact? What about the pictures that littered the halls and the smells that filled the house? Does Gram still bake? So many questions filled my head but for now, I needed to relax and just get there while aided by this stranger.  

   I could do that. Couldn't I?  

   

   

   

   

    


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Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:41 am
Holiday30 wrote a review...



Okay, It's everyone's favorite holiday, back at it again with a review. So this story.....has a relatively fast pace and a lot of people say that is a bad thing, but in my opinion it's only bad when it is forced. When it's like a story lacking detail but keeps trying to go on. Your story doesn't do that, but only by a hair, doe it not do it. A win is a win however and you defiantly got winner here. You gave us action, fear, confusement, hatred, mysterious, lonely all at once while still unavailing key info to us, and yet saving just enough to make us go, "Hmm, I wonder what happens next. I did enjoy ad will be reading chapter 2 soon. Thanks for the fantastic read.




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Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:11 pm
IzzyIsHappy wrote a review...



Hi! Izzy here for a review!

I know I'm a little late but I plan to review EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER Mwahahaha!

I like this because it is very descriptive. I really like when a writer get's into the story and explains what is going on. It makes it wayyyy better!

There is one paragraph that maybe needs to be explained more, where you could explain the room better and tell us what the character is doing, how they feel.

hmmm I like this...ON TO CHAPTER TWO!!!


Izzy




DeerInBacPac says...


WOOOOO!



IzzyIsHappy says...


WOOOOOOOO!



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Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:05 pm
Steggy wrote a review...



Hello, Steggy here for a quick review! I'm probably going to be reading this novel and if you continue on publishing, could you let me know?

The beginning of this chapter that has the quote, I'm not sure if you meant to say light instead of happiness. While they do mean the same thing in "symbolic" terms, I think it might be best to just replaced happiness with light so that way it is consistent. Now onto the actual beginning of this chapter. It gives a sort of suspense type fraction because you don't exactly tell the reader what had happened. You build momentum and from that, you kind of set of up the chapter nicely. Also, you did a nice comparison towards how the narrator feels when waking up but it is an odd comparison if I must admit. There is also a few places within that first paragraph that have some punctuation errors. For example:

My head was pounding again, it feeling as if it was a piggy bank that was smashed open against it's will.


The first comma in this line can be replaced with a period. Also, it's is its because the will doesn't belong to the head.

When describing things, I think you should focus on the important details. Think of the room that the narrator might be in and show the details about that. Then when you describing the narrator, herself, then it might best if you just show the details you want to show the reader, in order, for them to get a clearer image in their head of what they might look like. Within the second paragraph, I think you can cut down on some of the describing; not that you are over-describing! I'm just saying that it could be beneficial to think small because smaller descriptions tend to leave a bigger image in the reader's mind.

Even though I had gotten at least eight hours, fifty seven minutes and twenty seconds of complete sleep, bags were under my chocolate brown, doe eyes.


I like how the character knows how much sleep they got. It makes me think of how organize they might. Also, there should be a hyphen between fifty-seven.

Now, I'm assuming where this character lives is an asylum or something? If so, you could hint as to why the narrator is living inside of there. Probably hints at how they act and whatnot. I think you might do that later on but it could foreshadow something here if that makes sense.

I got up, the muscles in my legs contracting.


Put 'as' in front of 'I got up'.

It seems like the Ripper is a horrible place to be living at. It kind of reminds me of a watered down version of a school xP

Griffins steps linked up with mine, echoing through the forest.


It should be 'Griffin's steps'.

So many questions filled my head but for now, I needed to relax and just get there while aided by this stranger.

I could do that. Couldn't I?


The wording of this ending seems to be worded weirdly. What I think is the weird part would be the end of the 'I could do that. Couldn't I?', because it doesn't feel like it should belong there. What I think you should do is get rid of it and if you were to do that, then the chapter's end would make more sense.

Overall, I really did enjoy this chapter. You seem to do a nice job with describing the character interaction between Bird and Nayleth (that's a cool name!). There are some descriptions of the places and the characters that I liked, also. I think I might like this story and will try my hardest to follow it so let me know when you post another chapter!

If you have any questions, let me know!

Steggy




DeerInBacPac says...


I am working on chapter five, the other three are out!



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Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:09 am
Irislillygray wrote a review...



Hello! It's Iris,
What a great opening chapter! I liked it, but I do have a few things to point out.

"it feeling as if it was a piggy bank that was smashed open against it's will." All piggy banks are smashed open against their will, at lest I am fairly certain none of them wish to be brutally smashed into small pieces, but you never know. This simile just dose not work, for no one knows what a piggy bank being smashed open, and no one can ask them (I would like to converse with one). Some thing like "My head felt like the victim of an unforgiving hammer.". Your readers can understand with this simile better, and will cringe, hopefully.

"as if they had been in fist for most of the night." This sentence just took me a moment to get, my first thought that she was in a fight, if that is not what you desired, change it.

"Beads of blood also littered the palm of my hand, making it look like a disheveled painting.
 Sighing, I got out of the rock like bed and" Ok, at first I though she actually had a rock as a bed, maybe something like this would be easier to understand, "My rock hard bed." Not as long and readers won't think she actually has a rock for a bed.

"The wax was shiny, my reflection showing back" Wait, tile has wax on it!? I though only wood floors were waxed and usually in gyms or places people only were shoes on.

"My hair was a black that even the Grim Reaper would approve of, it now a roosters nest." Ok, reword this sentence, I like the whole black hair thing, but it dose not flow well. And perhaps by "rooster's nest" you meant rat's nest?

"The bags were a slight purple, making it look like mascara to the less observant." Not need info, unless it has to do with something down the road. To much unneeded info like this, will bore the readers.

"Although, zits and pimples loved to call it home." I thought this was funny! Good one, I totally relate!

   "Ripper was built in 1813, it's paint still gleaming and the flowers still blooming profusely. Now, in 2017, the tulips, roses, and daisies were never replanted and never grew back." Still makes it sound like the Ripper currently looks like that in 2017, but then you say that it dose not look like that. Might want to reword it.

"but only to very weakly cover the grit that caked it" Does not make any sense at all, "to very weakly"? I though, what?

"because some are scared of the patience hanging themselves." Instead of "some" say the nurses.

"She had large eyes and small, her eyes a jolly rancher blue" Something like this would sound better, "She had large, jolly rancher blue eyes." Shorter and makes more sense.

"I have trouble with night terrors and this was one of the worst. I was standing on top of a building, it awakening acrophobia and only my heels were touching the cement roof. A man was behind me, his dragon like wings resting upon his back. He looked exactly like my father. Horns rested upon his head, a tail flickering behind him and I remember him smiling at me, telling me he was going to push me off, to trust him. He pushed me off but then, as I was falling, and the world twisted and all around me was the thoughts that plagued me. My doubts and worries. My insecurities and broken dreams. Everything that is wrong." This whole paragraph is very hard to follow.

"I notice more then you think. Just because I was framed for being insane doesn't mean I can't notice things." This just does not flow.

"nurses had to escort em of course." em->me?

"They have killer food here though. No joke, one of the former patience's here, Lucy I believe her name was, once beat a man to death. And it was spaghetti day! That's the worst one! She was stopped but not before he was sent to hospital with a few broken ribs and severe head injuries. Lucy only suffered broken hands." I like what you were getting at, funny, but it is hard to understand, you might want to put some more thought into this paragraph.

   "This nurse was rather plump and seemed to love pink as she was dressed in a full pink uniform. Her eyes were small and beady while her blonde hair was put in a tight looking bun. A mole had rested it self atop her nose and gave her a cliche witch look." Only describe the people who are going to be in the story for more than just a few paragraphs, no need to waist space on people who will be forgotten by the reader in the next paragraph.

"Just as I was about to pass out the door opened. Two security guards entered and took me by the arms. I ran around the room, ducking and jumping. A few times I punched them but to no avail. After a few minutes of struggling to stay away, the men finally got a hold of me. Their grip was making marks in my arms and their nails digging into it, my skin coming off. " I feel like this came out of no were, if she always behaves and cooperates, like she said, guards would not come after her.

"I let the fresh fall air fill my lungs, the first I'd have since I first got here." Wait, first what? If you meant air, last time I checked, one cannot see air.


"His legs were quite close to being long" So what were his legs then? This is confusing.

"and why do you want to know where we are going?" OF COURSE HE WOULD WANT TO KNOW WERE THEY WERE GOING!! HE IS FALLOWING A RANDOM GIRL HE MET IN AN ASYLIM!! I WOULD PUT HIM IN AN ASYLIM IF HE DID NOT ASK!!

A few thoughts, I feel like they would not just grab patients to be cut up, that is HIGHLY ILLEGAL, and this story is in the 2017, that would not fly. Just not realistic. If there was something that was covering up this crap hospital, then she needs to mention something like "I have no idea how every one in this horrible place is not in jail.". Also, they would not do that with out a reason. In the past horrible people would do that to learn about human anatomy, but our knowledge of anatomy is very advanced, and stuff like that won't help anymore. Last though, it would not be that easy to escape from a metal hospital. And if it was really that easy, why in the world did she not escape before now?

Sorry that was looonngg. It may not seem like it from the review, but I did enjoy your story, pease message me when you post the next chapter. Unless... you don't want me to review your work again *hides behind her couch, looking like a sad puppy *.

Bye!
~Iris Rose




DeerInBacPac says...


No no no! The more people looking at it the merrier! Chapter two and three are out, chapter four in the makes. Just look up Something More, Something Unique Chapter with the next chapter number.



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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:18 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello, Flumadiddle! Welcome to YWS! It’s Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review!

Give me your soul.

With that aside...

I have read your story on Google Docs - as you know - so I might have a bit of a head start, but yeah, let's do this.

STOP! Grammar time!



"Take my hand,” Crowed Happiness. “Why?” Darkness asked.

“Because,” Happiness said. "We can not live without one another.” - Me, Flumadiddle


I like this quote, even though you made it yourself. I think it's perfectly acceptable to use. Don't listen to Pan.

However, there are some grammar issues that me, a Grammar Nazi, must address.

"Crowed" shouldn't be capitalized. "'Why?' Darkness asked." should be on a separate paragraph because it's dialogue.

There is also a confusing thing. Like Pan said below, Happiness and Darkness aren't exactly opposites. I'm dark and... wait. Never mind, that's not a good example. I would change Happiness to Light. The metaphor would still be there and hit as hard as before.

October thirty first, Halloween.


In this case, I would make the number an actual number. I would also change the comma to a colon to fix that slight comma splice in there.

The windows were covered in dirt and slime, dead bugs littering the sills.


To fix this comma splice, add a conjunction.

I was standing on top of a building (I hate heights), and only my heels were touching the cement roof.


This is poorly worded. I would change it to: "I was standing on top of a building, triggering my acrophobia, and only my heels were touching the cement roof."

it self


"it self" is one word.

Most able body patient's (the ones who can talk properly), call it the Slicing room. Patient's are taken there, the ones who are recommend the most insane, and literally cut open


"patient's" should be "patients," since there are nothing that belongs to the patients. Also, the word "are" should be before "literally cut open."

is that your awake and can feel the pain when they are cutting you. My former "neighbor", Cy, was there


"your" should be "you're," since you are awake. Also, all punctuation should be inside of any quotation marks.

Me having retaliated, surprised both of the bulky men and I made a run for but not after kicking them where it hurts.


This is a run-on. I would remove the "and" and oh hey, haha turn the two clauses into two separate sentences.

Also, you wrote the word "damn" in here, so why not say that Nayleth kicked them in the balls? Just asking.

I turned a corner ad hit something warm and strong.


"ad" should be "and," but I think that's a typo.

Then a voice the sounded so comforting to me, that sounded like the most warm, friendly and wonderful thing in years, spoke to me

"Oh, sorry. Here, let me help you up Miss?" The voice asked me.


After "me" in the first paragraph, add a period though I think that's a typo. Also, any words that aren't proper nouns that are after dialogue should be lowercase.

I let the fresh fall air fill my lungs, the first I'd have since I first got there.


"there" should be "here."

Most new that I was not a threat to people


Probably another typo, but "new" should be "knew."

I was playing with the ring my father had given me, twirling it round and round. One of the few things left from him actually.


Should be "around and around," not "round and round."

Suggestions:



My head was pounding again, it feeling as if it was a piggy bank that was smashed open against it's will.


I would remove the simile. It really took away from the sentence.

bags were under my chocolate brown, doe eyes


This is a little too much description and imagery. I would take out "chocolate" and "doe" and just keep "brown eyes."

Honestly, by this point, I should be done with Hey Jude by The Beatles but come on, that song is legendary


This is an information dump. You don't need this.

And it was spaghetti day! That's the worst one! Anyways,


Another information dump, and I don't like the wording of "anyways" there.

Cherry Cola vomit to be precise.


Yet another information dump.

Confusing things:



I would prefer to wear long sleeves but those were against protocol here at Ripper.


Why?

This nurse was rather plump and seemed to love pink as she was dressed in a full pink uniform.


Usually, asylums and prisons have a uniform that their staff must wear every single day.

"The names Claric by the way. Claric Griffin. Mind if I follow?" he asked me.


Woah, where did he come from? I would recommend adding Nat's reaction to his presence to make it less confusing. Also, who the HECK would just follow a maybe insane patient from an asylum? That doesn't make sense. Maybe cover this in the next chapter?

Other comments, reactions, and fangirling:



No freckles adorned my body or face, neither a pimple nor zit dared touch it.


How come almost every single MC in a story is beautiful except for mine? God dang it XD honestly, it's kind of cliche if you ask me.

no, like Crystallo (in a story I haven't published thus far) has freckles and Tord has weird hairstyles and Tom literally has no eyes

I turned a corner ad hit something warm and strong.


Ayeeee, it's Griffin! Also, it's strong? How did she know that Griffin was strong? Also, another cliche here. ALL FREAKING MALE MCS ARE STRONG GAH

Then a voice the sounded so comforting to me, that sounded like the most warm, friendly and wonderful thing in years, spoke to me.


LOVEEEEE IS IN THE AIRRRRRRR

sorry i love the foreshadowing here.

Overall:



This is pretty good, but the grammar and confusing things could use some work. On the bright side, you got me to react to more things then any other story on here probably because I have read your story on Docs. Otherwise, you're good!

Tag me when the next chapter comes out, since this version is a bit different from your other one.

Give me your soul --

Kara

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DeerInBacPac says...


Thanks! I will go back and makes changes. When the next chapter comes out I will tag you.



zaminami says...


:D yo welcome



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Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:38 am
Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, Flumadiddle! I'm Pan and I'll be reviewing your work today. I'm a bit strapped for time so I'm going to dive straight in with my nitpicks.

Nitpicks

"Take my hand,” Crowed Happiness. “Why?” Darkness asked.

“Because,” Happiness said. "We can not live without one another.” - Me, Flumadiddle


1) I'll start by saying it's a bit of a shaky move to quote yourself at the beginning of a chapter. It looks a tad conceited. Plus, as it's your own words, there's really no reason to quote them, because I assume you've never used them anywhere other than in this story. You only need to quote something if it's taken from a different text.

2) There's a few minor punctuation errors here. It should look like:

"Take my hand," crowed Happiness.

"Why?" Darkness asked.

"Because," Happiness said, "we cannot live without one another."


Remember that the first letter of a dialogue tag (as in 'crowed Happiness') should never be capitalised, unless, of course, the first word is a name.

3) I find it odd that you juxtapose happiness with darkness, because they aren't quite opposites. Happiness has to be an emotion, a feeling, whereas darkness is more of a general term for bad things both within and without. The more natural opposite to happiness would be sadness or melancholy.

My head was pounding again, it feeling as if it was a piggy bank that was smashed open against it's will.


1) I'm not totally sure about this simile. Pounding is a a kind of rhythmic, consistent pain that goes on and on, whereas smashing a piggyback is a completed act. A smashed piggy bank doesn't suggest throbbing pain to me, so I don't think it works as a comparison.

2) It should be 'its' rather than 'it's'. You only use 'it's' as a contraction of 'it is'.

The wax was shiny, my reflection showing back. My hair was a black that even the Grim Reaper would approve of, it now a roosters nest. Even though I had gotten at least eight hours, fifty seven minutes and twenty seconds of complete sleep, bags were under my chocolate brown, doe eyes. The bags were a slight purple, making it look like mascara to the less observant. My lips and cheeks were a rosy color and my skin rather fair. No freckles adorned my body or face, neither a pimple nor zit dared touch it.


Opening a chapter with a forced-in description of your narrator is a cliché you should avoid like the plague. You get away with the rooster's nest line (though 'rooster's' does need an apostrophe), but everything beyond that seems like you're trying to find an excuse to describe the character. It isn't natural. When I look in the mirror, I don't think 'oh, there are bags under my deep brown eyes and I have very light skin and pink lips' because, well, why would I? I see my own face all the time. I'm used to what I look like, so why would I think about it?

One of the first things to remember about novel-writing is that it is not essential for the reader to know what your main character looks like. In one of my favourite books, the only things we know about the protagonist's appearance is that he's white and has grey eyes. In His Dark Materials, we know that Lyra is blonde and small for her age and very little else. Be sparing with details and reveal them gradually, only when it's natural to do so.

(Also, how on earth would eye bags look like mascara...? Mascara goes on your eyelashes.)

I really wish there was more decor here


Tense slippage. It should be in past tense like the rest of the piece.

Every holiday is the same, we all gather in the same room


This is a comma splice. Comma splices are errors that occur when you separate two independent clauses with a comma rather than the appropriate full stop, semi-colon or coordinator. Which is a technical way of expressing something very simple. I'll show you some examples of comma splices:

Lindsey didn't want to go to the party, her deadly enemies were going to be there.

The dog was whining behind my door, she was hungry.

I hate playing football, it tires me out so much.


These are all comma splices because the separate parts of them could function as standalone sentences. You can fix comma splices in three different ways. The first would be to simply swap the comma for a full stop:

Lindsey didn't want to go to the party. Her deadly enemies were going to be there.

You could also swap the comma for a semi-colon, providing the two sentences are closely related:

The dog was whining behind my door; she was hungry.

You could also swap or accompany the comma with some kind of coordinating conjunction, like this:

I hate playing football because it tires me out so much.

I hate playing football and it tires me out so much.

Hopefully this is helpful. There are numerous comma splices aside from the quoted one in this chapter, so look for them in editing and try to fix them. You can read this lovely YWS topic for more info on comma splices and how to recognise them.

"Good. Now Nayleth, I need to tell you something and your not going to like it." Bird began to tell me and worried lathered her voice like cake icing.


1) When a character addresses someone by a name, you almost always need a comma before the name. Like this:

"Stop doing that, Alfred."

"Have you see the octopus, dear?"

"Now, Harriet, you really mustn't be ungrateful."


It's just a writing convention. Stick a comma after 'now' and you'll be in business.

2) It should be 'you're', not 'your'. Just a typo.

3) Dialogue followed by a dialogue tag should never close with a full stop. Replace the full stop after 'you're not going to like it' with a comma.

4) Rather than telling us that she has a worried tone, try and show us the worry through the dialogue itself. If she said something like:

"Good," Bird said. She rubbed the back of her neck. "Nayleth, I need to...I have to tell you something. I don't think you're going to like it, but..."

In this, the dialogue itself is peppered with hesitancy, which implies apprehension without stating it outright. It's more subtle. With your current dialogue, I'd never know she was nervous if you hadn't told me, which is a sign that hasn't captured tone well enough.

No joke though, one of the former patience's here, Lucy I believe her name was, once beat a man to death with a plastic knife and fork.


1) It should be 'patients'. Also, no apostrophe. You never use apostrophes to mark plurals.

2) I find this scenario...hard to believe. Aside from the implausibility of actually being able to beat someone to death with plastic cutlery, there's no way that the nurses wouldn't have stopped it before the man actually died.

Just as I was about to pass out the door opened. Two security guards entered and took me by the arms. Their grip was making marks in my arms and their nails digging into it, my skin coming off.


You should definitely dedicate more time to this struggle and describe how they get hold of her. It feels a bit flat at the minute.

Most able body patient's


This should be written as 'able-bodied patients'. As I mentioned before, you shouldn't use an apostrophe in a plural.

Me having retaliated, surprised both of the bulky men


I don't buy this at all. Two heavies went to restrain a patient and they didn't expect resistance? There's no way they wouldn't be prepared for her to fight back.

Nurses looked at me, astonished but none moved. Something like this had never happened before and no one knew how to react.


I buy this even less. Resistance is incredibly common on psych wards. My sister's boyfriend is a mental health nurse and is trained in the uncomfortable (but unfortunately necessary) business of restraining patients and administering injections. There's no way that Nayleth would be the first patient to ever act out and no way that the nurses wouldn't know how to react to the situation.

.A few of my fingers were, specifically where my nails were, were also in blistering pain but I said nothing. It was odd but not worth mentioning.


1) That first sentence is quite convoluted. Something like 'My fingers hurt, pain blistering beneath my nails' might be smoother and clearer.

2) I really don't get the 'I said nothing' bit. Who would she say anything to, given that she's running away right now?

"Oh, sorry. Here, let me help you up Miss?"


This isn't a question, so it's strange for it to have a question mark.

A smile played across his lips then I teared off and ran out the doors.


1) 'Teared' should be 'tore'.

2) How is it so easy for her to just get outside? There's no way they'd leave the doors unlocked.

The guards and such wouldn't come after me. Most new that I was not a threat to people on the outside world. They figured I would come back.


This also sounds very unrealistic. In the majority of instances, mental patients aren't confined because they're dangerous to other people. More often it's because they're a danger to themselves or they're too unwell to function on their own. If they think Nayleth is disturbed enough to confine her for ten years, it is incredibly unlikely they'd just let her run away.

Does Gram still bake? So many questions filled my head but for now, I need to relax and just get there while aided by this stranger.


This passage is partly in present tense when it should be in past. When you edit, make sure you comb thoroughly through the chapter for tense slips, because there are a handful of them dotted about.

Overall Thoughts

1) The most definite positive is that you held my attention all the way through this chapter. Despite the strangeness of it in places, I was interested, and I do want to find out what happens next. That means you've cracked the first major challenge of writing an opening chapter.

2) Your most urgent problem is realism, as you might have gathered from the nitpicks section. I can't work out whether the corruption of this mental hospital is going to be a major plot point in the story or whether you just decided to depict it like this on a whim. Either way, it doesn't come across as a realistic setting. God knows that mental hospitals aren't perfect even in this day and age, but the idea that this place would cart patients off in the middle of the night and slice them open just seems absurd. There's also the fact that the nurses are so oblivious to proper procedure, that the doors weren't locked, that a patient could succeed at killing another patient in such a cumbersome manner. It doesn't really hold together, and it plays into the outdated trope of mental hospitals being twisted, evil places. I'd suggest doing some research into mental institutions as you can. Try to find up to date accounts of both former patients and former nurses.

3) I'm kind of confused by the emergence of Claric at the end. Where on earth did he come from? Why doesn't Nayleth want to know why he was at the hospital and why he's now following her? It seems strange that she'd tell a stranger where she was going without asking why he wanted to know.

4) Your dialogue can come across as a bit stilted. It doesn't always read that naturally. Try to read it aloud if you don't already, acting the lines out like a script and seeing if they feel at all like real speech. It's worth reading all of your writing out, actually, as it can help identify awkward bits of expression and rhythm problems. The piece seems to get a bit more untidy towards the end, as if you got tired of editing it, so I'd dedicate the most time to revising the latter half.

5) Be careful with your similes and metaphors. I feel like they don't always make that much sense. Take these few:

Beads of blood also littered the palm of my hand, making it look like disheveled art.


This doesn't work for me because 'art' is such a vague term here. It could mean anything - a sculpture, a photograph, a painting, a sketch, a tapestry. This means I can't precisely picture what you're likening her bloodstained hands to, so the image becomes more obscure, not less. If you said that 'beads of blood littered the palm of my hand like paint splatters', I'd be able to picture it. But 'dishevelled art' is a bit of a nothing phrase.

I looked at my arms and rubbed my hands over the lines that crossed them like blood thats splattered an ancient greek statue.


Capitalisation problems and lack of apostrophes aside, I found this a very bizarre image. Why compare her arms to a Greek statue, of all things? Why specifically a Greek one rather than a Roman one, or even just a regular statue? The images don't feel related at all, so I don't get the image.

The thing to remember when you're writing similes and metaphors is that they're supposed to make what you're describing easier to picture. If you make a comparison that's incredibly obscure, it's going to make it harder to imagine, not easier. Also, don't try so hard to be original that you end up grasping for strange imagery over imagery that actually fits. Always choose things based on whether the comparison is actually accurate or not.

6) I quite like the hints of (what I suspect) is foreshadowing in this chapter. I have to assume that the pain in her back is going to become significant, as is the strange pain in her fingernails. Having these mysterious notes littered throughout the chapter really increases the overall intrigue of it.

I'll call the review there. I hope this was helpful! Would you be able to tag me when you post the next chapter? I'd like to keep reading.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




DeerInBacPac says...


Thank you! I will go back, makes changes and tag you when I publish the second chapter! And I plan on adding lots more foreshadowing in the future!



Panikos says...


Can't wait to read more!




So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookcase on the wall.
— Roald Dahl