Lights

Lights

5 chapters / 2570 words

Approximately 13 minutes to read

Genres:

Action, Fantasy, Horror

Comments(22)

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about 4 years ago Eryn said:

This is kind of creepy... But in a good way! But still... Creepy. Anyway I really enjoyed it!!! I can't write anything as good at this! My favorite chapter was the 3rd one!!! I'm going 2 try 2 read more of Ur stuff! ;)

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over 4 years ago Alex Striker said:

Wow! This was quite the thriller. Creepy and cool. Your writing itself is good, there are just a few typos here and there... the main one I saw was that when you have dialogue, occasionally you have an extra " here or there. Your writing was so good that my eye skipped over the typos pretty quickly though, so good job! Keep it up, I can't wait to read more.

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over 4 years ago Shenlo ☺ said:

Very good! :) I love the voice of this. It's also cool how well you describe things and the events. Great story and plot so far. Thanks for swapping!

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over 4 years ago Arietta Coleman said:

Very good so far keep writing! :)

Reviews(5)

Maskman19 (l)

over 4 years ago Tem D'Mindu said:

Introduction is one long block of text. Throw in some line breaks when the topic changes.

'to another' - another what? From what?

'Providing life' - like... a defibrillator on TV?

Shouldn't be just a period after 'simple' - maybe a colon?

'crimson' - why do Red Lights get the benefit of an extra adjective?

Red also means 'stop' and 'leader'...

'get's' - apostrophes signify ownership/possession or a contraction of is/has. They aren't to be used to show plurals.

'thrust into the world' - you're aware that this gets repeated?

Who has the right to destroy The Lights of Life, regardless of color? This story isn't an (anti-)abortion screed, is it?

'but I wouldn't...' - 'but then I wouldn't'...? The sentence doesn't make as much sense as it should. (Why wouldn't he be here now?)

---

Chapter One

'fist sized' should be hyphenated.

'rave party' is different from a 'rave'?

'my chest' - 'my own chest'.

'eccentric faces and fetishes' - clarify in a way that doesn't make it seem like you're biased towards anything 'alternative'.

'To an untrained mind...' - 'An untrained mind's first thought would be:'.

'eye can they?' - 'eye, can they?'

'wise old man' - where was he, and how's he wise?

'demons... But I' - 'demons, but I'. (Don't use ellipses unless you absolutely have to.)

'to get on' - 'to get up to'?

'at him and he avoids' - 'at him, but he avoids'.

'never understand' - should have a 'why' at the end.

'mother' - capitalize names/titles.

'reason, he thinks' - 'reason; he thinks'.

Why 'Karuzma'?

'Again' - why 'again'?

How is he getting up/down from the roof? And why hasn't that house been robbed that way?

'I looked in the trunk' - how did Kaz get there?

How do you 'eagle eye' someone (and it should be hyphenated).

...is it hugely relevant to the story that the Lightless (which is a unique enough description to be a name) are so absolutely inhuman? Do monsters need to look the part, when they're invisible/unnoticed?

(The 'nails painted black' bit just makes me wonder if you hate emo/goth fashion.)

'creepy scary movies...' - Kaz really doesn't act like that way. (And try 'creepy-scary movies' - no, the genre doesn't exist, but you could play it as a quirk of his to combine them.)

'that you' - cut 'that'.

'no lights on, the windows' - 'the lights off and the windows'.

'while your alone' - 'all alone', though I'd move it to before 'on a dark night'. (That should've been 'you're', too.)

'nudged' - doesn't fit the tone he takes.

'doing, I said' - 'doing - I said'. (It's not worth a comma, but not quite worth a separate sentence either - that's a good place for a dash.)

'He barked' - 'he barked' (don't capitalize after quoted punctuation).

'the person, the weirdo' - see, Kaz's blase attitude towards them doesn't jive with their appearance or status. He can _tell_ they don't have a light, and knows they murder old men...

'Hell' isn't capitalized in a curse, beyond the usual rule of doing so at the beginning of a sentence. (As a place, yes, but no one takes the time to think of the place when they've just seen a murderer disappear.)

'I questioned myself...' - 'I wondered if something was wrong with my eyes.' (And if he's thinking it, maybe italicize it to make it clearer that he's not saying it.)

('nonetheless' doesn't work that way. Look it up.)

'questioned me' - this isn't usually phrased this way. 'asked' works just fine.

'for the whole neighborhood to hear' - we shouldn't have to find out this late in the chapter where the house is located. (Describe the neighborhood a little earlier, maybe back when Kaz is still on the roof.)

When characters are talking to each other, give each change in speaker a line break. (This ties in with the 'block of text' problem the intro had.)

'I blatantly stated' - look up 'blatant' and 'state', as they overlap so much that there's no reason to use them both. And just in case someone/anyone has told you otherwise: there is not, nor will there ever be, anything wrong with the gold-standard 'I said' as a dialogue marker (repeat out loud until you believe it).

'He looked in the direction I was' - 'He looked past me, at the end of the driveway.' (It wasn't clear enough.)

'WAS' - doesn't need to be bolded and capitalized, when italics work just as well.

'Why do I talk to my father like that? I don't know.' - the way it's phrased makes it sound like he's talking to the reader rather than narrating, and doesn't make it clear whether Kaz is refering to his childish name-calling or his attempting to include his father. (I'd change it to 'I don't know why I talk to him sometimes.')

'Stay in a child's place' - ...? I've never heard this phrase before in the US. What does it mean, and where is it from?

'He said walking away' - 'he said, walking back to the house.'

'He added' - cut. Doesn't add anything.

'insane' - when did he call Kaz that?

---

Chapter two (capitalize this).

'drive way...' - 'driveway'. One word, and those ellipses are unnecessary.

'even gotten' - cut 'even'. (Maybe add 'before' to the end of the sentence?)

'glimpse' isn't used that way as a verb - it needs an object.

'watching me' - should probably have a question mark.

'rave' - I'm not sure it's used the way you're using it, and it should be past tense.

'five long minutes' - did he time himself?

'tosses' - not 'throw'?

'demands' - 'demanded'.

'Finally I snap' - 'finally' would imply that he's at the end of a long period of something or other, but he's been alone for five minutes. Is Kaz bi-polar?

It's not established what his father is doing while Kaz is blankly staring into space for five minutes.

'I question' - really awkward. Cut or change.

'actually' - cut.

'He roars back' - lower case.

'Heated' - isn't use that way.

(This paragraph needs to be split up into each characters' dialogue. You also have 'I reply' and 'I snap' at the beginning and end of Kaz's line - you don't need two.)

You're aware that Kaz is starting to sound like a parody of an over-indulged/spoiled teen? It sounds like he's never gone shopping...

'lazy bosom' - you really need to look that one up. The definition may amuse you!

'I snap motioning to his beer' - isn't necessary. I'd cut it.

'Just smelling him' - 'Just being in on the same floor as him...', to avoid having to say 'smell' twice on the same line.

'wants to' - 'want to'.

'He grabbed my collar' - from where he was sitting?

'communicates' - ...okay, you've lost me. I can't think of any good reason to use this word here.

'and it was thick with beer' - cut. Also really disgusting and unlikely.

'whole-half-mind' - 'whole half-mind', I think? I don't know the phrase, if it was correct to begin with.

'waiting to walk into the kitchen' - who is?

'once again' - cut. He 'communicated', the last time.

'Your holding' - 'You're holding'.

'simpleton' - ...I know of no teen who'd say this.

'heart, fists, and soul' - the heart and soul are separate here? (I'd go with 'disgust gathering in my heart and soul until I felt it turn into hatred.')

'lets me go' - 'let me go'.

'I walk towards' - 'I walked to'. (The rest of the paragraph is inconsistent with its tense, which should probably be past.)

'destined' is really over-the-top for what he's trying to do here.

'making sure to shut it on his fingers' - doors in the US open in, for fire code reasons. Kaz can catch the door behind him, but who'd willingly put their fingers into a shutting door? Even if the door opens outward, that's slamming the door in his father's face, but would require Kaz to slow down long enough to slam it shut - which telegraphs. If it's a sliding door, that just raises the question of why his father put his fingers between the door and the frame. I can't see how Kaz could catch his father's fingers in the door, and recommend that you drop it.

'at the same pace as my legs' - 'with my legs'.

'Big boys don't cry right' - the song is old and I'm not sure anyone would get the reference (much less quote it - when does this take place?), and there's a comma missing.

'but think;' - that should be a colon, not a semi-colon.

(Huh. Kaz is an idiot. And that thought doesn't have a quote mark at the end.)

'Destined' - there it is again. It seems like 'determined' would work better, but try not to use words so soon after each other.

'it's been raining the whole time' - it's really difficult to believe that he's this unaware of his surroundings, let alone how cold he is. The rain isn't the problem - you should just establish that it's raining the moment he leaves the house.

(When did that rain start, anyway? He was out on the roof between 5 and 10 minutes ago.)

'It felt as if the world... ...my depressed orbs' - cut the whole thing, maybe replace it with 'Between the cold and the wet and the pain, I'm crying so much...' (I don't see why there needs to be four sentences describing him crying, largely because I can't imagine any teen boy being so open about how much he cried.)

'senior citizen' - 'old man'. I can't imagine a teen describing anyone that way.

'finally respond with' - are these dialogue markers a habit of yours or of Kaz's? There's no need to slow the story down so often. I'd go back and cut as many of them as aren't necessary. (Moreover, with what emotion and emphasis does Kaz respond with?)

How is the old man able to tell that he's crying in the rain, and how is he himself staying dry?

'you're look bitter' - typo.

'chunks of ice from glaciers into the ocean' - I have a hard time picturing this, and/or how it's a metaphor for anything.

'devour the words' - are you sure about 'devour' there? It's not a synonym for 'digest' or 'mull'...

'drifts' - 'drifted'.

'was caring' - 'cared'.

'sulking' - he doesn't care about Kaz's sulking so much as the fact that he's doing it alone, in the rain. (He can't tell that he's sulking to begin with, in fact, as Kaz doesn't explain jack to him. You may want to look up 'sulking'.)

'look back up' - 'looked back up'.

'Did he just leave or something' - this is stating the obvious, and should at least be part of his realization that the old man left, in the previous sentence.

'look around' - 'looked around', followed by a comma.

'that would' - 'who would'. (You can use 'who' with people, though there's some personal choice there.)

'rain, are' - cut comma.

(Just saying that people would normally be doing one thing at the moment, like hustle out of the rain, does not help the reader picture what they're actually doing.)

'One of them says' - Man or a woman? (And that ought to be 'said'.)

'earning a jump from my audience' - cut. (What does this mean, and why is it relevant?)

'While walking away' - cut.

Try 'I felt awkward and walked away, playing the old man's words in my mind.' Does everything you have now in fewer words.

I'd cut the last part, since it's Kaz repeating something that's on the same Figgy Viewer page - verbatim.

How is Kaz feeling at the end of the chapter? Is he as emotionally devastated as he was a couple of minutes before, or has that changed?

---

Where'd he duck into cover? (I'd change that to 'found cover from...'.)

That Kaz was so lost in his emotions that he couldn't tell he'd been talking to a dead man is perfectly reasonable, but his thoughts need to be more obviously 'confused'. He was too aware of his surroundings (the parent/kid bit especially - we tend to become myopic during difficult times).

'The one I had met... ...interrogate my exhausted brain' - cut. Doesn't add anything the next paragraph doesn't do better.

'geezer' - doesn't gel with 'senior citizen' in the last chapter.

'feral' - the word doesn't work this way. It's a synonym for 'wild', in the sense of a 'wild dog'.

(The problem here is that, raining as hard as it's supposed to be, it's very odd for anyone to care about some kid sitting by himself on a bench, let alone hear him speaking normally to himself. You'll probably want to rewrite this part.)

'Blood began to rise' - this is what people see, not what we feel. We feel the heat and the pressure, not 'blood'.

'confusion and animosity' - cut. He does so immediately afterwards.

'Were my eyes' - 'Were my senses' (because he both saw and heard the old man).

'these hardships upon me' - '...onto me', as 'upon' is a little old-fashioned.

'one event after another' - 'event' is understatement here. I'd change it.

'Why couldn't anyone else...' - he should've asked this question much, much earlier. Or, to put it another way, there's nothing immediately prompting his asking it now.

'check myself into a mental hospital' - he's probably too young to do so.

'I dismissed this thought...' - show him doing it, rather than state it.

'...ask my dad' - ...this really doesn't gel with how they acted earlier, where the impression was that they were only living together because the law required them to.

'frenzied' - look up what this means, and consider that the way Kaz left home earlier will probably make things unpleasant for him, should he return.

'aloud' - look up what this actually means, and decide whether 'said' is appropriate at all. (He's either saying it normally, which isn't suspicious at all, or he's yelling it, in which case it's a very odd thing to do and doesn't make sense for him to do so.)

'Earning more stares from the crowd' - ...where does this take place? Enough people have wireless (bluetooth) headsets now that someone talking to himself in public isn't terribly odd (among other reasons). And keep in mind that he's been thinking for a bit - enough space has passed that it's believable for that crowd to be a different one.

'All my energy...' - he wasn't noticeably exhausted at all after sitting down, but he's emotionally torn apart. I'd use that for his lack of energy instead.

'were hurting' - 'hurt'. If you can use the past tense of it, rather than present progressive, do so.

'rammed by a raging bull' - bulls don't 'ram', they 'gore'. And there's no reason to use 'raging' here, unless you're trying to set it apart from a 'pleasantly cheerful' bull that you've mentioned recently.

'that were just bought' - passive. Fix this.

'quicken' - kinda hard to believe that a teen would use this word (and the tense is wrong).

'with slippery saliva' - cut (what _else_ does one's mouth water with?).

'My mouth was open...' - I can't see anyone actually doing this.

'I had walked' - 'I had to walk'. (How can he tell how far he's walked/ran? This is a little hard to gauge ordinarily.)

'I rang the doorbell' - I kinda find it hard to believe that a teen on such poor terms with his father wouldn't have a better way of getting inside his house (that, or he has a better reason for trying the doorbell first).

'stay in the rain' - their door doesn't have a roof or awning over the front? (It's established as having enough of a roof for him to recline onto earlier, and I don't see why that sort of house wouldn't have a roof extending over the front door.) Alternately, you could just change 'rain' to 'cold' and sidestep the whole thing (besides which, it's exposure to cold that causes health problems, not rain).

'ten minutes' - again, too specific, and in this case far too long for a teen with his lack of impulse control to wait before pounding on the door.

'my finger' - 'I'. (Don't be so indirect in your writing. The way it's phrased, and with how he's acted so far, it can be read as the first hint of Alien Hand Syndrome.) Same goes with 'while my other hand'.

'like a police officer would' - clarify. No cop intending to keep his job for very long will start pounding a door down just to ask someone inside for clarification of an alibi, for example.

'almost choking on my spit' - doesn't happen. He'd feel himself go hoarse first.

'to do this' - 'to do it'. Tense.

'broke the window' - how?

'hating myself on the inside' - doesn't jive with how he acts afterwards. 'dreading what would come later' does.

'propelling myself into the window' - ...I don't think this works. For one thing, it means he broke a window large enough for him to jump through, when all he has to do is get inside. Surely there are windows upstairs that are smaller and can be opened with minimum injury/damage? And how did he land on the floor, keeping in mind that it's now covered in enough glass for him to have entered through. As well, why did he propel (odd word choice) himself through without clearing more shards out of the frame?

'like chef knives, that had just been sharpened' - 'like freshly-sharpened kitchen knives'. (How does Kaz know what chef knives are like?)

'crimson blood' - drop 'crimson', as you made a point of using it to describe the color of a Light in the beginning.

'my mind said' - 'I thought'.

Are the lights on when he enters? (He can see the trail, and the time of day isn't very well established - plus, whether the lights are on or off might be suspicious, particularly as this is basically a murder scene.)

...okay, this is getting too long. I'm gonna stop here.

---

Kaz is more self-aware in the Introduction and first chapter (where he seems to admit that he's an ass) than the second, where he picks a fight with someone he's grown up with.

There are a number of word misuses, but the grammar's usually pretty good outside of tense issues (the story jumps around).

I got the impression that you spent some time with a thesaurus while writing this. I don't think it's to the story's benefit, as the effect is that Kaz doesn't sound like a modern teen in the US, and that he doesn't know the meanings of the words he uses.

Keep the tense consistent. It suddenly changes to present in the second chapter.

You don't need to try and write in a 'writing voice'. I think this story would work better, frankly, if you acted it out and then just transcribed yourself.

Use active voice. It really sounds like Kaz literally has no control over himself at times.

The setting needs to be filled in. It's hard to tell what country (or its fantasy equivalent, if that's what's going on here) this takes place in.

There isn't enough sense of place. As the story currently is, things are happening... On a stage, with only the assorted props and characters necessary to the scene - and no backdrop. Kinda like 'Our Town'.

Kaz has a tendency to describe exactly how he (or someone) says something with a dialogue marker, and then do it again with a reaction afterwards. (And at one point he repeats the old man's advice verbatim.) Even if this is his voice, it really looks like padding and I strongly recommend that you excise it.

There's a tendency for two people to have an exchange in a single paragraph. This confuses who's speaking and when, and I recommend that you break them up by speaker.

You have to remember that in first-person narration, the speaker is seeing the action and story, and we're not seeing it through their eyes so much as hearing the story from them, as filtered through their perceptions and/or biases. If Kaz sees something happen, we're seeing his thoughts on the subject. As important as a character's voice is, in the end, the story still has to be written for the reader rather than the character.

The idea's good (maybe a little derivative of a couple of anime/manga I could name - so you really need to nail the execution and make it _your_ story), but it takes time to get going. 2570 is kinda short to split into 5 chapters, I think, and after the first one there's not enough of a difference between the scenes in each one to fully warrant splitting them up.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

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over 4 years ago MeganLinski said:

You've got a great idea here. I really think that it's a compelling plot to have everyone carry little lights around inside of them. However, the introduction and the first chapter were a little confusing. I didn't really understand what was going on until you explained it a little more later on. Also, make sure when you're doing dialogue you start a new paragraph for each one, like so:

"Hey Jerry, what are you doing?" Mick asked as he waved to me.

"Oh, nothing much," I replied back.

Also, when you're doing inner thought and dialogue make sure to put the sentence in italics. A few things to keep in mind as you continue with this unique idea.