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Submitted on
September 9, 2011
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"Mel...? Mel, are you awake yet?" a man's voice echoed into the room, deep, gentle and mature. The words sounded broken, skipping slightly as they resonated from a small speaker hanging in the corner. "Come on girl, it's time to get up, you can't lie about all day."

The room was small and dark with a dim swaying bulb to provide the sole illumination. The walls were a dull grey and crafted from thick steel, ancient and rusted. Hardly any adornment could be found in the plain, industrial chamber.

A young woman rested upon a small loft bed. Wrapped in a blanket with her head on a pillow the girl began to stir, rolling over to gaze at the small black box sitting atop a shelf. White numbered panels flipped over to reveal the time, moving with an audible click. It read 9:47am. The girl mumbled to herself, tilting her head to the side as she observed the clock.

"Come on Mel, we can't waste any more of the day."

The man's voice put the young woman on alert and allowing her to catch hold of her senses, her eyelids flitting as she cleared her head.

"Oh, oh uhm, sorry!" she cried back. There was a stumble in her voice, her tone rising and falling unevenly.

Mel pushed away the covers and dropped off the bed, gripping the side and swinging her legs toward the ground, her form unsteady but quick. Bare feet touched the cold ground and she found herself looking into a mirror, the surface coated in a thick layer of dust. Pausing for just a moment she stared into it, her hand rising and wiping away the thick blanket of grey and revealing her reflection in the cool silver. The touch of the mirror sent tingles through her fingers, the dust tickling her skin.

Her visage was that of a young woman, relatively small of stature, with a slim build. Her hair was dark and unkempt from the night's rest, hanging to her shoulders in a disheveled manner. A pair of bright blue eyes were set neatly in her round face, graced with small, pert features. With a loud yawn she cleared away the weariness that plagued her body and went about her morning routine.

She dressed herself quickly, pulling on a snug, clean white sweater and a pair of baggy overalls that looked a size too large for her. Stepping away from her reflection she moved to leave the little room, pushing aside the ragged curtain that served as her door and stepping out into a large, open chamber. It was cluttered but comfortable enough, various wires and trinkets hung from the walls and ceiling, intertwined and traveling about, all connected in a complex series.

The room was furnished in the manner of a small sitting room, but retained the same metallic, rusted look as Mel's bedchamber. Raising her eyes she stared up at the ceiling, a sectioned glass dome with an intricate honeycomb pattern allowing the morning sunlight to cascade down into the chamber, creating a soft glow. The golden rays touched her skin and filled her with a pleasant warmth, bringing a smile to her face.

At the head of the room a metal balcony extended out from the wall, casting its shadow onto the sitting area. Leading down to the ground level was a sturdy steel ladder. The balcony supported several aged consoles, terminals and a few tables, adorned with various pieces of scientific equipment and tools.

Atop the balcony was a man, his hand resting on the rail. He was an older fellow in his late forties, tall with tidy mahogany hair, streaks of grey interjecting themselves between the brown. His eyes were dark with light creases appearing around his face; highlighting a small smile.

As Mel entered the room the man flicked a switch on the terminal nearest to him, before slowly walking along the balcony toward the ladder, his hand running against the rail as he moved. "Good morning sweetheart, I was wondering when you'd finally get yourself out of bed," he said calmly, stopping next the ladder. "Today is a very important day Mel, are you ready?" he asked, stroking his short, trim beard.

"Morning daddy," she replied while rubbing her eyes. She blinked and smiled for a moment, though as her father's question sunk in, a small quizzical look appeared on her face.

"Don't tell me you've already forgotten what today is?" he asked, pausing to slide down the ladder. He hit the ground with a solid 'clang' and stepped around the ladder, arms out at his sides. "Well, we can discuss it later, come on then give your dad a hug."

Mel nodded cheerfully and took a small skip forward, wrapping her arms around her father and squeezing. "Love you daddy," she said as her father gave her a slight pat on the head. The pressure eased her, letting a calm sensation travel through her body.

"Good girl, now go on and wash up, it's time for breakfast."

Mel took a small step back and broke the embrace. She opened her mouth to speak but she was promptly interrupted.

"We'll talk about it later, go on and get cleaned up, I'll be waiting in the kitchen."

She said no more and hurried off toward the washroom, exiting left.

As she entered the next room she slid to a stop, the area rather small and enclosed. A basin sat in the ground, a pump and pipe built into the wall. Mel took hold of the pump and gave it several yanks, pulling back on the handle as hard as she could. She grunted slightly, her tone high pitched and soft with each motion. After a few pumps water began to pour from the faucet, splashing into the tub with a satisfying crash.

Sighing quietly, she wiped her brow with the sleeve of her sweater before dropping to her knees and dipping her hands into the basin. She washed herself as quickly as she could, splashing the cool water over her face and running her moist hands through her hair, shaking it out and combing it down. It wasn't perfect but it sufficed. She took one last moment to cup some water in her hands and take a long drink before scampering to her feet and dashing toward the kitchen.

As Mel arrived, stumbling into a small room just off to the side of the sitting area, her father was setting down a steaming bowl of soup, placing it upon the table with a soft clink. Mel was greeted with a quiet smile, the older man calmly taking a seat across from hers. The bowl waited as Mel stood silently, eying it, and smiling from across the room.

The young woman practically jumped into her seat. The legs of the chair skid across the kitchen floor with a loud scratch and she wasted little time getting to her meal.

She seemed particularly voracious, attacking her food as opposed to eating it. The clang of the spoon hitting the bottom the bowl rang out through the kitchen, each time accompanied by quiet gulp.

"Mel please, you're a grown woman. You need to pace yourself while eating."

Mel slowed herself to a stop, the spoon stuck in her mouth and a drop of hot red liquid streaming down her chin. "Uhm... sorry dad," she muttered, her words distorted from the utensil still hanging between her lips.

It wasn't long before breakfast was over and the dishes were being gathered and placed in a small tub, set aside for later. Mel stood at her father's side as he cleaned up, wiping her mouth on the sleeve of her shirt, leaving a red stain upon the white fabric.

"Alright Mel, come with me. I have something special I need to show you today," he said as he got to his feet with a quiet breath.

"Something special?" Mel repeated, in a curious tone.

"Yes, something very, very important," he continued, placing an arm on her shoulder, guiding her out of the room and into a long hallway. The corridor was lined with excessive amounts of cables that ran along the ceiling, pouring into the next room.

The corridor opened up into a large chamer, rather unspectacular save for a singular terminal that stood next to the entrance Near the terminal was a large metallic circle on the floor that took up the vast majority of the area, sectioned into various overlapping plates. At the other side of the room stood a massive metal dish with rigid, corrugated rims, pressed against the wall and bolted in place. It appeared rusted but sturdy. The object had always been a mystery to Mel; she had no idea what it was or why it was there.

"Sit here a moment Mel, I need to take care of one little thing first."

Mel complied taking a seat beside the door, her back pressed against the wall and her knees pulled up to her chest.

Mel's father stepped up to the terminal, his hands resting upon its surface as he gazed at the room. His eyes closed gently and his face stressed, a state of deep concentration emerging, the lines and wrinkles that decorated his features deepening. "Alright, let's see if I can remember how this is done," he muttered to himself.

Reaching back he ran his fingers through his hair and brushed a few strands back off of his forehead. "Okay Mel, are you ready?" he asked, turning to face her.

She nodded in response, growing more and more curious as to what exactly her father wanted to show her.

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, his hands going to work upon the various switches and dials. "It's been two decades but I still know what I'm doing," he muttered under his breath. The reaction was delayed but soon enough the sound of rusted gears turning and a laboured whir filled the room.

The plates on the floor shifted, drawing back and sliding away. It was a strange mechanical device alien to Mel, it's mysterious nature making it all the more impressive to her. As the plates folded in, a strange frame with a wide bowl mounted at the top rose up. The bowl emanated a pale glow, a luminescent blue liquid resting within. It didn't just glow, it hummed. The whirring of machinery came to an end but an audible hum remained.  

Mel's father smiled, taking a step away from the terminal and offering a hand toward his daughter. "What did I tell you Mel? Special."

Mel was quick to move, jumping to her feet and running to her father's side with an awestruck expression. "Whoa... What is it?" she asked, the two taking a few strides toward the bowl. It was almost like she could feel it. She could feel the glow on her skin, it tingled and sent shivers down her spine.

"This is Aether," he said with pride. "It is by far the most valuable and powerful substance in the world. It is very special and it is vital to our lives."

Mel was speechless. She only stared into the azure pool with wide eyes and parted lips.

"It is what creates life in a barren world and it lets us do extraordinary things. Most importantly for you, it powers this facility, our home. It keeps us safe. Aether exists in all life, it is what gives us the potential to create, and to alter the universe around us. It is so much more than that Mel. Aether allows certain, very special individuals to do very, very special things."

Mel's father brought his hand up and spread out his fingers, palm facing the ceiling. A small twitch traveled through his hand and suddenly the aether began to stir. At first gentle ripples moved through the surface and then slowly it began to escalate until waves of blue were rolling around the basin. Within moments the aether started to rise  into the air, levitating above the bowl in a flowing, gelatinous sphere.

Mel's face lit up as the liquid miraculously began to float. She gasped, hands clasping together in joy, but soon enough the liquid dropped back into the bowl, trickling down as if through an invisible funnel until it had returned to its previous state.

Returning his hand to his side, he smiled down at his daughter. "So do you see? Do you see how special aether is?"

The girl nodded in compliance, smiling cheerfully.

"Come on then, have a seat. We need to discuss something." Guiding Mel away from the aether and flicking a switch on the terminal as they passed he moved her to the edge of the room. The shifting of the plates repeated itself in reverse, returning the bowl of aether to the depths of the facility from where it had come.

Taking a deep breath he motioned for her to sit before he continued speaking.

Mel exuberantly dropped down, sitting cross-legged and looking all around the room, still excited from moments ago.

"Now that you understand why aether is so important to our life you will understand what I'm going to say next," he stated, a bit of apprehension finding its way into his voice. "The potency of that aether-."

The word potency drew a small quirk of Mel's brow, giving her father pause. Realizing she wouldn't understand the word, he attempted to rephrase his sentence.

"Sorry, what I meant to say was that the aether we have here won't last forever. The last time I refilled it was just under twenty years ago, when you were still a baby. It won't last much longer and I'll need to go out and gather more."

Mel's face lit up once again, beaming a bright smile. "Does this mean I can go outside!?"

Mel's father sighed deeply as he replied. "Mel we've talked about this, you know you can't leave this place." His tone carried such exasperation and regret. "I know it's difficult for you to understand but you're a very special girl and there are people out there that want to hurt you."

Mel certainly didn't look like she understood, her hands sitting in her lap, thumbs swirling about each other. "Hurt me?" she asked.

"Yes, very bad people who want to hurt you, it's not safe," he looked away as he spoke, avoiding eye contact but dropping down to one knee and taking Mel's hand in his own. "Do you remember when you were a little girl and you were exploring the forgotten parts of the facility? One day you had an accident and you tripped? You twisted your ankle and you couldn't stop crying."

Mel thought back and a twitch went through her cheek. "Hn... yeah," the young woman replied, a bit confused.

"So you remember that feeling, that pain? You remember how bad that felt? There are people out there that will do things far worse, bad things and if you go outside they will find us. I only want what's best for you Mel, so please you know you can't go outside, not ever."

"Some time ago I said I wouldn't be around forever. I said that you may have to take care of yourself someday, do you remember that?"

Mel seemed to think it over for a moment, unsure. She concentrated, thinking hard, trying her best to recall the conversation. She did indeed remember, but had never given it much thought. It was something she really didn't want to think about. "Y-yes. I remember," she stammered in a shaky tone. "I don't like this daddy, do we have to talk about this?"

"I need you to pay attention to what I'm about to tell you. I know this may be hard for you but please I need you to follow my instructions."

Mel's face was growing more and more distraught, but she nodded in compliance nonetheless.

"I have to leave for a few days, I know you've never been alone and that I've always been around to take care of you. You'll need to get used to the idea of being by yourself. Do you think you can do that?"

Mel's heart sank almost immediately, her eyes slowly dropping to the ground. "No," she replied bluntly.

"Mel listen to me, it can't be avoided. It won't be all that bad," her father attempted to pacify her worries but she wouldn't hear of it.

"No, no cause if you leave then-then I'll be alone!" Mel exclaimed, fingers clenching and pulling at the knees of her pants.

"Mel I need to leave for a while, I need to gather some new aether. If I don't we'll be in danger. Please, you need to be a grown up and realize that this must to be done," he didn't sound angry but his tone was growing more and more stern.

"I knew you'd respond this way. I promise two days, that's it. You're a big girl and you can take care of yourself for that long, can't you?"

Mel breathed a long sigh as she replied. "Maybe."

Mel's father bowed his head, relief washing over his face. "I know you can. Now come on let's go back to your room, I found something, a present to keep you occupied while I'm gone."

The pair travelled back toward Mel's bedroom. The girl was rather nervous and still deeply uneasy. The usual skip in her step was gone as she just shuffled her feet from place to place. They arrived rather quickly, her father pulling the curtain aside for aside for her.

"Don't frown so much, it's not going to be so terrible," he said, attempting to reassure her.

Mel didn't seem convinced as she silently averted her eyes.

"Up we go," he added in a playful manner as he placed his hands under her arms and hoisted her up, setting her down on her bed. "Now cheer up Mel, I can't have you all mopey when I leave."

Mel adjusted her position on the mattress and stared back at her father, attempting a smile as best she could. "Well then I'll just stay sad and daddy will have to stay here," a more genuine smile appeared on Mel's face, her father reciprocating the expression.

"Alright now about that present I promised you earlier. Wait here just a moment." Stepping out of the room he disappeared only to return a short time later. In his hands he held a rectangular item wrapped in cloth. "Here you go, I think you'll really like this," he said, holding it out to her.

She stared at it with curiosity. Holding it aloft in one hand she pulled the cloth away with the other to reveal a book. Hardcover and rather tattered with the words 'The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz' written across the surface. "Ohhh... A book?" she asked.

"I know you've never managed to finish one on your own but maybe when I'm gone it'll give you proper motivation to try. I think you'll like this book Mel, it's very old but I checked, all the pages are still intact. It's hard to find something like this anymore."

Mel was still staring at the object, vacantly blinking at it. "Thank you daddy," she murmured, throwing her arms out and pulling him into a tight squeeze. "I'll finish it before you come back, okay?" As she spoke she started to sniffle, her voice growing weak, but her father's comforting hand gave her a gentle pat on the head.

"That's a good girl. And remember be careful, if you hurt yourself you'll be all alone for two days, I can't come and help you. Remember that, alright Mel?"

She sniffled once more, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. "I'll remember daddy, I won't do anything bad, and-and, I'll s-stay inside and I'll be careful, I promise." A tear rolled down her cheek, one followed by another. Though she did her best to hold it back she couldn't quite manage it. Her eyes burned and her face felt hot.

"I know you'll be good. I have to go now, are you okay?" he asked, releasing the embrace.

"But why now? Why can't you leave tomorrow?" she asked, voice breaking and her tone rising, a few final tears running down her face.

"Because what I need to do is very, very important, the aether could fail at any moment and then you'd be in danger and I'll never let that happen. Think of it this way the sooner I leave, the sooner I get back."

Mel pulled her father in for one more hug, squeezing as tight as she could.

That was that, he turned and left, stepping out with a long sigh, leaving Mel alone, book in hand.

Moments later he stood in his personal chambers, a locker before him. He pulled it open with a loud creak and inside sat a coat and sword. Strapping the scabbard to his hip and pulling his through the sleeves of the black coat, he was dressed for the journey.

"Hm, it's been twenty years and it still fits. I guess I'm in better shape than I thought I was," he said to himself as he rolled his shoulder and adjusted the coat, getting used to its fit once again. "A bit tighter than I remember though."

He hurried on ahead, moving back to the large room where he had shown Mel the aether pool. Moving up to the terminal he made a few quick motions and a loud squeal began to fill the room. A flashing red light shone down from overhead, the huge steel dish pressed against the far wall beginning to shift, the rusted mechanics turning as it laboriously rolled out of the way. The bolts pulled back and the whole thing shifted several metres to the right until a gaping entranceway was revealed.

Huddled in the hall and peeking around the corner was Mel, watching her father take those last few steps through the threshold and into the outside world. For a brief moment she had her first glimpse of the world outside the facility she called home. It was green and bright, a kind of light she only saw diffused through the few available apertures in the building, all coated with dust. She now witnessed it undiluted and pure. The fresh air rolled in, it was different and she'd never experienced such a sensation. Then, in an instant, it was all over. The great door slammed shut and a loud clang echoed through the following silence.
The following is the result of a long planning process mostly revolving around world design. A substantial amount of effort has gone into this piece and much of the credit needs to go to my brother who was an excellent source of support and imaginitive assistance throughout. Without his help I never could've come up with something like this.

Please if you wish to critique my work be as honest as possible, I want to know what you think.

Thank you for your time and interest, any and all who are reading this.

Add a Comment:
STARS! While they are pretty to look at, they really don't matter. So ignore them, 'kay? Also, for the record, I'm doing this as I'm reading.

Your introduction's kinda... well, I'd put it in your author's comments, but it's personal preference. To me it takes away from the story.

Paragraph One: Your commas are in definite need or rearrangement. Along with your tenses. Echoed is past tense while resonates is not.

The way you describe the room Mel resides in is nice, however, while connected to the first bit with the voice it's like excessive amounts of pocket change. When you move on from one topic to the next it's always best to transition or start a new paragraph.

Paragraph three needs punctuation, badly. I spy a missing comma and period. It actually seems like you have commas in the wrong places. Perhaps you should read this passage aloud, when you have to pause or take a breath there should be punctuation of some sort. And maybe vary your sentence structures some, you've got a lot of seriously long sentences and not a lot of short ones. They're intimidating in a way.

Your phrasing is also kind of stony. Maybe instead of "...with a slim build but with strong limbs." you could say "...with a slim but not fragile build." or something along those lines. Capitals also don't come after commas, so I'm guessing you forgot to fix that while editing. Messy and unkempt both basically mean the same thing, so you're being redundant there. I suggest removing one of the two.

"The dark hair was highlighted by a pair of large blue eyes set neatly in a round face with small, girlish features." is some pretty... not so graceful wording. How about switching the with her and switching some stuff around like this: "Her dark hair was highlighted by a pair of [bright] blue eyes set neatly in her round face, graced with small, girlish features."
The sentence flows nicely, and as an added bonus it doesn't make her sound like an object. Hurray. :dummy:

Right about now I'd like to make it clear that it's 4:20 am, and I have yet to sleep. So things may sound mean and sarcastic but I promise they aren't supposed to be. Now back to that paragraph.

I would suggest using "simple yet ragged" instead of "ragged and simple" clothes. And then end the sentence or make use of a semi-colon. Also remember that "to" and "too" have more differences than just that extra o, so be aware that homophones will sneak into your writing while you sleep and nest and never leave until you fix them.

You start your sentences with "the" a lot. It makes your work sound like you are building a boring wall. Try to vary the starts of your sentences. It makes literature so much more entertaining to read. When you get your commas in the right places there will be a lot less need for "and"s as well.

"Standing atop the balcony, his hand resting on the rail and a smile on his face stood a man." Most people would put the fact that there is a guy on the balcony before his hand placement and the fact that he's smiling. Again, it's a personal preference sort of thing but I get the feeling you're aiming for understanding and that just isn't going to happen if you leave it that way. I should probably also mention that you give a lot of detail descriptions, and while that's really awesome and I know you're trying to lay your foundation to the story, I've read more setting than I have actual story. I suggest tweaking.

The same things occur within the rest of this, as well. Just some grammar mistakes, misplaced punctuation and some scarily long sentences. When editing, I suggest going sentence by sentence. You'd be surprised how many errors found editing that way.

Overall, I really like this. I think it will be even better once you revise it, though. And again, most of this probably sounds pretty mean and I apologize. I cannot formulate nice sounding sentences at the moment. :heart:

What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 4 deviants thought this was fair.

Since I have to delete my first critique to go again, I'll copy and paste what I had first, and then go on to what I have now for a comparison between the two times.

Critique by =Celestial-moon-fire Sep 11, 2011, 6:44:40 PM

Devious Rating

All right then, here's my go:

First, the paragraph at the top. the first one. i like all the detail describing the room. I don't like how long and blocky the paragraph is, so perhaps splitting it would make it easier to keep track of the lines. Perhaps when a new characters starts speaking, break it around there so they each have their own paragraph.

I see a lot of extremely long runons you may want to find and revise. Example:
'One by one he donned them, first placing the black fedora hat upon his head, next strapping the long, roughly crafted broadsword to his hip, hanging in it's scabbard, and finally pulling his arms through the sleeves of the long black duster, drawing up the collar over his neck.'

Very long. Forty Nine words. It's a fact that as people read, longer sentences are harder to comprehend, normally just forty is enough to make one forget most of the first words.

I still understand he's getting dressed, but if it was broken down into smaller sentences it would be easier to visualise it.

I like the style you choose to write in, however.

And, that's all I can think of.

Now, the NEW one:

I'll go as I read, and the first thing I want to point out, besides the fact your starting point has improved, the mirror is a little off to me. I think you could have had some fun with showing off her looks rather than tossing in a mirror.

The many runons you had before seems to have been taken care of, which makes me happy, because your words flow better now I'm not stumbling over them.

However, there are some other errors I would like to point out.

Then in an instant it was all over, the great door slamming shut, a loud clang echoing throughout and then silence.

I think a semicolon would have fit there between 'all over' and 'the great door.' A longer pause is needed there, like that at the end of a sentence, but the sentence doesn't need to end yet really. There were a couple odd places I was debating on the usage of semicolons, but ultimately, I think the use is a style choice in most cases.

Your imagery is fantastic, however.
What do you think?
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1 out of 2 deviants thought this was fair.

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BudgetSmartImaging Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
Very cool idea, reminiscent of Fall Out. Not sure if you gleaned some inspiration from the series, but I'm looking forward to reading more.

The only critique I have to offer is that I prefer a bit of a crisper pace in storytelling, with less examination of every little detail. But, as I mentioned it is just a matter of personal preference.

-Alex Karn
Great-Lord-Dread Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Fallout is a totally different vibe than what I'm going for, though I do like the franchise. Both Grimoire and Fallout are post apocalyptic, but the similarities end there. Grimoire is supposed to be a post apocalyptic fairy tale. It's got magic and weird environments and creatures and stuff, so its not really like Fallout.

Yeah, people mention that a lot. Thing is, some people say they like all the detail and imagery, while others say that I go too far, so I've never been sure where to go with that. I try to tone down on extraneous details as I improve because keep in mind, I wrote this chapter a couple years ago and I've grown a lot as a writer since then.
AlphaBoiRises Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
VERY well written! I love the gentle mood you set for Mel and her Father. I look foreword to reading more and following your work :) Well done :)
Great-Lord-Dread Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, thank you very much. I'm glad you liked it. I will look forward to hearing your feedback on the rest of the story.
Lili-Lawliet Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This first chapter is a great introduction to this world you've created - it leaves me curious about the rest of the world and what it really is like outside.

I don't really think I can say much more than what's been said by many others, but I really look forward to reading through the rest of this as it's incredibly captivating and the idea of a mentally challenged protagonist (I assume it's mostly from Mel's perspective?) is very new to me, at least in this sense.

I might suggest doing research on whatever mental disability you have decided for Mel, just to make sure there aren't inaccuracies.

Other than that, I don't know what else to say :)
Great-Lord-Dread Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, well thank you. I wasn't expecting to get feedback on this just all of a sudden. I'm curious as to how you came across my work as I haven't done much in the way of promoting myself for a little while. Regardless, I'd love to see what you think of the rest of it, please let me know, I appreciate feedback immensely.
KathraW Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
I have finally showed! Through the madness of work and editing, I have received free time to check out your wonderful novel ^^

As many other novelists, I will type my comment as I read your work. This has proved to help the authors in many ways regarding first reactions to their works and a more thorough look at their chapters. If it appears jumpy, I apologize. Now let's get started, shall we?

Awesome. I like how you started off with dialogue rather than too much narrative descriptions on background information. I'm already getting a decent perspective of your characters personalities before they're thrown into your main plot, and personally I prefer that type of writing.

You have a unique use of vocabulary. My favorite word in this so far is, "Hnyaahhhh!" :XD:

"...clean white sweater and a pair of baggy overalls that looks a size too large for her." You switched tenses here. Might I suggest changing "looks" to "looked"? Also, "It was cluttered but comfortable enough, various wires and trinkets hanging from the walls and ceiling..." Possibly change "hanging" to "hung" (I've done the same before. You may see what I mean if you end up looking at my first novel. Tenses can be difficult to grasp when you describe things. Just know to keep to one permanent tense. I've learned that it confuses readers. )

OoOoOoOooo Glowing blue liquid thingy. Touch it, Mel. 0.0 Maybe it'll give you powers!

Oh, my. This girl was so happy about being allowed outside. Is her father forcing her to be some hermit? That's not healthy, haha~

Ah, I see. She's not being forced inside for unreasonable circumstances. I have a feeling Mel is secretly some bad ace who has like crazy powers, but since she's so sweet and a bit naive, she won't use them for bad deeds. She so won't stay inside for long. She must go on an adventure! I'm all for this ^^ Maybe she'll be like a female Luffy. Yeah, that's who she reminds me of. Have you watched One Piece? If you haven't, well, never mind :P

Alright, so in all, I found this beginning quite interesting (I want Mel to explore the outside world so badly). For this to be your introduction, I think you did a good job. Mel and her father's personalities were portrayed very clearly. I can see that he cares dearly for her and she the same for him. Plus this whole her being special and people wanting to harm her, already brings plot intrigue to the reader. Then, of course, that's not it. You also have this aether that has mystical properties. There's so much you can do with all of this, and I like it ^-'

It's a great first chapter. I'll be getting to your others here soon. Hopefully, they'll only get better from here :rose:
Great-Lord-Dread Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yay, I was waiting for this, always exciting to get a new review.

I tended to use a lot of onomatopoeia and sound effects in my dialogue early on. There was a lot more before I did some editing but I kept Mel's yawn cause I thought it was cute enough to get away with it.

Switching tenses, damn, rookie mistake. I did that way too much when I first started and I thought I'd gotten all of them in my later edits, thank you for pointing that out, I'll get to editing it as soon as I can.

One Piece? Yeah I watched the first hundred episodes or so, it wasn't bad but I'd be lying if I said that Luffy influenced Mel in any way. In fact I didn't watch until at all until I was about half way through writing Grimoire, though I was quite aware of it's presence and content.

Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed and based on what you've said so far I'm sure you'll like the later chapters even more. I'll get to reviewing your first chapter sometime this weekend.
KathraW Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Haha, yeah I liked her yawn. I very rarely use onomatopoeia in my work, so it's nice seeing someone else do it. It keeps me entertained. ^-'

Yeah, tenses are tricky sometimes. I use to do the same. My first novel demonstrates that too much. Many have commented on it and said it throws them off a little, so I make sure I advise others not to do the same.

Oh, no problem. It seems like an interesting story so far. I look forward to seeing it progress :rose:
GABanks118 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Student Writer
So let's see...consider using young woman and girl interchangeably, lest it start sounding too repetitive.
And now a spiel for what was a relatively small thing. When writing dialogue, make sure you break lines in such a way that it doesn't potentially confuse the reader. For example:

"Mel I need to leave for a while, I need to gather some new aether. If I don't we'll be in danger. Please, you need to be a grown up and realize that this must to be done," he didn't sound angry but his tone was growing more and more stern.

"I knew you'd respond this way. I promise two days, that's it. You're a big girl and you can take care of yourself for that long, can't you?"

While I know that the speaker doesn't change, the way it is written makes me stop for a second to think, and it doesn't feel very fluid. Paragraph breaks can be used outside of changing speakers, but when you do so be sure it fits. Just an honest opinion.

That said, I look forward to seeing more about this world you've created and how it became the way it is, and what this ability is that you seem to be hinting at.
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