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Chapter I - Draft I

by omerhand


Chapter I - Draft I



The drums finally began their rhythm at the other side of the village. Echoes portrayed the sound of an organized thunderstorm.

He would join them soon, once he found what he was looking for. One short glance back, the village square was empty. The wind swung the lanterns back and forth; the shadows followed. A few more moments to make sure he was alone.

‘I’m alone’

Holding the key with both hands, he twisted it carefully until he heard the click. Then, he stopped motionless, no other sound could be heard around him.

‘So far so good’.

Darkness welcomed him as he slipped inside, closing the door behind him almost to a shut. Standing in the dark room he realized his mistake: during the holiday the village was indeed lit with lanterns, but the light coming from the window wasn't enough.

‘I should've known’.

Standing right at the door, he shifted his gaze from the door to the room: If he kept the door open someone might come and see him there, but without light, it would be impossible to find what he was after.

'A child’s mistake’

Using his palm he slammed his forehead several times. From the distance, shouts replaced the thundering drummers.

‘Time is running’.

He made his decision and wished he had a bat’s hearing. No one should be around here at this time anyway, like him.

At least half a dozen bookshelves made of drywood covered the archive’s walls. The organization of the books and scrolls was apparent even with little light. Every shelf hosted a different topic; older records were arranged from left to right. Years upon years of scripts and reports, memories and recollections, since the early days of the Fog. His father kept this place so tidy, that he would surely know if something was missing.

Thinking about his father for a moment made him turn back to look at the door. The light coming from the ajar was enough to reveal his face; emphasizing his deep black eyes.

What would he think if he knew.

‘He doesn't need to know’.

Bat searched the top row of the bookshelf closer to the door. Standing on his toes, he swiped his fingers over the books until one stood out. Brown cover, 3 fingers wide. ‘Northern Sands’.

‘Too recent to be relevant’

He selected a second one from below and opened it; he could have sworn it looked familiar. A sudden breeze cut off his reading, scattering papers everywhere like flies. He seized 2 pages before the rest fell to the floor.

‘Ahh, he told me to fix this one’

The shouts stopped; his father began his speech now.

‘Faster’

Bat looked into scroll after scroll, skimmed books, and ancient records. Medicine, star mapping, herpetology, and aa. The archive is 200 years old, there must be something here mentioning it.

At this point, his eyes adjusted to the darkness; which he utilized.

‘Read through the book, close it, put it back right where you found it, pick up another’.

He closed another scroll and released another sigh. A short shiver went through him; the cold breached through his jacket. Bat crossed his arms on his chest, how can it be, so many books around him, and not even one mentions ‘The Runes Of Markia’

More searching here

‘Good going Bat, you wasted your chance and time here for nothing you, even missed the celebration and your father's speech… ohh the speech, it must be over by now’.

As if woken up from a dream, he opened his eyes wide and breathed heavily. He scanned the room around him. Everything must look the same. The books were in their place. No pages on the floor. He returned the stool to its spot and cleared his hands from any dust. Not a single sign he was here.

‘What do I tell Cedric.’

He was interrupted by a thrust. Something hit the floor. The hairs on his arms stood. His chest dropped like a weight. It came from the back of the room, the darker corner. Bat just stood there and listened, as if he had time to spare. The only sound was coming from the wind, no one should be afraid of the wind, especially not the son of the leader.

‘Are you behaving as a child now’.

He approached the corner placing one foot after the other, he squinted his eyes but couldn't spot anything unusual.

And then he did.

Bat dropped his shoulders and rolled his eyes. The broom that leaned on the wall before simply dropped on the floor.

Ahh… seriously?

He settled the broom on the wall, and took a step back to examine it; he moved it slightly to the left closer to the bookshelf. Then, something else caught his eye.

A small notebook with a white cover, tucked in the shadows of the lowest shelf. He looked around himself before grabbing the notebook. It was the size of his palm, no words on the cover. He frowned.

‘Strange’.

He opened it.

The first page was empty as well, but when he read the second one, his eyes lightened. He sighed sharply when he recognized the handwriting.

For a moment he stared at the writings, considering how Cedric would react when he showed it to him.

Then, he turned the page. Then another one and another one. To the end.

‘By the blindness of the Fog’.

Bat found what he was looking for. He smiled, holding up the journal in both hands like a mother holding her baby. He slipped the notebook in his coat’s inner pocket.

‘Time to head back’.

He looked at the broom briefly as if thanking it for helping with the discovery. One final glance around the room, can't be too careful. On his way out he took the old book with the torn papers.

‘I'll fix it tonight’

He turned to the door and his breathing stopped. A dark figure blocked the doorway. Bat swallowed. For a moment he stared at the familiar silhouette in front of him.

‘When did he get here… how long has he been here’.

His mind was racing with more questions, but he stood motionless.

The figure stepped inside. His broad shoulders rubbed the door frame, he lifted his hands with a smile.

‘Bat, my son, there you are’!

Bat swallowed again, he kept a straight gaze, his heart racing.

Riched looked at his son’s face, but no response was on it, he lifted an eyebrow.

‘Why are you so rattled, ahh was my speech that powerful’.

Riched patted his son on the shoulder in an attempt to make him smile.

It worked.

‘It was an excellent idea to tell the story about the sand sleds, everyone listened carefully; good idea son’.

A moment passed, which felt like an hour.

‘Just response how you usually would’.

Bat jested. ‘It's not the story father, it's how one tells it’.

They both laughed together, no one could mistake they were related.

‘He doesn't know’

Riched’s face hardened, he placed both hands on his son's face, looking deep into his eyes.

‘You will make a fine leader one day Bat, I know it’.

Bat looked down as if a sudden sunlight blinded him.

‘A leader… if only he knew how much of a liar I am’.

The Fog’s leader looked around the room, his white hair and beard helped light his face. ‘So, what are you doing here anyway, dont tell me you are here to resume your studies’. He raised his hands and voice with excitement. ‘Tonight is a special night’.

Bat lowered his shoulders. He would have to lie to his father right in his face.

“I ahh… I forgot to fix this book you mentioned, foolish me’.

‘Foolish indeed’

Riched nodded. ‘Even tonight when all are celebrating, you are thinking about your chores’. He raised his chest and tilted his head backward; smiled and measured his son.

Out in the distance, battered drums and rhythmic roars indicated the beginning of the feast. At this time of the year, the Fog that surrounds the village tightened like a herd of elephants protecting their calves in the center.

Riched turned to the door. ‘I'll eat your meal unless you get there first’.

The last thing he cared about was food. ‘Father.. ahh, have you seen Cedric there by any chance?’

Richard scratched his beard. ‘Ahh… I dont remember seeing him but perhaps he is there now’.

As they stepped outside, Bat locked the door behind them and slipped the key to his jacket; he used the opportunity to make sure the journal was still there.

He breathed deeply, adjusted his collar, and gestured to his father that all was well.


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6 Reviews

Points: 1025
Reviews: 6

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Thu Feb 08, 2024 7:23 pm
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APoltergeist wrote a review...



Hello, Omerhand! Today, I’ll be stealin- borrowing the Review Monster! But don't worry, he's all bark and no bite!


The Glowing Eyes: First Impressions!

Alright, let's start this review off with our first impressions! I saw the work in the Green Room and decided to pop in and found out what it was about since the title was well, simply a chapter/draft and didn't give the slightest clue what it was about. I was pleasantly surprised, the amount of detail in the first two lines alone were a very nice hook and it kept me interested enough to keep reading. As I read further, I found our main character was sneaking into archives, looking for something unnamed which added a nice sprinkling of vague mystery to this piece.

The Fluffy Fur: Things I Loved!

For our soft, fluffy, woolly fur, I would say you are fairly good at describing things. It's wasn't overdone and while I could definitely use some more, I could still picture myself in those archives standing right next to Bat in this section;

At least half a dozen bookshelves made of drywood covered the archive’s walls. The organization of the books and scrolls was apparent even with little light. Every shelf hosted a different topic; older records were arranged from left to right. Years upon years of scripts and reports, memories and recollections, since the early days of the Fog. His father kept this place so tidy, that he would surely know if something was missing.


Your descriptions were well placed and the timing on this chapter was pretty good, I'd say. It didn't feel rushed, or too slow which made it much easier to read.

The Roar: Favorite Lines!

For our cute monster's roar, I'd say some of my favorite parts of this piece are as follows;

Out in the distance, battered drums and rhythmic roars indicated the beginning of the feast. At this time of the year, the Fog that surrounds the village tightened like a herd of elephants protecting their calves in the center.


I love how visual this is and your metaphor is unique, not something I'd see in stories very often while painting a neat image in my head. It added emphasis to the mysterious Fog that I'll be waiting to see more of in the following chapters if you continue to write! :)

Another quote I enjoyed was;

He was interrupted by a thrust. Something hit the floor. The hairs on his arms stood. His chest dropped like a weight. It came from the back of the room, the darker corner. Bat just stood there and listened, as if he had time to spare. The only sound was coming from the wind, no one should be afraid of the wind, especially not the son of the leader.


While the first line was a little off, the rest of it with its short, blunt sentences yet again at a hint of mystery, of intrigue that helped hook the reader. What's going on? It also gives us insight into a little part of Bat's personality with that last line! He's the son of the leader, so therefore he should not be afraid of something as inconsequential as the wind, despite it being a completely human response to sudden noises.

The Sharp, Yellow Teeth: A Bit of Advice!

The sharp, gnashing teeth on our monster that may seem fearful but don't worry, he doesn't bite. Something I noted, which I mentioned above in The Roar section is this line;

He was interrupted by a thrust.

"Thrust" seems off and doesn't really fit or make sense. Perhaps you meant something else, such as thud, and mistyped it, or this is the word you intended and it's just me. However, there are a variety of words that you could replace it with to add a flair, while maintaining a smooth sentence. A suggestion could be thud, bang, or some kind of rasp. Obviously these are just suggestions and completely up to you as the author.

Another tip, that was mentioned in a previous review is how you present your characters speaking/thinking. It's difficult to differentiate between the two and there's a very simple solution to it. I'll be using an example from your writing.

Original:
‘It was an excellent idea to tell the story about the sand sleds, everyone listened carefully; good idea son’.

A moment passed, which felt like an hour.

‘Just response how you usually would’.

Bat jested. ‘It's not the story father, it's how one tells it’.

They both laughed together, no one could mistake they were related.

‘He doesn't know’

Riched’s face hardened, he placed both hands on his son's face, looking deep into his eyes.

‘You will make a fine leader one day Bat, I know it’.


To:


"It was an excellent idea to tell the story about the sand sleds, everyone listened carefully; good idea son."

A moment passed, which felt like an hour.

Just respond how you usually would.

Bat jested. "It's not the story father, it's how one tells it."

They both laughed together, no one could mistake they were related.

He doesn't know.

Riched’s face hardened, he placed both hands on his son's face, looking deep into his eyes.

"You will make a fine leader one day Bat, I know it."


There are also a few small grammatical errors that can very easily be fixed by running it through a program like Grammarly, which will take out most, if not all.

Stomping Away: Closing Thoughts!
I loved this first draft/chapter and I can't wait to read the next ones. It's a very cool idea you have here, and I hope you keep writing.

Until the next review, your friendly neighborhood Poltergeist,

Pol. ^^

(credit for this amazing template to my fellow cornfield Midwestian, @avianwings47 !)




avianwings47 says...


For a second I thought this was one of my reviews and I was like: hOld On, my nAme's not APoltErigEist.
Glad you liked the template enough to use it, though!



APoltergeist says...


It's so cute! I might ste- borrow it a few more times haha



omerhand says...


Hello,
thank you very much for the review. It means a lot to me that you took the time and thought about what you liked/didn't.
I am currently working on the next chapters and I will take the feedback into account!



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10 Reviews

Points: 531
Reviews: 10

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Thu Feb 08, 2024 2:52 pm
1TryingBird wrote a review...



Hey, omerhand, Trying Bird here, Im going to be using my custom review template:
𝕒𝕚𝕟𝕓𝕠𝕨 to review this chapter.


RED: | Energy


    This is a draft it seems, so I wont go hard pointing out the errors, but there are some things that need to be fixed.
  1. I noticed you use ' instead of " to quote dialogue, and I do reccomend (once you start revising and publishing) using ".
    Spoiler! :
    The symbols ' and " serve as humble companions in the realm of English writing, each carrying its own distinct purpose. They bring a touch of melancholy, but not without a glimmer of hope.

    Let us first turn our gaze to the single quotation marks (' '): delicate and introspective, they find solace in denoting a quotation within a quotation. Like whispered secrets passed down through generations, they nestle within the words of others. Consider the tender exchange of John and Mary: "Mary told me, 'I'll see you tomorrow,'" John shared, his voice filled with a thread of anticipation. The outer double quotation marks embrace John's words, while the inner single quotation marks cradle Mary's promise.

    Now, let us shift our attention to the double quotation marks (" "): sturdy and versatile, they bear the weight of direct speech, dialogue, and quotations. They carry the voices of characters, the essence of conversations. With a touch of warmth, a voice declares, "I love reading books." These double quotation marks envelop the words, giving them voice and presence.

    Within the dance of these punctuation marks, a gentle sadness lingers, but it is not overpowering. Instead, it adds depth and nuance to the written word, evoking a bittersweet beauty that resonates within the hearts of those who read.
  2. I also noticed, your use of detail is minimal, and not that clearly, which can lead to the reader becoming bored and detached from your book. I reccomend putting a lot more feeling and soul into the detail
    1. He selected a second one from below and opened it; he could have sworn it looked familiar. A sudden breeze cut off his reading, scattering papers everywhere like flies. He seized 2 pages before the rest fell to the floor.
    2. He was interrupted by a thrust. Something hit the floor. The hairs on his arms stood. His chest dropped like a weight. It came from the back of the room, the darker corner. Bat just stood there and listened, as if he had time to spare. The only sound was coming from the wind, no one should be afraid of the wind, especially not the son of the leader.
    (I get that this is a draft, I am just saying, when you prepare to actually write it, be sure to look out for these issues)

    -^- The problem with detail is that it lacks specific descriptions and fails to provide a clear visual image of the scene. -^-
  3. I highly reccomend you put in research for your book, If you need maps, make them, if you need timelines, make them, family trees? make them. Because when it truly comes to it, the reader wants to feel engaged, so make sure you add detail, feeling, a sort of relatability.


ORANGE: | Success

  1. Initially, I thought the story was like the same old hero tale, until I realized that it could have something more to it. Bat, whom I originally thought was a theif of sorts, is actually the son of the village cheif, marking his significance in the book.
    And, sadly, I didn't catch the presence of any other characters in the first chapter. I usually like to see character introductions between the 2nd and 5th chapters, but for the more important characters, introducing them in the first chapter demonstrates a higher level of importance, if you get what I mean.
  2. If you keep writing and keep improving, I think this story could actually go somewhere, the characters seem nice and well planned out, just without feeling.
  3. Once you finish revising, and editing, and making more chapters, I expect to see growth, not only to the story, but to you as a writer. Don't let me down.

GOLD: | Happiness

  1. You did some good things though, Like how you described the atmosphere, and established the relationship between Bat and Riched (father/son), the trust and the bond was felt, and immediately I felt a connection to the both of them. The descriptions were ok, showing what they were doing and how they did it is always a nice touch, you just need to put a little work in the verbiage and detail of the writing.
  2. Specifically I like the part where Riched first appears in the doorway of the archive, and the fear that Bat felt, I actually felt too. So thats always a nice thing.
    He turned to the door and his breathing stopped. A dark figure blocked the doorway. Bat swallowed. For a moment he stared at the familiar silhouette in front of him.

    ‘When did he get here… how long has he been here’.

    His mind was racing with more questions, but he stood motionless.

    The figure stepped inside. His broad shoulders rubbed the door frame, he lifted his hands with a smile.

    -^- Hes a big boy, I like it. -^-

    ‘Bat, my son, there you are’!

    Bat swallowed again, he kept a straight gaze, his heart racing.

    Riched looked at his son’s face, but no response was on it, he lifted an eyebrow.

    ‘Why are you so rattled, ahh was my speech that powerful’.

    -^- I was trembling, just like Bat -^-

GREEN: | Quality

  1. The pacing of the chapter is great, saying this is only a draft, the full chapter is when it becomes a problem. Be sure to always check and see if the story sounds right, and not too rushed.
  2. With each artfully unraveled detail, there emerges a deepening sense of anticipation and enigma that shrouds the narrative in a bit of intrigue, so be sure to always, always, add detail.

    As the chapter unfurls, the internal thoughts of Bat are laid bare, like fragile strands of emotion intertwined with the fabric of their being. These introspective musings become a sort of brain-door, inviting the reader to embark on a profound journey of discovery, where every revelation is another brushstroke in the portrait of Bats mind.

    Amidst the carefully woven tapestry of introspection, the moments of reflection serve as luminous pauses, allowing the readers to actually feel what Bat feels, so thats a plus.
    A moment passed, which felt like an hour.

    ‘Just response how you usually would’.

    Bat jested. ‘It's not the story father, it's how one tells it’.

    -^- I like how he thinks to himself, and sort of has that self-control/self-authority, which makes me believ he had some hard teachings too. Also, "response" should be spelled "respond" And "A moment passed, which felt like an hour" Should have more detail, like "A long, tense moment passed, it felt like an eternity"
    Out in the distance, battered drums and rhythmic roars indicated the beginning of the feast. At this time of the year, the Fog that surrounds the village tightened like a herd of elephants protecting their calves in the center.

    [center]-^- This I like, the detail and establishment of what happens in the village is great. -^-

BLUE: | Loyalty
  1. The development of the characters is great actually, I usually dont say that for first chapters, but Riched's character as the leader is great for development, as we see he doesn't really feel good about it, he feels like a cheat. Which is nice.
  2. I like how you write the characters too, the names are interesting, and the descriptions are fabulous. So keep that up.
    ‘You will make a fine leader one day Bat, I know it’.

    Bat looked down as if a sudden sunlight blinded him.

    ‘A leader… if only he knew how much of a liar I am’.

    -^- This shows how Riched feels about his place in the village, and builds more of Riched and Bats connection as father and son. -^-

    he Fog’s leader looked around the room, his white hair and beard helped light his face. ‘So, what are you doing here anyway, dont tell me you are here to resume your studies’. He raised his hands and voice with excitement. ‘Tonight is a special night’.

    Bat lowered his shoulders. He would have to lie to his father right in his face.

    “I ahh… I forgot to fix this book you mentioned, foolish me’.

    ‘Foolish indeed’

    Riched nodded. ‘Even tonight when all are celebrating, you are thinking about your chores’. He raised his chest and tilted his head backward; smiled and measured his son.

    -^- This also shows their connection, and is beatifully done, so that is nice, and something you should do more when writing characters. -^-

PURPLE: | Luxury | Final thoughts, what did you take from the story?
  1. What did I take from the story? Well, not alot, saying its not that much to take in (sorry), but I did take in the setting and characters, and what their base is as a character.
  2. Keep building man, keep researching, keep trying and I will be here to review.


But hey, omer, look here:
#4F7942 ">Quillbot | #0FFF50 ">Grammarly | #4682B4 ">Story Planner | [color= #FF5F1F ]Writing Resources[/color]


T. Bird, Signing out

[center] 𝕿. 𝕾𝖈𝖔𝖙𝖙




1TryingBird says...


Dang, the code is off, sorry about that.



omerhand says...


Hi there, I appreciate the time and effort you spend writing the review. Ill take the feedback into account as I'm writing the next chapters!




Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
— Søren Kierkegaard