Sparks

Sparks

2 chapters / 10484 words

Approximately about 1 hour to read

Description:

Lark Davies, a young man from a desperate village, has been harboring a secret ability to read minds. He enters a journey to learn how to master his abilities, but along the way learns that those abilities make him valuable to a world scrambling for power.

Comments(4)

Sparks hd

over 3 years ago RS McCoy said:

Sparks was released on Amazon today! Check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H62TKWY

Sparks hd

almost 4 years ago RS McCoy said:

Hello all! Today I posted an update to Chapter One, and added Chapter Two as well. Enjoy!

Train

almost 4 years ago A. Moral said:

I'm sorry for the utterly massive review/critique. I thought I included spaces but apparently I didn't. I just hope you take the time to read it all because I think you could truly benefit from the advice and suggestions. If you would like me to take a look at a later draft, or if there is anything else you want me to look at, just leave me a comment or follow me. I would be happy to help you as much as I can. You definitely have a lot of potential, so don't give up writing! -A. Moral

Quillfursona

almost 4 years ago Quill said:

Would love if you would take a look at some of my stuff. I'm particularly proud of Bent ^_^

Reviews(6)

Train

almost 4 years ago A. Moral said:

My goal of this review is to point out the issues that are present in your chapter and provide you with some suggestions on how to improve them. I just want to let you know that sci-fi/fantasy is a hard genre to write in, I try to stay away from it as much as I can, but if you develop your skills by reading works from amazing sci-fi/fantasy writers and practicing your writing, your world could be something truly amazing. I think this story is about a young boy living in a dystopian society, forced into adulthood in order to survive and to help his family survive. I'm taking a huge leap here because I'm not really sure when your story takes place or where it takes place. It's not enough to simply provide a name of a town and say that there is a plague and people are struggling to survive. Part of writing sci-fi or fantasy successfully is that you have to be able to make your world believable. To do this, you need to establish the background of you world and its rules consistently and clearly. I'm not saying your first chapter should be dedicated to only setting up your world. You need to be able to weave in important details with current action. You also have to think about what you want to tell your reader and what you want them to be able to figure out for themselves. The worst thing that you can do is tell your reader something that they already figured out. You want to be able to empower your reader so that they can get emerged in your writing, you don't want them to feel insulted. The best way to do this is to really understand your world before you even start writing. Don't think about the plot or the characters necessarily. Just think about what it would be like for you to live in this world. Spend time living in this world in you mind and develop a clear picture of it before writing. This will help you better develop this atmosphere, and the overall story will come together. Another issue that deals with sci-fi/fantasy writing is the ability to introduce unique terminology. I noticed that you used seasons to represent age and I thought that was a good way to promote this sense of primitive lifestyle. The problem is that when the man comes to buy the main character, he asks how many summers he's seen or something to that effect. You need to select what kind of terminology you are going to use within this world and maintain it consistently. I think you should include more terminology throughout your story because it really helps your world stand out. Another good reason why it is important to think about your world before you write is so you understand the rules of your world. If you think about the rules before you write you are more likely to prevent your reader from becoming confused about any aspect that isn't present in our world. When your main character was hearing other people's thoughts, I was very confused by it. If he could hear thoughts all along, then why couldn't he understand the reason why his father gave him his ring? I just felt like it was a little late within the chapter to let the reader know that the main character could hear thoughts, and because of this fact, there were certainly some inconsistencies. If he can hear people's thoughts, you need to let this fact be evident early on and you need to answer these questions: Is he the only one that can hear people's thoughts? If so, why can he? If he isn't, what caused this or is it something that everyone has been able to do all along? Why do people bother talking if they can just hear what everyone else is thinking? How can he differentiate who is thinking what when he is in a large group, or does he have issues with this? How long has he been able to hear people's thoughts? These questions are important to think about when trying to bring in these elements of sci-fi and fantasy into your writing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with including supernatural abilities, just be prepared to set up the rules and keep them relevant throughout your novel. The moment your rules lose relevance is the moment your story becomes unbelievable and no longer appealing. Now that I've pointed out some of the issues with your sci-fi/fantasy aspects, let's take a look at your actual writing techniques. One of the first things I noticed was your ability to develop nice details. The way you start out the chapter is great, and you attempt to stop and set up the scene every chance you get, which is a big part in developing a great story. The setting details are great, you just need more of them, especially if you are writing a novel. You have enough time to slow the pace down and describe the setting in detail. Let the reader see your world and I guarantee, although it might not be as exciting as describing a hunting scene, if it is done properly, it will keep your reader engaged. The key is imagery. How do things look, smell, sound, taste, feel? Think about your senses and try to invoke as many as you can. If you do this, your overall story will go from good to utterly amazing. Another aspect that is important in writing a story is what I like to call "showing rather than telling." It can be one of the most difficult skills to develop as a writer because we have the tendency to want to immediately explain our thoughts to our reader, which is great for a first draft, but as a final product you want to let your reader experience as much of the story for themselves as they can, rather than simply being told. In certain situations this won't always be possible, but try to do it as often as you can. When you want to let your reader know that Lark is one of the best hunters, instead of just telling your reader about his amazing skills, show them. Describe how precise his shot was, the exact spot that the arrow hit the bird, how high or far away the bird was from him. I think you did a good job in showing the effects that the father's depression has on his family by describing the house. Just work on doing this throughout. One of the main issues with your writing would be the tense changes and the presents of passive voice. You switch in and out of present and past tense in the beginning and you include perfect tense throughout the majority of your story, which makes it a little difficult to get submerged into the story. Personally I think present tense is difficult to use because you have to make sure you are consistent throughout, so that means you have to proofread your story a billion times, but some stories just need to be told in present tense. If that is how you feel then make sure you are not using any other tense, unless you are including a flashback. If this is too difficult, then just make everything past tense and don't include perfect tense at all. Another thing you need to consider is the tone of your story. The main character has an archaic or old fashioned tone quality in the beginning and middle of the chapter, but it isn't very prevalent towards the end. "with but..." isn't something that a typical 14 year old boy would say, and I assume future 14 year old boys would be less likely to say it, so if you want his voice to sound old fashioned then just make sure it is consistent throughout. Just remember that old fashioned doesn't make your character automatically seem more mature. If that is what you are going for, you can still make your character sound normal but show his maturity through his actions and not wording.

General Corrections: (it should all be in order) "fell instantly as..." not "with" self-made not self made "its" not "it's." Just remember that "it's" is really "it is" and "its" is possessive. delete "where it fell." I would change "but the mists hadn't started..." to "but there weren't any mists..." or something to that effect. Add "arrives." "before the snow (arrives)." Question word choice: "wound" doesn't flow; consider using another word. Change "with but" to "with only" Change "the house" to either, "our house" or "that house" to imply distance. "Lark Davies," his deep, strained voice called... when you have a dialogue tag you need to insert a comma instead of a period. "Noticed for the first time how old he looked." I would delete this because I don't think it is necessary. The details establish that he looks old. "At the moment..." this is a run-on sentence. Consider revising. "fell on dozens..." not "felled" "out of spare bits" you repeated this so delete one. "A strange emotion" describe this rather than just telling your reader this. Show the strangeness in his face. It needs more details to make your reader understand the main character's confusion. "As predicted..." is not necessary so delete it. Change "pait" to "paid" Change "at" to "on my shoulder" Change "withother" to "with other" I would just say "without a word of goodbye..." and delete the rest because it sounds redundant.

Overall I think this story has great potential. The fact that a father sold his own son is very intriguing but I think it could and should be much more compelling and emotional. Work on enticing your readers and invoking personal connections to your characters by making your writing more detail oriented and captivating. If you do this, I know this story will be a hit! -Good luck, A. Moral

Quillfursona

almost 4 years ago Quill said:

Criticism for (Sparks)

To reiterate, this is criticism. Not a review. It means that, regardless of how much I enjoyed your piece, I am still going to tear it apart as much as I can. Especially because this is fantasy/sci-fi, the two genres I always write.

In your first paragraph you've overloaded on description but have used very little imagery.

I really hope you have a good lore explanation for the name “Lagodon” because it looks like something you randomly generated. Westes Coast should just be changed to West Coast because it makes more name-sense.

The paragraph that begins with “Most of Lagodon struggled to survive...” is, while needed lore, too much information in one place. Hint at it, don't just tell me.

The next paragraph after ^ that one makes my mental eye literally do a front-flip. You might want to change your description order. It's really disorienting.

First line of the paragraph after ^ that one, first sentence “With weeds grown around haphazardly...” makes no sense with your current order. Flip it so you give the comment and then describe it.

Sensing anger. I don't know, you might want to word that differently because the line makes me scoff.

More randomly dropped lore about how the sickness came. You could have done that more eloquently.

This emotion-telepathy isn't science fiction. It roots your story solidly in fantasy, which, while they are both speculative fiction, are definitely not science fiction.

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General Comments

All in all, needs more imagery. I want to feel your world, to taste its salty sea air; touch the houses and run on the waves.

The first half of your story has a fair bit of awkward description and wording, but in the second half I noticed none of this.

No complaints for spelling or grammar.

It's pretty good. I enjoyed reading it.

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Random Comments

Is fishing even good in these parts?

PLAGUE!! I love plague.

Now, instead of being his own slave, he's someone else's slave ^_^