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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."


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Sat May 16, 2020 8:37 am
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felistia wrote a review...



Hi Necromancer14

Felistia here with another review. :D

First I'll start off with a few nit-picks.

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


You used almost the exact same words in the previous sentence so it feels very repetitive and somewhat unnecessary. I'd change it to.
Oh, and if that wasn't enough, she had seen a person that had looked super creepy
I feel it reads better this way.


Also I feel that Violet was a little insensitive to Alice when Alice told her about the person she saw. Maybe reword it so it come of kinder. In general I found that their relationship in this chapter was a bit uncomfortable. Maybe read through and reword it a bit.

Anyway that's all the nit-picks, now onto what I liked.

So I was right about him being a dragon. Cool, so happy. I kinda guessed it from the title.

I quite like how you're portraying his character so far. I'll have to read on before I can comment on it though.

Excited to read the next chapter.

Keep writing,
Felistia.






Thanks for the review!



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Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm
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4revgreen wrote a review...



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

Though it's not wrong, you don't need the comma after 'hospital'

She put her head in her hands and felt tears of self-pity run down her cheeks, remembering the whole thing.

'self pity' means: excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one's own troubles. But her house was burnt down and her parents are in hospital! This is not self-pity, she's perfectly in the right to be upset!!!!

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 a very long sentence!

"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."

Hmm. Very sudden and unexpected! But a nice ending.

Okay, my main criticism here is that it's WAY too fast! Alice has just had a major traumatic experience, yet we don't get any feeling of her emotion or thoughts in any depth. I really want to like her, but there's still little characterisation. She goes shopping?? I would be in hospital making sure my parents were okay!

You also do a lot of telling, not showing. Don't tell me she saw people fighting. Describe the fight to me, show how she feels. Don't be afraid to have more speech or have scenes go on for longer!!!

Keep writing ! :-)






Thanks for the review! Yes, this chapter needs serious revision, as it's probably my weakest chapter.
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 a very long sentence!


I've seen longer sentences. Much longer. Just read Charles Dickens. XD



4revgreen says...


I love long sentences. I'm guilty of it myself! But your sentence is a lot of information for one sentence and considering the genre you're writing I'd keep them from being this long :-)



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Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:51 pm
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KatjaDawn wrote a review...



Hey Necromancer14! Katja here to review chapter three. As always please feel free to disregard any comments or suggestions if you find them unhelpful. Onto the review~

Overall Thoughts

This chapter focusses on Alice, the day after the houses were burnt down. She is staying with Violet and her parents aren't dead after all. They are in the hospital, though. Violet and Alice go to the mall with another character-Josh- and when they go to leave, she sees a boy in sunglasses beating up a bunch of guys. She rushes to go home and he comes to their house and introduces himself.

So far the plot is very cool and the new label for the boy being "Dragon from the cosmos" is very cool.

Suggestions & Comments

Firstly: The relationship between Alice and Violet in here is very suddenly negative. There wasn't much interaction between the two in chapter one, but the little bit mentioned didn't even come close to hinting there was animosity between the two girls. If this is a result of the recent events, there isn't enough sketched out in this chapter to make it reasonable. There is a lot skipped over that could have helped- for example, when Alice decides to open up to Violet if you had detailed that encounter in more depth and showed us that this caused the animosity- it would be justified. Alice behaves like she has resentment for Violet- and without proper fleshed out motive for this, it just seems sudden and out of place.

Secondly: The pace is too quick in this chapter. There's a lot skipped over... For example, the conversation of Alice opening up to Violet, the Mall trip, the Ride home, and just overall needed characterization or important reactions-etc... It's just too fast-paced and leaves a lot of gaps.

Thirdly: The dragon character suddenly deciding that he will open up to Alice... just seems off. Why? What reason and motive does he have? And more importantly- why did he do so in front of Violet? I could easily imagine him asking for privacy or pulling Alice off to the side and asking to speak to her alone- saying he wants to explain himself or anything like that.

Lastly: Alice's reaction to him... given she seems to think he is responsible for the destruction of her house and maiming of her parents... I imagine she'd react more strongly as opposed to feeling dread and internally yelling "no". I imagine many different reactions would be more fitting... Thinking he's back to finish the job because she saw him, terrified and running away as she did at the mall. Her characterization so far implies a flight as opposed to fight response but even if she tried to attack him it'd be more fitting than silently standing there with dread and internal dialogue. I think it's important to get in your character's shoes... knowing their motives and thoughts. Try to focus on more realistic responses~

That's all for suggestions and comments!

Summary

I'm still loving the plot and characters- But the pace here is too fast and leaves a lot of gaps in the story. The character's motives and actions don't match in some places (in my opinion). It would help to pay a little more focus on characterization and slowing down the pace some. Overall I'm loving the story and am looking forward to reviewing chapter four! I hope my review was helpful,

Keep Writing,

~Katja




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Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:03 pm
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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!

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






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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!




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







"You, who have all the passion for life that I have not? You, who can love and hate with a violence impossible to me? Why you are as elemental as fire and wind and wild things..."
— Gone With the Wind