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The Lost Dragon 2.1

by soundofmind


Chapter Two Part 1: The Farm is Infested and I am Invested

As they rode up to the sheriff's office, they could hear a loud ruckus inside - sourced by the poor excuse of a robber. Clandestine looked over to Matt, raising a brow as she hopped off Billy and hopped up the steps to the door. She could still hear the yelling, and though she couldn't quite understand what Dega was saying, she could tell he was angry. As she pushed the door open the man's words hit her ears at full volume. As the sheriff finished locking up the cell, Dega flipped around, grabbing the metal bars and shaking them.

"YOU IDIOT OF A SHERIFF, I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR ARMS WHEN I GET OUT OF-"

The assault on their ears stopped for a solid three seconds as Dega saw Matt walk in behind her. She looked back at Matt, who didn't give Dega even a second glance. For a second, she expected Dega to scream again, this time at the two who were responsible for his quick catch, but instead there was just a quiet, heated glare sent their way. Clandestine sent Dega an awkward smile and waved. She didn't know why she did that. He just kept glaring. Clandestine looked away quickly and put her hand down, shuffling up to the Sheriff who'd sat down at his desk.

"Hey there, Sheriff - uhhh -" she looked around for a sign, or a label. His name had to be somewhere, right?

"Mitchell."

"AHA, yes! Sheriff Mitchell. I'm just stopping by to follow up on a rumor I heard about sand worms. I'm a monster hunter looking for work, so I'm here to offer my services. Oh. And also," she held out the two guns she'd confiscated from Dega in their earlier scuffle. The Sheriff raised a brow.

"These belong to the big guy behind bars," she said. "He had lots of fun pointing them around before Matt kicked his butt."

"I didn't-" Matt began to start, but Clandestine held up a hand and shushed him.

"But anyway!" she interrupted. "About those sand worms?"

The sheriff grinned in amusement as he set the guns on his desk. "Well, the complaints have really only been comin' from the Saint's Farm. I went down there to check it myself but I ain't well equipped to deal with those buggers," the sheriff sighed, rising from his seat. "If it was just me, I'd light some dynamite and throw it down their tunnels and blast 'em. But I guess from what Kaleb and Laura have told me, that might do more harm than good. They've already been doing lots of damage to the land, so I figure they're tryin' not to blow it to bits."

Clandestine nodded, smiling wide. "Well, I'm sure I could hop on over and offer my services!" She pulled out a piece of paper from the inside of her jacket. It was an aged old thing, folded one too many time and stained a little, but it had the official seals of the kingdoms, which made it official. Or at least, it looked official to anyone who wasn't an expert in forgery, so she didn't mind flashing it around. She unfolded it, showing it to him. "And you know, just the formalities. I like to run a legitimate business, you know."

The sheriff rubbed his bearded chin, looking closer at the document before nodding and pulling open a drawer in his desk. "Well, you can let them know that Sheriff Mitchell sent you when you get there," he said as he pulled out a map, rolling it out on his desk. "They're just a little east a ways from here," he said, drawing a line on the map from where they were to where they needed to go. "Shouldn't be more than a day's trip."

Clandestine leaned forward, giving a map a close look. "Well. That looks good to me! I think I got it. We just follow the trail, right? There's a little path?"

"Something like it," Mitchell shrugged. "Ain't like it's cobblestone."

"Nobody likes to ride on cobblestone anyway," she laughed. "Well... I suppose that's it from me!" She turned around to Matt, giving him a pat on the shoulder - though she didn't really give notice to his slight flinch. "Let's get goin' partner! I don't know about you but I'm itching to stab some big fat sand worms."

Clandestine led the way out, her boots tapping quickly down the steps as she made her way back to Billy. Matt paused at the bottom of the steps, giving her a peculiar look. She tilted her head to the side, curious.

"What is it, cowboy?"

Matt walked slowly over to his horse. "How long... have you been monster hunting?"

Clandestine looked at him blankly for a moment before her hand went to her chin in thought. "Hmm, that's a good question. I think it's been... maybe uhh... well, at least four or five years I think? I started pretty early under the wing of my mentor. But no worries, Matt! You're with a bonafide expert here. I know my monsters," she said with a little wink, before hopping up into her saddle.

Matt was a little slower to follow, but once he was on his horse, she began to lead the way out of the town. As she looked back at him for a moment, she couldn't help but pause for a moment at just how much of a cowboy he looked like atop his pretty, golden palomino horse and his brown leather jacket and boots. Or maybe it had less to do with him looking like a stereotypical cowboy and more like the cowboy she knew.

A gentle tug and coarse hands, pulling her out of the mud.

"You look lost, little girl."

She was shivering.

"Here," he'd said, as he took off his jacket and wrapped it around her.

Clandestine blinked. Ha ha, she weakly smiled to herself. Best not to dwell on sad memories, right? She tore her spaced-out gaze away from Matt and looked forward, towards the path. Matt wasn't him. But dragons above, he reminded her of him.

"So!" she began again with a clearing of her throat. "What do you know about sand worms?"


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Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:55 am
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Oxara wrote a review...



Alright I am late but I am catching up slowly, and it didn't help my body felt like getting sick but that's ok. But I am here for another ramble, so sorry again if it's not helpful.

General notes-
You change form she and Clandestine, nothing major just noteing it.
World building- you have pretty limited world building I feel, I know that monster are thing and monster hunter are a thing. That is about all I know, other than it kinda was a wild west feel right now. And then you say things that assume the reader know the world, I am guilty of this too. I have a world in mind I think of it makes sense and the reader can follow but it makes questions in their mind and it might also make them confused. So especially when your going back in your second draft and know the entire world and plot add world building earlier on to make everything make sense throughout.
Nitpicks
"they could hear a loud ruckus inside - sourced by the poor excuse of a robber." So one I don't like the - I don't understand why you used it here instead of a comma? I know it can by a stylistic choice, but how I understand it, these are used for almost like suspense? also sourced wounds weird why not use caused?

"as she hopped off Billy and hopped up the steps to the door"- Do you really need to add this? If you just say "as she pushed the door open" I kinda got that you did it. Like I don't really feel like I need to know this? But maybe we do and I am just being weird."


" Dega flipped around, grabbing the metal bars and shaking them."- This is just a weird way to point it, why not just say "Dega grabbed the bars and pushed against it" I mean I know you lose the flipping around part, but it just sounds smoother.


""YOU IDIOT OF A SHERIFF, I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR ARMS WHEN I GET OUT OF-" Alright I think I have said it before but I don't like all caps. If you need all caps to convey he is angry here then you should reword it, and I can tell it without the caps. Just saying he yelled or even without saying that I know he is yelling. Adding the caps just makes it look Amateurish and almost takes away form the emotion.

"for a solid three seconds"- Firstly you don't really need to add this part it works just fine and even better as "stoped as he walked by" also it is later proved it lasted more tan three seconds when you say "but instead there was just a quiet, heated glare sent their way."

"held up a hand and shushed him"- holding up a hand is shushing him so you don't need to say it again

"official seals of the kingdoms, which made it official" saying it had official seals of the kingdoms makes it official without you saying that. Also all the kingdoms have one seal that work for all the kingdoms??? also this is your first time mentioning kingdoms that I remember and their are many of them and they seem to have a peace if monster hunter can work and move around in all of them freely. Tell me more about these kingdoms please.

"It was an aged old thing, folded one too many time and stained a little"0 saying it was a aged paper kinda has me thinking of a paper stained and folded too many times, and has the "dampness" or "softness" or whatever you call it that old paper does.


"Or at least, it looked official to anyone who wasn't an expert in forgery"- Wait she is a fake monster hunter, so she is a novice then? Pretty bold move on her to invite mat when if he went asking around to get more info on her or to get his own sheet then he would figure it out right? Just a bold move by her, but I can see her doing that. Also if it's a fake why not make a new one when it got so old and crippled.

"a legitimate business"- she uses forgery but cares about doing it properly.

"at least four or five years I think? I started pretty early under the wing of my mentor."And she hasn't been caught with the fake paper yet, very impressive. Also did the mentor also use fake papers as well? It seems like at the point of four or five years you would just officaly sign up right? though I know nothing about how monster hunter's are trained or how you sign up or anything other than that they are a thing. So tell me more about monster hunters so I can understand this world more.

"Ha ha"- this is her thoughts right? I don't think many people think ha ha.

"But dragons above"- You have never talked about dragon, I didn't even know if they were a thing. But you suddenly bring it up in a phrase. Build that maybe some people worship dragon as gods or something to make this phrase make sense.

Side note- Look I am learning how to not point every little thing I think out, but only what I think you need to know or can use.

Anyway I hope this helps you in any way and I am really enjoying the story, I think this flowed and felt easier to read and was just overall smoother to read.

Oxara




soundofmind says...


Sorry I'm so late to reply to this but THANK U FOR ALL THESE REVIEWS



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Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:22 am
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Omnom wrote a review...



HI SOUND the fam is invested to this story and is back to review (seeWHATIDIDTHERE haha cri) hopefully I’ll catch up before you publish chapter 3 xD I doubt it though because next week is gonna be really busy for me.

So, I’m trying something new! Lemme know how it works, okay? It might help me out on reviewing and help you out on uhhh things and stuff xD I forgot where I was going with this ITS EARLY OKAY

As they rode up to the sheriff's office, they could hear a loud ruckus inside - sourced by the poor excuse of a robber.


-Weird word choice
So, this first sentence stopped me up a bit for two reasons (both of which aren’t really nitpicks and just because I’m dumb fyi but some of your readers will be even dumber then me so may as well point it out).

1 – “could hear” which slows down the sentence a bit. It’s nothing major, but it’s also a weak verb and repeated later on in this paragraph. Perhaps you could find an alternative that suits your purpose better?

2 – “sourced” which isn’t a bad thing, it just caught me off guard because it’s not something I’m used to. It’s also reads backwards to me? I’m not sure how to explain this better and it’s probably nothing, but yeah.

She could still hear the yelling, and though she couldn't quite understand what Dega was saying, she could tell he was angry.


-Repetition
The repetition that I talked about above on the “hear” here :D

-Weak Verb Choices
You have a flurry of weak verbs here, from “hear” to “yelling” (which isn’t a verb I don’t think, my grammar may be off in the wee early morning but im still including it here) to “tell” and also earlier in this paragraph. There’s a few instances of this throughout the chapter too, but when you revise (again? xD) I would suggest just combing through your verbs and be like “hmmm can I insert something better here than what I have??)

For a second, she expected Dega to scream again, this time at the two who were responsible for his quick catch, but instead there was just a quiet, heated glare sent their way.


-Weird word choice
So, I get that you were saying that he was quiet instead, but I have never know a glare to be loud, let alone be quiet xD

"Hey there, Sheriff - uhhh -" she looked around for a sign, or a label. His name had to be somewhere, right?
"Mitchell."


I love this interaction here lol, like honestly the split second of panic when you greeted someone (because you’re already terrible at interacting and you’re putting yourself out there just by, like, talking) and you don’t know their name and you can’t FIND THEIR NAME IT HAS TO BE THERE SOMEWHERE.

She pulled out a piece of paper from the inside of her jacket. It was an aged old thing, folded one too many time and stained a little


*times

Or at least, it looked official to anyone who wasn't an expert in forgery, so she didn't mind flashing it around.


OHOHOHO Clandestine has a little darkness to her after all! I’m honestly suuuuper interested in this part here, because this opens up a WHOLE can of worms and that can of worms opens up aNOTHER can of worms. So she forged her monster hunter badge? She’s an illegal monster hunter (cue audience gasps) so that’s much interesting. But, this begs the question: how would this be forged in this time period, and how would one exactly find out that it was forged? I assume that it revolves around the official seals, but I’m sure those were forged quite often in these time periods. It’s definitely something for me to ponder on. Clandestine you cheeky person :P

though she didn't really give notice to his slight flinch.


She didn’t give notice to the twitch, buuut you did which means that she did? That’s a paradox yo, but joking aside you gave notice to it which completely contradicted what you intended here, thus bringing even MORE attention to the fact that he flinched, which I honestly don’t think is too big of a deal but now it’s a big deal in my head and basically what I’m saying is that you should probably rework this sentence here. I’m not sure how while still giving the info that A: Matt flinched and B: Clandestine didn’t pay mind to it.

As a side note, I keep wanting to call Clandestine Clementine, and shorten her name to Clem. Soooo for future reference if I slip up and say Clem then you know why xD

Clandestine led the way out, her boots tapping quickly down the steps as she made her way back to Billy. Matt paused at the bottom of the steps, giving her a peculiar look. She tilted her head to the side, curious.


-Weak Verbs
Another instance of weak verbs that I decided to point out, specifically “led” and “give”. Give especially is a trap verb that’s so universally useful (like put? And have and a few others) but also so universally bland which is just a drag and drags your sentence down with it to the deep dark pits of hell so be careful xD

Clandestine blinked. Ha ha, she weakly smiled to herself. Best not to dwell on sad memories, right? She tore her spaced-out gaze away from James and looked forward, towards the path. Matt wasn't him. But dragons above, he reminded her of him.


I like this subversion here! We thought we were going to get a nice flashback and exposition time, but that’s just not in Clandestine’s character so she pulled herself –and us—out of it which I love love love.


So, not too much happened this chapter but boy howdy you have a way with adding nuance to your character’s personalities! Which I love! We didn’t get too much exposition here, which I honestly am a big fan of. I think how you inputted the exposition was glorious and worked especially well. It was just a sentence here and a subversion there, but it really expanded Clandestine’s character for me. She’s no longer one note, which is something I was worried about from the first couple of parts, where she was just insanely happy-go-lucky and that’s her in a nutshell, but it seems she has a bit of a bad girl in her after all. You raised a lot of questions here that I can’t wait to be answered, and honestly this is how you do characters, so bravo sound.

My one minor complaint here (besides the grammar nitpicks of course) is the fact that nothing really happens this part. It’s a little early to be doing just character interactions (they do have their place, but I like to see them in the middle of the story or like right before action scenes or plot scenes) while not having much else in the story. But, this is minor and I’m sure will be remedied in the next parts. Can’t wait to read the rest!




soundofmind says...


hello I'd like to thank u for ALL OF YOUR SUPER HELPFUL NITPICKY ADVICE ON WORD CHOICE because those were all sentences that I was like "???!?!?!? HOW DO FIX?!?" So just hearing your thoughts was like omg BLESS!! THANK U SO MUCH!!! u just saved the novel

and also i know u said revise again question-mark... but like yeah. This is basically? a complete rewrite at this point lol. It will be for pretty much all of arc 1 and 2 because all of that sucks so... I'm PRETTY much treating my chapters like a warrior and I'm not gonna edit too much just because once I start editing? I will never stop lol

AND I'm glad you like Clandestine's little panic moment about the name bit lol. I was hoping that would be semi-relatable haha.

Clandestine has a little darkness to her after all!

Clandestine has some darkness to her past? She did something illegal? WHAT COULD IT BE?!?!? The answer might surprise you. *insert clickbait link here* LOL but uh, on the real tho I can't really tell you why they're forged yet lol but I can tell you that it's not SUPER hard to forge. And she knows a guy who knew a guy and blah blah lol.

She didn%u2019t give notice to the twitch, buuut you did which means that she did?

I feel like since this part is written from her POV, I might just make her notice but not react/care/pay it any mind. Otherwise there's not a good way to do it I don't think?

ALSO IF YOU NEED A NICKNAME FOR CLANDESTINE YOU CAN CALL HER CLANNY! That's what I call her lol.

BUT YEAH I'm glad you liked the stuff I hinted at with her ;) ;) yay thank u

And I did feel like maybe this bit was too slow for the beginning but trust me ; )))) things get exciting in just a hot min i.e. in the next part lol



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Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:15 pm
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StellaThomas wrote a review...



Hey @soundofmind! First things first... I only just got your username... today...

Secondly, I'm sorry I'm a bit delayed, life just got on top of me! But I'm here to review this and the next part now!

I can tell that Clanny has some past that's going to break my heart. Heck, I'm already sad about it. Here's my upbeat little chickadee and she's obviously hiding something awful.

I'm really intrigued about your setting but at this point, and maybe it's just something to keep in mind for the next few chapters, I'd love to see a bit more world building. I keep harping on about these books, but I'm reading Rebel of the Sands at the moment which is a beautiful merging of the Wild West and Arabian culture. I feel like you're doing something not dissimilar, with the Wild West and a traditional European-like fantasy kingdom. Which is really cool! The main thing I would love for you to consider about that though is that the Wild West, at least to me, has always been summarised by one word: lawless. That's why the sheriff has so much power, why those Western movies exist, ain't nobody coming to give you justice, you need to get it for yourself. Sooooo with that in mind it was a bit jarring to see Clandestine handing over her official royal credentials without everyone being a bit surprised. I thought there would be a bit more like, "a royal monster hunter?! All the way out here?!" But no. I mean, maybe that's not what you're looking for but as I said it's kind of what I was expecting so I was a little surprised and a bit put off that it went a different direction.

One nitpick - Saint's Farm or Saints' Farm? ;)

I love the lighthearted banter going on, and as I say, I just know that Clandestine is going to break my heart. I'm not really okay with that. You aren't allowed to do this to me.

Onto 2.2!




soundofmind says...


YOOOOO STELLA OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH!! And heck NO WORRIES about getting to this later!! I've been super behind myself :,,) life got busy haaaaa.

and omg... my username... HAHAAH that's amazing lol

Here's my upbeat little chickadee and she's obviously hiding something awful.

; ))) ..... I mean... I sURE HOPE It'll pull some heart strings. If I'm able to do it right. HahaHA

AND OKAY SO WITH THE CREDENTIALS I guess... I never thought much about it being a big deal? Though now that you mention it, it is irregular to have a monster hunter come through town (just since monster hunters are... few in number in general). SO I PROBABLY SHOULD have the sheriff be more surprised or something lol. Monster hunters kind of have a few different negative stigmas around them though if they're this far out from kingdoms though, so I'm realizing maybe I should make the sheriff have a little more like... disdain actually. Idk but yes you're right I should change that in the next edit-thru.

AS FAR AS WORLDBuiLDING GOES I GUESS Uhh I'm not 100% sure how to ... do that?? THAT PROBABLY SOUNDS LAME BUT. I think a lot more of it will come up once they reach the farm and talk to Laura and Kaleb?? At least, it'll happen more naturally in conversation. But ALSO UH I'm not sure actually. Their last name is Saint so... would it be Saints'? ashdkfjsdhfl

BUT OMG THANK U SO SO SO MUUUUUUCH <3 <3




It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
— Voltaire