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16+ Language

Chapter 2: Rising Tides

by Vil, Stringbean


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

It was a warm, breezy mid-morning when Natalia Whitestar coasted into the market of Shanoa on her bicycle. People strolled between the small line of shops and stalls on either side of the main street, sat outside the cafe, rode their bicycles down the ancient cobblestone. There was a murmur of conversation on all sides. A few people waved as their emissary peddled past a modest-sized but exquisitely-fashioned fountain that gurgled cheerily in the middle of the wide square.

Her hair shone a deep brown in the bright sun, a color that matched her ambitious eyes. Natalia rolled to a stop in front of the Minor Council House and brushed her dark gray full skirt as she got off. She fitted her bike in an open stand and made her way through the tall, carved door and up the quartz staircase to her office. The whole lay out of the building was open and full of natural light and greenery, and the dark wood floors and banisters contrasted nicely with the more plentiful whites and light grays of the walls and ceilings.

Her office, though not very large, was full of windows and cushions and books. She hung her dark blue cardigan on a peg near the door and grabbed a fistful of small papers that had been accumulating in her mail basket. A lithe young woman with dark hair piled in a loose bun atop her head came in as Natalia stood near the window sifting through the papers and frowning. "Good morning, Natalia," she chirped. Natalia looked up. It was Lucy, one of her advisers and closest friends. "You've let your petition slips pile up again," she chided.

Natalia sighed and tossed them back into the basket. "I know, you warned me last week-- and the week before that." The emmisary smiled sheepishly and shrugged. "More requests for upgrading the roads, replacing burnt-out street lights, and I believe there was one there about moving the Spring festival from the town square to the field by the Northwest Brook."

Lucy smiled and shook her head. That had been the sixth petition this month about moving the Spring festival, and all were in favor of different locations. Natalia gave Lucy a wry grin and sat quietly into her swiveling leather desk chair. It didn't really matter anyway. If anyone actually got around to addressing the festival, it wouldn't be until next winter. Late winter probably. In the meantime the festival, the roads, and the light bulbs would all be lost among the more important issues. Like what they were going to do about the remaining Anti-Emissary groups.

The reform movement had been pushed down for the most part around two years ago, when Natalia had been elected. But some had regrouped and were flaring up again here and there. It was nothing too serious-- yet. But some thought there were signs that maybe, just maybe...

Lucy seemed to follow her thoughts. "This afternoon should be the last Minor's meeting before the matter goes to the Council."

The Steward Emissary nodded. Hopefully the Council would yield some better answers than she and her advisers had been able to come up with. It would give her something to go on at the very least.

She sighed slightly and looked up at Lucy. "We'll work it out," she said. Lucy smiled and left her to her work.

-----

Later that evening, Natalia stood outside the heavy wooden door to the Minor Council room. For two years now, she'd been going to these meetings with her advisors, taking on the responsibility of making the right decisions to improve the lives of the over two hundred thousand people in Shanoa court, Misericord's capital. It never felt quite natural to her, having so much control over others. It had been different when she was leading a peaceful combat against the Anti-Emissaries who wanted to destroy the government; she was one with the people then. Now she felt over them in a way. But, they wanted her here their votes had said, and here she was.

She took a deep breath, straightened herself, and pushed open the door. Her thin fingers pressed into the engravings set deep into the wood. She felt their symbolic ridges as she let her hand slip away and stepping inside. The emissary strode to her seat at the large, round table, already occupied by officials whose low conversations respectfully stopped when she entered and came to the head of the table.

Natalia looked around at the seats. One of her six advisers was missing. Lucy, noticing her look, quietly said, "Lady Emissary, Mr. Beacher has sent word that he is no longer willing to attend Council until serious consideration is given to his proposal for reformed government. We didn't know until an hour ago."

She looked at Lucy a moment, then down at the table. So it's gotten that bad, she thought. "He knows the Council will never approve that."

Everyone was silent. They knew he knew it. That's why he wasn't here.

"We'll have to continue on without him, then," she said decisively. "I've been thinking about our suggestions for the Council. It seems to me, that the rebels won't be satisfied until they have a new government. Compromise doesn't seem to be an option here." She paused. "So the movement will have to be put down. Either by force or persuasion."

One of the older advisors said, "We should avoid force at all costs; it could ignite violence between the two groups." He spoke firmly, but with deference and that was another thing that was uncomfortable for her-- everyone there was significantly older than her, barring Lucy. It had taken awhile-- and required a bit of patience and understanding from her elders-- for her to settle in to this position. Maybe she was still settling into things.

Across the table, one of the women muttered, "You should not allow them to rally. If they can't band together, they are no threat."

A different man replied harshly, "That would only make them angry, and they would meet in secret anyway."

The old man turned to Natalia again. "Lady Emissary, I believe you should request that the Council meet with the leaders of the rebels. Don't give up on diplomacy yet. Perhaps an honest discussion and a bit of understanding will soften their stance."

She thought a moment, then nodded slowly. She didn't see much hope in talking, but it was worth another shot.

After a brief discussion of repairing roads and a bit of budgeting, the meeting ended and everyone filed out of the hall. Lucy stayed behind with Natalia. The emissary took off her coronet and turned it over in her hands. "I guess I'll find out tomorrow how things look around the rest of the country," she said thoughtfully. Lucy didn't reply. "We forgot the Spring festival." Still, Lucy said nothing. Natalia sighed and looked at her friend. "I've got a bad feeling about this."

"Go home. Try not to think about it tonight."

Natalia sighed again and nodded, rising from her seat, no longer toying with her coronet. She bid Lucy goodnight and spent the short ride home wondering if maybe... two years hadn't been quite enough.


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Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:36 pm
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Andrewknorpp wrote a review...



Okay, back for your harsh review! I have read all the chapters you've come out with so far, and I'm going to spread out my feelings about the overall plot in reviews to all the chapters. In this one, I will bring up the things that seem most relevant in this chapter. But I liked this, well written, and really good worldbuilding.

A. You have not, as of yet, picked a plotline.
This chapter is interesting and definitely well written, but there seems to be point to it. There is too much going on for this to be normal life before the story, and too little to be the story itself. I found this in reading ahead, things keep happening with no real plot framework. I still don't really know why I should be here, the characters are not super relatable/likable yet, and there is no defined plot to hook me in. The base idea is good, (That being a revolution story being told from the perspective of those in power,) and the pros themselves are pretty strong, but the stage between the base idea and the actual words on the page things seem to get lost.
It's like you can't choose what you want. Is the story started or is it not? Is this a history or a story?
That brings me to my next point. Sorry if it's harsh... but that''s what this is for
B. My precise setting syndrome
I think you have a case of my precise setting syndrome. This is a common thing among game masters in role-playing games. When instead of giving the players a fun adventure with choices and action, the Gm just shows them the world they have worked so hard to world build. And it's always cool to have a Gm who world builds, but it's not fun when they the game just feels like a tour of their fragile world that you can't touch. They forget to make an fun adventure in lu of showing you there intricately built world. You seemed to have kinda done this, you have obviously put a lot of work into building a really cool world. But let me let you in on a little secret, most readers don't give a crap about your world. They. Want. Story. They want characters doing interesting, cool, and crazy things. They want tension and building stakes and bad guys and a climax.
Show us a story with characters not a world with inhabitants.
BUT
And this is a big but.
Some people really do like reading a written history of a made-up world. That is why things like The Silmarillion exist. If you are building a dope world and then giving us a view into this really well-built world, more power to you! Just know most people won't care, and those who will are only interested if it's a really amazing world that makes sense. You seem to have done a pretty good job at building that!
BUT
this is an even larger but.
having a cool world+dope story=amazing read. And you're already like 75% of the way there!


C. Tiny nitpicks

Her hair shone a deep brown in the bright sun, a color that matched her ambitious eyes. Natalia rolled to a stop in front of the Minor Council House and brushed her dark gray full skirt as she got off. She fitted her bike in an open stand and made her way through the tall, carved door and up the quartz staircase to her office. The whole lay out of the building was open and full of natural light and greenery, and the dark wood floors and banisters contrasted nicely with the more plentiful whites and light grays of the walls and ceilings.

Dope description. But that would be Layout.
Her office, though not very large, was full of windows and cushions and books

Double and sounds unprofessional "Her office, though not very large, was full of windows, cushions, and books"
"You should not allow them to rally. If they can't band together, they are no threat."

This was hard to follow
That's all just my two cents! Hope it helped.
Super sorry if this was too harsh. Remember, this is all just my opinion!
But, as I said, you obviously have a talent for writing. Natalia seems like a cool second main character. A little more relatable than royalty. An interesting read over all!
Thanks, and keep writing
-Andrew




Vil says...


Luckily for you, we don't write Silmarillions-- we write every little details of history. We get bored XD

We''ll be sure to work through descriptions better in revisions.



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Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:52 am
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Stringbean says...



Note to self:

You. Forgot. To frickin'. Establish. What. The reformers. ARE ABOUT.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!


Gosh this is going to make chapter 9 hard XD




Vil says...


Uh...

What's 9 about again? XD



Stringbean says...


Check our outline XD

actually I should have put this under 3 lol



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Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:11 pm
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Gravitem wrote a review...



Some insight into the politics of the world, huh? Excellent chapter! Though it was upsetting (the kind of upsetting when you don't get as much as you want about what happened in the last chapter/episode/movie). I really enjoyed reading and taking a look at your construction of basic politics. I like how you have both an idea about how your political set up in the "present" is and also obviously an idea about how it's going to be after this revealed/hinted rebellion.

I like the new character introduction, pretty smooth and I like how you introduced her naturally, LITERALLY.

I honestly don't have any negatives to point out. It's nice and short and makes for a fun and entertaining read. I'm confident that this plot is going somewhere. And I MEAN going somewhere. Like, reading this is going to be a real really realistic adventure!

I have a good feeling about this.

That's it for today.

Yours sincerely,
Myth

__|_|__

Featuring this lit banner by @whatchamacallit

Image




Vil says...


Umm... yes... realistic... no random magic coming up, not a bit... *cough @Stringbean, help me *cough*

Thanks for the review! :D



Stringbean says...


XDD

Thank you! c:



Gravitem says...


YOU GET WHAT I MEAN BY REALISTIC!!!



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Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:14 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Knight Hardy here on a mission to ensure that all works on YWS has at least two reviews. You will probably never see this but....Imma do this anyway.

First Impression: Well this is a bit disjointed from where the previous chapter left off and you did not pay off on the cliffhanger which was rude because now I have to wait but I think this was another fantastic introduction to this character. It almost feels like a separate novel here starting off with the perspective of this other character. Its definitelyn establishing this other side of things pretty well and I can see the subtle ways that this ties into the other one.

Anyway let's get right to it,

It was a warm, breezy mid-morning when Natalia Whitestar coasted into the market of Shanoa on her bicycle. People strolled between the small line of shops and stalls on either side of the main street, sat outside the cafe, rode their bicycles down the ancient cobblestone. There was a murmur of conversation on all sides. A few people waved as their emissary peddled past a modest-sized but exquisitely-fashioned fountain that gurgled cheerily in the middle of the wide square.


That is another really nice description that acts as an establishing shot. Is Vilnius improving is Stringbean involved in this description?

Her office, though not very large, was full of windows and cushions and books. She hung her dark blue cardigan on a peg near the door and grabbed a fistful of small papers that had been accumulating in her mail basket. A lithe young woman with dark hair piled in a loose bun atop her head came in as Natalia stood near the window sifting through the papers and frowning. "Good morning, Natalia," she chirped. Natalia looked up. It was Lucy, one of her advisers and closest friends. "You've let your petition slips pile up again," she chided.


Hmm...yup I am definitely not getting the traditional 3000's vibe from this one (Not a bad thing) and again this is a nice description.

Natalia sighed and tossed them back into the basket. "I know, you warned me last week-- and the week before that." The emmisary smiled sheepishly and shrugged. "More requests for upgrading the roads, replacing burnt-out street lights, and I believe there was one there about moving the Spring festival from the town square to the field by the Northwest Brook."


I think that word has only one "m". It might be a British vs American thing but then I am using American English in this autocorrect, and you are definitely American so I am pointing it out.

Lucy smiled and shook her head. That had been the sixth petition this month about moving the Spring festival, and all were in favor of different locations. Natalia gave Lucy a wry grin and sat quietly into her swiveling leather desk chair. It didn't really matter anyway. If anyone actually got around to addressing the festival, it wouldn't be until next winter. Late winter probably. In the meantime the festival, the roads, and the light bulbs would all be lost among the more important issues. Like what they were going to do about the remaining Anti-Emissary groups.


Hmm...I see plot points being formed here. That is a good thing. Definitely pretty interesting how much they are referencing the winter (this could be because where I come from there is obviously no winter).

The Steward Emissary nodded. Hopefully the Council would yield some better answers than she and her advisers had been able to come up with. It would give her something to go on at the very least.

She sighed slightly and looked up at Lucy. "We'll work it out," she said. Lucy smiled and left her to her work.


Hmm that seems like a pretty decent relationship that you've built up there with the two of them. It sounds like they have known each other for some time.

Later that evening, Natalia stood outside the heavy wooden door to the Minor Council room. For two years now, she'd been going to these meetings with her advisors, taking on the responsibility of making the right decisions to improve the lives of the over two hundred thousand people in Shanoa court, Misericord's capital. It never felt quite natural to her, having so much control over others. It had been different when she was leading a peaceful combat against the Anti-Emissaries who wanted to destroy the government; she was one with the people then. Now she felt over them in a way. But, they wanted her here their votes had said, and here she was.


Very relatable thoughts by this lady that's for sure..xD

Natalia looked around at the seats. One of her six advisers was missing. Lucy, noticing her look, quietly said, "Lady Emissary, Mr. Beacher has sent word that he is no longer willing to attend Council until serious consideration is given to his proposal for reformed government. We didn't know until an hour ago."


That sounds like some interesting setup is happening at this point. Man how have you made me interested in these political drama things.

"We'll have to continue on without him, then," she said decisively. "I've been thinking about our suggestions for the Council. It seems to me, that the rebels won't be satisfied until they have a new government. Compromise doesn't seem to be an option here." She paused. "So the movement will have to be put down. Either by force or persuasion."


She definitely gives off some nice strong leadership vibes which is a good thing to see in a character.

One of the older advisors said, "We should avoid force at all costs; it could ignite violence between the two groups." He spoke firmly, but with deference and that was another thing that was uncomfortable for her-- everyone there was significantly older than her, barring Lucy. It had taken awhile-- and required a bit of patience and understanding from her elders-- for her to settle in to this position. Maybe she was still settling into things.


Okay that seemed like a bit too long of an observation there by her. It breaks up the flow a bit...and it just takes you to a different place from where the conversation was so I recommend making that one a bit shorter so that it's easier to stay in the flow of the conversatin.

After a brief discussion of repairing roads and a bit of budgeting, the meeting ended and everyone filed out of the hall. Lucy stayed behind with Natalia. The emissary took off her coronet and turned it over in her hands. "I guess I'll find out tomorrow how things look around the rest of the country," she said thoughtfully. Lucy didn't reply. "We forgot the Spring festival." Still, Lucy said nothing. Natalia sighed and looked at her friend. "I've got a bad feeling about this."


Well that got interesting with Lucy.

Natalia sighed again and nodded, rising from her seat, no longer toying with her coronet. She bid Lucy goodnight and spent the short ride home wondering if maybe... two years hadn't been quite enough.


Oooh and we have another awesome cliffhanger in this one. This should be interesting to see. Now I eagerly await your release of further chapters of this.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this was again a really nice chapter. Its definitely showing a pretty nicely developed world. Our two characters seem pretty good too. Not a lot for me to point out except that maybe this cliffhanger was just a little bit vaguer and so we don't quite feel as invested in it. Looking forward for more!!

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




Vil says...


@Stringbean and I are cowriting every last word. She;s good with the descriptions, I'm good with the "Shorten this, change this word, this is more dramatic, DIE DIE DIE" kind of stuff XD



Stringbean says...


Yeah, that's a good way to put it, VP XD

Tha ks for the review!!



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!
LOL...:)



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Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:49 pm
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FadeV says...



It’s really amazing! It’s super descriptive, and I can’t find any problems with it. I like the interactions between characters! The storyline also seems really interesting and creative, and I Like the Main character. This little world you’re building makes me want to know what will come next.




Vil says...


Why, thank you! @Stringbean wrote most of this chapter, and we recommend you go back and read the first, Chapter 1: Rain, Reign, Stay All Day.

Welcome to the site!




It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
— Albus Dumbledore