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Prologue of The Token (please review! I plan on publishing it. See other chapters as well)

by Stormcrow


Prologue[1]

Eyewitness account of the first battle of the failed S1-conquest, figuratively translated

“Privates, take arms!” They all heard him; they all obeyed. From everywhere came the sounds of metal against metal, feet marching, and hoarsely hushed whispers. “Now, we must be swift, but overall, silent. Surprise’ll be ours,” came the voice again. “They’d outnumber us in a fair fight, but I don’t plan this to be one. Kill everyone you meet, but for him. You all know who I’m talking about.” There was venom in his voice, and he spat upon the ground.

He continued. “He’s mine. You can keep any loot you find, but everyone must die. Remember, no blasting, no braining, no explosions today: for all who disobey, your rank will be halved.” There was a very long silence. “Only use your stabbers. They’ll be enough.”

They formed ranks and waited in hushed dejection. Minutes went by. Then hours. One of the new soldiers watched as they traveled through the black void of space. Their ship was small, fast and sleek; the darkness crushed down on them from all sides. The dull metallic lights on the ship were off, and had been for days: a radar deflector protected them from unwanted eyes. The stars, tiny splatters of light, zoomed past them, small, cold, and very far away.

They were traveling faster than he liked, the distant stars barely-visible scratches, lightly etched into the deep night. He guessed they were at warp factor 7, four levels out of his comfort zone. He wished he’d never been recruited and tried to think of his family: but they were already fading away.

They were almost there, quickly decelerating, although at their current speed they could be a couple light years away. Their captain strode down his ship, inspecting his soldiers. When he got to the lonely soldier, he asked, “do’ya have your needle?”

From a small leather pouch he wore on his back, the soldier pulled his out. It was very long, the tip a razor sharp piece of cold, slimy metal: blood stained, slightly bent from use. It resembled the medical type, only several times larger, and made of thick steel. The sickly green liquid it held bubbled slightly, fogging the small glass window.

“Good’, said the captain, ‘remember, use nothin’ else. Our only hope is catchin ‘em off guard. We’re outnumbered, but they’ll be out maneuvered. Fight well—don’t fail me!” He walked off, leaving the man to his silent gloom.

Unaware—and still a few parsecs off—lay their destination. It was sleek like their ship, but many times longer. Made from costly materials and surrounded by a brilliantly hot cloud of seething plasma, it was rightfully filled with the most valiant passengers. It was the Kings Warpship.

He was a kind, gentle king, who ruled with a stern but righteous hand. He was crossing the far edge of his galaxy, and although was traveling many times faster than the speed of light, he still had three more years of traveling.

The king was finally content. As he sat in his throne with his wife beside him, he bounced a young boy on his knee. The boy could hardly have been much older than nine months, for he was still bald. He was the prince.

The King was getting older; he’d longed for a son for many years. Then, a year ago on the ship, the queen had become pregnant. Not that long afterwards, the boy was born. Now the King had a son to take his place when he became too old to rule. The king was about to comment to his wife about how well the voyage was going, when the lights went out. The ship shook; the king, still holding the queens hand, was thrown from his seat onto the floor. All there were puller forwards. The prince, held in his father's hands, screamed in fright. In the darkness, the utter, complete darkness, wild screams could be heard.

Some minutes before, the soldier’d strained his eyes at a spot of purple that hadn’t been there a moment before. He fingered his needle, his first battle just in view, waiting as the spot grew bigger and bigger until he could see it clearly. And inside was the battleground.

The commander gave one last speech. “Put on you cloaks! After we breach ‘em—yes you!—turn on the Grav. Others, wear your blue boots, or you’ll be stuck suckers! “

“Messorem, we’re in range! FIRE!”

The King should have guessed. But they had come too soon. A screen on the wall flickered code red-black-yellow. His face paled at the sight of those colors, legendary as a bringer of defeat. Anti-matter rays! Their Plasma field would soon be compromised.

However, he still had some time before it fell. And he did not waste a second.

The soldier pulled on his cloak, and watched as the others followed suit, disappearing into the shadows of the ship. He faintly heard the Anti-rays hitting the plasma shield, exploding in tiny bursts of light and energy, which subsided just in-time for the next onslaught.

The Plasma field was quickly destroyed, leaving only the electromagnetic-field, which the ship pushed through, although this destroyed their own weaker shield. Then the A-grav was set, and a bubble of air and gravity jumped between the two ships. But not normal earth gravity.

However, it was some time before the ship itself was breached. The antimatter had been cut, and a weaker beam slowly burned a hole just big enough to get through, the Captain aiming to use the ship after it was taken-over. After this was done, a retractable tube stretched between the ships, fitting into the hole.

The soldier marched along the grey tube, beside others of his rank, fear gripping his chest. He prayed to the god he didn’t believe in, hoping it wasn’t too late. The men beside him didn’t look at him, so he kept marching, although the way long, maybe three miles of plodding in the thin air. He would see his family again, his heart told him. He had to. He just had too. But his brain new otherwise

The enemy attacked during the confusion, their boots keeping them immune from the intense gravity, allowing them to jab every last man and woman with their merciless needles. The green liquid acted like spider venom, except faster, more efficient; above all, cheaper, painless. One needle contained enough liquid to poison a small gathering. The foes had a much greater chance of winning, although they were outnumbered forty to one.

The captain watched from his invisible ship, the light distorted by a standard material found on most war ships. He couldn’t see what his men were doing, but he could see their effects on the mob. He felt that this would be another sweet victory for him.

He walked across his ship, and jetpacked himself through the artificial atmosphere, heading towards the Kings chambers, where he thought to find the King.

Meanwhile, the King was running from his chambers as fast as he could, wearing a strange pair of blue boots. He held his son in a tight grip, knowing that there was no hope of winning this fight. Avoiding passengers, panic stricken yet mercilessly crushed to the deck, he ran to the escape pods.

The King was not trying to save himself, but his son. He ran to the nearest pod, and entered a lengthy set of coordinates, wrote a message on a piece of paper, then put the message and his son into the pod. He was sending his son to the home he’d never known, Xellian. That was when the captain arrived.

He was tall, visible again. He towered over the King, who looked up and blocked the entrance of the pod with his body. “It’s been a long time, comrade,” said the captain, in a voice of glee-tinted hate foundered in pain. The King withdrew a small sphere from his pocket, and held it out in front of him. It glowed silver, then fired a ball of energy the size of a small boulder, which engulfed the Captain. He was flung up and back for hundreds upon hundreds of feet before he stopped, only halfway along one of the long corridors that stretched the entire distance of the thin ship. The Captain smirked. “Is that all ya got?” he asked, in triumph. The King gasped.

The Captain was hovering in midair ten feet up, holding a green sphere the size of the Kings. A long arm of green energy stretched out from the sphere, forming a swirling ball at the end, three feet in diameter. He whipped it around his head, until it was a blur. He launched himself forward with his jetpack; midair, he slammed the King in the chest with the green ball. He slid to the ground with a moan against a wall, not far away. He looked up at the Captain, with a strange expression somewhere between fear, disbelief, and pity. “That was not made for you,” he said in a calm voice. “That was the symbol of all evil in this universe of ours. Even I don’t dare to use it. Put it back in my chambers, from which you stole it hence.” “ Never!” yelled the Captain. He smashed down on the King again. “I, have, waited, many, years, to, become, King!” With each word, he threw the King higher and harder into the air. The King crumpled into a heap on the ground. “And then, you go and have a son!” he bellowed. And with that, he stalked over to the screaming prince. “No...!” yelled the King. He dragged himself to his feet, and leaning against the wall, attacked the Captain with all his might.

The Captain looked up in time to see the King launch himself into the air, smash him aside, and close the pod with one hand. The pod rocketed into space, traveling at horrible speeds. The Captain yelled in fury, but all in vain. The King, now above the Captain in mid back flip, blasted the Captain and a chunk of the ship, the size of a house, out into space. The king was blown backwards by the artificial gravity. The explosion rocked the ship, making everyone stop fleeing to look around in confusion. That was minus the Captain's men, who poisoning the last people standing (rather squatting, you could say). There was only a small circle of a hundred men left. The Captain screamed, and flailed crazily.

He finally got himself into a controlled position, and took the King by surprise. Flinging himself farther out into space, he pulled a small laser cannon out of his shirt. Disobeying his own orders, blasted a glowing column of red lasers toward the King. He was hit in the back, as was still upside-down in the air

The King cried out in pain, and went limp. The blast knocked him against a wall, and he rebounded into space. However, he was protected better than even the Captain had thought, and was not blown apart. Even so, he was not daunted. He flew, via his jetpack, and came up close to the king, smiling cruelly. “So long, uncle,” he said. “This was mine.” He reached for the sphere.

But the King was not dead yet. He whipped around, and threw the sphere far out into space. For the second time, the Captain yelled in fury. He lunged for the sphere, but it was already outside of his grasp, traveling in the direction of the escape pod. He snarled, and turned to the King. “I will return!” he yelled. He gave one last laser-cannon fire; and with that, lifted up his hand in a strange gesture. There was a sound like the universe shivering, and the fabric of space-time was torn in two. The Captain had done this with the snap of his wrist. What he’d made was not quite a black hole or wormhole. He leaped into it, was distorted for a brief second, and disappeared.

A strange point should be noted. The pod containing the prince suddenly changed direction, and flew back toward the King. It came close to him, but before the King noticed it, it entered the wormhole, on the opposite side the Captain had taken. It also disappeared from sight.

The King floated around for a few more minutes, getting farther and farther away from his ship. He was bleeding from several wounds, and struggled to breathe in the artificial atmosphere of the ship. And then, he too disappeared. The King, though, did vanish. There was some way he’d done it, but it was his secret

Several months later:

A couple was walking along the beach. It was a crisp day, and not many people were . They were looking for shells, when they heard a noise like a thousand pieces of paper being torn, and smelled a strong burning. They looked up, and saw something streak across the sky. “What in the world...?” began the man. “Hush!’ said his wife, ‘this was amazing!” And it was. It was like a shooting star, but much too big and much too close. They both realized at once that it was going to crash into the ocean, right in front of them! They ran back up the beach, but had hardly gotten a hundred yards when whatever-it-was landed in the ocean. Well, landed was not quiet a strong enough word. More like bombarded. Huge waves splashed upwards, and steam hissed and enveloped everything with a thicker fog than had already been swirling along the beach. The couple shielded their eyes, and waited for things to settle down. After five minutes or so, the water calmed down, and the steam blew away on a cold northern breeze.

They could see that a circular pod was floating in the water, four hundred yards out to sea. It was made of a strange carbon like material, which seemed to be glowing. The man decided to go investigate.

After a word with his wife, he pulled off his shirt and shoes, dived into the water. It was icy cold, and made him sputter and shiver. After swimming most of the way there, he took a breather. He wondered what he’d find when he got to the pod: an alien, a big diamond, or a large rock?

But when he got there, he was disappointed. The pod was as smooth as glass, and there seemed to be no door anywhere. He touched it, worried that it would be scorching hot. It was so cold he’d to stick his hands in the chilly water to warm them up. But it only took one touch to open the pod. The man gasped when he saw what was in inside.

Inside lay a little baby boy, and a piece of paper. It was a little wet, but it could be read with only a little trouble. It stated in a strong but messy cursive the following:

Keep this boy safe at all costs. Don’t tell him he was the son of his father, who was quit powerful, yet might be dead by now. Take him in as your own son, and treat him kindly. Don’t be surprised if I return to find him, or if he disappears without saying goodbye. If he truly was like me, he’ll be an interesting child.

Thanking you kindly,

Celas Magus

The man was startled, but accepted the strange note and the baby in a calm way. He stroked the baby's head, and pushed the pod back to shore, conscious not to splash the prince with any of the cold and salty water.

[1] This will be the only footnote in this chapter, leaving the confusing information to be explained later on.


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Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:21 pm
wickedlymuggle wrote a review...



Hi Stormcrow!
Happy Review Month! I am finally here to review this! I am sorry I took so long. I know you have had a lot of reviews already, so I am probably going to reapeat some of the things others said, but I am going to do it anyway.

First, I will start with the positives. I really enjoyed the ending of this, with the note and the couple finding the pod. I think it allows a lot of possible outcomes of what could happen next, which is very intriguing to the reader. I also really liked the sentence:

There was a sound like the universe shivering, and the fabric of space-time was torn in two.


I think the idea of, "The universe shivering" is a very beautiful way to describe what was happening there, whether you were trying to be descriptive or not.

Now on to the nitpicks. I will start with the point of view. At the begining of this, you said that this was told from an eyewitness account, figuratively translated. Most of the writing was from that point of view, but when you are talking about the soldiers thoughts, I am pretty sure it's not. An eyewitness can't hear what people are thinking, so it would not make sense to put that in. The problem is, I actually liked the soilders thoughts, and I think it added to the story. I think changing the point of view this story is told in might allow you to put that in, and make the writing flow a little more smoothly.

Secondly, sort of on the same topic of point of view, there was a lot of telling, not describing. For example,

They both realized at once that it was going to crash into the ocean, right in front of them! They ran back up the beach, but had hardly gotten a hundred yards when whatever-it-was landed in the ocean.


This is telling. THEY did this, THEY did that. I think that it needed a little bit more description about the scenery, the facial expressions, the smells, things like that, instead of just listing events.

Changing topic, I agree with megsug that a lot of stuff was crammed into this piece. I think you told the story well, and I liked the details that you put in, but it was a lot to take in all at once. Maybe you can slow it down, allow the readers to take everything in section by section.

Finally, the spelling error:

Don’t tell him he was the son of his father, who was quit powerful, yet might be dead by now.


QUITE powerful, not quit.

Well, that is about it! Overall, I really liked the story, and I think this can go in many different directions. Once again, I am sorry this took so long, but hopefully this helped in some way, shape or form. Anyway, happy review month! Keep writing! :>




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Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:12 pm
megsug wrote a review...



Okeydoke. I'm going to try to leave a review for this. It's got so many heavy reviews, I don't know if I'll be able to leave anything of worth. We'll see. I skimmed through the reviews, but if I repeat something, I'm sorry.

Wow. Definitely a lot packed into this piece.

First, I want to mention that I think it would help you and the reader if you named the eyewitness you make a mention of in italics at the beginning. That way it comes off a little more realistic, and you know exactly who you're getting into the head of. Like one of your previous reviewers said, this simply can't be an eyewitness report. There are too many points of view. Naming someone as the person who saw this makes you start thinking about who/what they'd have to be to see what's crucial to the story.

Second, I think in a world where space travel is possible, we'd have better needles. I mean, the fact is many scientific discoveries happen in the medical field because that's where we need them to save lives and that technology gets transformed into something that can be used in everyday life. Also, if a soldier has one needle, it would be very difficult for him to poison multiple person, I think. If you had a contraption that held multiple doses at once it might be a little more believable. Also, take into consideration that sticking someone with a needle is a little more complicated than you'd think. What kind of poison is this? To work as fast as you said it did, injecting into the muscle might not be enough. You might need that poisons running through the blood stream.

Third, do aliens all speak the same language? The king wrote the letter, then the baby ended up on a random planet since he went through a wormhole. Would the couple really be able to read the king's note?

This was really gripping though! I think this definitely has some golden nuggets, but if you're going to publish this, it needs a lot of polishing.

Onto the next part,
Megs~




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Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:46 am
Holysocks says...



Hi Stormcrow! This isn't a review. I want to get a feel for your writing first, and seeing as you have many lovely reviews already... I think everything has been covered.

I liked how your characters act, interact, and react to everything. They seem pretty real in the way you describe them, so good job! This is my favourite line:

The King was blown backwards by the artificial gravity.


I like that concept. Of course they need gravity in their ships, so when they get blown up it's interesting how it can kind of linger. I wonder if it ever lands anywhere, and if it did, I wonder if it would stay there, or if it would evaporate...

I'll get to reading your chapters shortly, hopefully!




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Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:49 am
artemis15sc wrote a review...



Okay, So I know you have eleven reviews and anything I'll say will probably just be repeats, but I'll post it anyway just in case.

Some nitpicks:

There was venom in his voice, and he spat upon the ground.
You could make it less wordy by saying. "He spat on the ground, venom in his voice."

He continued. “He’s mine.
I don't think you need, "he continued", it's pretty obvious who's talking. If you really want it then I would say,' "He's mine," he continued,' just so you have a stronger start to the paragraph.

One of the new soldiers watched as they traveled through the black void of space.
This is a great way to set the scene, but I feel like it could be better if you "showed" instead of "told." The fix could be as simple as mentioning the soldier standing by the way, and explaining what he looked like while he stared at the void or how he reacted to the void.

They were traveling faster than he liked, the distant stars barely-visible scratches
I don't think you need the hyphen, and who's he? The man who was speaking, or the solider you just referenced?

He wished he’d never been recruited and tried to think of his family
Be careful of thought verbs such as wished, thought, knew, realized, imagined, etc... they pull you reader out of the story and remind them it's just words that you the author wrote rather than a real place. Sometimes you need the,, but avoid them as much as you can. In this case if you describe him thinking about his family, we'll learn that he misses them and he regrets joining the military.

Unaware—and still a few parsecs off—lay their destination. It was sleek like their ship, but many times longer. Made from costly materials and surrounded by a brilliantly hot cloud of seething plasma, it was rightfully filled with the most valiant passengers. It was the Kings Warpship.
be careful of thesis statements in your writing. They're great for essays, but they're another way you can pull your reader out of the story and remind them it's just fiction.

Also, if you're going to switch to the kings perspective, be sure to ad extra spaces between the paragraph or put ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ or something, so we know. And be careful that your not just info-dumping us with back story about the king. We don't need to know that about him, and that's not the best way to reveal it to us. If you focus on developing the scene with his family, we'll get that he's a kind King, you won't have to tell us. And the more imagery you can use, the more you invoke our senses and create this beautiful scene, the more it will hurt when you rip it away from us.

he kept marching, although the way long,
"the way was long" I'm assuming.

He walked across his ship, and jetpacked himself through the artificial atmosphere, heading towards the Kings chambers, where he thought to find the King.
I don't think you need the last phrase, it's clear he's going to the King's chambers to find the king.

The King was not trying to save himself, but his son.
be careful of super telly phrases like this. If you focus your energy on describing the kings fear, panic, determination and he rushes about, we'll get that he's trying ti save his son.

Put it back in my chambers, from which you stole it hence.” “ Never!” yelled the Captain.
Remember that new dialogue, or dialogue from a different gets a new, indented paragraph.
“I, have, waited, many, years, to, become, King!”
I would use periods instead of commas, it adds more emphasis.

A strange point should be noted.
Another example of thesis statement, which I think you can just delete. it's more dramatic if you don't tell us it's strange first, but just let us see this event unfolding. You don't need to signpost important information for us. If you write it well enough, we'll understand it's important. And you can't definitely write well enough.

There was some way he’d done it, but it was his secret
I would also delete this. Let your reader's think he's dead, so you can surprise them later.

After a word with his wife, he pulled off his shirt and shoes, dived into the water.
And dived into the water...

Several months later:
I don't think you need this. Just let us know that there's a scene break, again, saying Several months later in that format kind of pulls us out of the story.

A couple was walking along the beach.
Another thesis statement, and there were a few others I din't mention, but I'm sure you can find them.

‘this was amazing!”
Wouldn't she say, "this is amazing" and you accidentally used an apostrophe instead of a quotation mark.

Don’t tell him he was the son of his father, who was quit powerful, yet might be dead by now.
quite, not quit.


really though, I was very impressed. I couldn't write that well when I was your age. You've created a believable, well-thought out story, excellent job.




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Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:16 am
Omnom wrote a review...



He there Stormcrow! So, I'm reviewing this so I can /eventually/ get to Chapter 3 and get that out of the Green Room!

Please note: I do not read the reviews before mine, so if I mention something that has already been mentioned in the previous reviews, please excuse it.

I am also reviewing this while I am reading it, so if I mention something that is explained later and I don't fix my mistake, please tell me!

Eyewitness account of the first battle of the failed S1-conquest, figuratively translated


Hmm, nice start! It was unique, interesting, and told me enough to know what is going to happen after it. Maybe put a period at the end, though, so it would be grammatically correct.

Now, we must be swift, but overall, silent.


The use of "overall" really doesn't fit the message you're trying to relay. Maybe "above all" or "most importantly?"

; the darkness crushed down on them from all sides.


Now, I for one am not much of a semi-colon user, but I do understand what they do. However, in this case, there's no need for a semi-colon here. It can be easily replaced by a period to make more sense.

the distant stars barely-visible scratches


Okay, so this is a really confusing fragment (I don't really care about grammar in stories, as long as they end up making sense) but this clearly has something missing. I think either "stars'" or "the distant stars, only barely-visible scratches..." You see what I mean?

He guessed they were at warp factor 7


I know that there's a lot of personal differences in when to use digits and when to just spell out a number, but a good rule of them is to spell out any number before 15. It just makes it more polished, especially since the "four levels" right after it makes the number jump out.

When he got to the lonely soldier, he asked, “do’ya have your needle?”


Wait, what lonely soldier? From what I've read so far, there's been no mention of a "lonely" soldier. In fact, most of the descriptions about the soldiers were generalized, as to keep your attention on the speaker. I think you might have meant "lone soldier at the end of the ship" or something along those line?

Fight well—don’t fail me!” He walked off, leaving the man to his silent gloom.


I'm still somewhat confused as to what the lonely soldier has to do with this, and why the officer spoke to him directing about fighting well, whenever he spoke to all of the soldiers just a few moments earlier.

Also, I'm now getting the vibe that this lonely soldier was actually a purpose description of this mysterious, depressed person. Honestly, you could do better with describing him, other than stating him as lonely. Why is this (wo)man lonely? I would love love love some more description about this person to make him/her more relate-able! Right now, I'm not feeling anything bad about this person and them being lonely!

It was the Kings Warpship.


Apostrophe needed! "King's" instead of "Kings"

The prince, held in his father's hands, screamed in fright.


Oh, no! Is the prince going to be killed? Or is he the one going to be captured? I would like seriously cry if he was killed D:

the soldier’d strained his eyes at


No need for the "'d" there.

But not normal earth gravity.


Honestly, this really isn't needed. Since the ships are most likely the size of the Earth, then the A-Grav would not need to be the exact same. Either omit this or expand on it. Like so: "Unlike Earth's gravity, this field proved to be just enough to..."



Okay, final thoughts.

First off, this really shouldn't be a prologue. It's fine enough as a first chapter, and most definitely long enough. Secondly, I know that this was a supposed viewing of an eyewitness (which really couldn't have been, since both the officer's, the soldier's, and the king's POV were used), the descriptions were incredibly lackluster. I ended up not really caring for any of the characters besides the prince, and that was only because it's a little infant. There was no real personality with any of the characters, except for the little you described to us readers, and that much was not enough. I know that these characters might never resurface again in this story, but taking to the time to describe and personalize the characters will lead to a much better story overall.

Also, I think you put too much thought into the technical side of things, and while not a bad thing in itself, it lead to boring characters and basically information dumping on what's going on. The battle seemed dull through your style of describing it up until the fight between the Captain and the King. We also never really got to know why that certain officer was using that needle, besides what the captain told him to do.

Thirdly, you should consider proofreading this before you post it on YWS. While reviews usually catch the spelling and grammar mistakes, there were so many small things that I just stopped trying to point all of them out, and instead, I shall say that there's a lot of sentences that made little to no sense because of grammar mistakes or mysterious words being gone.


Things I would consider improving on:
-Unique personalities, and describing them better
-More active tenses
-Less focus on the technical side of things, and more on the character side of things
-Grammar/spelling proofreading.

Things I liked about this:
-You had a very good concept, even though this has been used many times before. Your execution of it was really nice, and I can't wait to read more.
-There's a lot of potential to be had in this story. However, unless you get more interesting character development than what was in this prologue, that alone might doom your story.

I can't wait to read the rest and review it for you! I hope you keep writing!
~AQ

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Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:28 pm
StoneHeart wrote a review...



Hey Stormcrow, Black here for a review. Mind if this is a bit long, but read it carefully and take it from a fellow novelist. Please.


Okay. I'm really liking the idea of this story. I was completely enthralled with your idea from one end till the other, and seriously could not put it down till I was done. And truthfully speaking, if that's the only thing you ever are able to do as a writer, then you've got it all!

I love your style, and use of technology. I get the feeling you've gotten some information on what you're doing, or just like sci-fi -either way, I have a couple minor comments.

You mentioned that someone didn't like your grammar? ... Well that's weird, because I absolutly love your grammar. You've certainly written a fair bit already, and I can see that you've developed a style of your own. It has a few holes, but overall it's really not that bad.

As usual, for this review I'll be leaving the minor detailed nitpicking comments on your grammar and spelling to other users to handle. They're not really that useful to mention, really, because they're just review fillers that you are more than capable of handling on your own with a good grammar or spelling checker.

Okay. One thing toward the end that caught my eye is this:

when they heard a noise like a thousand pieces of paper being torn, and smelled a strong burning. They looked up, and saw something streak across the sky. “What in the world...?”


Okay. So in here I see a problem in the order in which things happen. Think about this logically. Light -what you see- travels fastest. Sound travels next fastest. Smell travels slowest, because particles of the substance actually have to mix in with the air and reach you the slow and floating way. So, this couple is on the beach. They're looking down for shells, which means they won't see something in the sky ... so they'll hear it first. They look up. Then they see it. Finally, they'll smell it as they get near. You've got yourself kinda mixed up and it really really really stands out.

All right. Now for a few tech personal-op updates. First of all: Your anti-matter beams.

This one time, about four years ago, I was talking with my dad about anti-matter and what it could do. We were just playing around, but he had a couple of interesting things to say which you might do well to take into consideration (mind, he was a PhD Theoretical Physicist, so anti-matter was smack in the middle of his area of expertise).

Anti-matter is basically a substance made a in conversion directly from matter into energy. An interesting fun-fact? A fifty pound sack of antimatter -with it's needed equipment- would be able to turn the moon into a permanent crescent. The idea of a plasma beam is out there, but very very very powerful. It would have the power to destroy planets, and the energy it would have would be off-charts.

Using it in a space fight like this seems a little over-kill ... unless we're talking about planet-size ships (which you didn't mention).

Also, your laser guns and needles stuff. Okay. These guys are caught unprepared, but the good-guy soldiers are not actually sleeping! Take it from a somewhat experienced fighter that when someone comes at me with with a giant needle, and I have a gun, honor does not cross my mind. I just shoot them. In that entire ship, were there no guns? No soldiers?

Also. These guys better be pretty damn fast and efficient with their needles, because even with them, a trained hand-to-hand combat specialist could beat the crap out of any number of needle-wielders.

Also. About your laser guns ... these are really very unrealistic. Granted, laser guns have cool looking bullets, and everybody uses them, but you have to remember: Technology comes by development. What do you think guns from earth are going to look like a hundred years in the future? I doubt that face-off combat will be necessary by then at all -what with the power of weapons being developed as we speak- but putting that aside, what do you think we'll have for guns?

I bet you one thing: They will not be laser guns. They'll probably be far more powerful versions of what we already have, but with remote control's and more power and range. You've got to think about what came first for these people, because it directly influences what comes next. Seriously. What are the chances of laser guns being invented first and just being refined? Pretty slim, don't you think? Plus. Laser guns are very un-original and we really need some new guns and such to play around with. Not kidding though; try to be a bit more creative here.

Okay. Finally: About your needles. It's nice and all to make them look scary -bent, bloody, and dripping green liquid- but you have to remember that soldiers maintain a high level of discipline and that keeping their equipment clean is important -so as to keep it fully functional.

Okay. Another thing, out-of-techzone, ... this story really is making me think 'superman' every few lines. And if Superman was not your inspiration for this piece, then I seriously think that you are following a far too cliche way of story-telling. Now, it's okay to work this way, and most young readers will not mind it, but you have to be careful! If you can use an original method, and make your story truly seem YOURS, then make sure you do it!

Another thing. I don't quite understand something ... an interesting little detail, really, but quite important anyway. Well, a number of things should be mentioned here really.

First: This guy knew right off that this pod was made of some kind of carbon-like substance and could see that it was glowing in the middle of the day? Watch yourself here! Think about what you're doing!

Second: It was EXACTLY four hundred yards out? If that's how far it was then you are the one to say, but you have to remember; you are not a god here, you're speaking with some information source, and seeing as the couple is the only possible source they must be who you heard the story from. And they knew at a glance it was 400 yards? Why don't you try something like 'a few hundred yards' instead.

Third: Take it from an experienced swimmer that it is a very dangerous and exceedingly difficult job to swim four hundred yards out to sea, especially if there is ANY kind of breeze blowing up waves -as you mentioned that there was. Keep an eye on that! And then swim back carrying a baby or pushing a heavy pod? Mind that carbon is not all that light a material, and if this pod can handle re-entry then I'd bet its pretty heavy.

(I am, of course, assuming he doesn't call the coast guard).

Okay. So I mentioned earlier that I liked your grammar ... well, there's something about your style that I specifically do NOT like. And that is your dialogue. Your dialogue is completely completely unrealistic and is horrible used and placed.

Allright. I step back; that was a bit harsh. But seriously; you need to work on your dialogue. First rule of dialogue: Don't get too fancy with your descriptors. If you can say “he said” then say it as that, not as “He expostulated”; because your readers are not interested in how fancy you can be, they are just distracted by these kind of descriptors!

Also. You have to make SENSE!

Just take Magus' letter as an example. Lets just give it a run-through:

Keep this boy safe at all costs. Don’t tell him he was the son of his father, who was quit powerful, yet might be dead by now. Take him in as your own son, and treat him kindly. Don’t be surprised if I return to find him, or if he disappears without saying goodbye. If he truly was like me, he’ll be an interesting child.
Thanking you kindly,
Celas Magus



Besides the fact that he mentions himself in third person, this letter is way, way, way, way too wordy. He's about to die, and is doing all he can to save his line ... is he going to spend time going into details? How does he even know his son will ever be found at all? He's sending his son to his home planet, and he still writes his name on it while at the same time mentioning how powerful he is (which, if he's really a king, they should already know!).

There are some serious logic flaws in here is all I'm saying! Plus, he doesn't really have the correct VOICE for a powerful king. Not enough confidence or definitism.

Another example!


“Privates, take arms!” They all heard him; they all obeyed. From everywhere came the sounds of metal against metal, feet marching, and hoarsely hushed whispers. “Now, we must be swift, but overall, silent. Surprise’ll be ours,” came the voice again. “They’d outnumber us in a fair fight, but I don’t plan this to be one. Kill everyone you meet, but for him. You all know who I’m talking about.” There was venom in his voice, and he spat upon the ground.
He continued. “He’s mine. You can keep any loot you find, but everyone must die. Remember, no blasting, no braining, no explosions today: for all who disobey, your rank will be halved.” There was a very long silence. “Only use your stabbers. They’ll be enough.”



First thing that really catches my eye here is that he's threatening to halve privates ranks -_-. Next. I caught a hint of regret and disappointment in that soldiers mind as he thought of killing the king. Something you might do well to think through before you move on is how loyal his soldiers really are. How can you “Hoarsely” hush a whisper? Also, why is he explaining himself to them? They're low ranking grunt fighters ... he's a proud, arrogant commander. Why on earth would he even think of explaining himself to them. Also; if you want the right brutal impression from him then you'd do well to make his punishment worse and his tone a bit more final and definite.

Don't make him seem weak. Forcing him to explain himself like this is really softening for his character.


ALL RIGHT! To wrap this review up I'm going to point out a huge flaw in what's going on toward the end. The Captain left? Yes? HE LEFT! WITHOUT MAKING SURE THE KING WAS DEAD? This is the guy he came here after, how could he 'forget' to kill him so quickly. Also. He left his soldiers. His men. Stranded with no leader and no orders. What's going on here? Why did he leave? You give no reasons! I'm sure that his leaving is essential for your plot, but it comes out of nowhere and makes absolutely no sense!

Plus. A black hole is the theoretical gravity center for galaxy's; if he created something even vaguely like one then it would be pretty disastrous to that particular galaxy.

Now this review may have seemed a bit critical, and if it did I'm sorry for that! I didn't mean for it to be. But remember: use what I have to say, even if you think it's just an opinion on my part.
You're really a good writer and have a lot of potential! You're definitely better than I was at your age! So keep it up! Also; gratz on that 100k word mark (Just for a first novel to be published, I advise you to keep it pretty short: Longer novels are harder to get out there). 100K words is about 400 pages.

GREAT WORK! AND KEEP WRITING!



~Black~






OH, yeah. Two other things. FIRST: GET BACK TO ME ON THIS REVIEW! I need some feedback and might have something that I could use a review on myself.

Second: I didn't mention that your description needs work: If you're interested in talking about it, or getting an add-on then I can do it.



Stormcrow says...


Wow, i never thought of all that stuff u mentioned! This is really valuable actually. However, the plot would really work with them blasting the ship because he needed the Orb the king had, more than the king dead. Yeah well I can change that stuff. Thanks for the review!

Stormcrow





No prob.



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Sat May 17, 2014 11:35 pm
Stori wrote a review...



Hello there, Stormcrow. Let me start this review by saying that this is first example I've seen of the "king's uncle" plot in a science-fiction setting.

The stars, tiny splatters of light, zoomed past them, small, cold, and very far away.


Very nice metaphor you have here.

One of the new soldiers watched as they traveled through the black void of space.


It would be good if this soldier had a name, especially if he ends up being one of the main characters.

he pulled a small laser cannon out of his shirt.


Reminds me of when Brian Jacques mistakenly said his character put a musket under his coat. They just don't make muskets (or cannons) that small.

But the King was not dead yet. He whipped around, and threw the sphere far out into space.


There are two things wrong with these sentences. First- usually you're not supposed to begin a sentence with "but". Not sure why; I didn't invent the language.

Second- try reading this aloud. Does that comma sound natural to you?

He gave one last laser-cannon fire


Might want to reword this. Maybe try something along the lines of "He fired once more".

And then, he too disappeared. The King, though, did vanish. There was some way he’d done it, but it was his secret


Why do we need to be told twice that the King vanished, or was it the prince first? Again, it'd be a good idea to give these characters names.

A couple was walking along the beach. It was a crisp day, and not many people were .


Don't just tell us they were walking; take us there. What did the breeze smell like? Were there birds the likes of which had never been seen or heard on Earth? How about the couple's clothing, the sky overhead?

They could see that a circular pod was floating in the water,


Try and steer clear of passive voice. Make this phrase more immediate, perhaps: "A circular pod floated on the water..."

who was quit powerful


Yes, the father was quite powerful. It's a simple mistake; no worries.

Okay, that about does it except for one thing. Since this is a science-fiction story, it couldn't hurt to brush up on your science. How do objects move in space? What would realistically happen when the ship's hull was breached? Answer these questions and you'll have a much stronger story.




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Sat May 17, 2014 11:18 pm
TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...



Hello! Here for a review.

Your grammar needs a lot of work. I'm not going to point out all of the technicalities here because, no offense, that would be a lot.

Here are some plot holes you need to work on: Umm, the King just got pounded for a little while with magical energy adn then he does a BACKFLIP? Does he have magical healing powers?

And I want more description. I am unable to picture the characters at all.

And finally, how does the baby survive? For MONTHS?

Show, don't tell.

Keep persisting.
It's catchy and I like the way the story is going.




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Mon May 05, 2014 12:29 am
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queerelves wrote a review...



Thanks for the review swap! ^^ Sorry it took me so long to do this, I had to help my mom with our fish tanks and then I had to dye my hair.

So, on to the reviewing. I really enjoyed reading this piece. It was interesting, and for the most part, well written. There were a lot of things I liked, but I had some nit picks too.

Your descriptions in the beginning were amazing, some of the best I've ever read on this site, but they seemed to slack off towards the end. Actually, towards the end, the piece became a little hard to read. I had trouble following what was going on; it became a little too wordy.

I like the progression of events, and you had a lot of action all the way through. It was never boring.

Towards the end, some of the dialogue seemed rather cheesy and unrealistic, but I really loved the character development in the beginning. I started to get attached to the characters, and I really cared what happened to them. That's a very important thing to be able to do, because how the reader feels about the characters can make or break a story.

The idea of finding an abandoned child with a note to take care of them is a very frequently done idea. You have to be very careful writing it, because it could very easily become cliched.

Okay, on to some more specific comments.

The boy could hardly have been much older than nine months, for he was still bald. He was the prince.

The King was getting older; he’d longed for a son for many years. Then, a year ago on the ship, the queen had become pregnant. Not that long afterwards, the boy was born.


You kind of contradict yourself here. If the queen got pregnant a year ago, she would have had the child after about nine months (hopefully!), which means the prince would have been born three months ago. Three months and nine months are very different.

Eyewitness account of the first battle of the failed S1-conquest, figuratively translated


I think you should leave this line off. Yeah, it gives you some background/information about what's going on, but I think "'Privates, take arms!'" is a much better opening line. It'll draw your readers in much more.

Speaking along the lines of drawing readers in, you might want to make the prologue a little shorter. Prologues shouldn't be drawn out too long, and even though I like everything that happens here some readers might find it a turn off. I think shortening up the second half would improve this a lot: it would make it less wordy, and it would help with the length.


A strange point should be noted.


I would steer away from this kind of narration. It sounds like you're talking to your reader, and in some novels that can be good. Tolkien could pull it off, Douglas Adams could pull it off, but I don't know if it would be good here.


They ran back up the beach, but had hardly gotten a hundred yards when whatever-it-was landed in the ocean. Well, landed was not quiet a strong enough word. More like bombarded.


You sound like you're talking to the reader again here, and some of the language you use is very weak. "Whatever-it-was" is so casual, and it doesn't suit this story at all. "It" would be fine, but I absolutely would not use "whatever-it was." The ending is weak too. You tell us that landed wasn't a strong enough word, but you don't do anything about it. Change landed to bombarded and cut off the last two sentences.

The man was startled, but accepted the strange note and the baby in a calm way.


"In a calm way" is weak. Try just "calmly."

Enough with the nit picks :P There was a ton I loved here.

“They’d outnumber us in a fair fight, but I don’t plan this to be one. Kill everyone you meet, but for him. You all know who I’m talking about.” There was venom in his voice, and he spat upon the ground.


Now this is strong. This is powerful, and absolutely not weak. Do this with the rest of your writing and it'll be a thousand times better than it already is.


The king was finally content. As he sat in his throne with his wife beside him, he bounced a young boy on his knee.


I feel like this gives us a good amount of connection to the king and his family even though it's an only a single sentence.

You might want to check your grammar, and make sure to stay consistent with things like capitalization. You use "the king" sometimes, and "the King" others. Either is fine, but pick one or the other

Okay, I'm going to end the review here! If you want, I could do a more thorough, paragraph-by-paragraph review, but let me know :D




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Sun May 04, 2014 11:24 pm
BrilliantMustaches wrote a review...



Hello!

Emilykay10144 here...

First, thanks for the review swap!

Second, I'm sorry if my review sucks...

Okay. I really like this, and I am so not into action, but this I really like. Your detailing is so vivid and that's what I always look into a written piece.


Inside lay a little baby boy, and a piece of paper. It was a little wet, but it could be read with only a little trouble. It stated in a strong but messy cursive the following:



Keep this boy safe at all costs. Don’t tell him he was the son of his father, who was quit powerful, yet might be dead by now. Take him in as your own son, and treat him kindly. Don’t be surprised if I return to find him, or if he disappears without saying goodbye. If he truly was like me, he’ll be an interesting child.

Thanking you kindly,

Celas Magus


I am seriously tearing up right now. I have always had a soft spot for kids and ugh, I'm crying.

This prologue was well written, not even well it was AMAZINGLY well written. I am so reading the chapters that come after this.

Bravo!

-Emilykay10144




Stormcrow says...


Thank you so much! And I have 21 chapters total so you'll have a lot to read



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Sun May 04, 2014 7:46 pm
Ventomology wrote a review...



Yo! Thanks for offering to swap with me!
Anyways, like Swiftfur said before me, there are a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes lying around here. One of the best ways to fix them is actually to read things aloud; it slows down the writing, and changes how you process the words, making it easier to spot mistakes.
Another thing I noticed was your use of 'telling'. If you can, try to find the number of times you used 'was'. That's a big indicator of telling, rather than showing. (Believe me, I have this problem too.)
Also, there was very little sensory detail while the characters were in space. This is the part where we as readers need more description. You're putting us in a world that we know very little about, and seeing and hearing it clearly are very important to helping us delve into the story.

The Plasma field was quickly destroyed, leaving only the electromagnetic-field, which the ship pushed through, although this destroyed their own weaker shield. Then the A-grav was set, and a bubble of air and gravity jumped between the two ships. But not normal earth gravity.
This paragraph in particular needs WAY more sight and sound detail (though it is in space, so there shouldn't be sound, right?). And the comment about not having normal earth gravity needs follow up on HOW it's not normal.
My last comment is a consistency thing: How does a baby survive several months without a mother while in a capsule that's hurtling through space?
That's it from me, thanks again!
Ciao.




Stormcrow says...


Thank you! That does help. I hadn't thought of the last point...



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Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:51 pm
Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there! Noelle here for a Review Day review!

Wow, this is a long prologue. That's not a bad thing of course. It's just that I'm used to reading prologues that are just a few paragraphs or so long. I haven't read any long prologues in a while.

You've got a great prologue here. It really sets the scene for the novel. You've introduced some characters and you've introduced a problem. Well, technically you've introduced two problems: the war in space and the kid in the pod. That's what I look for in prologues, characters and problems. And this prologue has both of those.

I'm not that big of a fan of having the battle in this. I think that's giving away a little bit too much. Now as we read on, we know that this kid comes from a group of people in space. That takes away some of the mystery. That's something that I would've liked to learn a bit later on in the story. Just my personal preference.

Just a tiny thought here...this kind of reminds me of Hercules. You know, how he ended up on Earth and was found by that elderly couple.

Your imagery and descriptions are great. I can clearly see everything in my head as I'm reading. Good job with that! I hope you keep it up throughout the rest of the novel.

Alrighty then, moving on to the next part! It definitely seems like it's good enough to get published :)

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




Stormcrow says...


Thank you for the review! It really helps. Actually, the battle is needed because the war doesn't get much further than that battle for about 12 years. I completely didn't realize the Hercules reference, I was thinking more of a cross between the prologue of Eragon, the crash landing of superman, and a little star trek and such. Thanks again

Storcrow, weilder of the flame of Anor



Stormcrow says...


I just made some major changes. I just had a tutoring hour with my author friend Mathew Dicks/Greens, depending where you live. I changed the point of view back and forth more, and I tried to make the dialogue sound more real.



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Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:11 pm
Swiftfurthewarrior wrote a review...



Hey Stormcrow! I see you are a LOTR fan too.


Anyway, this story was amazing! It had nice flow, and you could tell exactly which side the characters were on.

However, in a few sentences, you should put a space between the period and the first word of the next sentence.

A few spelling and grammar mistakes, but overall, it was an awesome story!

Keep up the good work!


~Swiftfurthewarrior




Stormcrow says...


Thank you so much! This really helps. Yeah, spelling and grammer aren't my best.

I just made some major changes. I just had a tutoring hour with my author friend Mathew Dicks/Greens, depending where you live. I changed the point of view back and forth more, and I tried to make the dialogue sound more real.



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Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:23 pm
InspiredLight wrote a review...



Coming from someone who isn't much into the whole "space" thing, this is amazing. It has just the right amount of action to keep you interested! I couldn't stop reading. The only thing I would have to say is to check all your grammar. There is a few mistakes here and there. Overall this is great, I'd love to read more.




Stormcrow says...


Thank you so much! This really helps. Yeah, spelling and grammer aren't my best.

I just made some major changes. I just had a tutoring hour with my author friend Mathew Dicks/Greens, depending where you live. I changed the point of view back and forth more, and I tried to make the dialogue sound more real.

I really like space. Really like space. When I grow up I want to be an astrophysicist and a (sci-fi) writer.

I actually have posted chapters 1-3, as you wanted to read more. I think that the prologue is better (much more action) but I have a complicated plot which needs about 15 chapters to develope. Im on chapter 21 by the way



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Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:40 am
therealme wrote a review...



Wow this is really great! You have some brilliant ideas and your writing is well formed and has a nice flow.
I found it very entertaining. Please keep writing more of it!




Stormcrow says...


Thank you @therealme! I have but just didn't put anymore up. I'll do so then!




Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.
— Bill Nye