Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Fantasy


The Cosmic Dragon: Chapter 3

by Necromancer14


Under normal circumstances, Alice would have loved staying at Violet's house for three weeks. Unfortunately, having her parents maimed and in the hospital, and having her house burnt to the ground wasn't what Alice considered "normal circumstances." She put her head in her hands and felt tears of self-pity run down her cheeks, remembering the whole thing.

Oh, and having her house burnt down and her parents maimed wasn't all that had happened; she had seen a person that had looked super creepy, and Alice couldn't get the memory of it out of her head. Those glowing eyes, those horrible glowing eyes... Alice was certain that that thing, whatever it was, had been the culprit for the fire. The fire that completely ruined my life! she thought angrily.

She decided to tell Violet about the weird person.

"What? Alice, it was probably just a trick of the light. Nobody has eyes that glow..." reasoned Violet.

"Hey, I know what I saw!" Alice retorted.

"Sure," said Violet. "Whatever you say."

Alice walked off. Why doesn't she believe me? she thought. A voice in her head seemed to speak back. Well, Alice, would you believe someone if they told you they saw a person with glowing eyes?

Alice grumbled under her breath. She knew that what she saw was impossible, but she had no doubts that she did see the strange glowing-eyed figure, strange and creepy as it was. Maybe the impossible isn't so impossible after all, thought Alice. As that idea sunk in, she freaked out. What else is real? she thought.

That afternoon, Alice and Violet prepared to go out shopping. Violet took an hour putting on all of her dainty makeup, finally letting Alice go in and do it. Alice took only five minutes and didn't go completely overboard like Violet had done.

It was the day after Alice's tragic event, and Alice was only going out to try and distract herself from her grief.

They waited outside by the parking lot.

"Wait, Violet, who's driving us?" asked Alice. "It doesn't seem like your Mom is, and I don't have a driver's license, and I know you don't have one either."

Violet smiled. "You'll see," she said.

As Alice contemplated about who might be driving them, a sleek red corvette pulled in the driveway. Sitting in the driver's seat was Josh.

"You've got to be kidding me," said Alice.

"Nope!" squealed Violet. "This is gonna be so much fun!"

It wasn't fun at all. Alice sat in the back while Josh and Violet made goo-goo eyes at each other, and Josh almost got in an accident. 

They arrived at the mall, and everybody got out, thankfully unhurt. Alice trailed behind Josh and Violet, wishing she were back at Violet's house. The group went around buying random things that they probably weren't ever going to actually use, until Josh got bored.

They excited the mall overloaded with useless trinkets and headed back to the car garage. Alice trailed even further behind, but Josh and Violet didn't even notice. Alice absentmindedly looked behind the garage, and dropped her luggage in shock, her mouth hanging open.

What she saw was a bunch of people fighting. One guy was beating up four other guys, throwing them to the floor. The four guys who were getting beaten up looked kind of like bikers, with leather jackets and lots of tattoos. The guy who was beating them up was wearing all black. When he finished beating the pulp out of the four bikers, he looked over, noticing Alice. He was wearing dark sunglasses.

"Alice! Hurry up! We're about to leave," called Violet.

Alice turned and ran, leaving all of her stuff on the floor. She leapt into the safety of the red corvette.

"Go, go, go!" she yelled.

"What?" asked Josh, confused.

"Just go!" said Alice, almost screamed.

"Okay, okay! I'm going," said Josh. "Jeez."

"Alice! What's gotten into you?" asked Violet.

"Nothing," muttered Alice. I'm just glad we got away, she thought. Then she felt silly. He wasn't actually coming after me, all he did was look at me, and he wasn't necessarily going to attack me or anything... wow, that was embarrassing.

She leaned back in her chair, which she noticed was very comfy. Of course it's comfortable, it's a corvette! she thought.

They arrived back at Violet's house, and Josh dropped them off after winking at Violet, which made her giggle. Alice rolled her eyes. She turned around to go inside when she saw the strange guy wearing sunglasses standing between her and the door. He was holding the things she had bought at the mall.

"You dropped these," he said politely, holding them out to Alice, who was quivering in fear. She had a suspicion she knew who he was, but she didn't voice her thoughts.

"How... how did you get here?" she stammered, trying to be brave.

"Hmm? Oh, I just... drat," said the guy. He had sleek black hair, the same color as Violet's, and perfect features. Violet noticed his cuteness immediately.

"Hi," she said shyly.

"Hello," he replied.

"How did you get here!" demanded Alice again, a little bit louder. The stranger sighed.

"Well... you see..." began the stranger, reaching for his sunglasses. Alice got filled with dread. "I have powers." He pulled off his sunglasses, revealing blue light instead of eyes. Violet fainted. Alice's knees shook, and she almost fell down. No! she thought desperately.

"I'm what you folks on this planet call an alien or extraterrestrial," continued the blue-eyed stranger. "Also, I've found out that my kind have been here before. In my natural state, I look like what you'd call a dragon. Yes, I like that. A dragon." He paused for a second. "I'm a dragon... from the cosmos."


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
263 Reviews


Points: 12800
Reviews: 263

Donate
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:03 pm
View Likes
mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Necromancer14! I'll be stopping around for a review today!


I haven't read the previous chapters to this. I'll try not to comment on anything I would have known had I done so, but if I do, please feel free to ignore me!


Unfortunately, having her parents maimed and in the hospital, and having her house burnt to the ground wasn't what Alice considered "normal circumstances."


: o oh dang. I was expecting something to be wrong but that went through the roof lol kudos to catching me off guard (even though I probably would have known it if I was reading it in order :P)

She put her head in her hands and felt tears of self-pity run down her cheeks,


Instead of saying that she "felt" the tears, perhaps it could be "She put her head in her hands. Hot, self-pitying tears ran down her cheeks." (you don't need to say they're tears of self-pity since by her crying, you're implying that she's upset, but honestly that's more up to you! I do like it in the sentence actually!)

Oh, and having her house burnt down and her parents maimed wasn't all that had happened; she had seen a person that had looked super creepy, and Alice couldn't get the memory of it out of her head.


This is probably going to sound odd since I haven't read the last chapters and wouldn't know what's going on, but I would actually get rid of this section? Novels are meant to be read in order, so technically, you're writing them in order. You don't have to recap what's happened like an episode of a tv series. People aren't jumping in suddenly (I mean,,, you know... haha I mean as a story in general), so you don't have to tell them what they already know like this.

That isn't to say you can't mention this person with glowing eyes! You just don't have to bring them up in a such a way that you're explaining what happened to your reader (which I assume already happened in the story?). Bring up Alice's fear! Play on that!


She decided to tell Violet about the weird person.


Instead of telling your readers, why not show it? Show the decision where Alice feels she needs to talk about what she saw, like unburdening some of the heaviness she's been carrying since the accident. Show her telling Violet about what she saw.

but she had no doubts that she did see the strange glowing-eyed figure, strange and creepy as it was.


You'll want to be careful about repetition! When you repeat words like this, it dulls your writing. You've repeated "creepy" and "strange" a lot. I would even cut back some of the "glowing eyes" description. If you just use "the figure" some of those times, you remove some of that "glowing" repetition, and give it a sort of "name", if you will. We already know the figure has glowing eyes, though, which is, I suppose, my point. You don't have to keep telling us about the glowing eyes.


I'm starting to wonder how old Alice and Violet are? I thought they were both younger (like, 7-11 range), but now it seems they might be older hinting by the makeup/Violet and Josh/commenting on the drivers' license thing as if it were a choice and not a restriction.


From the beginning of this chapter, I got the impression that Violet and Alice were close, but then, upon further reading, Violet a) shuts down Alice when she tries to confide in her, b) disregards Alice entirely to invite someone else along that Alice is clearly uncomfortable with, c) doesn't once acknowledge what Alice must be going through after a fire burned down her house and herparents were maimed. I don't know if this was intentional? But if you were trying to write them with a good friendship, a lot should really change, because this isn't a healthy friendship right now.


They excited the mall


"exited"?

She leaned back in her chair, which she noticed was very comfy. Of course it's comfortable, it's a corvette!


Is there... a reason for this line? It feels very disjointed from the flow of the story and breaks your tension up.


Violet is not... alarmed by this stranger showing up at her house... with stuff Alice dropped... at all...


Alice got filled with dread.


"got filled" isn't technically correct. Instead, perhaps you could write "Dread filled her body like ice." That's more sensory-friendly and gives a clearer image of how Alice is feeling, so you can better immerse your reader in Alice's experience.

I look like what you'd call a dragon. Yes, I like that. A dragon."


I mean, I'm always here for dragons.


I peeked down at Asith's review, and I have to agree with their statement about the talking heads. I couldn't quite pin down what was bothering me about the dialogue (aside from how ignorant/nasty Violet was to Alice), and that's about the best way to describe it. If you were to remove the dialogue tags, it would be hard to tell who's talking, because right now, the character don't have unique voices or personalities. It's okay! It comes with time spent writing them! But it is something you'll want to look out for, both when you're writing and when you're revising.
(I also agree with how strange it seems that this cosmic dragon follows her around to spill his secrets like this? especially if he had something to do with her parents' maiming and the house burning down)


I think I mentioned telling vs. showing in my last review that I gave you? So, I don't want to beat that to death, but I did want to remind you of it here.

Also, the repetition! You bring up the same thing a lot, and aside from the beginning, the tragedy Alice experienced seems really downplayed? She's upset about it in the beginning, but after that, her emotions are shut off (except to react to the cosmic dragon, which is still disconnected and I had trouble delving into because you were rather straightforward about how you told us about her emotions). She almost lost her parents, she did lose her house! That's a lot to go through! Keep that in mind when you write these kinds of traumatic experiences. Characters can't bounce back right away.


I'm also wondering what the significance of the mall scene was? I mean, I get that you wanted to reintroduce the dragon stranger (why was he beating up guys in a parking lot anyway????), but it felt really unnecessary in terms of the story. Why didn't the cosmic dragon dude just show up at Violet's house, if he already knew where to go apparently and wanted to be creepy about it?


I am very intrigued by the idea of a dragon from the cosmos. What does that entail? What "powers" does he have? Are there more? How has he acclimated to human culture, and knowing about the "extraterrestrial" from a human mindset so quickly (or not? I don't know how long he's been here)? How did he get to earth? Is there culture from where he comes from? Ahhh, it's all very interesting!


Alas, that's all I have for you today! If you have any questions or comments about anything I said, please let me know! :D

I hope you have a fantastic day, and Happy RevMo!

Image




User avatar
97 Reviews


Points: 10223
Reviews: 97

Donate
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:06 pm
Asith says...






User avatar
97 Reviews


Points: 10223
Reviews: 97

Donate
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:04 pm
View Likes
Asith wrote a review...



So, back to Alice are we? I suppose that was to be expected. Now, I don't want to be too harsh, but I have to say that this was the weakest one of the chapters you've posted so far. But hey, that's what revision is for! Let's go through the things I thought were lacking.


Probably the biggest issue; you go way too fast! Pacing is very important to good story-telling, and you have to learn to dwell on the right parts, and skim the others. These are very big events that are occurring in Alice's life, and big events can't just be brushed away! Her parents being severely injured; the burning down of her house; having to move into a friend's house -- think about how life-changing these things are! At the very least, they should be devastating Alice's mind and giving us powerful insight into her character. Moving past this so quickly is really not the best move.

Your problem continues throughout the chapter, however. The conversation where Alice tells Violet about the man: why is it so short? Why does violet jump to avid disbelief so soon? Why does Alice jump to such defensiveness? Heck, I even thought that Violet was just a bully to Alice. I think your problem here is that you've decided what conversation they're going to have just because it fits this type of story. That's talking-heads; it's far more important for characters to be themselves or reveal themselves during conversations, and have them speak naturally, not just to move the plot forward.

More obvious pacing issues arise towards the end dialogue too. Why does the alien reveal everything to Alice so quickly? It all feels so clunky, like these aren't people talking. Try looking at examples of what natural conversation in writing looks like, or just look up "how to avoid talking heads".



My advice would be to consciously slow yourself down when writing. After you've written a draft, take a break, and then come back with a clear head and re-read it. Notice how quickly things move. If they're too fast, add more things! Focus on character work -- it's what you seem to be omitting the most of. Remember, don't make people say thing because you want them too; it should make sense for them to say what they're saying. Tension in conversation tends to escalate gradually, not instantly!

Still going to keep reading this, of course. You've got a brilliant story in mind, just gotta work on bringing it out to its full potential!




User avatar
14 Reviews


Points: 124
Reviews: 14

Donate
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:20 pm
Necromancer14 says...







But like all lower back tattoos, it is deeply flawed.
— Bill Nye