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The school of magical spies-part one

by foxmaster


Introduction

Hello, there. My name is Kat. I am a magical spy-oop, classified information. Anyhow, the school for magical spies is extremely hard to get into, and you have to be the cream of the crop. Me and my friends Violet and Katy have been here for over five years... and we still haven't graduated. Plus, we're one of the seniors. We wait for our big quest. (that is what you must do to be fully qualified-you have to go on a quest.) But one day, we got our chance...

Chapter One

It was mid morning, and the kind of day you want to be sitting out on the patio drinking lemonade. Instead, a hard day of training here. 

"Chop, chop! Hurry! CAREFUL OF THE CHAINSAWS!" yelled the instructor impatiently, waiting for one of the first years to get past the ropes course. Easy stuff, really. 

"Just LET GO ALREADY!" 

The girl dropped to the ground, panting. really? I thought. It wasn't that hard, honestly. Soon it was my turn. I swooped past the fire, and swam over the sharks. The chainsaws were coming up. Looks like I'd have to do a freezing spell, a new one I'd just learned. I was just about to do it, when a circle of blue fire came up all around us. I fell off of the bars, and, although I was okay, my pride was mostly wounded. It was the first time in forever that had happened! 

"You okay?" asked Violet, looking concerned. I nodded fearfully.

"What is this?" asked someone. I knew the answer, however. 

"It's Waterfire." I said. "The Waterfire souls are coming." The school had been infiltrated by a Dark Mage- but who?

Chapter Two

I got into a battle stance. I looked serious, but on the inside: EEE! finally! Some ADVENTURE! I thought excitedly. This had never happened before. Figures walked out of the circle. Some were tall, some short. But none of their features were shown, just Waterfire. 

"ZORG!" I yelled, and a net made of sunlight flew down. A few of the souls got trapped, but most escaped. One reached out and toughed me, and I recoiled. It was like being burned by fire. Extremely painful. 

"Are you okay?" asked Violet, again. 

"I'm fine," I said, not feeling fine. Suddenly, a beam of light shot through the monsters. They screamed and fell back down into the earth. The principal was standing in the creature's place. 

"Violet. Kat. Katy. I need you all in my office, now." she said. We slowly walked into the building with her- were we in trouble? 

"Girls," said the Principal. "I belive you know what happened today- a dark mage came into the school. Xar the dark mage, in fact. It is time for your quests... you must go after him."

Chapter Three

We were all outside, ready for our quests. Me and my friends began walking down a long isle, where, in front of the gates, sat a magnificent rainbow-colored train. We stepped on. The seats inside were plush, and the windows were good. 

"Ready?" asked the cundocter, and walked in the room. He had a hood on, so we couldn't see his face. "I said, ready-for your deaths?" he asked. Xar the Dark mage. We all screamed.

~~~~

"Hey, you okay?" I sat up in bed. 

"You were  muttering about some weird man... Xar?" asked an unfamiliar girl sitting on the end of my bed.

"What the-" I began, and she cut me off. 

"I'm Nelly, and I heard you screaming. Don't worry, I'm not evil," she said calmly. Okay. What a relief. "The principal wanted to speak to you." she said. I slowly got up, and , in my pajamas, walked down the corridor to the office. Violet, Katy, and the principal sat there calmly. 

"Kat, we need to speak to you," she said. (Duh,) "We found a journal, with your name on it, take a look." she said, and slid an old book across the table to me.

January 16, 1963

He said that if I helped him, I would get everything I desired. This is the story of me, Kat, the loyal follower and helper of Xar, the mage.

Chapter four

Everybody stared first at the diary, then at me like I'd grown a second head that could only speak German. 

"This is it!" Yelled Katy. "We knew it! Kat must be evil!" Wait-what? 

"You all are so stupid," said a voice from the doorway. Two kids stood there, a boy and a girl. The girl was leaning against the wall with a smirk on her face.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"I'm Stella." said the girl. "And the boy?" I asked. Everyone stared at me. 

"What boy?" asked the principal. 

"She must be crazy." said Stella, twirling a finger around her head. Oh, what I wouldn't give to get that smug look off her face. 

I slowly walked out of the office. Then, I saw there were some new-looking people. I had not heard about any new children, so I was confused...

Chapter Five

We were walking in a misty street town, when we got to a 20-foot tall purple glowing sign that said, WITCH FAIR IN TOWN! and pointed a large arrow to the left. So we walked and walked, and soon we were at the fair! There were tons of colorful tents and tons of Witches walking around.   

Soon we got to a tent that said, "Doctor Boog E. Feeva*, witch doctor." It turned out I was cursed to be able to see ghosts, so we had to get rid of it.

(*I have to give The Dog Man series credit.)

"Hello!" said Dr. Boog when he saw us. "How may I help you?"

"Well, I can see ghosts." I said. 

"Oh no!" said Dr. Boog, probably panicking. "So, then. What does that ghost look like over there?" he pointed to an empty corner.

"Oh, there's no ghost there." I said. Everyone gasped. 

"Good, good." said Dr. Boog, and handed me some kind of liquid. "Drink this." I did, and started sneezing, because why not? So then we all walked out of the tent, complimenting the Witch Doctor, and we were about to head back into the school, when we passed by the cloudberry maze. Then I said something very strange. 

"Let's go into the maze," I said. Everyone looked at me strangely, then for some reason I pushed them in and we were walking among the pink-colored stalks of corn. 

"Why did you say that?" asked Katy. I had no idea. 

We passed by a turn and there was a arrow pointing left. It must have been a trap so we went right. Suddenly we were in a big clearing! 

ZOOM! A gigantic net fell out of nowhere and landed on us. It was a trap! Darn you, reverse psychology! I knew we had to run, but the next thing we knew, we were rolling down the hill, and landed in the river.

"Gt out of our river!" Two water spirits came out of the water and were glaring at us. 

"well, If you free us, then we can leave!" I said. The Water Spirits sighed, and then untangled us from the net. We all slowly got out of the water, and, freezing cold, made our way back to the school.

Chapter Six

One hour after we had dried off and were preparing for the quest: GOOOONG! IT was the warning gong! All the students were panicking and screaming. 

Xar the dark mage appeared o the balcony. He said, "I need you to give me these students." he pointed at us.

"NO!" yelled the principal.  

"Then..." said Xar, and The Waterfire Souls came up and started chasing us. We all ran and used our magic, until...

"Behind you!" yelled Nelly. I did a 180, and saw a monster behind me. "AAAAA!" I yelled, and then fainted...


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Points: 17243
Reviews: 328

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Sun Feb 26, 2023 11:11 pm
deleted30 wrote a review...



Hello darling~

I know you asked that I check out some of your work, so—as requested—here I am!

I think this is a very creative story with a lot of potential. I like the premise and the goofy, silly tone you've struck. I have no doubt it could make for a super fun, entertaining piece. That said, this draft is rough around the edges, and it would benefit from a hearty edit.

One small thing, off the top: there were a lotttt of typos. Spelling mistakes, punctuation and capitalization errors, all of it. Make sure to proof your work before you publish it. It really does make a difference. Typos are super easy to catch and fix, so when you don't correct them, it lends an impression of carelessness to the work—like you couldn't be bothered to reread it and give it some polish. You don't want to make the reader think you're not invested in your own story. Also, on another note, typos are distracting—they take me out of whatever I'm reading, especially when there's a lot of them. So, in the future, I highly recommend you proof all your pieces before publishing, and make sure to correct as many typos as you can spot.

In terms of deeper, more meaningful critiques, I think this work suffered from a few key issues:

1. Pacing. It was really, really fast and short. As a result, it was hard to get invested in what was happening—or even really understand what was happening. Take your time when you're writing. Don't rush through key scenes. Let us linger on action, dialogue and description, especially if the action/dialogue/description is important to the plot. And that leads me to...

2. Clarity (or lack thereof). This draft was kinda unfocused and hard to follow. A LOT happened in this piece, but if you asked me to summarize what I just read, I don't think I'd be able to. And I read this piece twice! But I'm still unsure of exactly what took place. That's a problem.

3. Telling instead of showing. You've probably heard this adage a million times before, but you should try to show rather than tell. This piece told me things were happening and that they were a big deal, but you didn't show that to me. It's like the difference between a character narrating to us "I felt sick" vs. having them describe the symptoms they were experiencing (e.g., "my stomach was aching and my whole body was rattled with nausea," et cetera).

Here are some specific examples of problems you could fix.

Hello, there. My name is Kat. I am a magical spy-oop, classified information. Anyhow, the school for magical spies is extremely hard to get into, and you have to be the cream of the crop. Me and my friends Violet and Katy have been here for over five years... and we still haven't graduated. Plus, we're one of the seniors. We wait for our big quest. (that is what you must do to be fully qualified-you have to go on a quest.) But one day, we got our chance...

Don't ever start a story this way. It's an info-dump and it's unnecessary. Instead of telling us this information right at the beginning, show it to us. Weave it into the dialogue, action and description, as naturally as you can. Let us figure this out on our own, over time—don't spoon-feed it to us before the story's even begun.

We wait for our big quest. (that is what you must do to be fully qualified-you have to go on a quest.)

Since the parenthetical is its own sentence (and not a part of the sentence that precedes it), you need to capitalize the first letter (i.e., the T in "that"). Throughout this piece, there were many times when you didn't capitalize the first letter of a sentence. I won't be pointing them all out, but my advice is to keep an eye on that habit in the future, and to look for it when you're proofing/editing.

One reached out and toughed me

I'm assuming this is a typo and that you meant "touched"?

"I'm fine," I said, not feeling fine.

Show, don’t tell.

I belive you know what happened

Should be “believe.”

"Ready?" asked the cundocter

It’s spelled “conductor.”

I slowly got up, and , in my pajamas

Unnecessary space between “and” and the comma that follows it.

"This is it!" Yelled Katy. "We knew it! Kat must be evil!"

The first letter of a dialogue tag should never be capitalized, even when the dialogue ends in a question mark or exclamation point. So, the Y in “yelled” should be lowercase. Also, I was very confused by this whole section. They’re assuming she’s evil because of this diary they found? Even though, theoretically, anyone could have written the diary? Just because it uses her name doesn’t matter—it could be a frame job, it could be someone else with the same name, et cetera. And the diary entry was dated 1963, so is this story set in the 60s or was that meant to indicate the diary was really old? Again: this is what I’m talking about when I discuss the lack of clarity within this piece. I had no idea what to make of that date or that diary or the reaction to it.

What’s even weirder is that you set this up as if it matters—as if this diary is going to be a big plot point and will get Kat in trouble—but then you completely disregard the storyline. Like, you just utterly abandon it without any conclusion, and without even mentioning it ever again. So what was the point of including it at all? Very confusing.

soon we were at the fair! There were tons of colorful tents and tons of Witches walking around.
Soon we got to a tent

“Soon” is repetitive. You don’t need to capitalize the W in “witches.” And I don’t think you need that exclamation point after “fair,” either.

that said, "Doctor Boog E. Feeva*, witch doctor." It turned out I was cursed to be able to see ghosts, so we had to get rid of it.
(*I have to give The Dog Man series credit.)

I have no idea what this means. I’m guessing you took the name “Doctor Boog E. Feeva” from some TV show or something, and that’s why you’re crediting The Dog Man? If so, it’s in bad form to include a meta author’s note randomly, midway through an otherwise-not-meta story. If you wanted to steal that name (which I also would not recommend—again, bad form) and give credit to the source, just mention it in an author’s note at the very end of the piece, after you've finished. Or maybe you could come up with your own original name for the character instead?

"Oh, there's no ghost there." I said. Everyone gasped.

What? Why? I don’t understand how that’s shocking enough to warrant gasps…

Then I said something very strange.
"Let's go into the maze," I said. Everyone looked at me strangely

Again, I don’t understand how/why this is strange? You’re telling me it’s strange without showing me. And also, the word “strange/strangely” is repetitive here.

"well, If you free us, then we can leave!" I said.

The W in “well” should be capitalized, and the I in “if” should be lowercase.

IT was the warning gong!

That T should be lowercase.

Xar the dark mage appeared o the balcony.

Another typo. You wrote “o the balcony” instead of “on the balcony.”

So, in summation, I think this story has promise. I like the tongue-in-cheek, irreverent tone. I like the creativity. I think the concept is a lot of fun. But it definitely needs work. When editing this piece or writing future stories, make sure to keep in mind everything I’ve mentioned: 1. your pacing, 2. the story's clarity, and 3. showing more, telling less. Also: proof your work! If you want people to be invested in what you post, you too should be invested in it—at least enough to reread it and to correct some of those pesky typos.

Keep writing and Happy Review Day! :)




foxmaster says...


thank you!



foxmaster says...


Although this was a really old piece I wrote a few years ago, so...



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962 Reviews

Points: 39
Reviews: 962

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Mon Feb 13, 2023 10:44 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



They all thought that Kat was evil? That journal entry was from 1963. There could be a chance that someone else named Kat wrote it. Or maybe she is subconsciously evil. The girl in her dream, could that have been Nelly? Or herself? Maybe Kat wants to be strong and unstoppable but is actually the wiped-out girl? This is really interesting. I like it.

I wish you a nice day and night.




foxmaster says...


thank you



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Points: 110
Reviews: 3

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Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:39 pm
QuothNevermore wrote a review...



Hello!
I would like to start off by saying that I quite enjoyed this work.
Your writing style is very comedic and fast paced, you have some really good action, and interesting change of scenes. I must admit that I did not expect the dream sequence. Well done.
The characters are very intriguing, I hope that you take the opportunity to develop them further and give them unique attributes. The world is also very intriguing, I hope to learn more about the witches and their magic systems, how things work, how they tick, why the dark mage became dark in the first place, ect.
There were a few small spelling errors that you may want to correct, 'cundocter' rather than conductor, plus a few other things, but over all, a very promising beginning.
Thank you and best of luck,
-Nev-




foxmaster says...


thank you! this story is based off a series I wrote in the fourth grade.




"For a short space of time I remained at the window watching the pallid lightnings that played above Mont Blanc and listening to the rushing of the Arve, which pursued its noise way beneath. The same lulling sounds acted as a lullaby to my too keen sensations; when I placed my head upon my pillow, sleep crept over me; I felt it as it came and blessed the giver of oblivion."
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein