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The Lost Dragon 1.1

by soundofmind


Chapter One Part 1: A Monster Hunter and a Cowboy Walk into a Bar (I mean uh, a Saloon)

At my lowest moments, when I am faced with the utter depravity of my heart, I try to recall all of the reasons that people say we are alive.

If we are merely trapped in a cycle of reproduction it is meaningless. To live just to make life is to deny the nature of humanity and the longings of the human heart. To be accepted. To be understood. To be cherished. To be loved.

But if we are simply made for the satisfaction of our longings, where can it be found? For what if one is truly, and entirely, alone? Forgotten by all beings who could possibly reciprocate a feeling of care, and loved by none? How can one live for love then? How can one be confident that they are loved, seen, heard, and known?

Does that mean that love must be fought for, bought, or earned? Do we have to search for it like silver in the dust? Panning in the water for those flecks of gold so we can call ourselves rich in life, because we found what seemed impossible, what felt so rare? To be truly loved and cared for, more than just in name and speech, but in heart and truth.

But where can it be found? If there is no one on the earth with a flawless heart unmarked or unshaped by the hardships we all inevitably face… where is real love? Has love been cheapened? Have we settled for a love that only really means to appreciated for the face we choose to show? And even if we find someone with a loyalty so fierce they insist their love is sincere until the end, what then, is love? Is it loyalty? Is it happiness? Is it comfort in knowing that who you are with will stick with you through every trial, every betrayal, every turning of life? Is it a person?

Because if I am truly alone, and I am...

Who would be willing to pour into a broken vessel such as me? Or am I truly lost to the existentialist fatalism that consumes the truly hopeless?

Months ago, I would’ve wished myself dead, to escape a pain I thought unbearable: the furthest extent of loneliness I have ever experienced. Now, I desperately seek a way out, but I do not know the way. There are no answers found in the earth to the burning question in my heart: Who am I, and what is my purpose?

Or better yet, what is the purpose of the Nye? What is the future of our world? Is there an appointed end to suffering, not just my own? Or will it only endure, forever, and ever, long into eternity, with my existence just a speck on a self-sustaining timeline of life living on.

Why did the dragons make such a place ?

Did they know it would be like this? Did they have a choice? Where is the creator, who knows what they’re doing? And why the hell haven’t they told us what it is yet?

----

Clandestine rode up to the dusty saloon, looking out at the little desert town and its abundance of tumbleweed and dirt. Upon her arrival to this dry spot on the earth, she found that it was just as dismal and lifeless as she expected. Even though she loved the life and greenery of the forests, this was the one place on the continent that seemed to share a sense of mutual understanding. Her and the desert were in agreement.

Life was dry and dreary.

With a small tug on her reins, she came to a stop in front of the saloon and hopped off.

"What do you think of this place, Billy?" she asked as she patted her dark steed and rubbed the white star between his eyes. Billy only blinked in reply.

"Yeah, I think so too," Clandestine mumbled back. "It's just... okay, I guess," she said as she looked up at the faded sign hanging over the doors.

She let out a quiet sigh, giving Billy one last pet before she walked up the steps and gently pushed open the swinging doors into the quiet room.

From what she could tell when she walked in, it was a slow day. There were people scattered across tables, but even the inside of the saloon seemed to reflect the mood of the outdoors. Walking down the center of the room and weaving through tables, Clandestine made her way to the bar, where she caught the attention of the lone barkeep.

"Hey mister! I'm Clandestine," she said with a cheerful smile. "I'm a registered monster hunter, and I was wondering if you've heard of any monster-ly activity around where I might be in need?"

The barkeep raised his brows, drying a mug off with a towel.

"I haven't 'eard much, miss," he replied. "But there's been some word about sandworms messin' with local farms 'n such."

Clandestine's eyes opened wide with interest and she nodded, leaning forward on the bar. The barkeep gave her a look.

"D'ya wanna order anything miss?"

Clandestine stared at him for a second before she pulled away from the bar and laughed nervously.

"O-oh yeah! Yes, of course! Just uh, a little uh..." she paused, trying to think of different types of beer, and what people normally got to drink. She hoped it wasn't too obvious that she didn't frequent bars often. "...rum?" She said with less confidence than planned.

The barkeep simply nodded at her request and reached up for a bottle on the back shelf. Clandestine watched as he poured her a glass and plopped it in front of her.

"Two silver pieces," he said.

"Oh! Yeah, yeah, right," she mumbled as she dug around her pockets and set the coins next to her glass before picking it up and turning around to look at the rest of the bar. Now she had to decide where to sit. She bit her lip and tapped her foot for a few brief seconds as she scanned the few patrons in the bar before she looked back at the barkeep, preparing a bowl of soup.

She leaned over the bar again, causing him to look over.

"I can bring that to whomever it's for!" she said eagerly.

"That's not really necessary, miss," the barkeep said as he placed the bowl on a tray.

"I mean... it's not but. I'm offering. And you're the only one working here. And I'm free labor!" She smiled wide, hoping her pretty teeth would convince him.

The barkeep just looked over at her and sighed, shrugging. He slid the tray over the bar and gestured to the man in a cowboy hat at the far corner of the room.

"Don't spill," he said quietly.

"I won't!" Clandestine assured him as she carefully grabbed the tray in her free hand. Taking in a deep breath, she mustered up the energy to walk up to the table and set the tray down in front of him. As soon as she did, he looked out at her from underneath his hat. He looked... a lot like what she would've expected for someone in a cowboy hat, though maybe a little less rugged. He had reddish brown hair, a little goatee, and thick brows shadowing dark blue eyes. She gave him a smile.

"Hey there, cowboy! I'm no waitress, but I take tips!" she said as she plopped down in the seat across from him.

He chuckled, sliding the bowl of soup closer to him and stirring it up with the spoon. "Does that line really work?" He asked in what sounded like the stereotypical cowboy accent.

Clandestine smirked, shrugging before she took a sip of her drink. "I mean, it's worth a try." She set her mug down, and leaned back in the chair. He reached into his pocket and flicked a gold coin in the air that she caught as a pleasant surprise.

"Hah!” He really did give her a tip. “So, what's your name? I'm Clandestine."

"So I heard." He nodded towards the bar, indicating that he overheard. "I'm Matt."

Clandestine reached across the table and shook his hand. "Nice to meet you, Matt!”

“Likewise.” Matt paused to take a sip of soup, and looked at her curiously. “So... you’re a monster hunter?”

“Oh, yeah. Monster hunter by trade, traveller by habit. I thought maybe I’d try my hand at the game out here in the desert. It’s a change of scenery from the forests and mountains I’m used to. Presents a nice little challenge, haha.” She took another sip of rum. “And what do you do?”

Matt gestured to himself and his hat with a small grin. “Just as it looks. You already said what I am.”

Clandestine smiled to herself, proud of her first guess. Maybe it had been an assumption, but she wasn’t going to think too long on that.

“A cowboy," she declared with confidence.

As she took in the image of the man before her, for a moment, a different face was superimposed over his underneath his hat. The face of her father figure. The face of her mentor. The face of her friend. The man she'd only ever known as cowboy.

She blinked a few times to clear away the mental image. In a mock accent, she replied.

"Well that's just fine and dandy." 


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Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:36 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



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

Okay I have decided to select this as the target for today. Let us see how far we can get.

First Impression: Well not quite a blockbuster opening there but an amazing bit of emotion there to start things off. And we learn quite a few things about the personality of our protagonist which is always a good thing.

Why did the dragons make such a place ?


Interesting line right there.

That whole opening segment was really well written. It sounds like our protagonist has gone through some stuff there. Excellent move for an opening there.

From what she could tell when she walked in, it was a slow day.


We already got to know that she walked up the steps so repeating walked in is a little awkward there. Removing that would help it flow better.

"I haven't 'eard much, miss," he replied. "But there's been some word about sandworms messin' with local farms 'n such."


Already some interesting sounding worldbuilding there.

"O-oh yeah! Yes, of course! Just uh, a little uh..." she paused, trying to think of different types of beer, and what people normally got to drink. She hoped it wasn't too obvious that she didn't frequent bars often. "...rum?" She said with less confidence than planned.


That's not at all obvious. Totally natural.

"Oh! Yeah, yeah, right," she mumbled as she dug around her pockets and set the coins next to her glass before picking it up and turning around to look at the rest of the bar.


Wait why she be awkward at that? I mean everyone would know that you have to pay for your drinks.

The barkeep just looked over at her and sighed, shrugging. He slid the tray over the bar and gestured to the man in a cowboy hat at the far corner of the room.


Small point but how did this cowboy overhear her all the way from the far corner of the room?

He asked in what sounded like the stereotypical cowboy accent.


That sounds like a bit of cheating there instead of actually describing his accent but then I personally have no idea how one would describe an accent so uhh...I guess that's the best way to do it.

He reached into his pocket and flicked a gold coin in the air that she caught as a pleasant surprise.


That sounds like a big tip because she paid silver for the drink. (This is me assuming that the gold piece is more valuable than silver. Correct me if I'm wrong,)

Presents a nice little challenge, haha.” She took another sip of rum. “And what do you do?”


Did she like say the word haha or did she laugh?

As she took in the image of the man before her, for a moment, a different face was superimposed over his underneath his hat. The face of her father figure. The face of her mentor. The face of her friend. The man she'd only ever known as cowboy.


Tragic backstory alert.

And that's it for this one. This is like from years ago so there's a ton of reviews. Sorry if I repeated anything but I didn't feel like reading all 10 other reviews.

Overall: Sounds like a pretty good story so far. Pretty likable protagonist that gets some good personality right from the start. And well that's about all I can say for this first part.

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

Stay Safe
Harry




soundofmind says...


OH GOSH, thank you for taking a look at my story! There's... a lot, and it's still ongoing, so no pressure to push through all of it! You've been such a faithful and determined reviewer and you give such consistently good reviews so thank you!!!

I'm glad you're liking it so far! This was (as you can see) written quite a bit ago, so there are definitely things I'm aware I would change, but I'm glad you like the start overall! And no worries about looking at the other reviews - I get that. Lol.

Did she like say the word haha or did she laugh?

She actually said "haha!" HAHA

Thanks again!



HarryHardy says...


Your Welcome!!
And thanks!! I still can't believe that people like my reviews.
Ahh don't worry. It sounds like it will be a great story to read.

And so she did say haha.



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Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:26 pm
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Lionhero333 says...



I dont see much wrong here. Strong prolouge, maybe more description for the set, but really thats all. Its very interesting, especially the hunter. And its very quick to the point. If you get the chance can you check out my prolouge




soundofmind says...


Glad you like it! I've been working putting in more description as the chapters go on! I am slowly growing in that haha. Thanks for the feedback!



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Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:24 pm
Lionhero333 says...



I dont see much wrong here. Strong prolouge, maybe more description for the set. But really thats all. If you get the chance can you check out my prolouge




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Sat May 04, 2019 6:31 pm
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RandomVanGloboii wrote a review...



It captured my interest, I need to know more about this mysterious woman hunter. The prologue was strong, she sure has interesiting past, maybe a little redundant. The rest felt different, quick and direct. Maybe it could be better to show immediately the environment to capture the attention and show her feelings in the meanwhile?
Anyway, seeing how interest it has created it looks like it's no big problem. :)




soundofmind says...


This is a woefully late reply but thanks much for the feedback!



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lelu says...



Hi soundofmind, your prologue sounded pretty depressed and lacking in purpose so if you're really at that place and not just playing it up for Clanny I am open to discussion about da Gospel. If you want.




soundofmind says...


Thanks for your concern, but I'm actually doing very well! The prologue is wholly fictional, and it doesn't reflect my own emotions, just the emotions of the character speaking. I'm also a Christian believer, so I do know the gospel and I love Jesus!



lelu says...


YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!



soundofmind says...


:D



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ThomasLoud wrote a review...



For an intro chapter, I have to say I'm absolutely impressed and enticed. I "say" this because I feel that there was an understanding of what needed to be said and that is done remarkably well.

Starting with the very beginning, the ponderance over the purpose of life caught my attention and built up a sense of empathy and sympathy for the yet to be named ponderer. This brief ponderance also creates a few distinct questions that I believe really helps give the reader quite a bit to look forward to.

Then this is outdone by the perfect intro to (I'm assuming of course) the MC, Clandestine. With the mere naming of the character, interest is already peeked for those who know the meaning behind her name, but then you're introduced to her personality and her vocation which helps the reader define her with ease. This defining of her character (On the surface level at least) reveals Clandestine to be a bubbly personality that makes me just want to keep reading for her sake alone.

I don't actually have anything that I think my be an issue so far, bar a few mistakes in grammar so I'll leave this off by saying that I look forward to seeing what can happen and hope it only gets better from here.




soundofmind says...


I%u2019m glad you enjoyed the first installment of the chapter! Thanks so much for the review!



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Magebird wrote a review...



Hey, sound! I'm finally getting around to reviewing your novel. :P In case I haven't reviewed any of your stories before, I'll just give you a quick rundown on how I review things: I'll start with small comments on line(s) in the actual chapter, and then end the review with a summary of what you can improve and what you did great at.

With that said, let's get to it!

Small Comments

At my lowest moments, when I am faced with the utter depravity of my heart, I try to recall all of the reasons that people say we are alive.


Wonderful hook, and a wonderful introduction to my favorite dude.

Because if I am truly alone… and I am...


But you have Maahes.

Why did the dragons make such a place… ?


Image


Clandestine rode up to the dusty saloon, looking out at the little desert town and its abundance of tumbleweed and dirt. Upon her arrival to this dry spot on the earth, she found that it was just as dismal and lifeless as she expected. Even though she loved the life and greenery of the forests, this was the one place on the continent that seemed to share a sense of mutual understanding. Her and the desert were in agreement.

Life was dry and dreary.


I've only known her for a little more than a paragraph, but Clanny is already stealing my heart. <3 I love the comparison to the desert, too - not only does it set the scene, but it also gives the reader a great first impression of her!

"O-oh yeah! Yes, of course! Just uh, a little uh..." she paused, trying to think of different types of beer, and what people normally got to drink. She hoped it wasn't too obvious that she didn't frequent bars often. "...rum?" She said with less confidence than planned.


Loving her even more now! Awkward protagonists are the best.

"Does that line really work?" He asked in what sounded like the stereotypical cowboy accent.


Of course he would. :P

As she took in the image of the man before her, for a moment, a different face was superimposed over his underneath his hat. The face of her father figure. The face of her mentor. The face of her friend. The man she'd only ever known as cowboy.


I smell some angst on the horizon.

In a mock accent, she replied.

"Well that's just fine and dandy."


I'm so glad that Clanny's a joker - Mickey God knows that Matt needs someone to lighten up his life a bit!

Overall Comments

I feel like my views on this chapter might be a little biased because I'm already going into it with knowledge on the plot, world and a very strong love for your characters. Knowing what you have in store for your novel, I think this is an excellent start. It sets up some of Clanny's backstory while simultaneously introducing us to another key character, and the writing at the beginning is a very deep way to introduce us to your world.

If you want to improve this chapter, I think you can do so by adding more imagery. You're doing great on the characters and dialogue, but some of the description is a bit lacking in places - though the reader is able to guess what you're trying to describe, like when you mention a saloon without going into too much detail about it.

Other than, there's just a couple of grammatical errors, but I think they've been covered in other reviews!

I really enjoyed this chapter, and I can't wait to read more tomorrow!

Image




soundofmind says...


AYYY THIS IS SUPER LATE MAGE but thank u sm for the review!! Since this first chapter I've been tRYIN and failing to stick in more description but MAN, is it just nOT my first inclination. I gotta be intentional about that.

I'm so glad you're still enjoying it coming in w/how much you know though!! <3 <3 big lov



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Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there! I'm here to read your awesome novel.

Disclaimer: I haven't read any of the previous reviews. Feel free to just ignore anything I say that has been repeated.

There are a lot of questions in the first part here. Reading through it I totally see the reason for them, but I still find it kind of annoying. By the second paragraph full of questions I was tired of it. Oh my gosh I sound so mean I'm not trying to be I promise. Gosh, Noelle stop being insecure just review. Think of another way that you could get the same information across. I'm not even sure how you could do it, but consider it. Honestly I ended up skimming when I was reading. That's never good; at least coming from me. When I start skimming I'm not actually engaged in the piece. I don't like skimming.

I feel like you can cut down the beginning by so much just to give us a small introduction to the novel. I see it as a prologue, but not quite. It's like one of those one pagers you find that give no introduction that it's part of the novel, it's just there. You know what I'm talking about? What you have here is somewhere between the too. I wouldn't label it as a prologue, but it's too long to be a quick 1 pager. You have to find the balance between the two.

Have I ever told you that I love your writing style? I do. I started reading this and it all flowed so nicely together. You have a great balance of description and dialogue. There isn't too much of either. I felt like I was reading a book I had just bought off the shelves of Target that I got a really great deal on. I enjoy reading your work.

"Yeah, I think so too," Clandestine mumbled back. "It's just... okay, I guess," she said as she looked up at the faded sign hanging over the doors.

You have two dialogue tags here. That's a pet peeve of mine. If you've already said that she said something don't tell us again. I know she said it. Also I do believe the second dialogue should end in different punctuation since it's not being continued. I'm not really sure of that rule, but it sounds right so I said it.

I like Clandestine. We're only a dozen or so paragraphs into the beginning and I'm all for her. I can tell she's going to be a great character. You haven't gone into any description of her yet I feel like I have a good idea of her character. Just by a few simple paragraphs where you describe her words and actions I have a good sense of her. I'm impressed. That's that character development that readers don't even know they're getting. The subtlety is great.

"O-oh yeah! Yes, of course! Just uh, a little uh..." she paused, trying to think of different types of beer, and what people normally got to drink. She hoped it wasn't too obvious that she didn't frequent bars often. "...rum?" She said with less confidence than planned.

I pulled this whole paragraph out just so you could see where this is. The dialogue at the end here shouldn't have an ellipses. You already used it in the first half of it so we know that she's hesitating. No need to tell us twice. Also it's already a question so it gives off the impression that she doesn't know what to say. You've also described that to us as well. Just a bit repetitive.

I notice you use a lot of exclamation points in Cland's (hopefully you don't mind me calling her that, just makes it a bit quicker to write :) ) dialogue. I understand you're trying to let us know how energetic she is, but it gets a bit repetitive. You don't have to rely on punctuation to get your point across. Tell and show us how excitable she is. Let me see the twinkle in her eye or the slight laugh in her voice. Tell me she's bouncing on her toes as she introduces herself to the cowboy. Otherwise I'm only left with the sound of her voice. Give me more.

He asked in what sounded like the stereotypical cowboy accent.

Being nitpicky here. What exactly is that accent? I know what you're talking about, but not all of the readers are going to come up with the same accent. Don't take the easy road. Describe his accent to us. Let us know exactly how it sounds and then have us create a sound in our own imagination. This is a bit too much left to the reader.

Overall I think this is a good opening to your novel. I know this is only the first part of the chapter so I'm going to save my ending comments for the next part. As for this one though, I enjoyed reading it. This is a great opening for a novel. We're introduced to the main character and even gotten a peek into her life. i'm intrigued by this monster hunting business. I hope we get to see her in action sooner rather than later. Monsters are cool.

Like I said before, your writing style is great. I can read through this very easily and I don't feel like you veered off anyway that wasn't necessary. Keep up the good work! I can't wait to read more.

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




soundofmind says...


Thank you so so much Noelle!! I'm sorry the beginning was so troublesome for you aaah! A lot of people have given me feedback about it and I'm still kind of juggling about what I want to do with it, but it's helpful to hear another perspective! I think cutting it down might work really well and still get the same idea across, so I'm leaning towards that.

ALSO OOF all my messed up dialogue tags. :,) mY ACHILLEs HEEL!! THANK U FOR CATCHING THAT

And also I'm so glad you like Clandestine!! I LIKE HER TOO!!! LOL. AND wow I didn't realize I used to so many exclamation points. I'm SURE!! YOU TOTALLY CAN'T SEE!! WHERE SHE GETS THAT FROM!! !!! IT's definitely not me HAHahahAH *sweatS*

Also oof, you're totally right lol. I was just..... hoping people would know what kind of accent I'm talking about. But I guess it's hard to describe since I can't use real world places as reference?? Cause it's a fantasy world... hhhh. So I'm like... what do I say?? HOW DO DESCRIBE ACCENTS THIS IS HARD HA

BUT YES OMG THANKS SO MUCH and sorry for getting back to you so late



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Oxara wrote a review...



I'm writing this as I go along so this are my thoughts as I am reading without knowledge of the full story. I write reviews like this as one I can write all my ideas right away and to let you know what your reader's are feeling and thinking right as they read and that stuff. And I'm not great with reviews so bare with me.

Firstly "Panning in the water for those flecks of gold"- You switch form silver to gold, either change the previous statement to gold or this to silver. I understand what you mean, but when I first read it, it was confusing. And if you change this to silver you lose nothing.

"seemed impossible, what felt so rare"- Sure the "what felt so rare" puts emphasis on what "seems impossible" but it also just feels like it repeat's. I feel like it would make more sense to just say what felt so rare because finding gold isn't really impossible, but it is considered rare. But this statement is fine if you want to keep it, this is just a something that bug's me .

"Because if I am truly alone… and I am...
Who would be willing to pour into a broken vessel such as me?"- I have already gathered this character is lonely before so the line about being alone is not needed. Plus it feels a little less clunky. Like this is a person thought process instead of just being here for exposition. Plus it's repetitive and is pretty much told and expanded on by the next line. So I would remove the line about being alone.

"Months ago, I would’ve wished myself dead, to escape a pain I thought unbearable: the furthest extent of loneliness I have ever experienced."- You've basically already said this when you saying "At my lowest moments, when I am faced with the utter depravity of my heart, I try to recall all of the reasons that people say we are alive." So this line is not really needed to explain this.

"Now, I desperately seek a way out, but I do not know the way. There are no answers found in the earth to the burning question in my heart"- If you go with my advice and remove the line before it I would change this to I, now desperately try to find a way to fix myself. Or maybe change it to a metaphor to you being a your broken vase analogy and say you're looking for the water to fix you or something along that line. Or if you like the vessel idea so your looking for a shell to cling to, or something.

"Who am I, and what is my purpose?
Or better yet, what is the purpose of the Nye"- Now this is very minor and you may ignore it depending on how you plan on writing this. But this entire monologue is about love and humanity and a place where it exists. So The nye line is great but the "who am I, what is my purpose" seems to come somewhat out of left field. I mean I kinda got the feelings she was asking these questions so it's like it's random. But it feels out of place for this monologue. To me at least. Unless you plan on connecting the idea of the nye and who they are and their purpose. Even in that case I feel like you could remove the idea of who they are and their purpose and add onto it in another chapter. After exploring the Nye more. Again it's not a major thing but it just seems so out of place. So keep it if you want or move it to another chapter, I would suggest the latter, but your the writer.

Ok, So some stuff over the whole opening monologue. One you never did explain the Nye(if you explained it in background, I again did not read it. As personally I feel like at least the first chapter of a story someone should be able to jump in without being totally confused). And honestly that is fine, it makes sense with the character as they already know it. However I wanted to make sure you are trying to build suspense about the nye in this case. If not maybe say something about, The nye, the place of love or humanity or perfection or whatever it is your going for. It still makes sense as you said why the dragon would make such a place and that could be nick name of the city/world.

And secondly, now I really and I mean really hope this Intentional but when you said no one on the earth with a flawless heart unmarked or unshaped, and with the context of "Where can it be found" and these questions, My mind instantly thought you were having a place where maybe everything was perfect. Where everything you talked about is achieved there, and they want to go there. Or maybe they are hateful they aren't their already. I doubted the latter one as I feel like the tone would be different, but still was a possibility in my mind. And as you go on to explain the nye, I hope this is not just some place on earth and is somewhere else so it could be achieved and this "earth" line makes sense. If it is on earth and are saying all the stuff you talked about can be achieved then you should remove the "the earth" in that line.

And lastly a minor note, this entire monologue has so many different analogies and metaphor it just feel almost like a jumble. Like you say two lines of gold and sliver and never do anything more in this monologue. Then you jump to a broken vessel. It just feels clunky and while I followed it ok, it didn't feel as natural as it could be. So I would say try to kinda use one or two main metaphor or analogy in the future.


"abundance of tumbleweed and dirt"- Just how many tembleweeds are there. normally there are only two or three right, I like the abundance of dirt, maybe you could even say compacted dirt or untouched dirt to show it's not that traveled.

"quiet sigh"- How is a sigh more quiet than normal. I feel like quiet is here just to be here and dose not really add anything.

"I haven't 'eard much, miss," he replied. "But there's been some word about sandworms messin' with local farms 'n such."- I mean, the I haven't heard much is confusing wound't it make more sense to say "it isn't much of a problem," he replied. "But.."?

"eyes opened wide with interest" - You make it seem sandworms are rare with the eyes open but you never directly say it and since it is not established I am not sure. If they aren't rare why would she be wide eyed, as she would have seen them before and things like it right? so If it's rare keep it, if not just the nod with interest would work. I may also add eyes open, due to it being rare. Clearly less clunky then that but you know what I mean, too lazy to write a real line for you,sorry.

"it's not but. I'm offering"- was the period after the but meant to be a comma?

"maybe a little less rugged. He had reddish brown hair, a little goatee, and thick brows shadowing dark blue eyes"- I really like this imagery it's clear, short and easy to see. Nicely done. (one note i don't normally see cowboys with red hair or goatees or blue eyes, but this is your world and it makes sense for the character so it's not a problem really. Or maybe I just have a weird imagine of a cowboy in my head)

"haha"- I'm sorry but to me I don't like this in dialogue. One I can never tell if it's meant to be a chuckle or a full on laugh. and it just feels like it doesn't fit especially when you said "he chuckled" lines before. So why not just reuse that line, or say a slight laugh or something along those lines. Plus it feel's amateurish, as I have yet to see a real author write "haha" in their dialogue. But if it really is ok and maybe just in my writing I haven't seen it, then that's my writing style, so sorry in that case.

"traveller by habit"- This is a fine line. But I was just a idiot and had to read it a few times to get it. Just felt like letting you know, but I don't think I would change it, but I just felt it was worth mentioning in case you wanted to play around with it. But again I actually like this line, so don't worry about it much.

"She blinked a few times" I feel like the "a few times" takes me away form the story, it just feels clunky. if you said "She blinked' it dose the same thing and feels a little less awkward to read. I mean it's a fine line and I can see it, but for some reason it just takes me out of the story.

In a mock accent, she replied."Well that's just fine and dandy."- I am confused as to what your character is trying to do? Like is she mocking him. That wound't make sense as she is fine with cowboys show by her father, mentor, friend figure being one. So if it's not mocking what is she trying to do?

Side note- Aren't all father figures mentors. But whatever I like the line even if it has similar meaning within it.

My god, I feel like I'm going overboard and writing too much for someone who is a better writer than me, but hey these are my real thoughts so feel free to ignore the notes of a worse writer XD

Anyway I know this was a lot, and I'm sure a lot of it you won't use. But these were the things I thought might help you improve the story and you as a writer, as these are all my thoughts as a reader and a reviewer, for better or worse. Anyway I hope you can at least get something out of it so you didn't waste your time reading it. And sorry if it didn't help you, or I missed something or something like that. Anyway I'm excited to read part two (and the background after this). See you there and keep up the good work (and this story please).




soundofmind says...


Hey hey! Thanks so much for the review man.

As for Nye - it was never intended to be a perfect place, and I don't think it ever will be. I think the purpose of the monologue isn't to say that perfection in love or life or what have you is the key, but it certainly asks the question if it can be found. And I think purpose and meaning in life very much tie into love and happiness and that inner dialogue about it.

And as far as using the word "earth" goes, it's really just a general term for reference to their planet/world. But it's not our earth.

As far as all the analogies, were they really that confusing? I mean, I guess I had my fun with them but I didn't think it detracted from what was being said overall. I would think sticking to one metaphor might make it really receptive... that, and extending metaphors is very hard to pull off, since most metaphors on go so far and work for so long before they lose meaning or whatever, lol. But I will consider cutting them down some!

And Clandestine's really only widening her eyes with interest because 1.sand worms are a challenge and 2. it's adventure. Lol. She's a monster hunter and tbh any mention of monsters gets her excited.

Also I'm glad the image of Matt was clear! Lol I worked hard on adding that in there after others' critique so I'm glad it went over well!

And hmm, what you said about the "haha's" makes me wonder if I should get rid of them now. Lol, idk I feel like they kind of add character LOLOLLOLOL but I can see how they're perceived as unprofessional and "text-speak" or whatever. So I'll probably take those out if/when I ever want to get more serious about the story.

And also not all father figures are mentors! There are always exceptions. People and relationships are complex and they don't all work the same way.

BUT YES AAA THANKS MUCH for the review and for putting so much work into it. You're doing great bud, keep it up.



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Carina wrote a review...



SOUND. I said I'd review this today, didn't I?! (lol what are my priorities here, reviewing before posting my own chapter) I blame u and omnom

Speaking of Omnomnom, I had this whole outline of a review planned out, but GOSH DANG @OMNOM HAD STOLEN MY IDEA. Like, what I'm going to say will pretty much reflect his general ideas, but I'll go into my own wee tangents ok

SO FIRST, LET ME JUST SAY. Monster hunting and cowboys and desert and two characters I know will give me many smirks in the future?!? YES. This totally gave me the TV show Firefly vibes with the western-y and fantasy feels. That's definitely a compliment since it's rated one of the best shows ever. :p (bonus points if there is sci-fi)

I'm getting the feel that Clandestine and James will have a love-hate relationship relationship in their adventures together (YES I KNOW THEY'RE GOING ON ADVENTURES NOW HEHE), and I'm doing everything I can do restrain myself from looking in your LMS thread to confirm if they will be opposing forces in the start because skdhfksjdf I wanna find out myself through the chapters! But I say they may have a love-hate relationship because they're pretty opposite. Clandestine seems happy to meet people and upbeat and honestly kinda innocent LOL (she doesn't drink much in this day and age of monster hunting and deserts?! a pure soul), and James seems to be the opposite of that: doesn't talk a whole bunch, perceptive, and serious. I can see James being like, "Sure, I guess having company wouldn't be so bad," on their first adventure. Then he'll be like, "omg wut have I done this girl wON'T STOP TALKING." lololol

okok, now the monologue at the beginning. It basically is a big fluffy monologue and it does also seem like a prologue of sorts! So I did a quick google search for pros/cons of a prologue, which you can read here. Basically, if the prologue is too long, has an info dump, is a crucially important scene with too much going on, is irrelevant to the beginning, or just serves as a clickbait hook, then err on the side of caution. Of course I read the monologue anD I LOVED IT IT WAS VERY POETIC AND :o

But imagine that your story got published (!!!!) and it's sitting in the bookshelf of a library, and the first chapter is this. There's going to be that one kid who'll be like, "MEH too much to read, where da chapter at?" and may put your book back on the shelf and try another one instead. which is uhhhh OF COURSE SAD because they just missed an opportunity to read the great soundofmind's story!! so lesson here is, don't do drugs and be that kid. and oh ya also, you know, keep up with readers' ADHD.

Also, I agree that between the end of the monologue and the beginning of the story, there was a sudden shift between the POVs and mood. I also definitely expected Clandestine to be all, booooo life sux. So when she was cheery and happy, I thought it was all a ruse. I read in your review replies that she really is like this, so I suggest somehow making it more clear that the monologue isn't by Clandestine. Splitting the monologue up chapter-by-chapter would probably help, and also put in some foreshadowing along the way.

Speaking of foreshadowing, DRAGONS. *cue eerie moosic* If I had to guess what'll happen with the dragon, imma say...it becomes lost. heh

BUT YEAH. I look forward to chapter 2! Are they going to go on an adventure together? Will a Big Bad Man come into the saloon and there will be a western shoot out? Will there be a monster scene?! I WILL STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK.




soundofmind says...


OKAY SO QUESTION ABOUT THE MONOLOGUE. What if I put it... at the END of this bit of the chapter instead of the beginning? And then when in part two it switches over to MattJames it'll feel......... better? Since each lil section IS a POV change lol. The only reason I really don't think it'd work as a prologue is because there will be more poeticy monologue-y bits like this throughout the next few chapters (all by the same person). So I don't want it to feel disjointed in having one like..... separate if that makes sense.

Also oh?
But I say they may have a love-hate relationship because they're pretty opposite. Clandestine seems happy to meet people and upbeat and honestly kinda innocent LOL (she doesn't drink much in this day and age of monster hunting and deserts?! a pure soul), and James seems to be the opposite of that: doesn't talk a whole bunch, perceptive, and serious. I can see James being like, "Sure, I guess having company wouldn't be so bad," on their first adventure. Then he'll be like, "omg wut have I done this girl wON'T STOP TALKING." lololol

HOHOHOH ; )))))) you are not... wrong

Speaking of foreshadowing, DRAGONS. *cue eerie moosic* If I had to guess what'll happen with the dragon, imma say...it becomes lost.

Or maybe it already IS lost. HAhA.... HA. ; )

also i just published part 2 of this chapter if u wanna lookie lol BUT DON'T FEEL LIKE U GOtTA I KNOW I'M FAST AND OVER-EAGER



soundofmind says...


ALSO OMG THANK YOU I MEANT TO SAY THAT ON THE FRONT END HECK



Carina says...


UR WELCOME UR WELCOME LOL. and omg so fast i applaud u. i'll take a look at it sometime after i post my chapter ok AHHHH

also...did I just....did I say James the entire time instead of Matt.... OOPS I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE THIS OMG I ALREADY SPOILED MYSELF. JAMES WHY ARE YOU GOING UNDER MATT HUH WHY R U HIDING UR IDENTITY???

BUT I like the idea of putting these blurbs at the end! It sounds like it's a foreshadowing tactic, and it seems like it will work better if the mood shifts from cheery to gloomy, rather than gloomy to cheery for the chapter. Though for James Matt, it seems like it will just be gloomy to gloomy lol but then I'd probably think, "aye, these bits make more sense under Matt's POV instead of Clandestine's" ya know???



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Elinor wrote a review...



HEY SOUND!

Here for your review just like I promised! I really enjoyed this chapter, and I have very little to say about it. The first section of this chapter was really beautiful. The meditation on the nature of life seems like something that would come from a realist drama rather than the fantasy/adventure type story that you're clearly setting up. I was confused as to whether it was one person speaking, or a conversation between different people -- I think it has something to do with the multiple quotations?

Dragons, huh? I'm curious to see how they factor into the story, as well as how the old west setting fits into the larger world that that this story takes place in. I like Clandestine a lot. She seems brave and spunky, maybe a little naive, although I don't know if that was what you were going for.

Overall, your writing style was fun to read and easy to follow. I'm excited to read more of this, so be sure to ping me once you've got more chapters up! And let me know if you had any questions about anything.

loves,
Elinor




soundofmind says...


OMG thank you so much Elinor! AND LOL OMG I fixed the quotations... I FORGOT THEY WERE THERE TBH.

AND YES NAIVE IS RIGHT LOL. SHe.... is.... ahsdfgaskhlfkj. Maybe less in some ways than others but still quite naive.



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Vincian wrote a review...



SOUND I CAN’T WAIT TO START READING I’m so happy and excited for both os us and I want this to succeed so much so let’s write all the chapters. We just gotta pester @Carina now :P

To live just to make life is to deny the nature of humanity and the longings of the human heart.


I love this. It’s quite strong and really brings into life just what humanity means, or even what sentience means. We’re more than just simple reproductive systems. We have feelings and emotions and memories and psyches and everything that all that entails.

Okay so this is split in two parts, the existential crisis in the beginning, and I believe the actual story in the middle (which I haven’t read yet xD) so I’ll address the crisis.

Sooooooo, it’s really beautiful language and you’re such a swell writer, but it seems like it’s… well, fluff. To basically lengthen the story before it starts. Which, I mean, isn’t a bad thing! Buuut, it’s not something that I would have really liked to see in your first chapter, since it takes up a huge chunk of it. Like, I feel like I’m being too harsh, because I do quite like it! But, it seems out of place and I don’t really know what kind of story you’re wanting to start here. I have cheated a bit as a reader because obviously I know more about the story than someone just picking up this story on a bookshelf xD but yeah. However, you mentioned THE DRAGONS YAY so dragons created the world. I hope I see more with dragons in this entire story, even if it’s just mentioning them a lot of alluding to them.

Life was dry and dreary.


And sandy!

"Hey mister! I'm Clandestine," she said with a cheerful smile.


So is this a faked smile? Or is she actually a cheerful person? IS SHE FAKING IT oooo well if she is I think it would be amazing for us to know that in the beginning.

"O-oh yeah! Yes, of course! Just uh, a little uh..." she paused, trying to think of different types of beer, and what people normally got to drink. She hoped it wasn't too obvious that she didn't frequent bars often. "...rum?" She said with less confidence than planned.


So I’m getting conflicting vibes here. The beginning of this (including the existential crisis moment, although that could be the other MC -forgot his name whoops xD) made it sound as though Clandestine was depressed, lonely, and standoffish, but in reality she’s pretty goofy, maybe a bit introverted but overall happy-go-lucky. Is she putting up a persona? I could totally see that happening, but I’ve also really haven’t seen any hints of it so far

Alrighty, so I liked this! But I did have a couple of problems here. The biggest one seems to just be the huge difference between the outlook from the beginning and the ending of this chapter. It honestly felt like it was written by two different characters xD one who’s really depressed in the beginning and one who believes everyone is happy-go-lucky in the end. Even ignoring the bit at the beginning, you still painted the desert and dry and dreary, and the inside of the saloon as mirroring it, buuuut Clandestine doesn’t seem to view anything as dry or dreary here (the only exception here being the mental image, which I’m super interested in :P ) nor does mister Cowboy.

I know I put a lot of emphasis on this stuff, but it’s really just a nitpick that I wanted to clarify a bit on. This was wonderfully written, and is just a first chapter so I can’t really expect to know the characters AT. ALL. At this point so yeah I loved the existential crisis at the beginning, but I feel like it was something of a prologue that was just attached the beginning of the first chapter, which made it so we didn’t have enough time with these characters! D: I guess I’ll have to wait until next week but I will complain about it! XDDD

I love this and want to read more! <3 Can’t wait for next week sound




soundofmind says...


AAAAaaAA HECKIN THANKS SO MUCH OMNOM!!

Okay so geez I want to.. .. . ... explain the reasoning behind the seemingly unfitting thing at the beginning but YES I can confirm that's a perspective from a completely different character and it's not Clandestine. So it's not just... random talking. Does it necessarily fit in the beginning of the book???? I guess... I'm not sure?????? ? I DON'T KNOW OMNOM. I NEED TO FIND A PLACE TO PUT IT!!!! BUT I WANT IT IN THE BEGINNING SOMEWHERE.

I FEEL LIKE IT'LL EITHER MAKE WAY MORE SENSE IN A FEW CHAPTERS (because planz) OR IT WON'T AND AT THAT POINT I'LL REEVALUATE. So I'll just uh... wait and see how everyone feels about it?

But I mean, it kind of ..... is supposed to be really different from Clandestine's perspective. AND ALSO I can confirm that her smile is real. She is genuinely a pretty upbeat and cheerful person! Or at least she tries to be?........ okay maybe it's a little forced but you know when you're just trying to be friendly and you're not 100% feeling it but you ARE like... GENERALLY happy or whatever. IDK.

SO MAYBE it's just a tiny bit of a persona or her playing up the cheer a little bit, but for the most part and in general Clandestine is very genuine and sincere.

Sorry idk if I made a lot of sense but yeah the whole bit at the beginning was something I wrestled with a lot and I'm just gonna... . wait and see how it uh.... pans out. Don't mind me.



Vincian says...


Sooo, we talked about this a bit on wfp, but I think an idea to keep this going (and not make it so noticeable in the future) is to keep this going in the next chapters. Perhaps you could reference this monologue with a sentence at the beginning of each next chapter, or you could continue the monologue, or you could even turn it into a dialogue between this character (who isn't Clandestine?) with perhaps a more optimistic character. OOH what if this is the Lost Dragon that is making the monologue? THAT WOULD BE AMAZZZING but yeah

Also, perhaps to make the two parts different, you could make the beginning of Clandestine's part more happy? She says that she agrees with the desert on the look of life, and that stands out as, well, just not Clandestine from what I see in the rest of her interactions. She seems like someone who wouldn't be used to the desert, but does like life or appreciate, but would definitely not call it dry and dreary yknow.



soundofmind says...


CLANDESTINE is in a bit of an interesting place. She's lower in spirits than usual but I didn't want that to detract from her character as a generally more upbeat person who tries her best to be positive even when she's feeling low.

I'm,,, I MEAN I LIKE ALL OF YOUR SUGGESTIONS but idk how to implement them or if I want to at the moment. BUT IT'S GOT ME THINKING



Vincian says...


U do u gurl haha





Lol when u a lost Dragon scholar and knew who was talking in that first but with two seconds



soundofmind says...


oh my gosh sis



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I’m so psyched that you’re starting! This is already worlds better than your first draft! The mood is so much more prominent and the cheese was melted away. This is getting me so pumped for the next chapters! That beginning part... was a little too relatable and thought provoking for comfort, but that’s a good thing! My only critique is that you might want to describe perhaps the atmosphere of the saloon more but mostly the main characters. Although I know what they look like very well, I’d have to assume not everyone reading does. If you want to describe them later, however, then that makes sense. Anyways, I’m proud of you, sis! ;)




soundofmind says...


I LOVE YOU SO FREAKING MUCH and thank you so so much!! I totally agree aaa I should DESCRIBE MORE. I guess I'm just,,,, HHHhh so insecure about descriptions!! I'm like??? So afraid any description will be boring lol. I guess I just need to get over myself and say "THE SEATS ARE REd. THE TABLES ARE WOOD. THE ROOM IS DIMLY LIT." but maybe a little more eloquently





Yeah and don%u2019t really worry about the saloon as much bc I feel like most people can picture drowsy saloons but maybe just have James described a bit more from Clanny%u2019s view and vise versa



soundofmind says...


I'm thinking in the next chapter when it switched to James's view might be a better time to describe Clandestine (since clanny isn't gonna be like: THIS IS WHAT I LOOK LIKE) but yES I can buff up that descriptor for James





That%u2019s exactly what I was thinking:)))



AvantCoffee says...


AAAAAAA SOMEHOW I FOUND THIS AND ASDFGDHD THIS IS SO CUTE <3333 :%u2019) You remind me of my relationship with my own sister and idk if > mydwindlingsanity < is still active and AM I BEING NOSEY IDK but heck if this ain%u2019t cute <3 uwu



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Wolfical says...



I LOVE THIS! : D




soundofmind says...


AAAAA THANK U SO MUCH WOLFIE!!



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Featherstone wrote a review...



Hello, your birb knight Feather here to review!

Things I Liked
1. The title! It's humorous, and definitely catches one's eye!
2. The first part, in the italics, was beautifully written - the prose kept it descriptive and engaging, and it definitely set the mood for this chapter
3.

Her and the desert were in agreement.

Life was dry and dreary.

That was funny.


Minor Nitpicks
"What do you think of this place Billy?" She asked as she patted her dark steed and rubbed the white star between his eyes. Billy only blinked in reply.

I would suggest adding a comma between "place" and "Billy." Then there's also the capitalization on "she," so I would suggest making it look like this:
"What do you think of this place, Billy?" she asked as she patted her dark steed and rubbed the white star between his eyes. Billy only blinked in reply.


Things to Improve

The word "saloon" was used a few times within the same couple paragraphs, so it got a little repetitive; maybe try to use a thesaurus and find a substitute word? It's not that important, it just might make it read more smoothly.

The other thing that I would suggest (though there was definitely nothing wrong as it is) is maybe adding more description? Of course, it's not something that's super necessary but it might flesh it out a bit more.

All in all, it was a good read! It was well-paced, smooth, and engaging. Can't wait to see more of Clandestine and James Matt!




soundofmind says...


BLESS YOUR BEAUTIFUL HEART I LOVE U HI

I'm glad you liked the title lol, literally all of my titles are just gonna get more and more goofy and half are gonna be references to memes and vines so BE READY.

AND HOHOHOHOHOHOHO I AM GLAD YOU LIKE THE PROSE IN THE BEGINNING >:D YES GOOD because I was feeling really insecure about it lol

Also!! I fixed the lil nitpicks (THANK YOU) and got rid of two whole "saloon"s!!!! SHOULD I GET RID OF MORE????

Also WOW I really need to describe more, I know. I was so stressed about over-describing I ended up under-describing. GO ME!



Featherstone says...


IT'S FINE DESCRIPTION IS A REALLY HARD THING TO GET A BALANCE OF

SERIOUSLY I'M TERRIBLE ABOUT IT

ALSO YES THE SALOONS LOOK GOOD NOW DITTO



soundofmind says...


BLESS




Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
— Captain James T. Kirk