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  1. #1
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    Beginning of Amethyst

    Hello. I actually haven't been on in several months but I want to get back into posting some things. This is the beginning of my story, which I am currently calling Amethyst until I think of a title I like. Anyway, please feel free to critique, I would like to hear what you all think.


    Chemay gazed carefully around her, brushing a strand of straight brown hair from her face before slipping from the empty classroom. She quickly made her way to her locker, glancing around her again before opening it.
    The sound of someone walking down the hallway made her spin around nervously, but it was only a janitor. She turned back to her locker and continued gathering her things, her long brown draconic tail twitching.
    She closed her locker, hoping that she might actually be able to escape the school unnoticed.
    “Well, fellas. Look what just came in on the reject wagon.”
    Chemay winced. She knew she wouldn’t escape unnoticed. It was the last day of the school week. They always came after her on the last day.
    She turned around slowly to find herself facing a group of six kids, all in her grade. At their head was a tall boy, slightly chubby, his yellow tail whipping back and forth. It was he who had spoken.
    “Leave me alone, Philpi,” Chemay said quietly, glancing down the hallway at the school’s main doors.
    Philpi smiled and looked around at his friends. He didn’t say anything out loud, but they all started laughing.
    One of the kids stepped up to Chemay and pushed her into the center of the group, who closed the circle behind her. Chemay kept her head down, hoping that they would stick to verbal tormenting.
    “And tell me, freak,” Philpi said, grinning, “just what you are going to do to make me leave you alone?”
    Chemay was silent.
    “Exactly,” Philpi said. “You can’t do anything, because you have no trace powers. No telepathy, and no trace power. Nothing.”
    Philpi let his gang laugh for a moment before cutting them off. “You know what,” he said, “since I am in a good mood, and because I am such a generous person, I will allow you to see what true powers look like.”
    So much with staying to verbal abuse. Out of the corner of her eye, Chemay could see the light from a fire, the product of Philpi’s trace power.
    “You’re supposed to look at someone when they’re showing you something, freak,” Philpi said, a hint of irritation in his voice.
    Reluctantly Chemay looked up. Philpi was casually tossing a ball of fire up and down in his hand. That was his trace power, the ability to create fireballs.
    “That’s better,” Philpi said. He gave his friends a mental command and they suddenly moved to grab Chemay’s arms. Chemay, however, expected this and ducked out of the way, dashing through the gap that had formed in the circle.
    “Should we go after her?” one of his group asked.
    Philpi grinned. “Nah, we’ll just give her a little parting gift.” With a sudden movement he sent the fireball flying after her.
    Chemay cried out as the fireball hit her arm, and fell to the floor. Frantically she scraped at her arm until the fire was out. Painfully she stood back up.
    Stumbling on, she finally made it out of the school, Philpi and his gang laughing behind her.



  2. #2
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    Nice, very nice. There's one thing, however, that made me wonder: "At their head was a tall boy, slightly chubby, his yellow tail whipping back and forth. It was he who had spoken." Are you referring to a pony tail, or are you hinting that these people really do have tails? Enquiring minds want to Know!

  3. #3
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    Allison,

    I'll just go through that first graph with comments. Hopefully, it will give you ideas for the rest of the text.

    Chemay gazed carefully...

    So right there. Whenever you use a verb and adverb together, take note. It often signals that you didn't find the right verb. "Gazed" is not the right verb for a wary look. Gazed is for lovers and appreciating landscape.

    ...around her, brushing a strand of straight brown hair from her face before slipping from the empty classroom.

    So why would she brush her hair back AFTER gazing? Her hair isn't in her way for gazing, but it's an issue before "slipping"?

    You see how you're working against yourself here.


    She quickly made her way to her locker...

    So again with adverb, lame verb bit. What verb captures making one's way quickly? Scoot? Dart? Dash?

    ...glancing around her again before opening it.

    You're using a distant lens here. Pull us into this character with her feelings and actions.

    Chemay scouted the classroom. Empty. She pulled her straight brown hair back and darted for her locker. Even as she fumbled with the key in the lock, she kept her peripheral vision tuned to the hall. If they caught her alone...

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    JUST MY OPINION, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE:

    Chemay gazed carefully around her
    glancing around her again
    made her spin around nervously
    She turned back to her locker
    She turned around slowly
    glancing down the hallway
    smiled and looked around
    Chemay looked up

    That's a whole lot of the same idea for one short post.

    Chemay cried out as the fireball hit her arm, and fell to the floor. Frantically she scraped at her arm until the fire was out. Painfully she stood back up.

    Frantically/Painfully. You're starting two sentences with nearly the same word.
    It is unclear what fell to the floor. Chemay, the fireball, or her arm.
    Scraping at your arm won't put out a fire. If it is actually burning, she'd be slapping it, not scraping.

  5. #5
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    Yes, they actually do have tails. I should probably make that more clear.

  6. #6
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    Ok, thanks. So, it looks like I have to work on my verbs and adverbs, clean them up some.

  7. #7
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    IMO, all you need to do at this point is make a second reference to the tails in such a way that it's clear that you're not referring to a pony tail. Possibly one of them moves their tail out of the way of somebody, or uses it to block a hole in the ring.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Allison - This is what caught my immediate attention. There are ways to get rid of all the "her" words.


    Chemay gazed carefully around her, brushing a strand of straight brown hair from her face before slipping from the empty classroom. She quickly made her way to her locker, glancing around her again before opening it.
    The sound of someone walking down the hallway made her spin around nervously, but it was only a janitor. She turned back to her locker and continued gathering her things, her long brown draconic tail twitching.
    She closed her locker, hoping that she might actually be able to escape the school unnoticed.

    best of luck
    Last edited by Avonne Writer; 05-13-2011 at 12:15 AM.

  9. #9
    Lacey
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    It has a good flow to it. I like it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Diane Theron's Avatar
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    I understood that you were talking about tails from the mention of "her draconic tail" - actually, that is what kept me reading. I also like your name choices by the way. The crits aside, I am intrigued at where the story is going. Good luck!

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