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Hidden Entity - 1.2 - Argument

by SirLight


Author’s Note: As usual, this part is fresh from the mind, rough from being unedited. I posted it after I finished it. However, do rip it apart and do give nitpicks. I hope for more commentary on context. About the characters, setting, and plot, among other things. It would be nice if suggestions as to how to make those aspects better are given, but I am not going to promise all will be considered.

Also, checking back at the outline of the Children of Creation (previously known as Divine Six), they are indeed all five, with Terna being one of the twins mentioned. Also, since the deities are pretty much a race, I decided to drop the pronoun capitalization. Now that all has been settled, enjoy reading!

*

The Fifth Dimension was the home of Ilal’s parents who preferred to be called as King and Queen. Ilal didn’t know their real name. Nevea said the children of the Rulers had not reach the required age to gain the information; she had it, of course, being two billion years old. Ilal had yet to know the logic of the condition. Only Queen was here now; King had went out of the dimension to pursue a mysterious anomaly at the edge of the space kingdom. The other Rulers had sent their representative to join the mission, and it had been a billion year since the group had left.

Once they were out of the portal, they stepped onto a carpet of stars. Ilal preferred the walkway to be more decorative and curvy, but their parents obviously did not recognize art. The twinkling stars gathered themselves into a straight line. Having them was futile, however, as none of the deity needed them to walk to the palace.

At the end of the carpet was home. A spherical palace built by lights and space objects, it stayed firm on the space. At its front was the main door as tall as its three-stories wall. Two little celestial beings opened the door, their wings flapping to help them. Terna’s twin, Alta, exited. Like Anam, Alta took a man’s form, but his body frame was taller and leaner. Nevertheless, he held a spear with a sphere of sarin at its tip. Anam shied away from the poisonous weapon while Ilal slithered closer to Alta. Ilal knew having the spear was Alta’s way to intimidate someone without having to act intimidating. He was actually harmless most of the times.

‘I heard Nevea and Terna argue again. How’s the situation?’ asked Ilal, folding her cat arms.

‘Terna does all the speaking with Nevea interrupting once or twice.’ If Ilal was to describe the smoothness of Alta’s voice, they would compare it with a ballad singer. He lowered his spear, nodding at the silent Anam. ‘Thank you for your help, brother. I am sure, with the voice of reason in the room, the argument will cease soon.’

Ilal rolled their eyes. They only interfered to stop the argument from turning to a fight. It would be disastrous if that happened. The result would be obvious, of course; Terna stood no chance against the Deity of Stars. Ilal hoped Terna had the presence of mind to not cross the line. They changed form to a white pegasus, their wings sprinkled with stars. Appearance was important if you wanted to be the voice of reason.

Accompanied by Anam, whose human form remained, Ilal entered the room. At the middle of it was Nevea, sitting at the highchair. This room was hers, specially decorated to make her familiar with her future responsibility - to rule as a Queen. The wall was painted with moving flame. Her dark red eyes focused on Ilal. Fire and electricity blended to form the female human version of her. Ilal could feel the heat radiating from her.

In front of Nevea was Terna. Like Anam, she too was tall and lean, but with blond hair instead of hazel brown. Her facial expression, while soft like her twin, was also sad, dark shadow forming under her eyes. The Deity of Planets, Ilal thought. The loneliest of us all. The argument Terna had with Nevea must have been the same as before.

‘My dear sibling,’ Nevea greeted, her voice thunderous as well as scratchy. ‘Come to side with Terna, do you?’

‘Is it about the ninth planet, Aevi? The dwarfest of them all?’

To that, Nevea laughed and nodded. ‘Indeed it is about Aevi,’ she answered, her voice still shaking with laughter, ‘the dwarfest of them all.’

‘You cannot remove it from the Solar System!’ cried Terna, the veins in her neck showing. She turned to Ilal with a scowl. ‘No matter its size, it’s a planet. My planet.’

‘First of all,’ Ilal said, hovering closer to Terna, ‘it’s not yours alone, it’s also Alta’s. You made planets with his assistance, remember? What did he say about this?’

‘That little brat agreed with Nevea.’ Terna took a sit at the nearby chair - not as high as Nevea, but it was made for her. ‘I don’t know why he doesn’t care about Aevi. Others know it belongs to the Solar System. Why change it now?’

Nevea didn’t reply to that. This was a good sign, as every time she started to speak longer than usual, her power leaked. It was a part of her that she could not control. But then again, Ilal thought, she is aware of it. Which is why she always replies with actions, a much worse way of reaction. Truly, their eldest sister was terrifying. They remembered her words: ‘While I create, I destroy.’ She was the Child of Creation who could very well be the Child of Destruction.

Ilal’s wing touched Terna’s shoulder. ‘This is not the time to spark a flame, sister,’ they said. ‘You are not having control of yourself. Discuss this with me and both of us will decide what is best for Aevi. While I have nothing to do with it, I understand your concern.’ You treat planets like they’re your babies.

Terna stared at her in silence before glancing at Nevea. Terna wasn’t stupid or reckless; she only had the habit to express herself in the severest way possible. Finally, she shook her head. ‘No. I will not give up this time.’ Her words made Ilal consider revising her personality. Terna pointed at Nevea. ‘She cannot do anything as she wishes. The planet isn’t her; it’s mine - and mine alone. Alta doesn’t care about it in the slightest.’

Ilal could hear Terna’s anger. Her voice, though loud, was shaky. Among the Children of Creation, Terna was the oddest one. Even Alta had confessed he didn’t know her that well. Ilal wasn’t sure if they themselves did.

A thought came into their mind, then. She should’ve considered it before. ‘There’s something in Aevi, isn’t it, Terna? It’s not just about the planet; it’s about something in it.’ It was just a guess, but it was a good one. From Ilal’s memory, Terna wasn’t this protective of her planet; not when she was against Nevea.


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Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:10 pm
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Sacredlege wrote a review...



Mea took a dip into this, but I'd like to take a bit of a dive, since (like usual) cosmological arguments are right up my alley. So since she left it out, I thought I'd talk about some grammar issues and the occasional misplaced wording, and then talk about the 'stakes' problem she addressed earlier:

Technical Issues

Ilal didn’t know their real name.


Since (as far as I've read) we're talking about two people here, it should be 'names'.

The other Rulers had sent their representative to join the mission, and it had been a billion year since the group had left.


It's 'years' here.

Having them was futile, however, as none of the deity needed them to walk to the palace.


Also, 'deities' here. Basically, watch your plurals.

Anam shied away from the poisonous weapon while Ilal slithered closer to Alta.


'Slithered' suggested that Ilal was in their snake form, but then later on it turns out they were in a cat form. If they had changed at some point, I suggest mentioning the transition, as it might be a little confusing to the analytical reader.

At the middle of it was Nevea, sitting at the highchair.


A personal and probably a grammatical error here, but admittedly it's somewhat lax nowadays. It ought to have been 'in the middle of it' and 'sitting in the highchair,' as while sometimes 'at' and 'in' might seem interchangeable, there are notable differences. See here for more info: http://www.talkenglish.com/grammar/prep ... at-in.aspx

The Deity of Planets, Ilal thought. The loneliest of us all.


This connects to the story, but it was mostly a conceptual problem. What does the deity of planets have anything to do with being lonely? I mean, I know the second statement is suppsoed to explain the first one, but they are supposed to connect--in this case, it really doesn't. If anything, you'd think the Deity of Planets has plenty of company and plenty of planets.

The planet isn’t her; it’s mine


Hers, not just her. 'The planet isn't her' basically means Nevea isn't the planet Aevi. 'The planet isn't hers' means the planet Aevi doesn't belong to Nevea. Sort of obvious, and I know this was rough, so this was most likely an accident.

You are not having control of yourself.


This was very awkward wording. I would've preferred something along the lines of 'You lack control of yourself' or 'you must control yourself' or even simpler yet 'You aren't in control of yourself.'

Terna took a sit at the nearby chair


Again with the at preposition, that should probably be an 'in'.

Carrying onwards to the actual text!

The Beginning

The Fifth Dimension was the home of Ilal’s parents who preferred to be called as King and Queen. Ilal didn’t know their real name. Nevea said the children of the Rulers had not reach the required age to gain the information; she had it, of course, being two billion years old. Ilal had yet to know the logic of the condition. Only Queen was here now; King had went out of the dimension to pursue a mysterious anomaly at the edge of the space kingdom. The other Rulers had sent their representative to join the mission, and it had been a billion year since the group had left.


Alright, so let's talk about this wall of text of a beginning. Not that that's a bad thing--just because your beginning starts with a large paragraph, doesn't mean it isn't interesting. Still, looking at the elements present, I wouldn't say that it's awfully eye-catching. It brings up a lot of questions, but none of them the sort that the reader might want to know about, or has any stake in; for example what was the Fifth Dimension, specifically? Whose this Ilal person? Whose Nevea? If Queen is still here, where is she in this first chapter?

I think the only question I'm genuinely curious about is the anomaly that the King was investigating, but even then it isn't the central focus. I would've preferred it if you focused on one or two elements in the beginning, prepare your readers before dumping a load of exposition on them. For example, since the protagonist is Ilal, it'd be a good idea to start with who she is, what her main conflicts are, that sort of thing. Starting out with a large shot of literally the whole universe is unnecessarily intimidating.

Setting

The setting is pretty important here, I think, and I like how you describe it as star-laden and somewhat surreal. I'm not a setting sort of guy, but I think in cases like this it would've been worth taking a few more sentences describing the current setting, especially the place where Nevea and Terna are arguing. I imagine a dark place with some random lights flashing from the walls, and that's pretty much it. Of course, it's there, and I appreciate that--but sharpening it a bit would be great.

The Unfolding of Things

So let's unfold all of this with each paragraph:

Para 1: A description of the universe, and the King and Queen, and some introduction to names the reader has yet to know.

Para 2-3: Suddenly, the text takes its perspective with Ilal, describing the universe with a little bit more detail and also introducing Alta. The transition is definitely rough, and it seemed like the first paragraph had nothing to do with the next, so I think you need to add some thought bubble in the middle, or something else to connect the two.

Para 4-7: Around here it's much smoother, and the dialogue is human and nice, developing the two characters involved.

Para 8-end: So we're introduced to both Nevea and Terna, who seem to be on opposing sides here. I like how you characterize Nevea by her image, but that'll be for later. The argument is evidently tense, and it does show. I quite like it, really, but I think the ending is a bit choppy. But that's for later.

So far, there are parts that feel a bit choppy, and a smoother transition from thought to action is probably called for, but so far you're doing well.

Characters

Let's briefly visit each of the characters, and try to describe their personalities. Most of them I was confused about, since there were so many of them in a little space of time, so I'm rating them from most memorable to most forgettable.

Ilal

Obviously, Ilal would take the first place, since they're basically the main character here. It wasn't clear what Deity they were, but if I had to guess it had to be Reason, since the others talk about them like they're the main voice of reason. And in the end, it does show, since they figured out that there's something on the planet that might've been important to their sister. I also like that they're calm without being boring, a trait that's surprisingly rare--most writers mistake reservation with a lack of personality, which hasn't shown up here. They're sizing up the situation and argument logically, but they're also rolling their eyes over the situation, knowing how ridiculous it is. They try to persuade their younger sister, and even feel bad for her, but that doesn't mean they're 100% on their side. Their shapeshifting abilities, I think, is the most interesting part about them, but it's also confusing as the snake-to-cat comment I made earlier shows. Might want to be careful about that.

Nevea

Though she probably had the least amount of screentime, I liked Nevea the most. Her initial image was imposing and immediately eye-catching, and her dialogue solidified her intimidating nature. I feel like she'll probably take the villainous queen role, but I feel she'll do it well, since she isn't without reason. Aevi seems only important to Terna at the moment, so it might be logical to take it away, until the audience gets more information. Still, the audience is now wary of her.

Terna

Terna's clearly passive, and though it isn't shown, it is explicitly stated that she rarely opposes her sister. And it also shows in how she acts--she pauses for a bit between her arguments, and even though she's angry, she always second thinks her words. I'm genuinely interested what's her deal with Aevi. If I have anything to say though, it's probably the dialogue:

‘That little brat agreed with Nevea.’ Terna took a sit at the nearby chair - not as high as Nevea, but it was made for her. ‘I don’t know why he doesn’t care about Aevi. Others know it belongs to the Solar System. Why change it now?’


It makes her seem a little louder and more angry than she's intended to be. It's definitely passing into the 'active' territory, whereas a 'passive' person might double think insulting their own brother. At least, that's how I see it.

Alta? Anam?

These two are probably the most confusing, since by the description they look very similar, and their dialogues aren't exactly distinct, either. I thought on my first reading that they were the same person, but then I realized it's supposed to be two people. I can't decide what their personalities are, but I know one of them acts intimidating but are really just kind--not sure which one, probably Alta though.

Ending

Finally, we come to the ending. And I think this is probably the most choppy part of the entire text.

First off:

A thought came into their mind, then. She should’ve considered it before. ‘There’s something in Aevi, isn’t it, Terna? It’s not just about the planet; it’s about something in it.’ It was just a guess, but it was a good one. From Ilal’s memory, Terna wasn’t this protective of her planet; not when she was against Nevea.


The ending is on the right track, with a sudden reveal/understanding, but at the same time it doesn't end on the right note. We don't end with a scene of how Terna reacts, or how Nevea reacts, or about how anybody is leaving the room. It's just a sudden epiphany, and then a cut to black, which isn't exactly satisfying. Ironically, I bet if you finished on just "'It's not the planet,' Ilal said, slowly. 'It's about something in it.'" I feel as if it would be more satisfying, since that was the crescendo of the moment. Not that Nevea isn't already intimidating, but we don't know her well enough to feel a sense of dread or anticipation when the chapter ends with her name. But that's just my opinion.

Hopefully that helped,

--Elliot.




SirLight says...


Reading your review is always a pleasure. Thanks! <3

Also, sorry for the confusion which stems from my lack of organization. Here's the first part: Hidden Entity - 1.1 - Argument



Sacredlege says...


HOLY CRAP I JUST NOTICED THIS IS THE SECOND PART IM SORRY

Spoiler! :
drat im going to have to make a second review of this to fix that problem



SirLight says...


Lel, do whatever you want. I'll always love you either way. <3 xD



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Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:27 pm
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Sacredlege says...



Reading this tonight, hopefully will finish this review some time after this comment.




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Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:27 pm
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Mea wrote a review...



Hey! Back for another review.

Okay, so realizing they're literally arguing about Pluto (right?) was just funny to me because of the whole planet/not a planet argument. I want to know - when Nevea says she wants to 'remove' the planet from the Solar System, does she mean actually make it vanish out of existence, or just not call it a planet anymore? Because even though we don't call Pluto a planet anymore, it's still part of the Solar System.

Right now, I think what I'm lacking is stakes, a sense of what's at risk with this argument. I don't really understand why this argument is important, nor do I understand why Nevea wants to get rid of Pluto. And as far as I know, Pluto is uninhabited, so who cares if it's gone? The chapter ends with the hint that there's something more important, at least for Terna, so that's good. But even though they're all gods, it doesn't feel like there's danger in their arguing. You say Nevea can be terrifying, but I don't feel that.

They only interfered to stop the argument from turning to a fight. It would be disastrous if that happened. The result would be obvious, of course; Terna stood no chance against the Deity of Stars.

This is what I mean. The result is not obvious to the reader, and since Ilal shows absolutely no emotion at the thought of their siblings fighting, it's difficult to care. If Ilal had some reason to desperately try to stop them fighting, whether because they're sick of conflict, or because they genuinely think Nevea will destroy Terna, then show that in Ilal's words and inner dialogue. Make them feel hurried and desperate. Right now, it feels like Ilal is simply a mildly interested observer, who understands intellectually that they need to make them stop fighting, but doesn't really care.

I could follow your exposition pretty well, and I particularly liked the carpet of stars - it's a nice image. I also liked how Ilal turned into a pegasus to help stop the argument. xD

I'm pressed for time, so I'm going to leave my review here for now - sorry it was kind of short!





We're all stories in the end.
— 11th Doctor