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Starlight: Chapter 2 (Part II)

by yizhongt


The Meditation Garden was the last location that Xarvis and Zholl took the group initiates to. The Meditation Garden is a large greenhouse that contains a large variety of beautiful flora from throughout the galaxy, both common and exotic. It also has a large waterfall and a huge lake which is located at the centre of the large garden. True to its name, the garden also contains many areas designated for one to carry out one’s meditation in peace. The Meditation Garden according to Xarvis is the largest location in the Bastion, as it occupies eight levels of the Bastion’s main ziggurat. 

“If you ever need to centre yourself, to find peace and clarity, this is the place to do so,” Zholl said to the group of initiates as they walked through the garden. “Paladins returning from long or harrowing missions have also used this very garden to relax and rejuvenate themselves before going back out into the field.”

“This garden is magnificent,” murmured Marthan in awe to Shayla as they crossed a stone bridge over a little stream to another part of the large garden. “It reminds me of the Royal Botanical Garden back on Aldrila.

“I actually expected the Bastion to have some sort of meditative garden, but nothing on this scale,” exclaimed Shayla.

After touring the Meditation Garden, the group was brought to a small circular hall located in the large outer wall structure that surrounded the main ziggurat. Like many of the other rooms in the Bastion, the floor of the hall was made with beautiful brown and maroon polished marble. The walls of the hall had large windows which looked out to the Corethdel skyline. There were also potted plants that lined the walls. Marthan noted that there was nothing special about this hall, it was just an average hall.

“As you all know, you are all supposed to be assigned a master at the end of the session,” said Xarvis to the group.

“Unfortunately, some of your masters have been called away on urgent matters and won’t be returning until tomorrow,” added Zholl. There was a collective sigh of disappointment that filled the hall. Marthan was disappointed that he could not meet his master today, but he understood, as duty was the life of a Paladin.

“So the High Council has decided to postpone giving out your assignments until tomorrow,” announced Xarvis to the disappointed group of initiates.

Marthan raised his hand to ask a question. “Yes initiate, do you have a question?” asked Zholl upon seeing the young initiates raised hand.

“So what do we do until then?” Marthan queried. Other initiates also joined Marthan in querying Xarvis and Zholl.

“Well, we are going to be assigning you to your respective living quarters,” Xarvis said as he began inputting commands into the datapad he had been carrying since the start of the tour.

“I actually would not mind turning in for the day,” whispered Shayla to Marthan, “I’m rather tired.”

Marthan was also starting to feel tired. He had been awake since leaving Aldrila for Corethdel. Up until then, adrenaline had probably been keeping the young initiate awake and alert. “I would not mind taking a nice cold shower actually.”

“A nice shower sounds lovely right about now,” stated Shayla.

Both Marthan and Shayla stopped talking when Xarvis began to assign the initiates to their respective living quarters. To both Marthan and Shayla’s surprise, they were assigned to the same dormitory hall. The only difference was that Marthan would be staying in the male wing of the dormitory while Shayla would be staying in the female wing.

As soon as Xarvis finished assigning each initiate to his or her respective living quarter, Xarvis called in the service of four silver coloured service robots by pressing a few commands into his datapad. “These service robots will bring you to your respective dormitories, follow them.” With that, Xarvis and Zholl dismissed the initiates under their care and sent them on their way.

Upon reaching the dormitory hall they were assigned to, Marthan and Shayla said their goodbyes to one another before going to their respective living quarters, but they promised to meet each other tomorrow morning for breakfast in the Bastion’s main dining hall.

Marthan reached the quarters that were assigned to him. The room was small, yet it felt cozy. Maybe it was because of the warm yellow light that lit the room that made it feel homely. The room had a single-sized bed located at the right side of the room.. To the left of the room was a small workstation which contained a data retrieval terminal and a holo-communication receiver and transceiver. Next to the workstation was a door that led into a small bathroom There was also a rectangular shaped window located at the end of the room which offered the occupant of the room a view of the Corethdel skyline.

Marthan dropped his duffel bag on the floor next to his bed and proceeded to plop himself on the bed. He thought about the shower he wanted to take earlier on, but the bed was too comfortable, it felt as though he was sleeping on a fluffy cloud or a bed of freshly fallen snow, so he shelved the idea. He would take a longer shower the next morning. He made a mental note of how wonderful and amazing the day was before he drifted off to sleep.  


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Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:34 am
Meerkat wrote a review...



Hi, yizhongt. It's Meerkat reviewing like you asked. Thanks so much for your patience; I don't know how I missed your request. Anyway, let's get started!

Grammar and spelling:
-"The Meditation Garden according to Xarvis is the largest location..." There need to be commas after the words "Garden" and "Xarvis."
-" 'It reminds me of the Royal Botanical Garden back on Aldrila." This sentence is lacking an end parenthesis.
-"...nothing special about this hall, it was just an average hall." A semicolon instead of a comma would be more appropriate here.
-"...the young initiates raised hand." There needs to be an apostrophe before the "s" in "initiates."
-"...four silver coloured service robots..." This should be "silver-coloured."
-"...right side of the room.." There is an extra period at the end of this sentence.
-"...bed was too comfortable, it felt as though he was sleeping on a fluffy cloud..." You should change this comma to a period so that the sentence is not a run-on.

Word choice:
Certain words and phrases are repeated too often in this chapter. For example:
-"garden" or "Meditation garden"
-"hall"
-"initiate"
-"respective living quarters"
-"small"
Varying your word choice will improve the chapter and help the reader not to become bored.

Voice:
Ideally, each character in a story should have a speaking style that is unique to them. Dialogue should also sound realistic, as if it would flow in real conversation. The characters here (Xarvis, Zholl, Marthan, and Shayla) all sound alike; they all speak in a rather emotionless tone mostly devoid of contractions or punctuation. Switching up how your characters talk to one another is useful for developing personality and variety among them.

The Meditation Garden sounds like a very interesting place, and your language helped me picture it clearly. I especially liked the description of the waterfall and the exotic plants.

I hope you have a great day, and keep on writing!




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Wed May 11, 2016 10:44 am
Jaybird wrote a review...



Hi yizhongt! Mage here to do the promised review! :D

Like I've told you, your world-building and the actual writing in this story is great. I'm interested in seeing what happens next, so please tell me when you post the next part of this chapter or the next chapter.

The Meditation Garden is a large greenhouse that contains a large variety of beautiful flora from throughout the galaxy, both common and exotic. It also has a large waterfall and a huge lake which is located at the centre of the large garden. True to its name, the garden also contains many areas designated for one to carry out one’s meditation in peace. The Meditation Garden according to Xarvis is the largest location in the Bastion, as it occupies eight levels of the Bastion’s main ziggurat.


There's two problems with this. The first is that you switched to present tense. The rest of this story is in past tense, so you should change it to match. I also want to make some suggestions for the last sentence. It should be "The Meditation Gardern, according to Xarvis, is the largest location in the Bastion - as it occupies eight levels of the Bastion's main ziggurat."

The room had a single-sized bed located at the right side of the room..


This sentence has an extra period.

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




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Fri May 06, 2016 3:58 pm
Holysocks wrote a review...



Hey there! I'm here as requested- and I'm more than happy to review this piece for you, seeing that it's been at least three weeks since you posted it! :/

I think you're off to a great start. We have an idea of what this place looks like, what's going on, I'm even a bit excited for these initiates!- even though I'm not really sure what they're going to be doing yet and why they're there... but I can guess it's a very special opportunity that only the best and brightest children get accepted into... or something like that. :P

This is only the second chapter (although it's part two as well so I'm not sure how much you've actually written...?) so this isn't a big problem at ALL yet, but I don't feel really any sort of connection to your characters, in the sense that to me right now- they're just character and I don't really have anything that's making me care for them at all. The only thing is that I feel kind of excited for them. But it's okay because you haven't really had a chance for that. I'm just bringing it up now so you have a chance to think about how to get us to connect with your characters, and how to make them feel more real. A great way for us to get to know Marthan for example, is to let us into his head a little more. What does he think about his fellow initiates? And I don't just mean how they look! It can be his thoughts on how they talk (maybe one sounds super privileged?), or how they act (perhaps one likes to straighten his shirt a lot?). Your character's impressions of other people says a LOT about your characters, which is awesome.

Marthan raised his hand to ask a question. “Yes initiate, do you have a question?” asked Zholl upon seeing the young initiates raised hand.


This is a menial critique, but you tend to have some wordy sentences. We don't need to hear exactly what's happening from what Zholl sees as well as what you've already stated is going on. In the above quote that's around Marthan "raising his hand".

Marthan raised his hand to ask a question. “Yes initiate, do you have a question?” asked Zholl upon seeing the young initiates raised hand.


This is the same quote but I thought it would be clearer to have it as two... if that makes sense. This is the same thing I was talking about on the first one; it only needs to be stated Marthan's an initiate once, if that. Repeating initiate is kind of redundant. The cool thing about wordy stuff is it's generally pretty easy to fix- I'm a VERY wordy person. But the thing is when there's lots of extra words that just aren't needed, it can make the work difficult and a little tiring to read. :/ So my advice to you is to quickly go over your work after you've poured it all onto the page, and see if there's any extra words you don't need (I have to learn to do this more myself :P )


respective living quarter


One last thing! You say this a lot. Is "respective" in the title of the quarters? If it is I think it needs to be capitalized, but if not I don't think you have to keep saying that word. It gets rather old- and I know what it's like to be trying to find another word for "door" or you know, but you could cut this down to "quarters" or "living quarters" once in awhile and it would mix it up a bit. But say they're referring to it as the "respective living quarters" because that's what they were introduced to it as, or because one of the head guys calls it that all the time- you could almost have the characters... "mock" them in a sense, as a joke, and the repetition would be alright- maybe even funny!

I hope you continue writing this! I might drop in to see what Marthan and Shayla (think that's her name) are up to in the future. And my apologizes for my rambling. :/

-Socks




yizhongt says...


Thanks for the review. Will get to those corrections ASAP.




If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.
— Lemony Snicket