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Starlight: Chapter 1 (Part I)

by yizhongt


“All passengers, the transport will be lifting off shortly. Please take your seats and prepare for liftoff,” ordered the pilot over the internal comm system.

Marthan T’an turned his attention back to his datapad which he had been reading earlier as soon as the announcement had ended. He didn’t managed to get far in his reading though as his concentration was interrupted yet again when a few people the transport had just taken on began entering the cabin he was seated in. Up until now, the cabin he was seating in was occupied by only him and two other people, both who were asleep ever since they left the last port they stopped at, and he liked it that way as he could concentrate and enjoy his reading. Please don’t be too loud, said Marthan to himself under his breath as he turned his attention back yet again to his datapad.

“Excuse me, can I take the seat next to you?” asked a feminine voice.

Marthan looked up from his datapad to see who had interrupted him. What he saw a was young lady who was probably around the same age he was. She was standing next to the empty seat next to him with a duffel bag in hand. He noticed that she had flawless, unblemished skin and shoulder length black hair with streaks of red in them. She was attractive. Well to him anyways.

“Go ahead,” replied Marthan.

She proceeded to place her duffel bag under the chair in front of her before taking a seatnext to Marthan. “Thanks, I’m Shayla by the way,” said the young lady with a smile on her face as she reached out her hands towards Marthan.

“I’m Marthan,” replied the young traveler to Shayla as he shook her outreached hand. Her hands were soft and smooth, like fine Tyrellian silk, opposed to his own coarse hands.

“So why are you heading to Corethdel?” queried Shayla, trying to engage Marthan in some small talk to pass the time.

“I’m going to Corethdel to continue my Paladin training.”

"You're a Paladin initiate too?" she asked excitedly. "So am I! What a coincidence," she said with a hint of elation in her voice.“Where did you do your basic training?”

“On my home planet, Aldrila,” answered Marthan. He as amused that out of all the people that could have sat down next to him on this journey, it was a fellow Paladin initiate.

“I read about Aldrila before, beautiful planet with a lot of crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, forests and rolling plains,” remarked Shayla. “Is it as beautiful as they say it is?”

“Even more,” replied Marthan with a smile on his face,

“My instructors told me that initiates from Aldrila’s academy focus their training on harnessing and using their aura, is it true?” asked Shayla.

“Well for the most part it is true,” answered Marthan, “we are trained to have a greater and more precise control of our aura, but that doesn’t mean we neglect training our martial skills.”

The familiar hum of the transports quad-ion engines firing up could be heard in the background. It would not be long until the transport takes off and make its way to its final destination, Corethdel.

“So can you harness the elements with your aura yet?” queried Shayla who had a glint of curiousity in her eyes as the transport lifted of the ground and made its way to the stars.

Marthan lifted up his right hand and for a brief moment, electrical discharge began to form around his hand. Shayla watched in amazement at Marthan’s ability to emit brief sparks of electricity by using his aura.

“That's amazing," Shayla said in awe. "I wish I could do that--all I can do at the moment is move things around," she moaned.

“I still have a lot to learn when it comes to harnessing my aura though. And don’t worry, your master will teach you how to do it soon enough,” assured Marthan to Shayla. She smiled as she heard his reassuring words.

Marthan looked out of the viewport and saw that the transport had left the surly bonds of the planet and was now in space. Soon they will be on Corethdel, and soon they will begin a new chapter in their lives. 


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Fri May 13, 2016 3:35 pm
ChieRynn wrote a review...



Hear yea, hear yea. I'm reviewing today!

Hiya! So I just picked on a few things. Everyone else covered most of it so yeah.


He didn’t managed to get far in his reading though as his concentration was interrupted yet again when a few people the transport had just taken on began entering the cabin he was seated in.

It should be-
He hadn’t managed to get far in his reading though, as his concentration was interrupted yet again when a few people on the transport had entered the cabin in which he was seated.

Up until now, the cabin he was seating in was occupied by only him and two other people, both who were asleep ever since they left the last port they stopped at, and he liked it that way as he could concentrate and enjoy his reading.

It should be-
Up until now, the cabin he was seating in was occupied by only him and two other people: both of whom were asleep ever since they left the last port. He liked it that way, because he could concentrate and enjoy his reading.

Please don’t be too loud, said Marthan to himself under his breath as he turned his attention back yet again to his datapad.

It should be-
“Please don’t be too loud,” thought Marthan to himself as he turned his attention back to his datapad,

It was good. Keep doing this.




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Wed May 11, 2016 9:21 am
Magebird wrote a review...



Hi yizhongt! Mage here to review! I prefer to read all of the story so I understand what is going on, so that's why I'm reviewing this at the moment instead of the second chapter.

This is very well written. The few mistakes I could find were only about punctuation. I'm interested in learning more about Corethdel, auras, and Paladins. What inspired you to write this, by the way? It feels slightly Star Wars-ish, but that must just be because I misread Paladins and Padawans.

Alright, onto the punctuation issues!

Well to him anyways.


There should be a comma after "well" and "him".

“Thanks, I’m Shayla by the way,”


The comma after "thanks" should be a period. After "Shayla" there should be a comma.

Other than those two things, I didn't notice any other mistakes! I'm excited to keep reading, so that's what I'll go do now!

Keep up the great work - which I doubt you'll trouble with - and good luck on your writing endeavors. Have a great day/night! :D




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Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:32 pm
CaptainJack wrote a review...



Hey there yizhongt. It's just lizzy dropping by to review as requested, so without a further ado, let the reviewing begin.

My review is going to be a bit short today because the piece is short. Also you have so many great reviews already and I wouldn't want our critiques to overlap. So I should take this as a cue to do some actual reviewing.

It's been awhile since I reviewed a science fiction piece so this should prove to be fun. I was interested once I finished the chapter but the beginning doesn't provide much of a hook.
The beginning has an almost cliche feel to it, if you know what I mean.

“All passengers, the transport will be lifting off shortly. Please take your seats and prepare for liftoff,” ordered the pilot over the internal comm system.

Now if there was something odd about the message I would have been interested like if the pilot started reading off the wrong announcement and then had to correct himself. That humor would have caused me to want to read on. So just experiment with that hook a bit.

Okay I don't know what the other reviewers have covered but here's my little bits on grammar. Anything that I put in red text is just an edit to the original sentence.

Marthan T’an turned his attention back to his datapad, which he had been reading earlier, as soon as the announcement had ended.

Without the commas the sentence sounds like he only picked up the tablet once the announcements came on. See how that can lead to a tad of confusion.

Please don’t be too loud, said Marthan to himself under his breath as he turned his attention back yet again to his datapad.

This doesn't fall under grammar but rather under appearance. I think it's better if you separate thoughts from the rest of dialogue. The usual method for this is italics but it's fine without.

And now that all of that technical stuff has ended, let's talk about the actual story. I really did like the pieces and there are certain things that set it apart from others. But then there comes to parts that sound like every other science fiction novel. And those things are hard to pass by because they have been used so many time.
1. The aura sounds to be something similar to the force. Or a Doctor Who alien. There is really no in between comparison for me even though I know it was most likely based off of the spiritual belief of aura.
2. The name Marthan reminds me of yet another sci-fi show but it's not one that would easily be recognized.
3. The planets sound half made up and half like they were based on an Earth country. Just wondering which was it supposed to be? I mean, what was your inspiration for the character names and planet names?

Well that's about all I have for this collections of comments and critiques. I'll be back to review the next chapter soon, maybe by Tuesday or Wednesday, I just have some other requests to take care of first.
Have a nice day.
Lizzy
Queen of the Book Clubs

What exactly is Paladin? Is it the military or some covert military organization? Or should I even be asking at this point? Yeah you're probably going to reveal it later but I didn't think it would hurt to ask.




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Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:08 pm
Sins wrote a review...



Hey there, here to review per request!

I feel like this is going to be a rather short review because the piece itself is rather short, and there isn't heaps and heaps of stuff going on here either. Nonetheless, of course I'll try my best to help you out.

As a whole, I think this has uber loads of potential. This kind of sci-fi genre isn't my forte, I must admit, and so I generally avoid it because I'm so easily confusable. I liked this though, and you set up what's to come in the rest of the story (these two training to master their powers e.t.c) in a very short space of time, which is something I applaud. There were a few grammatical errors, but the others have pointed out and mentioned all of that, so I won't bore you with repetition. We've not seen heaps of your characters yet, so there's not much to comment on there, but I think they have potential. Overall, a nice opening!

In terms of critiques, I think the main thing for me is that I want a bigger hook. Please do take this with a pinch of salt because I'm the fussiest person ever with novel openings, and I love it when they have an enormous impact. Don't get me wrong, you do have the hook of Marthan starting off on this new journey, but it's not insanely exciting. now obviously, I don't know the story (you do!), but if possible, I'd suggest maybe throwing in some foreshadowing, or mystery, or surprise, or anything similar towards the end of this prologue. The opening of a story is arguably the most important part, and if you can really grab your readers at that point, you know you're onto something good.

Secondly, I would potentially like some more world-building, especially as this is a prologue. Prologues are a brilliant opportunity to set up the world a story is set in, and while we get a fair amount of information here, I'm a little concerned that when we really get into things next chapter (well, I assume we will), things may turn slightly confusing. Don't get me wrong, I don't want you to info-dump or anything, but I'd like to know more about the world. Mainly because I'm just really interested in it, and want to know more? For example, you referred to the vehicle(?) Marthan and Shayla are in as a transporter, and it made me wonder is that's its technical name. If it is, it doesn't really give much away. Is it basically a spaceship? What does it look like from the outside? Does it resemble an aeroplane? These are the kinds of details I'd like more on.

Finally, something that's not a critique so much as it is a pre-warning, but your characters are a little static at the moment. From what I can tell (which in your defence isn't much, so I may be jumping to conclusions), Shayla is a young, beautiful girl while Marthan is a confident, young man. As a pair, they're quite stereotypical. Again, this isn't a critique because we've only seen a two-dimensional version of these people thus far, but just be careful with them in the upcoming chapters.

Anywho, that's all I have for you today. I should be able to get to the next chapter pretty soon, and be sure to let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding this review :)

Keep writing,

xoxo Skins




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Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:39 pm
BlueJayWalker10 wrote a review...



Hello there! I have come to review your work, as requested. Sorry it took so long--I've been ill, but I'm here now!
#0000BF ">Grammar N' Stuff

She was attractive, well to him anyways.

This is phrased a bit awkwardly. (You might hear this a lot from me, haha.) You might want to put it into two sentences, like this:
#BF0000 ">She was attractive. Well, to him anyways.

before taking a sit next to Marthan.

I think you meant to say "seat".

“You’re a Paladin initiate too? So am I. What a coincidence,” Shayla said with a hint of excitement in her voice.

I feel that this was a little awkward. Try splitting her monologue into two sperate sections.
#BF0000 ">"You're a Paladin initiate too?" she asked excitedly. "So am I! What a coincidence," she said with a hint of elation in her voice.
Or something like that.

Her hands were soft and smooth, like fine Tyrellian silk, unlike his own hands which were rather coarse.

This is longer than it needs to be.
#BF0000 ">Her hands were soft and smooth, like fine Tyrellian silk, opposed to his own coarse hands.

He as amused that out of all the people that could have sat down next to him on this journey, it was a fellow Paladin initiate who had sat down next to him.

That's unnecessary repetition. You also said "as amused" when I think you meant to say "was amused".
#BF0000 ">He was amused that out of all the people that could have sat down to him on this journey, it was a fellow Paladin initiate.

“My instructors told me that initiates from Aldrila’s academy focus their training on harnessing and using their aura, is it true?”

This sentence would flow better if you put a period there instead of a comma, see? It'd also feel better if you put that into two sections and explained how she said that--commented, said slowly, et cetera.
Also, the planet/place is called Aldrina. (As mentioned previously.) Did you accidentally misspell it to Aldrila, or is that the name of the academy? You might want to specify that or fix that spelling error. xD
#BF0000 ">"My instructors told me that initiates from Aldrila's academy focus their training on harnessing and using their aura," she commented. "Is it true?"

“That’s amazing,” exclaimed Shayla, “I wish I could do that. All I can do at the moment is move things around.”

They're on a transport, no? They're probably speaking quietly to be polite, yes?
You might want to say something other than "exclaimed". Perhaps:
#BF0000 ">"That's amazing," Shayla said/whispered in awe. "I wish I could do that--all I can do at the moment is move things around," she pouted/complained/moaned/grumbled.

“I still have a lot to learn when it comes to harnessing my aura though. And don’t worry, your master will teach you how to do it and you’ll be able to do it soon enough,” assured Marthan to Shayla. Shayla smiled as she heard his reassuring words.


Haha, you seem to have a tendency to do this. You make the mono/dialogue longer than it needs to be at one time--it feels awkward and droning to have long chunks of dialogue unless they're explaining a battle strategy or a big plot reveal is going down.
Try saying something more like:
#BF0000 ">"I still have a lot to learn when it comes to harnessing my aura though," he said quickly. "And won't worry, you master will teach you how to do it. Then you'll be able to harness it soon enough."

#0000BF ">Characters N' Stuff
So far, I like your characters and their personalities--I understand that you can't go a super lot into them yet, as this was a world-building chapter, but still. I already can guess a lot about them!
I like reading a story when the two main characters can get along even though they seem to be opposites in some ways--like these two. Marthan seems to be, well, the "calm, skilled, collected student" while Shayla seems to be the "springy student with potential". I've read one or two books with combinations like that and I enjoyed them both.

For all of this being a world-building chapter, I liked it! 'Twas intriguing. I might have to go read more of this.
If there's anything else you wish for me to review, pop back by my threat and post the link!
Until next time, Yizhongt.
-Jay




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Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:11 pm
RubyRed wrote a review...



Hello, yizhongt. Thanks for requesting a review! I'm not much into things like this because I find them to be rather confusing to follow and such but I actually liked this. It wasn't that exciting for the very beginning of your book but it was just enough to spark curiosity into the reader--me. On with the review!

“On my home planet, Aldrina,” answered Marthan. He as amused that out of all the people that could have sat down next to him on this journey, it was a fellow Paladin initiate who had sat down next to him.


It's unnecessary to say that twice.

“I still have a lot to learn when it comes to harnessing my aura though. And don’t worry, your master will teach you how to do it soon enoughand you’ll be able to do it soon enough,” assured Marthan to Shayla. ShaylaShe smiled as she heard his reassuring words.


If it's like this it'll be less confusing to your reader. Anyway, for the length of this prologue, I'd say it was rather good. I didn't see any grammar mistakes so that's a plus as well. Good job. Keep writing so I can keep reviewing!

~Keepwriting




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Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:42 am
InfiniteRectangles wrote a review...



Hello, InfiniteRectangles here with your review! This particular genre isn't really my forte, but I shall do my best!

I'll start with grammar. I didn't see too many errors in this department, but a couple of things did stand out to me:

"Up until now, the cabin was occupied only by him and two others, who slept ever since they left the last port."
This sentence is in a different tense than the rest of your chapter. I suggest changing it for the sake of consistency. There were a couple of other places where it was written in a different tense as well, so be aware of that when you're writing. I suggest changing it to:
"Up until then, the cabin had been occupied only by him and two others, who had been sleeping ever since they left the last port."

"It would not be long until the transport takes off and make its way to its final destination, Corethdel."
This is another tense inconsistency I noticed. The story is being told in the past tense, so it should be:
"It would not be long until the transport took off and made its way to its final destination, Corethdel."

In case you don't understand what I mean by inconsistencies in the tense, I'll explain: Most of this is written in the past tense, but there are a couple of times where you used the present tense, like in the sentence above. With any piece of writing, the tense needs to be consistent. If the narrator is telling the story in past tense, then things like "now" or "will be" are out of place, because they indicate a change in tense. The narrator is telling the story as if it has happened in the past and they are retelling it, so there is no need for the present or future tense to be used. Characters can use them in their dialogue, but the narrator should stick to one tense.

"She was attractive, well to him anyways."
The last part of this sentence is redundant. The readers know that Marthan thought this woman was attractive, so there is no need to further explain it. It shows a lack of confidence on the narrator's part and doesn't give the story as much credibility. Leaving it as just "She was attractive." adds just as much to the story on its own. Also, instead of saying that she was attractive, describe some of her physical attributes (which you have done) so you really don't need the sentence at all. However, you'll want to be careful to not bore your reader with details about the character. Everything doesn't have to be revealed at once. This is a novel, so there is plenty of time to fully introduce your character and keep the story interesting.

"outreached hand."
I think outstretched would be a better word to use here. It isn't as awkward as "outreached", but that's just my personal opinion.

"“I read about Aldrina before, beautiful planet with a lot of crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, forests and rolling plains,” remarked Shayla. “Is it as beautiful as they say it is?”"
Here, Shayla sounds like she is reading from a brochure. The readers don't know how she is saying this. Is it admiration? Curiosity? "remarked" doesn't give us a lot of information. If she is intrigued by Aldrina, let the readers know that. Try something like:
"I've read about Aldrina before. Beautiful planet, with a lots of crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, forests, and rolling plains," remarked Shayla in adoration.
Of course, it doesn't have to be exactly like that, but just keep in mind that your readers don't always know how something is supposed to be said, especially when it's kind of vague.

Anyway, that's all I have for you. Sorry this is so long o.o This is a very interesting story, and I'm eager to read more. I just think that your delivery could use a little improvement. But all in all it is a great start to a novel. Keep writing and have a wonderful day/night! :D




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Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:22 am
DivergentDemigod wrote a review...



hey there!
Well this was really interesting. i mean at first i thought that it would be you know some bussiness class guy meeting a shy girl or something like that on the plain but no, we are talking about aliens here. well i'm not always the one obessing upon aliens, the only thing i ever read with aliens in it was 'I'M NUMBER 4', but now i'm sure as hell i'm gonna read all the chapters that you are gonna post here

there is only thing that i would like you to change. In the line "Marthan T’an turned his attention back to his datapad which he had been reading earlier as soon as the announcement had ended' had ended dosent sound good, i guess you should elinminate had here.
anyway i woud love to read what happens next, so please pm me or something when the next chapter is published.goodluck for future chapters.

happy review day
Fangirl~




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Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:20 pm
Costa wrote a review...



This has an interesting setting, as it's not often I see stories mixing sci-fi with magical paladins and whatnot. That being said, the whole thing could use a bit of polish.

For instance, unnecessary dialogue tags. On a standard back-and-forth between two people, we can usually tell who's speaking. Of course, if that's interrupted by a line of description, inward thinking and whatnot, you add a tag to specify who's speaking.

Next, you tend to repeat words here and then, and it stunts the flow of your dialogue. In the part where Marthan and Shayla are discussing his skills, for instance, they say "aura" in every single line. We know that the center of the conversation now is focused on aura skills, so you don't need to repeat it over and over.

Examples:

“Well for the most part it is true,” answered Marthan, “we are trained to have a greater and more precise control of it, but that doesn’t mean we neglect training our martial skills.”

“That’s amazing,” exclaimed Shayla, “I wish I could do that. All I can do at the moment is move things around.”

See? You can omit those or reference them with a contextual pronoun.


Another thing I'd have you watch is run-on sentences. At the start, you have these HUGE one:

He didn’t managed to get far in his reading though as his concentration was interrupted yet again when a few people the transport had just taken on began entering the cabin he was seated in. Up until now, the cabin he was seating in was occupied by only him and two other people, both who were asleep ever since they left the last port they stopped at, and he liked it that way as he could concentrate and enjoy his reading.


Aside from the grammar missteps present, you could really stand to split these lines into smaller pieces. The longer a sentence runs, the easier it is for the reader to lose sight of where he started.

Let's splice it up, suppress unneeded repetition and fix those mistakes/typos:

"He didn’t manage to get far in his reading, though, as his concentration was interrupted yet again. The transport had just taken in a few more passengers, who began entering the cabin he was seated in. Up until now, the cabin was occupied only by him and two others, who slept ever since they left the last port. He preferred it like that, as it was easier to concentrate and enjoy his reading."

Keep your phrases concise as it is easier for the human mind to absorb bite-sized strings of information.

There isn't much to be said about the characters thus far since we don't have much to analyze yet. Couldn't you add in some description about Marthan, though? I don't really have anything to help envision him.

All that aside, you have an interesting base for your story. If you build upon it nicely, I'm sure it'll be an engaging story.

Keep at it!





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