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Before The Dragon (Revamp) - Chapter 1.2

by ShadowVyper


Jerica flopped the rest of the way to the ground, shaking her head. The cool stone felt nice against her weary legs. Her calves burned with the exertion of the past several days of battle, and her shoulders were rubbed raw from the edges of her breastplate. “We have to wait for the Rangers.”

“What Rangers?” Rekard questioned.

“I asked Derik to send two with us.”

“Why? I thought you didn’t need help.”

“I don’t,” Jerica said defensively. “I just am not going to hold your hand when you get scared in the tunnel, thought you could use a friend.”

Rekard shook his head with a sigh. “You’re too much sometimes, Jer.”

She laughed; a short, sudden burst of noise that seemed out of place in the solemn, barren monastery. She pushed his shoulder playfully. “Lighten up. You’re such a grandfather sometimes, Rek, I swear.”

“I just don’t see anything about this situation that’s funny.”

“What? You mean you didn’t just murder dozens of men in the span of half an hour?” she asked, forcing a laugh. “And that we’re not on our way to murder a sorcerer, in a way that might or might not work, and who will likely kill us if we fail?”

She smiled ferally, showing just a bit too much of her teeth, eyes just a bit too dilated in the dim light. She pushed her mop of short black hair back, looking at her hand dumbly for a long moment afterwards as she realized her hand was now slick with damp blood. A wave of nausea hit her out of nowhere.

“Are you okay?” Rek asked gently.

She looked up and met his gaze, snapping herself out of her hazy state. He was eerily similar to Uncle Derik, with the same green eyes, and shoulders that were muscular and currently glistening in the dim torch light; eyebrows thick and pulled down into a concerned frown.

“Is this mine?” she asked, holding her bloodied hand out for him to see.

Rek leaned forward to inspect her head more closely, then shook his head. “No.”

“Then I’m fine!” she popped up to her feet, wandering away from him and stretching her back. Her head was getting muddled. She couldn’t allow that. She had to stay alert, or she would die, and many others would follow, if she wasn’t there to protect them. It was better for everyone to force herself to stay nonchalant.

“That’s not what I meant and you know it…” Rek said, standing as well. “It sounds like—”

“There you are!” Jerica interrupted as the Rangers appeared in the doorway.

Aside from Uncle Derik and Rek, the Rangers were the people she would trust the most to stand at her side in a battle. They were all in their thirties to forties and had been training for their positions ever since they were younger than Jerica was herself. Zaire was in the lead – he had a short gray beard and was graying at the temples, streaking his jet-black hair.

He had been a Ranger for Atraya since her grandfather was still the king, nearly seventeen years ago; and remained just as faithful as ever, even with Uncle Levin’s radical shift in leadership when he took the throne suddenly in her infancy. She’d always felt a certain measure of respect for Zaire for standing by her family when they’d needed him most, rather than selling himself to another king’s treasury like others had done.

“Generals,” Zaire said respectfully. He gestured at the man standing behind him. He was much younger – probably somewhere in his early twenties. He had brown skin, black eyes, and even blacker hair. “Is Teryn alright for the second Ranger? The other senior Rangers were occupied when Lord Ainsley sent word for us to join you.”

“That’s fine,” Jerica answered, waving her hand dismissively. She’d seen Teryn around enough times to know he was well along in his training regime. She didn’t trust solely him to watch her back, but if Zaire trusted him enough to bring him along, that was enough for her. “With any luck, we will have wasted your time bringing you along anyway. I don’t expect you’ll need to assist.”

“Of course,” Zaire answered.

“Were you briefed why you’re here?”

“No, ma’am,” Zaire said.

“I wasn’t, either,” Rek muttered, walking closer to them.

“Rekard and I will use the tunnels to see if we can get a clear shot at Valeren from there,” Jerica explained, gesturing at the entrance. “You’ll stand guard to ensure our path stays clear when we retreat back to behind our line.”

“Understood,” Zaire answered. “So, one of us will stay here and one of us will stay at the other end?”

“Yes.”

Zaire turned towards the young man at his side. “You’ll stay here. Listen for anyone in the tunnel. If it is not us, re-seal the entrance and call for help.”

“Sir,” Teryn answered.

Jerica nodded, looking between Rekard and Zaire. “Ready?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Zaire answered.

Rekard nodded.

“Good.” Jerica grabbed one of the other torches on the wall of the monastery and then sat at the edge of the small hole. She lowered herself into the tunnel and stepped forward, shivering in the damp, musty corridor. She held the torch in front of herself and saw the stone walls coated with black slime.

She wrinkled her nose and turned sideways, carefully walking so that her arms wouldn’t brush against the walls. The tunnels were just wide enough that she probably could have managed walking normally, but it wasn’t worth it to risk the bare flesh of her arm coming in contact with the mold on the wall.

Rekard followed behind her, also turning sideways to avoid touching the walls. He bent slightly as he walked. The ceiling was just tall enough for him to walk standing upright, but too low for comfort.

Zaire came last, grunting as he struggled to get sideways in the narrow space. He was shorter than Rekard, but had broad, muscular shoulders from his years of training in hand to hand combat. A step or two forward and he’d found the right angle to follow behind.

The silence was deafening as they walked down the tunnel. The only sounds were the faint crackling of the torches, and Rekard’s quiet breaths just behind her. That, and the pounding of her heart in her own ears. When was she going to be smart enough to stop volunteering for these stupid plans?

Sure, let’s just sneak up on a sorcerer, that’s a great plan, genius, Jerica thought. Good gods I’m an idiot.

They came to the first closed gate. At certain points throughout the tunnel it suddenly opened up to a ‘T’ where they could stand three-wide, with one on either side of the main tunnel. Jerica held her torch forward and quickly undid the series of cross-bars securing the door, cringing at the clanging of metal against stone as she did so, then stepped backwards and pulled the heavy steel gate open. She gestured for Rekard to walk ahead of her, and followed close behind, making him unlatch and open the second gate, then took the lead again.

A few hundred meters past the second gate was the end of the tunnel, which opened in another T. There were some metal spikes driven in between the stones on the end – and a metal hatch overhead, just out of her reach.

“Allow me,” Zaire offered, stepping forward.

Jerica hesitated a moment, then stepped to the left, out of the way. She reached for his sword. “I can hold it while you open the hatch.”

“Very well.” He handed her the sword then climbed on the spikes until he could reach the hatch. There were several latches worked into this one as well that he had to unfasten, then he pushed the heavy metal hatch open, and climbed out of the tunnel. He reached his hand down to take his sword.

Jerica handed him her bow, quiver, and torch, then followed him up to the next level. She took her things back from him and started down the tunnel to their left as he helped Rekard get through the hatch with his sword and torch. They were inside the city wall. The inside of this wall was the back of a cell in the dungeons of the palace – one that they were careful to keep unoccupied by prisoners, but always locked, just in case anyone ever breached the wall.

Her ancestors had been certain to construct a nearly impenetrable fortress. The entire city wall was made by two layers of rocks, most of which were wide enough that she could lay her entire torso across them and still not reach the other side, and long enough that she could lay on them like a mattress and not come close to either end. In this one narrow section of wall, the inner layer of stones had been replaced with smaller stones, to allow space for an even narrower tunnel than they’d just come from.

Just a few meters ahead was another hatch that went back to the ground. This one was sealed from the top rather than the bottom, and had a massive rock sitting on top. She sighed and pressed her hip against the rock, pushing against it with all her weight until it tumbled over. She knelt and un-did the various latches on the top of the hatch and threw open the door, then carefully let herself through the small opening.

This tunnel was broader than the others, but rather than being straight, it curved and sharply led upward. At the very end, just before the next hatch, it suddenly narrowed and was barely wide enough for her larger companions to fit through at all, much less comfortably.

“Please,” Zaire said, gesturing at the hatch. “I’m here to take the risks that aren’t necessary for you.”

He was right.

Jerica nodded, and allowed him to brush past her to get to the hatch. It was unlikely that the Nykerians had found the entrance of this tunnel, and even less likely that they had anyone watching it, but it wasn’t worth the risk for her to take an arrow before she even got to Valeren. Zaire undid the latches and climbed out, then a moment later leaned down to the entrance. “All clear.”

Jerica handed her weapons up once more then scrambled out of the tunnel and took them back. This tunnel opened in the middle of a thicket of briars that were in the woods, off to the left of the city wall. The battle was several kilometers straight in front of them.

“Shall I stay here?” Zaire asked.

“Yes,” Jerica said. “We hopefully won’t be long.”

“Ma’am.”

Jerica looked around and met Rek’s gaze. “Ready?”

He nodded.

“Great. Let’s go, then.” She bit back a sigh as she turned towards the thinnest region of the briars and began picking her way through the thorns.

She was so weary from the battle. It’d been three full days of dawn to dusk fighting, and her body and her spirit were drained. Her feet ached from the many hours she spent on them without even a moment’s rest, and her throat was raw from barking commands at her men. A twinge of pain shot through her back as she bent to avoid a thorn.

The next tunnel was a hundred meters further left from the castle wall, next to a large mound of boulders that had been naturally deposited in the rocky landscape. She tightened her grasp on her bow, desperately trying to muster up the energy for this next attack. She had to be at her best, for there to be any chance of killing Valeren. And she had to succeed; she just had to.

In the evenings, when her men and her squire would retreat to the barracks for a hot meal, bath, and sleep – she’d take roll and count up the number of men she’d lost in the day. And then came the nightly briefing, where she had to report her numbers to the War Council, and then take the berating that always came, whether the losses were her fault or not. She’d rather report tonight that she’d eliminated Valeren.

She knelt next to the narrow opening at the base of the mound of boulders, pushing aside one of the smaller rocks, and then unfastening the latches on the small metal door that covered the entrance to the opening. She looked up at Rek, standing nearby on her right. “You ready to go murder a sorcerer?” 


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Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:13 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



YOU KNOW, I have to commend her for keeping her sense of humor despite having battled for days. She's clearly a very capable warrior and is able to keep a straight head despite it all. So I can see how she is able to be so successful on the battlefield. She's legit a trained weapon, her body responds unconsciously in a fight/battle, and she's able to switch off her battle-mind like a light switch. It's relaly incredible. She must have a lot of experience under her belt, or she's just incredibly gifted.

“What? You mean you didn’t just murder dozens of men in the span of half an hour?” she asked, forcing a laugh. “And that we’re not on our way to murder a sorcerer, in a way that might or might not work, and who will likely kill us if we fail?”

She smiled ferally, showing just a bit too much of her teeth, eyes just a bit too dilated in the dim light. She pushed her mop of short black hair back, looking at her hand dumbly for a long moment afterwards as she realized her hand was now slick with damp blood. A wave of nausea hit her out of nowhere.


This is... amazing. Omg. She is terrifying. She's got a very warped head, and I hope this was the intention because I LOVE it. It was written so well. Honest to goodness, after I read the first quote here, I felt very uncomfortable with her calling wartime murder. I was already rehearsing what to say next because I didn't want to start a philosophical discussion on whether war is murder and how one would define murder BUT the next paragraph, she's got this look of insanity on her. Just a small look and only for a brief moment. But somewhere in her head, she likes it. She likes to fight. She likes war. She likes it out there! And that clearly puts her as an anomaly soldier, and there's clearly something going on in her head and potentially her upbringing/training.

...This could also explain why she plays hero as a general instead of ordering squadrons around. But it doesn't explain how she became general in the first place or why she's still general if something's not right. Hopefully we explore this eventually!

I'd like to see Rekard have a brief look of uneasiness too because I think he has a good head on his shoulders. His jokester self seemed to vanish in this dialogue so far, which tells me he knows when to turn off his humor for a serious situation/topic. And considering who his father is, I think he'll have been brought up in a military family.

Anyhoot. Enough on that.

This chapter so far has been a good example of the dialogue not really having a sense of urgency. Considering the state of the battle upstairs/outside, they're talking extremely casually and asking questions as if they have the time to spare for such discussion. Zaire, for instance, asked if the other ranger was okay as their second. I don't think they have time to even discuss that. Even if the kid wasn't a good fit, there's no time to go back and trade out for another soldier. Jerica requested two rangers and she got two rangers, so her next step should be to move forward. And Zaire, being an experienced ranger, should know that as well. Military dialogue is all about word efficiency. Quickly delivering the message that will not waste anyone's time.

Speaking of Zaire, though, I love him otherwise. I like that we're getting familiar with more of the warriors fighting by Jerica's side. This gives us as readers a little more emotional attachment on Jerica's behalf. Zaire seems like a really freaking cool dude, man. And how awesome that someone so renowned a ranger was elected to accompany her through the tunnels, when his skills could probably have been useful upstairs against other battering rams and things.

OH my gosh, I almost forgot. Zaire referred to Rekard as a general too. Both kids are generals and Zaire isn't! It's so intriguing.

In the evenings, when her men and her squire would retreat to the barracks for a hot meal, bath, and sleep – she’d take roll and count up the number of men she’d lost in the day. And then came the nightly briefing, where she had to report her numbers to the War Council, and then take the berating that always came, whether the losses were her fault or not. She’d rather report tonight that she’d eliminated Valeren.


HUUUUUUUGE. This is our first indication she even has men to order around! I'd definitely like to see this sort of thing in the opening battle. Gives us a visual of her work as a general. Also, it is so sad that she frequently reports losses. :( I should hope that doesn't happen often! (I also love how the narration says she'd rather report killing Valeren. What an awesome depiction of her ambition!)

Overall!

I like this scene a lot, a stark difference from the opening battle scene. It's on par with travel sequences in my book, so I'd love to see some banter or perhaps visual elements that trigger her memory, giving the narrator an excuse to dive into her background more. Or maybe where her thoughts are going right now during this trek down the tunnel. The trek itself is clearly not as exciting, but I like the little moments where she nods at Rekard to open a gate and where Zaire offers to go first as well (which, by the way, I LOVE that he did that -- his reasoning is spot on, and she clearly needs those reminders).

They seemed to be traveling a lot, when I didn't think the explosion was so far away, but maybe it was. You'd think I'd remember something like that, but I did not. So this is just a friendly reminder to consider their walking distance in respect to Valeren's position.

I generally like what you have in here though. The nice quiet scene before the storm that's bound to happen next chapter. We got to meet Zaire and took our timing learning about him a bit too. (And gosh, I hope for the second ragner's sake, that he isn't a Red Shirt here. D: ) The banter between Rekard and Jerica was also really welcome. I like that we're bonding with Jerica's family and friends a bit more this time around. It'll make what happens later far more emotional!




ShadowVyper says...


Thanks for the review! A delight to read and super helpful! :D



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Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:04 pm
RadDog13579 wrote a review...



Hi @Shadowviper, RadDog here! Today I'll be reviewing the second part of your piece Before The Dragon Revamp.

First Impressions: This was a great chapter. I really liked learning about the characters and some more about the world. Some of there plans felt a little confusing to me but I still enjoyed it.

What I Like: You really did a good job with character development. You made it so that I'm starting to form a bond with the characters. Your descriptions are superb and realistic.

What I Think You Can Improve On: Some of it was kind of confusing to me. I would try to get them to explain some of the parts more simply. I don't have much critique for this chapter because it was so good.

Overall, this was a great second installment in the story. I am looking forward to reading the second chapter. Until next time, happy writing!

-RadDog




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Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:52 pm
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Vincian wrote a review...



Hey Shady! Some quick thoughts :D Happy RevMo and I hope you're doing well on Team Tortoise as well. This won't be too long, as I'm getting a bit burnt out from reviewing, but I figured I'd need to do something here haha.

Flopped is a weird verb to start this story. It makes me think of a fish out of water haha.

“What? You mean you didn’t just murder dozens of men in the span of half an hour?” she asked, forcing a laugh. “And that we’re not on our way to murder a sorcerer, in a way that might or might not work, and who will likely kill us if we fail?”


This doesn't logically follow the sentence before in "I don't find anything funny". Also, be careful of constant story backtracking by dialogue like this. We did just read the last chapter supposedly and we don't need Jerica to spell it out for us this early on in chapter 1.

I am glad to see Jerica more willing to depend on people, like Zaire, in this draft than in the last one. Of course, in the last draft she had no one to actually rely on in any means besides Aerik, who is of course her captor. However, she seems, in this draft, more able to be dependent and listen to reason.

I think this was a good chapter part, although it was a little rough at parts. When you start with action in a story, that sets a fast pace that is easy to lose. I think you lost it here by spending this chapter part in the caves so much. Hopefully we can regain this momentum in the next chapter. Hope this helps! :D




Vincian says...


also this review was 999 characters apparently BUT I STILL GOT MY 100 PTS MWAHAHA



ShadowVyper says...


Thanks for the review! I meant the bit you quoted as her being really sarcastic, but just about every single other reviewer has also mentioned that, so I'm definitely planning on editing it out when I go to revise xD Happy you're still sticking with Tortoise~



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Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:01 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hey Shades!

Sorry I'm so behind with these, but I think I'm all caught up on my other reviews so going to get onto these now :)

“I just am not going to hold your hand

The flow of this wasn't quite right for me. Perhaps 'I'm just not'?

“Lighten up. You’re such a grandfather sometimes, Rek, I swear.”

Hmm, interesting comparison though I can't see how what he said makes him seem like a grandfather? I could see her calling him a grandfather in response to something like him saying she's going too fast for him, or 'back in my day' haha! Not sure it works quite right here.

“What? You mean you didn’t just murder dozens of men in the span of half an hour?” she asked, forcing a laugh. “And that we’re not on our way to murder a sorcerer, in a way that might or might not work, and who will likely kill us if we fail?”

I like how the sarcasm gives us an insight into her character here and like how she uses dark humour. However, I think you could do with including another line for clarity at the end. Something like 'You mean you don't find all of that funny?' I just think it rounds it off nicely and makes it clear that she's being sarcastic.

“Are you okay?” Rek asked gently.

Aww, even after she's been mean to him.

“Then I’m fine!” she popped up to her feet, wandering away from him and stretching her back.

Not sure popped is the right choice of words here, it makes her seem far too carefree given the current situation. Even if she's trying to seem it through her words I think some of her actions would give her away.

but if Zaire trusted him enough to bring him along, that was enough for her

It didn't seem much like he trusted him, maybe he could vouch for him a bit more?

“Please,” Zaire said, gesturing at the hatch. “I’m here to take the risks that aren’t necessary for you.”

I got a bit lost at this point because I was trying to figure out why it was a risk for him to go down a narrow corridor but I see what you mean now. Maybe you could allude to what might be on the other side before this line.

“We hopefully won’t be long.”

Personally, I think 'Hopefully we won't be long' flows better :)

It feels like she actually has more of a close relationship with other characters in this draft compared to what I've read before and I like that for her as it seems like it will give her more reason to come back to them!

That's all I have for now - will try and get to the others over the next few days!

Icy <3




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Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:30 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Shady!

I'm back for more *punches the air* also Happy RevMo!


Jerica flopped the rest of the way to the ground, shaking her head. The cool stone felt nice against her weary legs.


I'm not exactly clear on where she's "flopping the rest of the way to the ground" from? Did she just emerge from the tunnels? Is she in the tunnels? I mean, I assume I'll find out in a minute, but I'm not sure this serves you well as an opening for this chapter.

(also, reading a little further, I believe they're in the monastery still, but again, this is kind of a jolting way to start the chapter. when you responded to me, you had said "the second part of chapter one", but the title says "chapter two". If this is the second part of chapter one, the transition is a little rough still, I think, because I would have had Jerica respond to Rekard's "after you princess" with "we have to wait for the rangers" right away [also Rekard has said before "why just the two of us" so why didn't she say anything then?], rather than having her say it after she collapsed. But! if it's chapter two, I think it needs to be a little more individual, or start when the rangers arrive and have this exchange at the end of chapter one)

“Lighten up. You’re such a grandfather sometimes, Rek, I swear.”


you know how grandfathers don't have senses of humour.

“What? You mean you didn’t just murder dozens of men in the span of half an hour?” she asked, forcing a laugh. “And that we’re not on our way to murder a sorcerer, in a way that might or might not work, and who will likely kill us if we fail?”


I think this was meant to be ended with something like "you mean this isn't a funny situation?" in a sarcastic manner, but this as a response to "I don't see what's funny about the situation" ...doesn't really make sense? This isn't inherently funny, and I know she's being sarcastic, but there's no rhetorical question posed her as a response. She's stating what they're doing, which isn't really sarcastic since it's facts. Does any of this make sense? I think your intention was to be like "oh haha you mean this isn't funny", but then forgot to add it? Or I'm misinterpreting something?

He was eerily similar to Uncle Derik, with the same green eyes,


This!! is a very good place to put in that he + Uncle Derik have green eyes!! We're in a quieter moment, and it's a good observation to make, so I think here is a more appropriate place to mention the green eyes!

“Then I’m fine!” she popped up to her feet, wandering away from him and stretching her back. Her head was getting muddled. She couldn’t allow that. She had to stay alert, or she would die, and many others would follow, if she wasn’t there to protect them. It was better for everyone to force herself to stay nonchalant.


This is such a good hint that Jerica's Not Doing Ok. I mean, I know what's going on with her, but this is a very good subtle(ish lol) hint that Jerica doesn't have a sound mind here (which I think you kind of faltered on early in the last draft, so touching it so soon now works much better since we already know it's an issue way before she ever even gets close to Aerik and Kaidren's mountain + she starts getting help. Plus, in the way you've written it, you've shown that she's averse to it and/or ignoring the problem entirely, so that it'll be a lot more impactful later when Aerik forces her to slow down and think about it)

Aside from Uncle Derik and Rek, the Rangers were the people she would trust the most to stand at her side in a battle.


I think Akeno was also on this list? She seems to trust a lot of people here and have a lot of friends? This isn't a bad thing, it gives her more reason to come home later, but I also think that later it might leave more a bad impression on Aerik since it seems like he's actually holding her back from a pretty ok home situation as opposed to before where it seemed like he was trying to keep her away from a bad home life? Maybe it is something though that you've changed? I don't know what your edits have been for the later plot though, so honestly that's really more up to you since you know better than I do! (and don't get me wrong, I like that you've given Jerica more allies, but it doesn't seem like she's under...as much pressure? if that makes sense. And I can't really complain about that since I just mentioned it in one of my last Fleeting Eternity reviews)

rather than selling himself to another king’s treasury like others had done.


"others" as in other people in the kingdom or "others" as in the other Rangers? If it's the latter, than why is it that Jerica trusts them so much if they did something like this (I mean, understandably with Levin as I Now Know he's the Garbage uncle)

She held the torch in front of herself and saw the stone walls coated with black slime.


Describing something after saying a pov character "saw" it isn't necessary actually. This is a common pitfall of mine too, but of course the character is seeing it (provided they are not blind), it's their point of view. Describe their surroundings, but padding it with some sort of sensory description (stuff like "see/saw" and "hear/d" is almost always unnecessary, whereas I've found there's more leniency with "smell/ed" or "touch/ed" or "taste/d").

but it wasn’t worth it to risk the bare flesh of her arm coming in contact with the mold on the wall.


D:

The silence was deafening as they walked down the tunnel. The only sounds were the faint crackling of the torches, and Rekard’s quiet breaths just behind her. That, and the pounding of her heart in her own ears.


I wouldn't really call it silence if there's noise lol but creative liberties.

I actually pulled this bit though to point out that you described Jerica hearing things without saying she "heard" them and I wanted to bring that up to contrast what I said before about it! This is a good example of showing sensory input, rather than telling!

Jerica hesitated a moment, then stepped to the left, out of the way. She reached for his sword. “I can hold it while you open the hatch.”

“Very well.” He handed her the sword then climbed on the spikes until he could reach the hatch.


does he not have a sheath?

“Allow me,” Zaire offered, stepping forward.


I know I'm kind of going backwards here, but I did want to mention this as it came up before (when Rekard "questioned" Jerica about the Rangers). Dialogue tags are great and all, but they're usually best when reserved to clarifying who's speaking and sometimes to elaborate on tone/emotion. Here, you tell us that he's "offering", when that's already clear in the dialogue and the action he takes. You don't even need to tag, only "Zaire stepped forward" after the dialogue, so that it's clear he's speaking, but the tag doesn't actually do anything (just as "Rekard questioned" didn't really either.

Obviously this is flexible, but usually "asked" or "said" is good for when it's unclear who's speaking and you just need something quick to tell who it is.

And she had to succeed; she just had to.


Spoiler! :
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wait shady what happens to rek? is he ok after this


I know I've read a chunk of the last draft and I know somewhat of where this is going, but I don't know what all and how much you've changed, so I'm already hyped to see where this is going and what's going to happen to my girl!!


Not much happened in this chapter, beyond introducing the rangers, but it is a good respite after the huge battle introduction (and with my vague knowledge of what is to come, a good slower chapter before everything goes Terrible). I don't have a lot of overall thoughts, so hopefully the more micro stuff was helpful!

!! I'm very happy to be reading this again and seeing where it goes!! I can't wait <3

I hope you have a wonderful day!! :D

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ShadowVyper says...


Thanks so much for the review! The chapter divisions were my mistake lol, they are meant to be part one and part two of chapter one. I have never in my life done chapters that way so I titled them out of habit rather than my intent lol. That's fixed now ^^

The major critique I got on the last draft was how much she gets pushed around rather than driving the story, so I'm trying to spend a bit more time setting up what she's coming from, rather than launching straight into the main plot lol. So I am planning to change quite a bit of the early chapters, but not the overall themes, if that makes sense? Still a Terrible Family TM and trauma to heal from but I'm gonna approach it pretty different. Hopefully it ends up working out okay!!



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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:54 pm
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MissGangamash wrote a review...



I prefer this chapter to the first. Although some of the descriptions seemed unnecessary, you do build a good image in my head of what's going on.

I think this chapter flows better because there's less going on and there're less characters that.

From what I've gathered about Jerica's personality, she seems quite headstrong and would do anything for her people, so when she was questioning herself and calling herself an idiot, it seemed quite out of place? If she really thought it was a stupid plan, why is she risking the lives of her cousin and the Rangers? It just doesn't really fit. If you've volunteered assassinate a threat and brought backup along for the ride - you'd better bloody be confident and sure of your plan. Also, the mention of her being berated about losing men (which I thought was a really nice detail to flesh out her character), again, this doesn't mesh well with the self-doubt. But if you are trying to express that she doesn't really believe in herself, I think it can be done better. Instead of her chastising herself, maybe she could just have a worried thought about putting her men in danger?

I really liked how you describe Jerica. Like the arching from her breastplate. The blood in her hair. The nausea. It makes her very human, which can sometimes be missed in character's like this.




ShadowVyper says...


Thanks for the review! I appreciate it! :D



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Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:35 pm
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Vil wrote a review...



Hello there, @ShadowVyper! It's Knight Vilnius, here to review your awesome second chapter!

First Impression
I really like how you're building your way along in the plot. You've kept me interested, though there are some issues I think we need to look at.

What I Dislike
Details - While I personally like a few extra details, I think there are a few spots where you tend to drone on. Summing up these spots and/or combining them to shorten them (particularly the two paragraphs describing the Rangers' looks and loyalties) would have kept me more interested, instead of my mind wandering off once or twice.

What I Like
There were no obvious grammatical errors, and I just love that! It makes my life about 95% easier when it comes to reviewing, because I hate being te first reviewer and focusing on grammar the whole way through. It feels... tacky, per se.

I think that you've set up a side plot by describing the reigning King's actions as "radical," and I'm wanting to know more about the politics of this world you've created.

Setting
Despite an excessive description, you've created a well-defined setting and helped the reader visualize what's going on. Your descriptions are neither tawdry nor flashy, and that's a really great thing.

Jerica
Out of the cast you've introduced us to so far, Jerica is my favorite. I really want to see what she's thinking more often, mostly because she seems t be the most real to me.

In Summary
You've got a really great second chapter with some room for improvement. I can't wait to see what happens next! I'm also wondering what happens if they can't kill the Sorcerer... maybe splash him with some water?

Have a great #RevMo , and have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!




ShadowVyper says...


Thanks for the review Vilnius! I appreciate it!




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