Hi, I am Brian KC - I Used To Be Alive and I am reviewing your chapter "Charisma- The Devil's Gap- Chapter 1" as a member of "The WDC Angel Army" .
The title and description of this introductory chapter offer a reader something to look forward to, looking forward to a challenge of what we know about the world. Unfortunately, it's short and leaves us hanging -- maybe, that's good -- so we must read on in Chapter 2 to see what happens next. I think this needed more, however, either with characters and setting, or detailing and foreboding the coming details from Uncle Peter to Liam.
First graph/open...some thoughts:
Good hook to intrigue a reader. Perhaps, remove ‘even’ )unless you were writing in first person) as this distracts for an omniscient narration...sounds less authoritative — less mature.
Like: “The soft leather chattered...” because it plays with senses, puts reader in scene — connecting early.
Early character descriptions give us contrast and helps visualize them, plug their differences into a reader’s discerning analysis of interaction going forward. Would introduce that Uncle mention sooner. Helps with dynamic of their relationship. We struggle to reform our opinion of how these two operate socially here as they dialogue.
I did not see Peter’s eagerness early enough. He seems collected before Orgone is mentioned...for someone whose about to spin a very intriguing tale. Characters can tempt with their words, give impressions of having seen something like god, or act smug. Just noting that some kind of foreboding, even a few words, can help describe to a reader who will read more closely, scavenge the text for evidence of what’s about to come. When Liam gets distracted not only will his frustration seem apparent, but the reader will impose their own feelings about that...connect us to emotion in story.
I think Liam should have a skeptical reaction to Peter’s initial reveal of the Prism flash. A little hesitation to add with attribution his first comment. I would be wondering why it would be important.
Suggest ending sentence from Liam like this...
“I mean, kind of cool, sure, but what’s this got to do with...” Add periods to show he’s reaching for — “...Orgone?” Could even use hyphens.
I found awkward — “His smile emanated his enthusiasm.” Maybe, something simpler to describe. You don’t want a reader to get caught wondering what that means when it’s quick and simple attribution you go for to keep us in story.
For 53, Peter seems to be stuck in high school nerd-dom. Thiscquality -- a person who is stuck -- can make a reader want to see him overcome this hangup. The discovery of Orgone and how it functions could be the thing to reform him. Interacting with it might be in the offing...super powers? See, I don't know. If you tease enough, forebode, I might want to read on to find out what happens to him.
Where are the other scientists/researchers? Why is Liam the one Peter needs to hear this? Is it something he needs to keep secret until, they can do more with Orgone?
As to Motivation:
Why doesn't Peter tease Liam with more to get his pseudo-nephew's interest? Would make Liam's character more aggravating if he still doesn't listen while Peter is trying to emphatically speak with him. Their dynamic in open is important to setting tone. I'm getting that Peter is repressed, afraid to assert himself to the type of character Liam is.
What future story could contain:
I wonder if Orgone is supernatural, volatile?
I wonder if Orgone will give Peter powers that could get him respect?
Will Peter find self-respect?
Will a villain enter the story who has figured out what Peter knows about Orgone?
Will other characters be introduced? Maybe, a teen sidekick? He could be a powerful example to another how to get over insecurities as a nerd.
Just a few thoughts I had while reading your chapter. I am just interested enough, I may be back for more later. Definitely would consider edits to make this stronger/longer. Might want to consider you expected audience, as this is not advanced/mainstream literature...maybe teen/adolescent (they crave writers in this market)...in which case I would recast Peter younger...or not mention age but describe him for a younger audience. Definitely good stuff for sci-fi fans.
It was a pleasure to read and hope to see more,