Young Writers Society


E - Everyone

The Ten-Year-Old Necromancer: Chapter One

by Horisun


I have always held an affinity for dead things. My mother thought I was a psychopath, poking at deceased bugs trapped in our screened porch, and sniffing snakes flattened on concrete after a storm. One time, when I was four, I brought my mother a dead bird I’d found, much akin to a cat bringing its owner offerings.

I don’t remember that instance- but I remember her yelling at me. A lot. I didn’t mean to creep her out, but before I even knew what death was, I saw it was bad. When our dog Milly died two years ago, my mom told me she’s gone to a farm over the rainbow. But I was a believer of science, and I knew there was no such thing as “over the rainbow.” My second-grade teacher taught us all about how they were caused by the refraction of light. To me, this didn’t make them any less magical, it just made them cooler. But it meant my mother was lying.

I don’t like liars.

Kimberly Amelia Jenkins. I write my full name carefully across the top of my paper. It looks more prestigious that way, like I’m really a scientist. I’m ten years old now, but when I grow up, I want to study human biology. But if that doesn’t work out, I can settle for being the president instead.

Today, we are dissecting amphibians. My teacher arranged our desks into groups of five, and told us we could pick our partners, to my dismay.

“Mx. River!” I said, raising my hand, “Is it alright if we work alone?”

Mx. River was large and imposing, but they had an easy smile. Their hair was always dyed pretty colors and wore earrings of animals, like cats and dogs. This alone would’ve made them way cooler than any of my other teachers, but they were also really seemed to care about science, something we had in common.

“I’m sorry Kim, honey, but I only have enough amphibians for this to be a group activity.” They said apologetically.

That was another thing about Mx. River. They never said, “I told you so” and always gave solid reasoning to why something couldn’t be done. “Alright, fine.” I said, slumping back into my seat, only mildly disappointed.

The issue was, I didn’t really know most of the kids in my class. I didn’t dislike them, so much as I couldn’t keep their names or faces connected in my head.

Of course, if science has taught me anything, there is an exception to every rule. Like platypuses. What are they exactly? Seriously, what’s their deal? I make a note to research that later.

Quinn Jacob. The dumbest boy in class. He kind of looks like a platypus himself. But not the cute ones. The mean ones who bite your hand. He did that to me in kindergarten, and we both got in trouble.

His group was the only one left with four people. I scowled and took my pencil and paper over to their table.

He looked at me, startled, then returned my glare, “What do you want?” He spat.

I made a big show of dropping my pencil onto the desk, only for it to roll off onto the floor. I was not perturbed, and gracefully sat in my chair, and reached down to pick it back up.

“To study the amphibian.” I said, “Obviously.”

The girl next to me smiled, Catherine, I thought. She was very pretty and had thin oval glasses, which I was jealous of. She looks refined and elegant, like a fancy librarian. I’m suddenly conscious of my hair, which I hadn’t bothered to comb this morning, much to my mothers chagrin.

“Alright class,” Mx. River said from the front of the classroom. They waited for the chatter to cease, then continued, “the trays containing your frogs are over by the sink. I want you to be extremely careful with them, and follow directions to the letter,” Mx. River divulges into basic safety protocol that boils down to the most common of sense. Instead of listening, I zone out, my brain keenly aware of the dead amphibians sitting just a couple tables over. I wonder what their lives were like. I imagine a beautiful swamp with a thriving ecosystem, like the one my class visited last June. Even some teachers seemed to despair the humidity and mud, but I adored it. My mom, who had been chaperoning, lovingly dubbed me a swamp monster, and offered to leave me there in favor of hopping on the bus back home.

“Oh, the swamp is lovely.” I assured her as I made my final note of the trip, already planning my return, “But there is so much more of the world I just have to see.”

Maybe these frogs came from that very swamp. I think. The thought made me all warm and fuzzy inside, happy to have made the connection, but sad to think of the amphibians never returning home to their natural climate. I imagined that maybe they had frog family, and frog friends.

As soon as Mx. River stopped talking, I leapt to my feet, my chair screeching loudly against the floor. “I’ll get it!” I called to my table, already halfway across the room.

I reached the sink, and reverently lifted one of the trays from the counter. “Woah.” I whispered, awestruck at the perfect specimen before me. It looked alive, I really thought it might suddenly hop away. I liked that it wasn’t green- too many cartoons depicted all frogs as such. It was more of a speckled brown. To better camouflage with its environment. I thought, proud to have remembered that tidbit.

I carried the frog back to my table, and set it carefully towards the center, but still angled near me. I wanted the best possible view to see it be dissected.

I still haven’t quite sorted my thoughts on death yet. Mom didn’t let me say goodbye to Milly before she took her to the clinic, and my mom had never even sat down to explain to me that she was old, and old dogs died sometimes.

She did the same thing with my dad. I never knew him, and my mom never talked about him, so I could only assume that, logically, he was dead, just like my dog.

A gaping hole had widened in my chest, but I was quick to stop the tears welling up. I shook my head and homed in on the frog before me.

Catherine had her paper smoothed out before her, and she was scanning the instructions carefully. “So, who wants to make the first incision?” She asked without looking up.

“Not it.” Said the girl across from me, who’s name I didn’t know. She wrinkled her nose and leaned back in her chair to the point I feared she’d topple over.

“Yeah, you guys got this.” Said the only other boy at the table. He had his pencil poised above the first question on his paper and looked at us expectantly.

“Can I?” I asked, a little tentatively, my fingers already twitching towards the tray.

“I want to.” Quinn said stoutly, and I glared at him.

Catherine finally looked up at us, “Rock paper scissors to decide.” She adjusted her glasses and flipped the page on the packet.

Quinn was frowning at me but obliged. I won, and he tried to weasel his way into a best of three, but I knew better. I pulled the tray closer to me and passed around the sets of gloves to everyone at the table, even the two who’d opted out.

“They want us to remove the skin around its leg.” Catherine said, furrowing her brow and turning a shade paler, until she was almost the color of the frog. “Then we describe what we observe on page two.”

I squint down at the frog, then exclaimed, “It’s a girl!” A tad too loudly, startling my group and the table next to ours.

Quinn looks as sour as a lemon, “Yeah? How do you suppose?”

“Look how big it is compared to the table next to ours.”

“Wouldn’t that make it a boy, then?”

“No.” I said, “Girl frogs are bigger than boy frogs.”

“Says who?”

I was beginning to grow impatient. But my mother always told me arguing with idiots only drags you down to their level, so I ducked my head and did as Catherine had instructed. She read the steps aloud and I followed them effectively and precisely, tactfully removing its skin like you would candy on Halloween night. I heard the other girl in our group mime vomiting, but I ignored her, too engrossed in the task at hand.

“That’s it’s muscle.” I said smartly, tapping it carefully with the knife.

“Acute observation.” Quinn snarked.

“We need a little more than that.” Catherine said, not unkindly. “Does anyone have any notations they’d like to share?” She asked the other two group members.

The vomit-girl peered over her textbook, which she had brought out to hide her phone, “Its- slimy.” She mumbled, looking away quickly.

“Sure.” Catherine said, looking at me and rolling her eyes, as though we were sharing an inside joke. “Anything else?”

I leaned forward in my chair and examined the specimen, wishing I brought the lab coat and goggles my mom had bought me for my birthday last month.

“Look how its joint bends? Isn’t that fascinating?” I asked Catherine, and she smiled at me.

Then Mx. River called us to attention and drew a diagram of the frog on her whiteboard, noting down the names of each of the parts. I jotted down my own graph, but felt the frog tugging at my attention.

After, we moved on to the next page of the project.

“It’s my turn.” Quinn said, dragging the frog towards him, and it was as though he dragged my heart with it.

“Do you have to?” I ask, “You don’t seem to really care.”

“Kim,” Mx. River said. I hadn’t known they were behind me, “You need to let your peers have there turn.”

I huffed, shooting daggers at Quinn. He didn’t mind. When Mx. River was gone, he lifted the incision tool, which glittered in the yellow light of the classroom.

Catherine once more directed us, but he didn’t really listen to her. When it was time to disembowel the frog, he cut too deep and damaged the internal organs.

“Why don’t you let me do it?” I ask, anxiety clawing its way up my gut. The frog had gone from pristine, and almost alive, to an utter mess of skin and insides.

“No way,” Quinn said, “I’m having fun.”

“Maybe you should let her have a turn, you’ve been at it for awhile now.” Catherine glanced down at her watch.

“Or at least be more careful.” I plead.

“How dare you, I am the most careful!” Quinn slams his hand onto the table. The desk wobbles, and the tray slides to the floor.

I gasp, “What’s wrong with you?”

Quinn hasn’t moved, “I didn’t mean to!”

I jump to my feet, my chair falling backwards behind me, “I told you to let me handle it!” I can’t tell you why, but I started to cry. I’d been looking forward to this for weeks, and Quinn ruined it.

“I’m sorry.” He said pathetically. He had the audacity to shrug.

I sink to the floor and weep; aware that the whole class was watching me now. Catherine was watching me. Shame burns my cheeks, but my legs shake when I try to stand up.

“You, clean this up now.” Mx. River says to my table. I hear them kneel beside me, “Kim, do you want to come outside?”

No, I think angrily. I rub the tears from my eyes with my gloved hand and force myself to walk over to the fallen tray, ignoring Mx. River. I lower myself beside it, and scoop the frog up, ruined though she is.

I’ve held dead animals before, but my mother always snatched them from me so quickly I never had the chance to mourn. I think about the swamp. About the mud and the worms, and the smell of death, and how it makes me appreciate the sun on my skin, and the way the leaves on the cypress trees dance. I closed my eyes.

And the frog chirps.

My classmates scream, even Mx. River screams, as all the frogs in all the trays hop to life, trailing shredded skin and spilt guts behind them. They hop around the room, ribbiting and chirping, as all the students flee.

I don’t move. My frog remains in my hands, looking wonderingly up at me, with its beady black eyes. I gasped and rose to my feet, meeting its gaze.

I am a scientific woman. I follow reason and logic. I’m only ten, but I try and hold myself to the standards of real biologists and live up to my vision of who I should be. That’s why I study the remains of snakes and insects, and don’t grieve for my dead dog or missing dad.

Because science is just as beautiful as the make-believe.

But there was only one word that could capture what I was feeling, what I was seeing.

Magic. 


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KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayy so this was a pretty solid first chapter. I think its constructed quite well and has done quite a bit towards actually getting a reader to continue on with the piece. This premise here is also a pretty unique, at least I don't believe ever run into something quite like this before.

Anyway let's get right to it,

I have always held an affinity for dead things. My mother thought I was a psychopath, poking at deceased bugs trapped in our screened porch, and sniffing snakes flattened on concrete after a storm. One time, when I was four, I brought my mother a dead bird I’d found, much akin to a cat bringing its owner offerings.

I don’t remember that instance- but I remember her yelling at me. A lot. I didn’t mean to creep her out, but before I even knew what death was, I saw it was bad. When our dog Milly died two years ago, my mom told me she’s gone to a farm over the rainbow. But I was a believer of science, and I knew there was no such thing as “over the rainbow.” My second-grade teacher taught us all about how they were caused by the refraction of light. To me, this didn’t make them any less magical, it just made them cooler. But it meant my mother was lying.


Okayy well this is a lot of death talk to get us started here. It a little bit unsettling there, but at the same time very much exciting to see this sort of the start because especially with the ages being tossed about here, its pretty clear that we're looking at some quite young to be messing with this sort of thing and that really does get your attention as a reader. So all in all, a wonderful place to start proceedings here.

I don’t like liars.


Well if that isn't ominous for someone that young to be thinking about their own mother I really don't know what is. Definitely no punches being pulled here as we get started.

Kimberly Amelia Jenkins. I write my full name carefully across the top of my paper. It looks more prestigious that way, like I’m really a scientist. I’m ten years old now, but when I grow up, I want to study human biology. But if that doesn’t work out, I can settle for being the president instead.


Okay we can excuse that attitude given the age there. Gotta love that our friend Kimberly here at least seems to have some pretty good ambition there. There also seems to be a real love for learning there too so that's always great. Lovely way to give us a little insight into our main character here.

Mx. River was large and imposing, but they had an easy smile. Their hair was always dyed pretty colors and wore earrings of animals, like cats and dogs. This alone would’ve made them way cooler than any of my other teachers, but they were also really seemed to care about science, something we had in common.

“I’m sorry Kim, honey, but I only have enough amphibians for this to be a group activity.” They said apologetically.

That was another thing about Mx. River. They never said, “I told you so” and always gave solid reasoning to why something couldn’t be done. “Alright, fine.” I said, slumping back into my seat, only mildly disappointed.


Well gotta love Mx. River here. Not too often that you tend to run into teachers quite like that, so its always a wonderful opportunity to see something like this. Kimberly wanting to dissect this thing all alone is also quite a nice moment to highlight what we know so far about Kimberly's personality. Let's see how this ends up going as a group assignment.

The issue was, I didn’t really know most of the kids in my class. I didn’t dislike them, so much as I couldn’t keep their names or faces connected in my head.

Of course, if science has taught me anything, there is an exception to every rule. Like platypuses. What are they exactly? Seriously, what’s their deal? I make a note to research that later.


Ahhhhhhhhhh, first of all that's tells you a lot more there on the personality. And then just the most random interaction there about a platypus and I adore. Its just about crazy enough that it makes a lot of sense that a ten year old's thoughts would work this way. Its a lovely touch there.

Quinn Jacob. The dumbest boy in class. He kind of looks like a platypus himself. But not the cute ones. The mean ones who bite your hand. He did that to me in kindergarten, and we both got in trouble.

His group was the only one left with four people. I scowled and took my pencil and paper over to their table.

He looked at me, startled, then returned my glare, “What do you want?” He spat.


Well I suppose not all the character introduced get to be as nice as Mx. River here. Well well. Let's see how this proceeds. It seems like a fairly typical ten year old rivalry at the moment but you never quite know how far these things tend to go until they actually go there.

I made a big show of dropping my pencil onto the desk, only for it to roll off onto the floor. I was not perturbed, and gracefully sat in my chair, and reached down to pick it back up.

“To study the amphibian.” I said, “Obviously.”

The girl next to me smiled, Catherine, I thought. She was very pretty and had thin oval glasses, which I was jealous of. She looks refined and elegant, like a fancy librarian. I’m suddenly conscious of my hair, which I hadn’t bothered to comb this morning, much to my mothers chagrin.


Okay well that was a bit of an emotional roller coaster there for our protagonist, love the little bits of character building that we are continuing to get from bits an pieces like this. I am quite excited to see where it all will end up taking us.

My mom, who had been chaperoning, lovingly dubbed me a swamp monster, and offered to leave me there in favor of hopping on the bus back home.

“Oh, the swamp is lovely.” I assured her as I made my final note of the trip, already planning my return, “But there is so much more of the world I just have to see.”


Well that's an interesting love detail. Love to see little moments of history like that seeping into the story and telling us more about what sort of life this person has led here. I also love how this starts out just like any innocent interaction between a mother and a child but it takes a bit of a turn you don't quite except although you can't exactly call that a bad turn of events either, just a bit different.

I reached the sink, and reverently lifted one of the trays from the counter. “Woah.” I whispered, awestruck at the perfect specimen before me. It looked alive, I really thought it might suddenly hop away. I liked that it wasn’t green- too many cartoons depicted all frogs as such. It was more of a speckled brown. To better camouflage with its environment. I thought, proud to have remembered that tidbit.


Okayy this is definitely letting us know quite a lot about what Kimberly thinks of animals here and also of the work they need to do in this particular class. I have a feeling these thoughts and the title of this novel is going to end up connected pretty closely very soon.

I carried the frog back to my table, and set it carefully towards the center, but still angled near me. I wanted the best possible view to see it be dissected.

I still haven’t quite sorted my thoughts on death yet. Mom didn’t let me say goodbye to Milly before she took her to the clinic, and my mom had never even sat down to explain to me that she was old, and old dogs died sometimes.

She did the same thing with my dad. I never knew him, and my mom never talked about him, so I could only assume that, logically, he was dead, just like my dog.

A gaping hole had widened in my chest, but I was quick to stop the tears welling up. I shook my head and homed in on the frog before me.


Okay not the worst way to go about reaction to that. Its a bit sudden, in terms of how its written. The emotions appearing in a cascade out of nowhere is realistic and that's fine and it works well, its just that when we get to the whole part with the dad it gets a little awkward in terms of the way its phrased although that might just be me.

“Can I?” I asked, a little tentatively, my fingers already twitching towards the tray.

“I want to.” Quinn said stoutly, and I glared at him.

Catherine finally looked up at us, “Rock paper scissors to decide.” She adjusted her glasses and flipped the page on the packet.


Well that seems to be pretty standard with how that tends to go. ALso very relatable there to be the one person willing to do the dangerous thing and being excited about it until there's just one person who comes and ruins the moment.

Quinn was frowning at me but obliged. I won, and he tried to weasel his way into a best of three, but I knew better. I pulled the tray closer to me and passed around the sets of gloves to everyone at the table, even the two who’d opted out.

“They want us to remove the skin around its leg.” Catherine said, furrowing her brow and turning a shade paler, until she was almost the color of the frog. “Then we describe what we observe on page two.”

I squint down at the frog, then exclaimed, “It’s a girl!” A tad too loudly, startling my group and the table next to ours.


OKayy looks like Kimberly here is both smart enough to quit while ahead and also pretty good at what Kimberly was talking about earlier. Definitely love the vibes from that so far. You're doing a pretty good capturing this class environment while introducing us to how Kimberly is different.

I was beginning to grow impatient. But my mother always told me arguing with idiots only drags you down to their level, so I ducked my head and did as Catherine had instructed. She read the steps aloud and I followed them effectively and precisely, tactfully removing its skin like you would candy on Halloween night. I heard the other girl in our group mime vomiting, but I ignored her, too engrossed in the task at hand.

“That’s it’s muscle.” I said smartly, tapping it carefully with the knife.

“Acute observation.” Quinn snarked.

“We need a little more than that.” Catherine said, not unkindly. “Does anyone have any notations they’d like to share?” She asked the other two group members.


Well Kimberly continuing to prove that she knows exactly what she's doing here when it comes to this whole living life thing. That not arguing with idiots thing is a skill that takes a long time for people to realize sometimes.

And the very casual ignoring of the vomiting made me crack up a bit more than it should've because that is not a very pleasant situation for the poor girl there. Kimberly doesn't seem to be the most empathetic when it comes to actual humans here.

The vomit-girl peered over her textbook, which she had brought out to hide her phone, “Its- slimy.” She mumbled, looking away quickly.

“Sure.” Catherine said, looking at me and rolling her eyes, as though we were sharing an inside joke. “Anything else?”

I leaned forward in my chair and examined the specimen, wishing I brought the lab coat and goggles my mom had bought me for my birthday last month.

“Look how its joint bends? Isn’t that fascinating?” I asked Catherine, and she smiled at me.


Okay looks like its a classic case of one person taking charge and ordering everyone around and then there's the one other person who actually knows what they're doing being the only one actually doing anything related to the assignment.

Then Mx. River called us to attention and drew a diagram of the frog on her whiteboard, noting down the names of each of the parts. I jotted down my own graph, but felt the frog tugging at my attention.

After, we moved on to the next page of the project.

“It’s my turn.” Quinn said, dragging the frog towards him, and it was as though he dragged my heart with it.

“Do you have to?” I ask, “You don’t seem to really care.”


Well unfortunately one does have to eventually share when it comes to group projects no matter how much the other people don't seem to want to actually participate and well at least this one did show some interesting in participating earlier.

“Kim,” Mx. River said. I hadn’t known they were behind me, “You need to let your peers have there turn.”

I huffed, shooting daggers at Quinn. He didn’t mind. When Mx. River was gone, he lifted the incision tool, which glittered in the yellow light of the classroom.

Catherine once more directed us, but he didn’t really listen to her. When it was time to disembowel the frog, he cut too deep and damaged the internal organs.

“Why don’t you let me do it?” I ask, anxiety clawing its way up my gut. The frog had gone from pristine, and almost alive, to an utter mess of skin and insides.

“No way,” Quinn said, “I’m having fun.”


Well there goes Mx. River with some sage advice and also okay, this one's just more relatable moments there when we've got someone just playing around with equipment they really probably should've be allowed to handle. Kim's doing a remarkable job so far for being a ten year old.

I gasp, “What’s wrong with you?”

Quinn hasn’t moved, “I didn’t mean to!”

I jump to my feet, my chair falling backwards behind me, “I told you to let me handle it!” I can’t tell you why, but I started to cry. I’d been looking forward to this for weeks, and Quinn ruined it.

“I’m sorry.” He said pathetically. He had the audacity to shrug.


Well that was quite a strong reaction although judging from what's going on there not terribly surprising given Kim is ten years old. Its a little easy to forgot that given just how mature most of the interactions here tend to be, but that does play a huge part here.

I sink to the floor and weep; aware that the whole class was watching me now. Catherine was watching me. Shame burns my cheeks, but my legs shake when I try to stand up.

“You, clean this up now.” Mx. River says to my table. I hear them kneel beside me, “Kim, do you want to come outside?”

No, I think angrily. I rub the tears from my eyes with my gloved hand and force myself to walk over to the fallen tray, ignoring Mx. River. I lower myself beside it, and scoop the frog up, ruined though she is.

I’ve held dead animals before, but my mother always snatched them from me so quickly I never had the chance to mourn. I think about the swamp. About the mud and the worms, and the smell of death, and how it makes me appreciate the sun on my skin, and the way the leaves on the cypress trees dance. I closed my eyes.


Well I'm pretty sure its not too hard to guess exactly where that is headed there. Lovely moment to introduce this I think. Its all setup quite nicely for it anyway. I really do hope I'm not imagining this wrong here. You really have gotten this whole situation guiding us towards that one particular conclusion here.

And the frog chirps.

My classmates scream, even Mx. River screams, as all the frogs in all the trays hop to life, trailing shredded skin and spilt guts behind them. They hop around the room, ribbiting and chirping, as all the students flee.

I don’t move. My frog remains in my hands, looking wonderingly up at me, with its beady black eyes. I gasped and rose to my feet, meeting its gaze.

I am a scientific woman. I follow reason and logic. I’m only ten, but I try and hold myself to the standards of real biologists and live up to my vision of who I should be. That’s why I study the remains of snakes and insects, and don’t grieve for my dead dog or missing dad.

Because science is just as beautiful as the make-believe.

But there was only one word that could capture what I was feeling, what I was seeing.

Magic.


Ahh that is pretty much the perfect spot to end a first chapter on right there. Loved everything leading up to it and you hit those correct at the correct time here. I do also love how we've got Kim here jumping right to magic as the only answer, and thinking of it with quite so much wonder which is not something you see often with Necromancy.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, a pretty strong start. Love the premise so far, its very fresh and Kim is also pretty interesting. Not entirely blameless but I think she's done enough for us to root for here and of course we've got plenty of exciting magic and things to root for. I can't wait to read more of this.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




Horisun says...


Thank you for the review! :D



KateHardy says...


You're Welcome!!



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Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:42 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Kim has brought back a bunch of dead frogs? What will she do next? Suppose her powers get out of hand? What if her Dad is dead and she brings him back to life? What if Mx.River is her Dad and her Mom just doesn’t want to talk about them? I saw this story in the green room and really wanted to read it, but didn’t have time. Now I do! I wish you a lovely day where ten year olds hopefully don’t bring back dead frogs like Kim over here. :)




Horisun says...


Thank you for taking the time to read this! I%u2019m really happy you have so many questions, lol!



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Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:18 am
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inprisonforsparkling wrote a review...



Hi Horisun!!

So I'd like to start by saying I really like the writing in this. You've given Kim a very strong voice, and the introduction is excellent, it immediately drew me into the story! I also like the dialogue, each character is distinctive.

You have a couple spelling mistakes;
The vomit-girl peered over her textbook, which she had brought out to hide her phone, “Its- slimy.” <- I believe you mean 'It's' here.
“You need to let your peers have there turn.” <- 'Their'
I also think that the intro maybe needs a little editing, in that Kim sounds very well-read at first - "I have always held an affinity for dead things", "much akin to", but then you switch to more casual language, "I didn’t mean to creep her out". It's not too bad, but it was noticeable.

Overall though this was really enjoyable!! Keep up the good work!
-Oliver




Horisun says...


Thank you! I haven't written first person in a while, so thank you for pointing out where my own voice slips into the characters. Some of it is intentional, I wanted Kim to seem like a little girl trying to use big words to sound fancy, but I think I could definitely make it far more obvious that that is indeed what I'm going for.
All that's to say, thank you for the review! :D



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Ventomology wrote a review...



AHHHHH I'm so in love with this.

Anyway, hi, let's do this review thing, eh?

Sometimes I have a hard time getting into first person narratives (even Hunger games kind of turned me off with it, just a little), but you do such a compelling job--the sheer personality of this ten year old, the way the sentences are constructed as a ten year old might construct them, the thoughts, the explanations and reasoning--that I am convinced you could not tell this story half as well in third person, which is a pretty good indicator that you both made the right choice and are doing a very good job with it. So many kudos. I love this.

I would like to see some improvement in grammar. There were a few verb tense switches, run-on sentences, and misplaced commas that pulled me out on occasion, and they occurred often enough that I think it's worth mentioning them.

Also, not sure where your dialogue punctuation conventions are coming from--are you using periods between dialogue and tags (the he/they/she said part) on purpose? You switch back and forth sometimes--try to keep it consistent.

Last piece of critique: I found the transition between your three opening paragraphs and the rest of the chapter very jarring. I'm not sure if this kind of... book introduction style opener is really the right way to go? There's a lot of telling, not showing, and the passage is in a different tense than the section immediately following it, and I honestly can't think of a good way to transition between the backstory and the present without just having a page break.

There's also the matter of like... you explicitly say in the title that this is about a ten year old necromancer, and so opening the story with a line like 'I have always held an affinity for dead things' is not particularly surprising or compelling. Like, we knew this person maybe had such an affinity. It's right there on the cover.

I think you might have made a stronger opening by discussing Kim's particular affinity for logic and reason, which is very at odds with necromancy as magic, or jumping right into action with some kind of excitement about the frog dissection.

On the whole though, I love this! Again, the way you construct sentences--mostly short and to the point--is so so good, and it really demonstrates Kim's age. I'm so excited to see where this all goes.

Until next time,
-Vento




Horisun says...


Thank you!! I definitely agree with everything you said, and will take it into account when editing. I was also really hesitant to write first person-present tense, so I%u2019m glad you liked it




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