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Life or Death ~Book one It Begins Prologue

by Shikora


                                                     Prologue

The large orange sun slowly sank behind a mountain of hills in the distance. As it set beyond the horizon its heat leaving with it the once hot brown sand takes on a cold feeling to it as the heat leaves the small grains. Small lizards scurry across the small grains of sand trying to escape the crisp night air.

A young dragonet sat by the window of his wooden house waiting for he's father to come back. He's mother was sitting on a long brown mat, her thing tail swaying in the air. Her large, sandy, yellow wings closely tucked to her sides. Her dark black eyes glances up at him and she smiled her large teeth catching the moons glow.

Her gaze never left his. Her warm eyes soon turned into concern. She slowly got to her feet and walked over to him. Her large talons not making a sound as she walked over the sand. His mother sat down next to him and looked down at him. She scanned him up and down frowning.

“Viper what’s the matter?” she asked in a gently soothing voice. She placed a large wing along his back bringing his small scaled body closer to her.

Viper looked up at her then back out along the sand dunes outside. “When will father be back? Has something happened to him did he get eaten?” 

His mother sighed. “Oh, Viper, I’m sure his fine. The chief wouldn’t keep him there to long!”

Viper nodded his head. His black eyes scanning the sand once again. His small wings tucked along his sides. ‘What if something really did happen? What if his hurt and he need our help? What if the chief is trying to kill him?’ he though.

His mother looked out the window and smiled. “It’s a lovely night.” she sighed, she stood up and walked over to the mat she was lying on a second ago. “Your father is fine Viper!” Then his mother went back to the book she was reading.

Viper turned away from the window and walked over to his bed. He lay down feeling sleep start to take over him. Then all was black.

…….

Viper woke up to the sound of talking. The moons light shining into the dark room and bouncing off of the walls of the room. Viper looked over to where he could hear his mother and father talking joy filled him knowing his father was safe..

“Already? But he's to young!” his mother protested.

“We don’t have a choice Grain,” His father said.

“Yes we do Quake! His our son!” Grain whisper yelled.

Quake sighed. “I know. But if we don’t do this he will take him by force and kill us, and I don’t want that! I’ll at least be able to teach him!” Quake explained.

“But his only five!” Grain sobbed. Her frame shaking as she cried. Her tears falling to the sand.

Quake hugged her. “We have to be strong for him. There is nothing I can do about this! At least make it easier for him!” Quake said in a soothing voice trying to stop her crying.

Grain nodded her head looking up at Quake the last of her tears falling to the floor. “Will I be able to see him again?” She looked to where Viper was sleeping a look of hope crossing her face.

Viper ducked into the darkness, not wanting to be seen by his mother and father.

Quake’s hull body stiffened. “I’m afraid not. After a while I won’t even be able to see him!”

A new river of tears rushed down Grains face her wings shacking. “How long?” she asked wiping her tears with her talons looking back at Quake.

“Tomorrow I’m afraid,” Quake said wrapping his wings around her.

“Oh,” was all Grain could say before she let out another river of tears.

Viper gasped. ‘Is mama DYING?’ a horrified look came upon his face. He jumped out of his bed and ran over to his parents. “Don’t die Mama!” small tears falling down his face. He wrapped his talons around his mother’s leg not letting go.

Grain looked down at Viper and smiled. “Oh I’m going anywhere dear. I will be right hear when you need me!” Grain smiled down at Viper as he cried into her dark yellow leg.

Quake gave Viper a small kiss on the head, “Everything will be fine okay! We will always be here know matter what.”

Viper nodded his head. “So Mama isn’t going to die?”

Grain smiled. “No dear.” Grain leaned down and liked his face clean.

“Now go back to sleep. We will see you in the morning!” His father said quickly.

Viper looked over to his bed then back at his mother and father. “Could you sleep with me?”

His mother and father smiled and walked over to the bed and lay down. Viper ran over to them and snuggled into the warmth of their body’s. He slowly fell asleep next to them not knowing what the next day would hold.


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Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:06 pm
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Zoom wrote a review...



Hi Shikora

You’ve already received 5 helpful reviews/comments, however I feel like I could weigh in with some more points. Moreover, you seem to post at a consistent pace so I would like to follow this story along.

The large orange sun slowly sank behind a mountain of hills in the distance. As it set beyond the horizon its heat leaving with it the once hot brown sand takes on a cold feeling to it as the heat leaves the small grains. Small lizards scurry across the small grains of sand trying to escape the crisp night air.


You’re painting a lovely scene here and I can imagine the warm colour palette, so good job with that. I do think that you repeat a few phrases and go into too much detail at times, where it isn’t necessary.

Examples of repetitiveness are:

The words “heat”, “small” and “grains”.

Examples of going into too much detail include describing the sand as “small grains”, it’s entirely unnecessary because grains are automatically small by nature, and sand is automatically grains by nature. So you’ve essentially drilled down into this description when the generic word “sand” already does everything for you. Let readers use their imagination. You only have to provide what they can’t imagine on their own, not what they can. Another example is stating that the sun is “large” and moving “slowly” – this is already how everyone understands the sun to behave. With this logic in mind, you could easily rearrange your opening paragraph into something like:

The orange sun sinks behind a mountain of hills in the distance. As it sets, the once hot sand takes on a cold feeling. Small lizards scurry across the sand, trying to escape the crisp night air.


I’ve reworded it a tiny bit to make it all present tense, because you switched around a bit, but otherwise all I did was remove words you don’t need. Take a look and decide if you have lost any meaning here, and if you prefer the way it flows.

A young dragonet sat by the window of his wooden house waiting for he's father to come back. He's mother was sitting on a long brown mat


I’m not going to dwell too long on small grammatical errors like this, however I saw the same issue twice in a row. You mean “his” rather than “he’s”. If in doubt, say both words within the contraction to see if it makes sense (waiting for he is father to come back).

What if his hurt and he need our help?

“Yes we do Quake! His our son!”

“But his only five!”


In these three examples, you have done the opposite (“his” instead of he’s”). So again, if you ever need to use the word he’s or his, just see if “he is” would work in the sentence, then you know which you need.

***

Overall comments:

I’m going to be honest, there are a lot of errors throughout this piece, simple typos and grammatical issues. Those will all improve the more you read and write, so I wont worry too much about those. I pointed out some of the ones that I noticed were reoccurring. The issues did become quite distracting from the story, but I tried to read it as if there weren’t any errors so that I could focus on the story instead.

Setting:

I noticed that you start off your scenes with a beautiful description. Remember though, that you can’t always just set a scene and then carry on without mentioning the world around the characters again, because slowly it will seem that the characters are living in an empty room. Every so often you need to mention the world in some way, making sure you don't neglect any of the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Integrating the senses within your story will help it come alive and help the readers immerse themselves.

Tone:

You did a pretty good job building a sense of danger. I especially liked it when the mother dragon was getting really worried and started shaking her wings – it’s very difficult to write using animals / mythical creatures, and it was clear that you thought of a way to use their strange anatomy to your advantage. Good job!

Character Development:

Viper is so cute! I particularly enjoyed his reaction when he jumped up and thought his mother was dying. This is really believable for a young child (well, dragonet in this case) to react this way when he hears his mother panicking and saying things like “will I see him again” etc. Well done.

I don’t have much to say about the parents because we haven’t seen much of them yet. Hopefully we get more of a sense of who they are in the next chapter. It’s interesting that you have given them the hard decision to say goodbye to their son forever, so they must love him a lot to do this for his survival.

Plot:

A great deal hasn’t happened yet because it’s just the prologue, but you’ve started the story off in an interesting way, and you’ve clearly picked a good place to start the story because Quake has just made the important decision to train his son. I get a strong sense that this is where everything kicks off in Viper’s world, so great instincts for picking this moment as your prologue!

Hook

What hooked me most about this story (besides talking dragons automatically being awesome) was that Viper is so young and has to leave his parents forever, I wasn’t expecting something so heartbreaking considering how young he seems, but this is exciting at the same time, and will make a great story.

Also like another reviewer said, I love that you haven’t explained everything like a lot of writers do. You’ve kept things a secret and allowed the mystery to draw us in. I’m wondering what has happened to make Quake train his son, who is after them?! I’ll have to read on to find out!

Improvements:

I feel like you are missing a lot of commas and full stops. There are natural pauses that readers need to reach so that your sentences flow nicely and make sense. A small trick is to read your story out loud and pay attention for these natural pauses, which will then indicate when a comma or new sentence might be needed.

Here's an example, read this sentence out loud.

She placed a large wing along his back bringing his small scaled body closer to her.


Did you catch the pause? It's between "back" and "bringing". Try whacking a comma in there :)

Well done overall.

-Zoom




Shikora says...


Thank you so much for the review! It was great, and i'm glad I got you hooked. I'm planning on going through all my first chapters soon to see if I can pick some mess ups like the once you pointed out. I can tell them my writing is getting a lot better as I get farther into the story. So hopefully I will have time to go back on my old chapters and fix them.

Again thank you for the review. If you like I will tag you next time I post the next chapter?
Bye for now! :D



Zoom says...


No worries, glad to help.

I noticed an improvement just between the first two! I'll be sure to check the rest out, hopefully today. And yes please do tag me :)



Shikora says...


Thanks! It take me a wile to get into my groove and them my writing is really good according to me, but it is always nice to get the input from everyone else.

I'll let you know when the next chapter is out! :D



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Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:24 am
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writerkitty wrote a review...



^^ Hey Shikora, it's writerkitty here with a review for you! :D (I haven't written anything in ages so forgive me if this isn't useful...)

I really enjoyed reading this. You have maintained the perfect balance between dialogue and description so the reader doesn't get bored or confused. ^^ I really like this because too much dialogue can quickly turn this into a mere conversation without anything happening and too much description can hinder the liveliness of the story. I hope that makes sense.

Next, I really like how you mentioned what's going to happen to poor Viper without giving away too much detail about it. Now the readers know he's going to be taken away, but that's all we know and the curiosity you planted in our mind, makes us eager to read the next chapter. :D

The argument between his parents hinted to us that it's not going to be something pleasant. And you created an emotional scene here as well. It's truly sad to see how their parents are hiding the truth from young Viper, they must be pretty sad because they won't be able to see their child again.

I really like the pace of the story. This is just the prologue but it carries some good detail and characters. And it provides a good structure for your story. ^^ Well done!


I did catch a few grammatical errors here and there, but I'm not gonna point them out because the other reviewers seem to have got it covered. :)

^^ I really like this story so far and I can't wait to see what happens next to Viper. ^^

I have a few suggestions regarding your prologue and I'm going to end my review with that.

His mother looked out the window and smiled. “It’s a lovely night.” His mother sighed, she stood up and walked over to the mat she was lying on a second ago. “Your father is fine Viper!” Then his mother went back to the book she was reading.


I think you overused the term 'his mother'. You can try to avoid the repetition created here by adding 'she' or 'her' at appropriate places.

Viper woke up to the sound of talking. The moons light shining into the dark room and bouncing off of the rooms walls.


You can write this as 'the room's walls' or 'the walls of the room' ^^

My last suggestion is, you could try to tell a line or two about their home. A bit of description
about their surrounding would really enhance the wonderfulness of this piece.

That's all for now!
Have an awesome day and never stop writing! ^^




Shikora says...


Thanks for the review kitty :D It was great! I'll go and fix some things in the chapter when I have time.



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Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:21 pm
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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there!

The large orange sun slowly sank behind a mountain of hills in the distance. As the sun set beyond the horizon the once hot brown sand takes on a cold feeling to it as the heat leaves the small grains.

You've already told us that the sun is setting ;) You can just take the beginning of the second sentence out and continue with the description of the hot sand.

A young dragonet sat by the window of he's wooden house waiting for he's father to come back. He's mother was sitting on a long brown mat, her thing tail swaying in the air.

I believe you mean 'his' instead of 'he's'.

“Already? But his to young!” his mother protested.

Similarly, I believe you mean 'he's' instead of 'his'.

You've definitely sparked my interest here. Prologues are great because they give the reader a look into how things were before the actual story line begins. Some people will argue that prologues aren't good and all that, but I say if a novel needs a prologue write the prologue. And I think your story needs one. This seems to be the calm before the storm, the time right before everything changes. I feel like making this an actual chapter wouldn't work as well.

You have quite a few grammatical errors without. I don't want to go through and point out every single one of them because that would be repetitive and annoying honestly. If you would like me to though, let me know and I will gladly come back and point them out.

Despite only being around these characters for this short time, I feel like I really know them. You've done a good job with your characterization. They are real and I have an image in my mind already of what they look like and how they react to certain things. I feel a real connection to the dragonet. He's so small and young and just plain adorable ^_^ I applaud you for getting me to connect with your characters so quick. Keep up the good work!

There isn't much description in this prologue, but I think that's okay. There usually isn't much description in any prologue. Description makes something longer and you don't want your prologue to be twenty pages. You give us just enough to create an image in our mind and move on. Well done with that.

That being said, I kind of wanted more description about the house. I know, I sound like I'm just negating what I said in my previous paragraph, but I'm not really. I just want a little bit more. In my mind right now I just see a big empty room with a rug and a bed and a window. I feel like there should be a little more. Just something to think about.

I can't wait to get to the first chapter and read more!

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




Shikora says...


Thank you so much for the review. It was really helpful, and I'll fix it when i have time. I'm also really glad you said this story needed a prologue. I wasn't sure if I should have put it in or no, but your words gave me all the information i needed, so thank you for that. I hope you enjoy chapter 1. If you need the link just ask.



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Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:42 pm
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dogsrule5 wrote a review...



Hey, Dogsrule5 here for a review!

Wow it's been so long since I've written one of these haha!

Overall your story is amazing, but there are a few things that would need fixing! Here they are!

1) When you say something like "I no" it should be I know spelled k-n-o-w not n-o

2) When you go to say his it should be spells he's (h-e's not h-i-s).

3) dieing should be dying (d-y-i-n-g)

4) holed should be hold (h-o-l-d)

There were a few other spelling errors, but that's really all I saw that no everyone else has mentioned! I just think you should work on spelling just a tad. (sorry not trying to sound rude or harsh, just trying to help)

I have a couple of suggestions for you as well!

1) I think you should describe what the characters look like, and what the setting is like, while telling the story so readers can imagine the characters in the setting! For example the room when Viper is waiting for his dad to come home, what does it look like. For example instead of saying "his mom was sitting on the mat" you could instead say "His mom was sitting on her pink map right next to a end table" or something along those lines, (that doesn't have to be the setting of your story, that's just an example on how you could describe things, so readers will know what the setting looks like).

2) also describe what the characters look like, and what their facial expressions. For example when Vipers parents were talking, you could've said, Vipers mom said this with a worried glance, or something along those lines.

3) I think you should describe what the characters look like. (I know I said that last time, but now I mean physically more) What color are Viper's wings, etc.

Those are just a few things to think about!

I hope this helped for this chapter, and chapters in the future!

Overall this story was super good, and I can't wait to read the next chapter, so let me know when it comes out please!

Keep up the great writing,
Love,
Dogs




Shikora says...


Thank you so much for the review. You will find out what Viper looks like in the up coming chapters, but i will defiantly add a bit more description into this chapter.

It's just when your writing the story you don't really think about those things so much. So you defiantly helped.

And thank you again. I'll let you no when the next chapter is out.



dogsrule5 says...


Yeah, sometimes I forget to think about the setting to, because I'm so involved with the plot and action going on in the story, I know I definitely do that in my book Unsafe haha! And no problem, let me know if you have any questions about writing so setting descriptions, I'd be happy to help to the best of my ability! And great, I can't wait to see what Viper looks like, and learn more about his personality! And thanks, I can't wait for the next chapter!



Shikora says...


I have posted the next chapter on YWS. Here is the link. Life or Death ~Book one It Begins Chapter 1
And I will let you no when I need help with my story, I'll make sure of that. And you can always come to me for help to you no.



dogsrule5 says...


Great thanks, and I just left a review for the next chapter! I loved it, and there's another review waiting for you to read haha!



Shikora says...


I saw it. it was great.



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Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:11 am
EagleFly wrote a review...



Hi there you no ho I am I am here to do a review, first thing is that this is a grate lengh for me, Small lizards scurry across the small grains of sand trying to escape the crisp night air, I am not really shore about this bit, It is a bit tranche to me really it need a bit more discretion I think,
second thing,her thing tail swaying in the air, I think you mad a slite era I will point it out to you.

spot the difronse,
what you have said, her thing tail swaying in the air. what I have said,her thin tail swaying in the air. see it is only one era,

Viper nodded his head. His black eyes scanning the sand once again. okay I like this line but I don't really now what viper looks like here is need more description to it,
‘What if something really did happen? What if his hurt and he need our help? What if the chief is trying to kill him?’ he though.

His mother looked out the window and smiled. “It’s a lovely night.” His mother sighed, she stood up and walked over to the mat she was lying on a second ago. okay here her son is talking but she agnors him kon pleat ley it is not right don't she answer him.

“Yes we do Quake! His our son!” Grain whisper yelled. I don't really understand what you have said here at the end. so that is all that I can say about this. so keep up with the good work.
@EagleFly out to seek and kill




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Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:00 am
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Ophetheos wrote a review...



Hello Tsunami, (90% sure this is how I'm gonna start a review from now on) anyways...The first thing I've noticed is in this passage
“Viper what’s the matter?” she asked in a gently soothing voice. She placed a sandy yellow wing along his back bringing him closer to her.

Viper looked up at her then back out along the sand dunes outside. “When will father be back? Has something happened to him did he get eating?”

His mother sighed. “Oh Viper I’m sure his fine. The chief wouldn’t keep him there to long!”

(specifically the "Has something happened to him did he get eating?") The eating sounds weird when you read it out loud...did you mean "Has something happened to him did he get eaten?" Apart from that is Viper a dragon? I probably shouldn't question your naming but otherwise good work!

His mother sighed. “Oh Viper I’m sure his fine. The chief wouldn’t keep him there to long!”
Also this part is lacking some pauses try "Oh, Viper I'm sure he's fine. The chief wouldn't keep him there for too long!" Apart from that I'll leave a second review if I catch anything else?




Shikora says...


Thanks so much for the review! I'll go change those things, and yes Viper is a dragon.


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Ophetheos says...


No problem! :)




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But even the worst decisions we make don't necessarily remove us from the circle of humanity.
— Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore