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Soul Cutters Chapter 2

by Gnomish


The sun was up and shining the next morning, but there was still a slight breeze that made me shiver. Mother and I walked to the station and sat waiting on a bench for the train to come. We hadn’t said much, I was pondering over whether I would be accepted, and Mother had been silent since we left the house.

A train whistle blew, and I looked up to see the train speeding down the tracks. I stood up and grabbed my little cloth bundle of a comb and a change of clothes. I had tucked the few clinks my mother could spare in my shoe.

“I’ve got to get back to the Marca.” Said Mother, hugging me tightly. “Good luck, I’ll see you whenever you get back.”

I nodded silently, but was bursting with excitement on the inside. This was my first train ride, and I’d never been to the city before.

“Perhaps if Mr. Teller knew just how not so well off we are, he would’ve reconsidered recruiting me!” I muttered to myself.

When the train screeched to a stop I hurried towards the opening doors.

There were only a few people boarding the train, and I didn’t have to wait for anyone to come off. I found an open seat by a window and sat down, resting my bundle on the seat next to me.

“Ticket please!”

I looked up startled at the conductor standing in the isle with his hand out.

“Oh! Sorry.” I stammered. I handed him my ticket, and he punched a hole in it and gave it back.

“Thank you sir.” I said as he moved on to the person across from me.

The train lurched forward, and I leaned back in my seat. I was on a train, headed for the city, where I might actually get a real job!

A few hours later, the train stopped at a station and everybody got off. I grabbed my bundle tightly and moved with the crowd, making sure I wouldn’t get trampled.

When the crowd thinned, I found myself in a huge train station, full of people and food stalls. Free food had been served on the train, so I moved past the stalls despite the coins in my shoe. Following the instructions, I found my way to the main entrance, and turned left onto Culle Street. I followed it until I reached Vitmond Road, where I took another left. I turned at the second right, and walked along the street until I reached the Black Wolf’s Inn. There was a big wood door that I pushed open to reveal a softly lit room with tables and a counter.

It seemed like a nice inn for the poor district, although, I supposed that Mr. Teller was a Cutter.

Shutting, the door behind me, I crossed the room and waited at the counter.

“May I help you?” An elderly woman with a tight gray bun asked.

“Good afternoon, ma’am, I believe Mr. John Teller has a room is reserved for me.” I replied. I introduced myself as she flipped through a leaflet of papers.

She looked down at a slip of parchment. “Yes. Room 248, on the second floor.” She handed me a key. “Don’t lose this! You won’t be getting another one!”

“Yes ma’am.” I took the key and climbed the stairway to the second floor. As I crossed the hallway, looking for room 248, my heart was racing. Already I had been on my first train, seen my biggest building, walked through the city for the first time, and now I was going to stay in my first hotel. Part of me felt like I would wake up on my normal mattress and head to the river before breakfast. As if all of this was just a dream. I had never received the letter; I had never boarded the train.

I stopped at a room with 248 on the door in fancy lettering. Using the key, I unlocked the door and stepped inside. It was small for a hotel room, but was still bigger than my house. It had a single bed and a small bathroom. I dropped my bundle onto the dresser and slipped of my shoes. Even though it was still early afternoon, I lay on the bed, planning on a quick nap, and soon fell fast asleep. 


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63 Reviews


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Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:47 am
AvantCoffee wrote a review...



Let's go with chapter 2!

I must say, I don't have many major complaints with this second chapter. This is more a transitional, set-up chapter, and for the most part I can resign myself to it being that way since I'm still curious to learn about the Cutter concept. The chapter is predictable, but for the most part it is written in a way that still keeps me engaged, probably because it moves forward quickly with good pacing.

The sun was up and shining the next morning, but there was still a slight breeze that made me shiver.

I quite like how you opened this chapter, not necessarily because it is description, but because it almost feels like it is foreshadowing something (a.k.a. hinting at what is to come). Often weather can be used to foreshadow the future events of a story. The fact that a slight breeze made the main character shiver despite the sunshine makes me think that something bad lurks behind this seemingly exciting trip to Mr. Teller. I'm reading so much into this lol, but it would be cool if that is indeed the case. Weather doesn't have to symbolise anything, although it can be a cool tool to do so. :3

By the way, I know other reviewers mainly critiqued you for not having enough description of the setting, but like every element to a story, there needs to be reason for it. If that reason is simply to have pretty descriptions, then having it becomes a little meaningless. Description can be used figuratively to create a certain atmosphere or mood (e.g. harsh/ugly/dark descriptions create a sinister or uneasy feeling), or to teach the reader about the world and characters of the story. If neither of these uses are necessary/helpful at any particular part of the story, then putting in description can take away from the other elements of the story (such as plot, character, story pacing etc.) – not that you have done this. Yes, description is important, and having no description is not a good idea, but at the same it is okay to not have it where you don't need it – the trick is to figure out where those places are.

Alright, I promise I'm moving on from descriptions. xD

We hadn’t said much, I was pondering over whether I would be accepted, and Mother had been silent since we left the house.

This sentence would read a lot better if you replaced the first comma after "much" with a semicolon (one of these bad boys ; ) so it reads, "We hadn’t said much; I was pondering over whether I would be accepted, and Mother had been silent since we left the house."

“Perhaps if Mr. Teller knew just how not so well off we are, he would’ve reconsidered recruiting me!” I muttered to myself.

Having an exclamation mark followed by the main character muttering contradicts itself, since muttering is talking softer/quieter. I would suggest either removing the exclamation mark or have the character state the sentence instead of mutter it.

“Oh! Sorry.” I stammered. I handed him my ticket, and he punched a hole in it and gave it back.

Nice characterisation (developing the character's personality) here! So far I'm getting that the main character is polite, optimistic, and a little absent-minded. However I still don't believe the reader has been told the main character's name, or what gender they are (unless I missed that somewhere lol). I would suggest trying to slip that info either in this chapter or the first one.

Another thing you could include more in this chapter is how the main character really feels about this whole Cutter situation and the life they have led up until now. This chapter is a perfect opportunity to focus on building who the main character is along with the world they live in, because it is more of a set-up chapter anyway.

As for the setting of this story, I'm assuming it takes place in an Earth-like, modern-day type world, though this isn't completely clear. This world has trains, clearly, but does it have smartphones? It has hotels, but are they like the standard hotels of Earth, or do they have magical/fantasy elements to them (my guess is they don't)? You have complete freedom to imagine these things. You can get away with not having much "world building" in the first chapter (in fact it's often better that way), but to keep following a story a reader needs to have a decent grasp on the story's world. That doesn't necessarily mean excessive descriptions (like I addressed above), but a few good sentences that clarify just what type of world we're dealing with is enough to ground the story somewhere.

Yup, that's another review for ya. Stay tuned for more. ;3

— Coffee




Gnomish says...


Thanks for the review!
I'm not sure whether I mention the gender in the next chapter, but I never mention her name. I'm not sure why, but just started to try to write it without a name.



AvantCoffee says...


Yeah, that's cool. There's not really a rule that says you must include the main character's name and/or gender, so it's really your call, although having that info can give the character more solidness in the reader's mind. You can always go back and add in a name later anyways~

(btw I'll think of novel titles to recommend after I've reviewed all six chapters, so that I have a better idea of what titles could suit this story c:)



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Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:19 am
FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Hello, FlamingPhoenix here with a review for you on this lovely day.

Let's get down to the review:

What i like

Again I think you started this chapter off really well. It was really fun to read it. I like it that you didn't take to long to get right into the story, I think the next chapter is going to be quit interesting.

Plot

To me I think it's moving along really well, it doesn't feel rushed, and your not giving to much away yet. It feels like your just telling us what we need to know at the moment, which I like, it's always good that you take your time getting into the story. Sometimes jumping right into the problem works for some books, like in your case you kind of did that, and that's what got me hooked. So well done. So far I think the plot is great.

Setting

Now I will say the setting in this chapter is a lot better then in your last chapter, so that's good. It just tells you that your improving with every chapter. To be honest all I really can say is that I would have liked a little more of the city, to do that just keep these few things in mind, and trust me they help a lot. Sound, sight, smell and feel. You don't need to use all four, just one or two. I use them all the time, so just give a shot. :wink:

Characters

I think your doing a really good job with telling us about your characters at the moment, and I can't wait to see what I'll find out next in the next chapter.

Mistakes

Now I only really saw one think through out the chapter. I saw round about in the beginning of the chapter you repeated the a few lines twice. I'll show you which ones so you know what I mean.

“I’ve got to get back to the Marca.” Said Mother, hugging me tightly. “Good luck, I’ll see you whenever you get back.”

I nodded silently, but was bursting with excitement on the inside. This was my first train ride, and I’d never been to the city before.

“Perhaps if Mr. Teller knew just how not so well off we are, he would’ve reconsidered recruiting me!” I muttered to myself.


These few lines is the ones you repeated twice. I didn't really affect your story, but it would be better if you fixed it.

Well that's it from me for now. I loved reading and reviewing this chapter for you, and I hope to see more of your works out on YWS soon, but in the mean time I'll off to review the next chapter. Never stop writing and have a great day/night.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix. :D





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