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The Hero's Brother (1.1)

by mellifera


Midvale was always busiest when the sun was at it's fullest. Not that Midvale was ever that busy- it was such a small town, and although it had some reputable farms in the surrounding areas, it wasn't exactly the biggest deal.

But even those smaller crowds often got to be too much for Carter to handle. He wasn't a morning person by any means, not by choice anyway. But he already had to get up to take care of the horses as the sun first peered into the sky. On days he had to go into town, he just did everything faster to beat the midday crowd.

He had been late today after one of the mares jumped the fence into the wrong pasture. Carter was just lucky she hadn't broken the fence, or he would probably still be back at his employer's farm.

Unfortunately that meant now he could hear the rising chatter from the crowds from the centre of the village, and he could feel his palms grow sweaty.

Clearing his throat as if to ward off the tight feeling in his chest, Carter turned back around. In front of him stood a tall, gorgeous mahogany bay gelding. The horse watched him with the same anxiety Carter could feel was creeping up on him.

"Do you think that- um. That anyone is going to, um, come back for him?" Carter asked without taking his eyes off the gelding.

He could see from the corner of his eyes as his best friend, Whisper, glanced up at the gelding. They stroked his neck in a reassuring manner, and the gelding curved his neck as if responding to their touch.

"No," they responded. "I don't think anyone will. Besides, even if someone was looking for him, would they know where to look? You said you thought he was a French Trotter, right?"

Carter nodded, holding out a flat palm below the gelding's nose. "Right," he said, as the gelding cautiously stretched his neck forward. His nostrils flared and Carter could feel his hot breath sweep over his hand as the gelding sniffed him.

"You know that nobody owns or breeds any French Trotters around her," Whisper pointed out. Carter finally glanced up at them, and found a smile curling at their lips. "If they did, you know that Bazzoli would make sure to be the next one to have them."

Bazzoli was Carter's...boss. For lack of a better word. And Whisper was right, Bazzoli always made sure that nobody ever had any stock he didn't.

Slowly, so he didn't scare the gelding, Carter lifted his hand to rest it on the gelding's nose. The horse watched him apprehensively with those large brown eyes of him, but he was considerably less tense then the first time Carter had done that. "You were calling him, um, Achille, right?"

Whisper hummed. Carter could feel their gaze on him. "You know, I'd like you to work with him. He's flighty and spooks a lot, but he's bored too. He needs something to do." They sent a pointed glance at the defined muscles in Achille's neck and legs, then back at Carter.

His head jerked to look at her and Carter blinked, almost reeling back in surprise. "What?" he asked, before furrowing his brow and clearing his throat again. "Why, um, why don't you? He, um, he likes you. And if you're going to, um, keep him..."

He ducked his head at the soft smile curling on Whisper's lips. "But he needs the training. I can sit on him, but you know how to ride him. He needs the exercise mentally just as much as he needs it physically."

Once again, Carter glanced back towards he road that led to the centre of Midvale. The buildings seemed to loom ominously, even with their bright, joyous colours. The cobbled street was dusty and seemed to stretch on for a lot long than Carter remembered. He could see the crowds now, milling through the markets and the stalls set up for the noon bustle.

If he worked with Achille, it meant coming into town a lot more. Maybe daily, and probably in the evening when he had a gap between his chores.

He could ask Bazzoli for a place to keep Achille, but then again, he didn't have much faith in what might happen to the beautiful gelding if Bazzoli got his hands all over him.

Not that he didn't want to work with him. Carter had never worked with a French Trotter, and Achille was a wonderfully proportioned horse. He had power, and there was nothing Carter would love more then to learn everything he could about him. But there was also nothing more Carter didn't want then coming into town more than he had to already.

"I know you hate the crowds," Whisper said softly, making Carter turn back to look at them. He fussed with his hands, rubbing at his nails to try to steady his pulse. "I can't keep him at the city hall any more anyway, that was only a temporary thing. I'll find a place to board him at one of the nearby farms. You can take Reese out then. Didn't you say you wanted to ride her around more?"

"Yeah, but-" Carter cut himself off him a sigh, looking down at his hands. His thoughts whizzed around in his mind wildly and incoherently. "Do you even have the money to do that? You already have yourself and Koshar to, um, to take care of, Winnie. It's not that I don't want to, um, I-I just-"

"-I know." Whisper took their free hand and grabbed one of Carter's hands. The touch was grounding and Carter let out a heavy breath. His thoughts eased to a less frantic racing, though he still felt jitters running through him like he's taken a dose of caffeine straight to his veins.

He didn't know what he would do if Whisper couldn't understand what Carter, especially when he was saying something without saying it. Or if they were too scared to touch him when he started freaking out.

"All I'm asking if for you to think about it," Whisper assured him, rubbing soothing circles against the back of his hand. "Ask Shiloh about it. Maybe you can work it out if you can talk to her." Whisper let go of his hand, and stroked Achille's neck again. "How is she, by the way?"

Carter exhaled again, this time quietly, relieved for a change in subject. His sister was another thing that anchored him back down, even if it was just talking about what Shiloh had cooked for dinner.

"She's good." Carter glanced at Achille, who seemed a little braver now as he leaned his neck forward to sniff Carter's shoulder. Carter smiled, but it only lasted a moment before his brows knitted again. "I, um. I don't think it's anything to, um, worry about," Carter started, which was completely a lie because he was worried about it, "but she's been kinda. Um."

Whisper watched him patiently with warm brown eyes. Achille nudged his shoulder and immediately pulled back again, ears straight forward, as if testing Carter. Carter reached out to give himself something to do with his hands other then wringing them together, and rubbed Achille's nose.

"You know how, um, Shiloh's really bad about surprises and, um. Keeping them a surprise. When she gets-" Carter gestured vaguely, but Whisper nodded reassuringly.

"She's probably trying to do something nice for you. Didn't she say that her new job working with the caravans is going well?" Whisper asked, gently steering the conversation into clear waters.

A group of people walked by, and Carter suddenly realised that he had to get back to Bazzoli's, his own aversion to people or no. Bazzoli would get angry at Carter. And he'd already been mad earlier after one of his prize mares jumped the fence.

"Yeah," Carter replied absently, still petting Achille. "Um, hey Winnie, I-"

"-It's okay," Whisper cut him off, and he sent them a grateful look. "Go. I have to check on Koshar anyway. He's been pushing his limits recently. You should stop by soon, he misses you. Sometimes I think my cat loves you more than he loves me."

They gently pulled on Achille's lead rope and the gelding stomped the ground, before turning into the gesture. Carter picked up the basket full of horse feed bags and hauled it over his shoulder onto his back.

"Send Shiloh my good wishes," Whisper called as Carter turned away. He sent them a half-hearted wave.

A sort of heaviness settled over him at the thought of returning back to Bazzoli's and no doubt facing the consequences of his delay.

"Oh, Carter?" he paused to look over his shoulder at Whisper, who sent him a sweet smile that took some of the weight off his chest. "Take care of yourself."

Carter lingered for a moment, watching Whisper turn away with Achille and headed down the cobblestone road. He could hear Achilles hooves clicking against the newly-redone street over the din of the crowd. He could see onlookers turn their hands too,

He turned back away, a strange and uneasy weight settling into his stomach. Not that it was a new occurrence, Carter always felt uneasy. But it was a different sort of feeling. He started rubbing his fingers against his nails again.

The smarter thing to do would have been to walk through the centre of town, through the markets, and walk straight to the gates of Midvale. Itd be shorter too. But of course, Carter couldnt do anything the easy way.

It made Shiloh worry, when Carter walked through alleyways. She always warned him something was going to happen on day, when she wasnt around to protect him. Carter just made sure she didnt find out any more. He hated making her worry.

Besides, everyone was in the market centre today. If there were any bandits, wouldnt they be picking pockets in the market? What good did lingering in alleys do for criminals anyway?

He knew it was dumb of him to go through the alleys, he knew the kinds of people they attracted. Especially since rumours of one of the coteries in the area had been buzzing around town. But what could a coterie want with a silly little town like Midvale?

A lump rose in his throat as he walked through the narrow path, squashed between the two-story houses and buildings. He kept his head down, as if not seeing a threat might protect him from it.

He came out on the southwest side of the market. A couple of people drifted past him, and Carter instinctively curled in on himself before glancing towards the market. He knew the best choice would be to go through the crowds, but that didnt mean he wanted to.

But he also didnt want to want to be later then necessary to find out how Bazzoli would react. Youre just overreacting. Nothings going to happen if you go through the market. Look at all the people walking through it right now. Stop being such a baby about it.

Carter picked at the edges of his fraying shirt. Did he fear the crowds more, or Bazzoli? He hunched his shoulders and pulled at a thread on the hem of the shirt. He decided that, while there was more certainty surrounding Bazzoli, there was also more fear buzzing like flies in a cloud around him.

He took a hesitant step towards the fray of stands so colourful it felt like an assault on his eyes, towards all the people of different class and colour. His heart crawled into his throat and thumped wildly, like a wild animals trying to escape.

Everything was twice as loud as he made his way through the crowd, twice as bright, twice as hot. All the different scents of all the different foods made his nose hurt, the taste of the hot and sticky air making his throat clog. He tried to swallow around it several times and failed.

His body was so tense it made his muscles ache, and Carter flinched every time someone touched him. He could see the end of the market place however. He knew that just near the eastern entrance to Midvale, his mare, Reese, waited patiently for him to return. That made him feel marginally better.

All he had to do was squeeze the rest of the way through the crowds, and then it would be all over, and he could go back to the stables and be with the horses. And then Shiloh would be home and they would have a nice dinner and Carter wouldnt have to worry about rowdy crowds or Bazzolis shouting.

It would just be the two of them, just as it always was.

word count: 2,151


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Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:51 pm
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Miraculor77 wrote a review...



Hi! I think I promised a (long) while back that I would come back to the first chapter of this story to start from the beginning, so I'm finally here. :)

I may repeat some stuff from the reviews below by accident because I didn't read them, and I don't mean to offend you in any way. I'm writing suggestions, but in the end, it's up to you if you want to use them.

I was a little confused at the very beginning, and I had to reread it a couple of times before I could understand when Carter is in town. It's midday, right? You should try to make this a bit more clear by maybe adding a sentence:

"Unfortunately that meant now he could hear the rising chatter from the crowds from the centre of the village, and he could feel his palms grow sweaty. The sun beat down mercilessly at him from its place in the middle of the sky, complementing the noise."
Here, I added the bolded part to your existing sentence. I'm also just assuming that it is a hot day, or the temperature at the time (midday) is hot.

"You know that nobody owns or breeds any French Trotters around her,"

I think you meant "here" instead of "her."

I really like how Carter has a fear that actively affects his actions (it makes him seem more like a real person), but sometimes his speech is a little hard to read. Not something you necessarily need to "fix," but just something I noticed.

I figured out that Whisper is a nonbinary character with a soft voice and comforting mannerisms, but there isn't much to go by in appearances.

There are a lot of unanswered questions, but that is expected from the first part of the first chapter. I don't mind not having much information at this stage in the story, just make sure you answer them as the story goes on.

Overall, I like the writing style, it's distinctive and mostly easy to read. No big events have happened yet, so I think it's safe to say that this part is used to set the scene. Try to get to the action quickly, and try not to spend too much time setting the scene. The grammar is good (aside from the occasional typo), and the descriptions are vivid and told solely through Carter's eye.

Well, I guess that's it! I'll be back for the next part soon, so see you there. :)

Keep writing,
Mira




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Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:28 am
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Querencia wrote a review...



Hi mellifera!

I'm sure that others probably commented on a lot of what I wanted to say (and a lot of it is so good that I don't even need to say anything about it! :)) so I thought I'd just write some brief reviews on the beginning chapters.

There are just a few things that are a little unclear about this chapter. First, about the horse. Because Carter had already thought that he was a French Trotter, and Whisper had been calling him Achille, it's a little hard to place the time of the events. How long has the horse been there? Have they had this conversation before? How had Whisper kept him at the City Hall???

And also, I'm not sure why Carter really needs to go into town in the first place. I'm assuming it's to buy feed for the horses because he mentions feed bags? But it sort of cuts from there to Achille, and then to him avoiding crowds, so it's a little unclear why he needs to go to town or how he ends up meeting Whisper and Achille.

Anyway, I really like Carter! His personality is really strong, and I like his relationship with Whisper and the implied relationship with his sister already. :)

-Q




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Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:29 am
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nogutsnoglory wrote a review...



ok i!! am super super late on this but im gonna work on reviewing this because holy crap i love it already.

First off, Bazzoli gives me bad vibes. Baaaddd vibes, man.

"No," they responded.


!!!!Nonbinary character i see!! eek!!

Overall this is a very good first chapter. We get an introduction to important characters, we get a feel for the main character's life as it is and what's going on, and you're already sort of setting up a conflict to be resolved by talking about the crappy Boss.

(ok side note so i don't forget - the fact that Carter calls Whisper 'Winnie' gives me so much life, oml).

You also did really good in setting up the relationship between Whisper and Carter - that sort of deep, platonic love that shows itself in patience and understanding. It's subtle, and very well done in that it's so subtle it's there, but not over the top.

You do a nice job of setting up the setting and the circumstances and giving us a glimpse into Carter's life as he's living it. It's a good setup for the beginning of an epic adventure.

The only thing I disliked was how long the chapter is, but as this is fantasy, that's to be expected and it's something i can deal with.

i can't wait to read more!!




mellifera says...


ahh hi!! bless you thank you so much for the review!!

(I write lONG CHAPTERS it's a problem rip)

I really appreciate it though and Im super happy to hear you like it <33



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Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:48 am
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Gnomish wrote a review...



Hi! I know this was published a long time ago, but it seems interesting and I like to read stories from the beginning.

First of all, I really like your writing. It's very descriptive and immersive. Not to mention I've already got a good idea of the characters.

There was one grammatical error I noticed, which isn't too important but I'll point it out anyways. "He could see onlookers turn their hands too," First of all, I think you mean "turn their heads". Secondly, this is the end of the paragraph so there should be a period at the end of the sentence.

That's all I have to say for this chapter!
-Gnomish




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Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:14 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



HELLO!

So I'm a little later than the weekend, but I'm here and I have NO REGRETS.

The first big thing that I want to say is how AWESOME your main character is. Carter is wonderful. You have portrayed his anxiety so freaking well; it was all too familiar in several spots. More recently, to me, is the march through the crowds. Gosh, that was incredibly vibrant from an anxious standpoint.

I also really appreciate the speech impediment due to his anxiety. This really adds a whole new aspect to your character, a unique one that isn't ever really considered for a main character, and it wasn't obnoxious either. I definitely had to train my brain to slow down, though, 'cause I imagine there's a lot more hesitation in his voice than the written dialogue showed. Maybe a few ellipses here and there might help with showing the delay in his responses.

Whisper is wonderful and a rare patient breed of friend that everyone deserves. Honestly, I just love how the narration goes into Carter's anxiety and how he deals with it without slapping it in the face of the reader. Like this is part of his daily routine, this is his life, and we're experiencing it for him. I channeled Whisper's patience during their conversation, and I immediately appreciated and loved Shiloh's existence.

Carter's fascination with horses also stems from all of this, his passion for horses and how much he knows about them. It's all beautiful and creates such a remarkable main character.

I liked the opening paragraph, I think your hook is wonderful. You have a lovely style that I'm already enjoying. I think the transition from opener into Carter's position in front of Achille was a bit brief or quick for me, like I'd have rather dwelled a bit more on the morning and such with a calm pan into the stable he was in with Whisper. It just felt a little rushed of a transition for me. Or just simply start there.

Especially since the scene in the stable was very slooow. This may have something to do with Carter's speech impediment though, which might mean being wiser in the dialogue that's expressed in that particular scene. I think this entire half-chapter is dedicated to simply revealing Carter's character and the anxiety that can be rather crippling.
There's not much plot, but since this is just a glimpse into his daily routine, I don't see that as anything crippling for what you have. You're busy with introducing a unique main character, and generally, glimpses into a main character's daily routine before the adventure later is incredibly significant to the impact it causes on his life.

We do get a teaser about his boss, though, and I'm curious as to who he is and if he'll have anything to do with anyone. I also basically ship Carter and Achille. They're totally meant to be.

I still think this is a pretty good start, but hopefully the next half of the chapter will give me some better insight into the whole of your beginning chapter. :D

Jabber, the One and Only!




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Wed May 01, 2019 2:15 pm
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Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, mellifera! Finally I've got round to reading this from the start!

As an opening chapter, I think the strongest element of this is the characterisation and how well you portray Carter's anxiety. We get a real sense of how all-encompassing it is for him - it's on his mind so much, and it blows even the simplest of tasks into ordeals, and it feels very true to life. The only critique I have is that I think you overdo his dialogue; he's so nervous and stuttering that it feels parodied, especially since anxiety doesn't always manifest in speech. You can definitely still have him be hesitant, making false-starts and tripping over his words, but be a bit more sparing with it. You don't need multiple 'um's per sentence. I wrote a character with a similar speech pattern a few years ago so I realise that the 'um's and 'er's can become kind of invisible to the author, but they stick out a lot to the reader. Just using one can give a whole line of dialogue the flavour of nerves.

Whisper is so lovely! In the later chapters I've reviewed, they haven't said all that much, so it was nice for me to see them get more dialogue. I love how they talk to Carter and understand his anxiety, but also don't mollycoddle him for it. They still ask things of him that are slightly beyond his comfort zone - it seems like they don't want him to shrink into his fears too much.

In terms of the actual events of this chapter, I don't think it has enough of a hook. I love the premise of the story and know from later reviews that things are going to get dramatic and interesting, but not enough happens and not enough changes. All that really happens is Carter and Whisper discuss a horse, then Carter leaves to go home. Why does the story need to start here? Obviously this is only half the chapter, so I expect something more tumultuous will happen in the next bit, but you're still 2,500 words in by this point. There should be some hook or mystery to keep us reading, even if it's a relatively small one. I suspect that you've just started the story a bit too early, but I'll probably be able to determine that better after I read the full chapter.

So, my conclusions? Nice characters, nice dialogue (except for Carter's Anxious Speech Pattern™ being a little overdone), but not enough change and action to really rope me in. I haven't got a good enough sense of why the story has started where it has. That said, I like the ominous little details you put in the background about Bazzoli and the 'coteries'. The google definition of 'coterie' is very vague, so you've got me wondering what it means in this context.

That's all for this one. Onto the next!

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




mellifera says...


Thank you for your review!!

Yeah, I definitely agree about the pacing for this chapter? I've been looking back at the whole beginning for a while now and I think it needs a good amount of trimming.

I'm really happy to hear that you like it though! and again, thank you for the review it's super helpful! :)
I hope you're having a good time!!



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Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:28 pm
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elysian wrote a review...



hellooooo <3 super late onto this train, but better late than never? I have a million first chapters to catch up on so I figured i'd start w my wifeyyy. <3 let's hop right in then :-)

**disclaimer: I will most likely focus on negative aspects more so than positive aspects when reviewing, and this is just to help you grow as a writer! It is totally okay not to agree with something I say! Also, If I repeat anything already said, it's probably because it needs to be changed!**

Midvale was always busiest when the sun was at it's fullest.


let's start with the opening sentence. I think it was a pretty good one, honestly. I'm wondering what Midvale is and why it's busiest then and what are they busy doing, yk? so good job <3

"You know that nobody owns or breeds any French Trotters around her," Whisper pointed out.


I don't know if you meant her or here lol either could work.

lmao why did i think the horse's name was whisper hELP XD

The horse watched him apprehensively with those large brown eyes of him, but he was considerably less tense then the first time Carter had done that.


*eyes of his,

"All I'm asking if for you to think about it," Whisper assured him, rubbing soothing circles against the back of his hand.



*is for you

His heart crawled into his throat and thumped wildly, like a wild animals trying to escape.


*like a wild animal or *like wild animals

I like that you show us more than tell us about Carter, but i'm a bit confused about what exactly this story is about, you know? I could stop now and never read on and not be worried because nothing in this chapter sparked me as unusual and interesting. I feel like it's just two friends talking about taking care of horses and carter is anxious and hate crowds and has a bad boss. nothing that really hooked me and made me want to read on, yk? An introduction to a story is so so important, it needs to make the reader want to dive in deeper and honestly I just didn't get that from this chapter.

(ugh i feel so harsh yk ily just tryna help <3)

- del




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Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:38 pm
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Carlito wrote a review...



Hey scribbles!! I've been looking forward to reading this! I don't usually read fantasy but your description in the Writers Corner sounded super intriguing so here I am! :)

A few things I liked about this opening:

First, I liked that you got us right into the plot and gave us a quick snapshot of the world. I liked that you didn't get so bogged down with descriptions of this place that I felt bored, but also that you gave us enough that I have a rough vision of what this place looks like in my head. I also like that you cut right to the chase with the discovery of the horse. My guess is this horse is going to be important going forward...

So far, Carter's anxiety is also working for me. I like that you show his anxiety through how he speaks and how he moves through the town rather than simply saying "he's anxious" over and over again. I also liked that you set up this dynamic with his boss. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot more to come with him and I'm glad that you planted that seed here.

My only qualm so far is that I have a lot of questions.

I think I want the discovery of the horse to be slowed down a bit. Like I said before, I feel like the horse is going to be an important part of the story (otherwise why would so much time be devoted to it in the opening....). When they first see the horse it feels like "oh. there's a horse there." I want it to be a bigger moment. I want to see Carter and Whisper walking (and I'd like it to be clearer earlier that Whisper is there because I had no idea until they started talking) and see what "normal" looks like, and then! How mysterious! An abandoned horse! I want to know why that's unusual to see, how they know the horse is abandoned, how they know the horses name/came up with the name, more explanation of why they think this horse is special/important (for people that know nothing about horses), how do they know they won't get in trouble if they take the horse, more of why they want the horse and what their plans are for it long term (again for people that know nothing about horses), etc. I feel like the encounter with the horse is the biggest moment of this chapter, definitely this scene so far, so I want it to feel like a big, important moment.

Overall though I think this is an intriguing opening! I love all of the little seeds you've planted in this opening and I'm looking forward to see how this chapter will develop and where you're going to take this story! Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D




mellifera says...


Oh awesome! Glad I could catch your eye with it :D I'm really happy to hear that!!

oh no it uhh, appears while I was rewriting Carter's dialogue I forgot to actually say that Whisper found the horse a month ago (I'm not sure how much that affects what you've said but that's something I MEANT to write in ooops I changed his first line like, fifty times and it was definitely in a few of those revisions). But yeah! I'll definitely take that into consideration :D I just didn't want to bore everybody with horse stuff because while I find it terrifically interesting, I didn't know how exciting it would be for anyone else to read lol.

Thank you for your review!! It was very helpful and appreciated <3 Do you want me to add you to my tagging list for the future?

I hope you have a wonderful day! :D



Carlito says...


Makes total sense!! Some horse stuff but not too much horse stuff (have fun with that :p)
And please add me! I'd love to follow :D

You're very welcome and much thanks! I hope you have a wonderful day as well :D



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Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:53 am
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soundofmind wrote a review...



*slides in*

HOHOOOOO GUES WHAT TIME IT IS SCRIBS? TIME TO LEAVE A REVIEW FOR MY PRECIOUS HORSE LOVER BOY, THE SON OF MY HEART.

Okay so here's some comments as I go sort of thing, ya get me:

Midvale was always busiest when the sun was at it's fullest. Not that Midvale was ever that busy- it was such a small town, and although it had some reputable farms in the surrounding areas, it wasn't exactly the biggest deal.

Me? Being nitpicky? It’s more likely that you think. Lol but in all realness I just think the such is unnecessary. No biggie.

The end of this sentence sounds a wee bit awkward though. Maybe just say “wasn’t a big deal” instead of biggest? IDK the est is just,,,, EST.

still be back at his employer's farm.

Unfortunately that meant now he could hear the rising chatter…

Clearing his throat…

ME BEING PETTY just saying I think these three could be combined into one paragraph lol and don’t have to be broken up. I think there are quite a bit of groups of like sentences like these that can be combined and don’t need separate lines? It might make for smoother reading.

"But he needs the training. I can sit on him, but you know how to ride him. He needs the exercise mentally just as much as he needs it physically."

Oooooh I like what this implies. Whisper’s saying she can train a horse to do stuff but our boi Carter bonds with them on a deeper level. The SUPERIOR horse tamer.

Also wow at this point it sounds like Carter has some hardcore anxiety. I feel bad for him, that really doesn’t sound fun at all. It’s made clear how anxious he is by how often he considers the crowds and how even the buildings feel looming and intimidating. Though I do agree with Messenger - I think a little bit of that can be cut down a bit? I think there’s a way to emphasize his anxiety without highlighting it after every other thing……. . … NOW DO I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE? ?? Uhhh not really but. If you’re able to find that balance? GO YOU.

"I know you hate the crowds,"

LOL WHISPER UP IN HERE JUST READING HIS MIND I LOVE IT. I love how as the dialogue keeps going it’s clear that Whisper and Carter know each other very well and Whisper is very understanding. A good friend.

Did he fear the crowds more, or Bazzoli?


LOL this is the question I was literally just asking myself.

He took a hesitant step towards the fray of stands so colourful it felt like an assault on his eyes


Omg… he’s so overstimulated. Does he do this every day? Or very often? Does he have any sort of coping mechanisms apart from Whisper’s calming presence and going through alleyways to avoid people? I’m just wondering if you’re helping the poor boi.

It would just be the two of them, just as it always was.


*Looks knowingly at the camera.* Well we know that won’t be true for very long, now will it? HONHONHON

BUT OKAY I’ve gotta go soon so I’m gonna wrap this up. This was very interesting to read and I think you did really wel establishing Carter as a very nervous character who loves horses, haha, but as mentioned before, it does feel like a lot of stress and overstimulation! BUT MAYBE THAT’S ACCURATE FOR HIM IDK. In that case AAAA POOR CARTER Whisper please give him a hug for me.

Anywho GOOD JOB GETTING YOUR FIRST CHAPTER UP AAAAAA!! You can do this!




Messenger says...


Maybe im just tired but that was hysterical to read %uD83D%uDE02%uD83D%uDE02



mellifera says...


never Sound's commentary is always a treasure to read

OKAY I wasn't entirely sure how the anxiety was portrayed to someone else because to me it's just a little more exaggerated than mine can be so I didn't know how much there was? But I'll definitely keep that in mind!

again, overstimulation is based on my experiences, so it's not constant, it's just, really heightened when he's uncomfortable. so, like, at home/the stable, it's not that bad. He's very reliant on other people? Like, touching someone he knows/trusts helps him a lot. but uhh, that's actually a good point. I'm going to look up to see what kind of eye protection they had in that age and get back to that.

Ohohohooh things are about to roll downhill >:)

<3 thank you for your review!! It's very helpful (although yes, that is accurate for him lol) and I will see if I can sneak in that hug just for you.

AHH YOU TOO!!! we're going beat the system and conquer all.

I hope you're having a fantastic time!!



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Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:27 am
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Messenger wrote a review...



Hey Scribbles, it's Mess here for a quick review. Couple of thoughts

1. You've got a couple of small typos. You spelled Alleys as Allies and missed a couple H and T's on "The's" and "She's". Also, you use the phrase "As if" a couple of times, and it seemed to stick out. I would personally cut them out, because it makes the sentence more concise, and still grammatically correct. But! Those are super easy, first draft mistakes, so let's get to the content.

2. I have to say this chapter made me feel a bit uneasy xD There's a lot of stress, and it's not only very palpable, but it raises a lot of questions. Who is this Bazzoli guy, and why is he such a grumpy boss? WHAT IS IT ABOUT CROWDS???? Why is Carter (awesome name btw I've always liked it) so nervous about handling Achille? You did a pretty good job of getting emotion and feelings across in a showy vs telly way. There seems to be a lot of history involving all the characters which is good. It feels grounded in a real setting.

3. I just thought I'd say that I love your name choices for the most part, especially Shiloh and Carter, but Whisper/Winnie as well

4. I wish there would have been more of a conflict or... something more to grasp on to going into next week. There isn't much of a conflict other than taking care of Achille, and there seems to be a lot of stuff just below the surface, but as of right now, I'm not really sure where it's going. It's not necessarily bad thing right off the bat, but I'd just keep it in mind.

Overall this is a good intro. We get a lot of names that I'm sure will come back up later. There seems to be a real world that this is taking part in, and Midvale seems to have it's own biome. Lemme know when 1.2 comes out.
~Messy




mellifera says...


That's what I get for not using an editor xD Thank you! I'll try to catch those next time!

Good that's perfect ahh <3 thank you!!

Yeah haha, I'm sorry about the lack of conflict. I'll definitely keep that in mind!

Thank you for your review! <3 I hope you have a great one :D



Messenger says...


Haha it's fine. I used to make my reviews mostly on nitpicks and grammar, but I've learned over time that honestly it doesn't matter that much in the first draft. Those sentences and problems mat be edited out entirely in the future.




What praise is more valuable than the praise of an intelligent servant?
— Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice