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Hidden Entity - 1.1 - Argument

by SirLight


From the sky, Ilal watched over the humans with Their shrewd eyes. It was good to inspect Their creations, as, if They did not, Their mind would go back to the argument They had with Their siblings. The bond of the Divine Five seemed to be shaken. Sometimes, Ilal licked Their paws to conform with the form They took - half cat, half snake. All metallic black.

The young man on the vast field was shepherding his sheep. He was gentle in his care, not hurting the poor animals with his whip. They moved as a unit, but were as slow as snails, to their cage. The man shouted words of encouragement, and though he didn’t know, the animals could understand him. Ilal knew this; They created living things, after all.

They slithered through the clouds, enjoying the creation of Their twin brother and sister. The white fluffy things were comfortable. They had spent hours supervising Their creations; humans and animals alike acted according to Their expectations. No chaos emerged today. Peace wrapped around Them like a snug galaxy dress.

The enjoyment didn’t last long. Something purple glowed beside Them and They sighed in anticipation. They knew who was coming. The glow expanded to create a human-size portal and from it emerged Anam, Their youngest sibling. A multi-coloured ring floated around his waist. He took the form of Their creation as preferred - a middle-aged man with muscular built and handsome face. The epitome of maleness, he once said. They usually snorted to that.

‘Nevea and Terna are arguing again. The twins aren’t helping. We need you.’ His voice was void of expression, but there was a hint of plead at the end.

‘Troublesome sisters. Terna should know better than to oppose Nevea, and Nevea should compromise more.’ Ilal was silent, deep in thought. ‘But then again, she is the most powerful among us and most vast is her wisdom. She needs to control her temper.’ A sigh blended from with the passing wind. ‘Very well. I will go -’

‘Is he controlling the animals without magic?’ Anam cut in, his eyes on the young man who was now checking his animals.

‘He didn’t need to,’ Ilal replied, annoyed.

‘But I have blessed him with it!’ Anam shook his head and folded his arms. ‘I cannot understand this kind of human. Why bother wasting your energy when you can do something with a snap of a finger? I endow them with magic and this is how they use it - or lack thereof.’

‘Not all of them prefers the lazy method.’ Ilal’s voice was calm now. They slithered to the portal, moving as if They had wings. ‘For every challenge I present, I provide a solution. One that does not involve magic.’

Anam followed his older sibling, frowning pitifully to the young man. ‘To live an ordinary life. The man must have been secretly suffering.’

I know them better than you, Ilal wanted to reply, but They stopped Themselves. It didn’t matter what They said to Anam; his stubbornness was magical, or so They thought mockingly. Both of them disappeared into the portal before the violet ring shrunk into nothingness to the Fifth Dimension where they lived.


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Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:56 am
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Apricity wrote a review...



Alrighty, I'm super late but on the bright side you get to be my 450th review! aren't you special. Let's go.

General impression first, I suppose knowing the background of this story helps to an extent, but without that I feel that this snippet is lacking a lot of context. I know you don't want to reveal everything yet, and it's possible that you haven't worked out what's happening in this galaxy. If anything, I'd like to see a clearer depiction of the deities, their relationship with each other and just exactly what they're capable of creating.

They slithered through the clouds, enjoying the creation of Their twin brother and sister. The white fluffy things were comfortable.


Your switch in formality here, is somewhat strange. Up till that point and for the rest of the story, IIal talks in a formal tone, but why are they calling clouds 'white fluffy things' there. It doesn't fit well with the rest of the story, or the tone for that matter. Unless you had a special reason for it? So, who is their twin brother and sister.

humans and animals alike acted according to Their expectations.


why did humans and animals alike acted according to Their expectations? I don't know how this galaxy works, do they create human and animals with a blueplan in mind, how does it work? You don't have to go into full explanation mode, but a hint or two would be nice. Something else I want to mention is that, this chapter have too much packed into it. There's a string of names, new information all without explaining and by the end of it, I'm kinda baffled and lost as to where this is heading.

Like there's magic apparently? And three different deities + twins. And on top of everything, they live in another dimension, so where were did just now?

I feel like you've tried to pack too much information into this chapter, you want to introduce your main characters and set the scene but there's just so much that need to be explained and contexualised, by the end of the chapter I'm baffled as to who is who, what is what and where this story is going to lead. If they're talking about shepherd and magic, why not continue with that thread. In my humble opinion, it might be better to stick with something that's essential to your plot and expand that, then weave in everything else. Rather than, having a snippet of everything.

That being said, this kind of story intrigues me because I haven't read others like its kind. Slow down a bit, keep writing, if you've got any questions though you know where to find me. ;) I hope this review was helpful to you.

-Apricity




SirLight says...


Ooh, I always love your reviews. Straight forward and constructive. Will definitely consider this for future draft. Thanks! <3



Apricity says...


Aw <3 thank you, I'm glad it helped. c:



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Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:28 am
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Mea wrote a review...



Here for the review, as promised. :D

I'll admit the capitalized They as a pronoun was a little distracting. It's just the combination of two abnormal things - 'they' being used as a singular pronoun I'm pretty used to, though not in stories but it being capitalized too made it take a while to stop jarring me every time it was used.

Obviously, it's important that you use They, but I would echo previous reviewers about trying to use Ilal's name more often, especially when there are other groups that they're talking about that could be referred to as they. As your story goes on, readers will get used to 'They' as a pronoun, and you can start using it more often.

The other thing is that I get that Ilal's a god, which is why Their pronouns are capitalized, but aren't Their brothers and sisters gods too? Shouldn't their pronouns be capitalized as well?

Other people have covered most of the grammatical things, so I won't dwell on that. Instead, I'll talk about Ilal. Right now, I'm not terribly interested in Them as a protagonist. We know They've argued with Their siblings, but that alone doesn't give a good sense of character. Right now, Ilal feels rather aloof, without strong emotions. I think a lot of this is the speaking style - most of your characters tend to speak very formally, which doesn't always fit the setting (it can here, as they're gods), but the bigger problem is when there's no contrast. If it was just Ilal speaking rather formally, it would set Them apart from the other characters and give us insight into them. But when everyone speaks so formally, it all blends together and makes the characters feel flat and awkward in their speech.

Honestly, I've always thought character voices are the hardest thing to do well in writing. Specifically, I think you could work to make one or two of your characters sound casual and more natural. But another thing to do to make Ilal more interesting is to give Them a stronger reaction to things like the fact Their siblings are arguing again.

I think that's all I've got for this one - I like how you set up the boy who's probably going to be important later on. You did a good job with the exposition - I understood what was going on, but it was all rather natural the way we find out about the family, as well as the magic and the boy. Keep writing!




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Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:06 am
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Omnom wrote a review...



Hey there, Light. Let's jump right into it.

From the sky, Ilal watched over the humans with Their shrewd eyes.


Their doesn't need to be here. So, Ilal watched over the humans with judgmental eyes? Much judging :P I quite like this as a beginning to the story. It's a solid sentence, not too long, so that people remember it.

It was good to inspect Their creations, as, if They did not, Their mind would go back to the argument They had with Their siblings.


This sentence really drags on. Some suggestions to make this read better.

"It was good to inspect Their creations; If They did not, Their mind would go back to the argument with Their siblings."

^So, I removed the ",as," from the sentence, since that comma spliced your sentence. The semi-colon here provides the same pause, but also acts as a sentence end and beginning. That way, you have now have another shorter sentence following the first one. I also removed "They had" because this sentence just had wayyy too many pronouns. I would consider putting Ilal to replace one of them. Before the changes, you had five whole uses of pronouns focusing on the same person. Pronouns are wonderful to use, but I think a good balance between it and the actual name should be used. What do you think?

Sometimes, Ilal licked Their paws to conform with the form They took - half cat, half snake. All metallic black.


Okay, so "Sometimes" is present tense, which doesn't match what you've been using. This whole sentence is just awkward description. "conform with the form" is a bit of a tongue twister, and it took me three re-reads to understand that Ilal was licking Their paw to act like a cat, because of the awkward wording. Also, why? Why would Ilal be licking Their paw where They're at? I know, as a writing tool you wanted us to know that this being was half-cat, half-snake, but from a setting perspective, is there any need for Ilal to 'act' like the being They took the form of? Is anyone watching Their every move?

Maybe you could pull this off by mentioning that "Ilal then realized that there was no need to act on Their habitual side, They were alone for now." That way, you can effectively tell us what kind of creature They are, while also giving a bit of character. Also, a side note "All metallic black" isn't needed here. That's information I will completely forget in two minutes.

The young man on the vast field was shepherding his sheep.


So Ilal is paying attention to this specific man? Oooh, what for? (If it's not for a specific reason, I would suggest changing "The" to "A")

They moved as a unit, but were as slow as snails, to their cage.


Using snails as a simile to how sheep moved is a poor comparison. Since most readers will know both, that's just simply an exaggeration.

Peace wrapped around Them like a snug galaxy dress.


What a wonderful sentence. Really sets an image in my head.

The enjoyment didn’t last long. Something purple glowed beside Them and They sighed in anticipation. They knew who was coming.


Another case of too many pronouns. Ilal is such a wonderful name, and we already know this character is important through your liberal use of capital pronouns, I think you should definitely use it more.

The glow expanded to create a human-size portal and from it emerged Anam, Their youngest sibling. A multi-coloured ring floated around his waist.


"create" here isn't needed, as it just slows down the action. Having two verbs like that slows down the reading immensely. Also, the bland description about the ring is, well, just that. Often using actions to describe things makes it stick much more than plainly describing it. For example:

"Anam rested a hand on the multi-colored rings orbiting his waist, with a grim etched into his face. Every time he visited Ilal, he would make an act of touching those rings. He viewed it as a sign of pride. They viewed it as nonsense."

^So with this example description, not only do the readers get a description of the rings, we also now have a habit attached to them, which cements this into our minds. Even a single action would do, but a habit like that is even better. It also packs a lot of personality into a couple of sentences.

The epitome of maleness, he once said.


Maleness? Such a formal word haha

His voice was void of expression, but there was a hint of plead at the end.


This sentence just contradicted itself. I know that there's a "but" there, but I feel like you can amp up this sentence even more. An example:

"His expression strained itself to remain emotionless, but a hint of pleading cracked through the surface."

That's just an example, but I believe the imagery there would be really worth it.

I endow them with magic and this is how they use it - or lack thereof.’


Lack thereof is weak. Maybe you could change it to "I endow them with magic and they waste it."

Both of them disappeared into the portal before the violet ring shrunk into nothingness to the Fifth Dimension where they lived.


This is a lot of not-needed info. Just keep "Both of them disappeared through the portal." and maybe mention something about the portal disappearing, but the reader can guess where they're going. In fact, making the reader guess until the next part is a stronger ending. With what you have right now, it feels like you forgot to add something to the end.


So, I'm intrigued! I would love if it you mentioned me when you post the next part to this. You have a strong basis for a story. Please let me know what you thought about my corrections. I'd love to have a conversation about this below.

Hope this helped <3




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Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:43 pm
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Baezel wrote a review...



Hello!
Firstly, damn pal, this is good. Are you going to write more, if not about Ilal specifically, then about this world as a whole?

I don't really have enough complaints to be useful; My only advice is use Ilal's name more. 'They' is a great gender neutral pronoun, but you used it so often alongside the sheep's 'they' and Ilal's creation's 'they' that it became difficult to distinguish between them, despite the capital letter. (If that makes sense?)
Also, I'm presuming the Divine Five are whatever these 'gods' are -if I'm wrong then just ignore this entire paragraph- but unless the twins are counted as one, Ilal+Anam+Terna+Nevea+the twins = more than five. I'm sure you have an explanation for this, but it wasn't made clear in the story, and so unless this is part of a series, it's just confusing.

I feel like this is too negative, so I'm gonna gush: This was really good, or at least in my subjective opinion. I'm gonna be checking out your other works, because, as previously said, damn pal.




Baezel says...


Wait I just noticed the "1.1". This is part of a series. Which is why you pay attention the details, kids, so you don't write unnecessary crap.



SirLight says...


Oh, dang, it should be the Divine Six! Thanks for pointing that out. xD



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Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:51 pm
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Ventomology wrote a review...



Hello there! I'm finally returning to the review scene, and what better way to do it than to follow a story from the very beginning? Thanks for the opportunity!

So let's get this show on the road, yeah?

A General Comment:

As a rule, you will want to prefer active verbs over passive or inactive ones (passive verbs encompass the forms of 'is,' 'will,' 'should,' etc.), because active verbs are stronger, more descriptive, and more engaging than passive ones. And while there are certainly instances where passive verbs are necessary, your descriptive passages are not one of them.

Let's look at the second paragraph, where you describe the shepherd:

First of all, you can skip the "was shepherding" and just say the young man "shepherded." I understand that you probably don't want this to be a short sentence, so once you've simplified your verb, you can dive in and add a dependent or "-ing clause," which will help you keep the pace slow and give room for further elaboration.

Next, when you say the shepherd "was gentle," think about how the man shows his gentleness. He probably touches the sheep, right? You can describe how he touches the sheep, or whether or not he whispers to any individuals. The trick is to use actions to imply a trait, not say a character has a trait and then try to back that up.

Nitpicking:

Because this is fairly short, I will do a little bit of nitpicking. Longer chapters I tend to not do this, or if you don't think nitpicking is helpful, just let me know and I'll stop.

Something purple glowed beside Them.

Okay, so we maybe don't want to use the word "something." It's so vague. You are allowed to just call it a portal from the get-go, or you can use the shape, or even call it a speck of light, depending on how you envision this portal appearing.

A sigh blended from with the passing wind.


Forget to proofread? I find that mouthing the words or reading them aloud helps catch little slip-ups like this.

It didn’t matter what They said to Anam; his stubbornness was magical


Hooray! Correct use of a semicolon! You go, man!

Plot, Characterization & Misc. Items:

1. Three cheers for gender-neutral characters!

2. I notice that you have this piece listed under sci-fi, but even with different dimensions, I'm not sure this constitutes as sci-fi. To count as sci-fi, you want to incorporate advanced technology, not just dimensions and other-worldly beings. If I'm just not far enough into the story to find the tech, that's different, but I'm under the impression that this lines up better with fantasy/adventure than sci-fi.

3. The world-building with the gods is already pretty good! It seems natural, like a part of life, or a given, which is perfect, since within the confines of the story, the gods are just how it is. It feels like you already have a solid grasp on the history and creation of this world, and it shows! Good job!

I think that's about it for now. If you can, please let me know when you put up 1.2. I'd love to see where you take this.

-Buggie




SirLight says...


Thanks for the review! I'm torn about putting this as sci-fi, really, because while magic is involved, some things are explained scientifically. Like, Ilal is the deity of humans, but They didn't create them magically. There is science involved. Science is the deities' knowledge of the truth passed to the humans. c:




No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.
— John Donne