|Hello DMT - PASSED My name is Masterclass student and I'm responding to your request for a review of "DIFFERENCES PART 1"
Beginning This started with a fight. I think a good idea to show he is serious about training. But not good at it.
SettingYou need to add a lot more of this into your story as you write it. Keep the reader engaged. YOU know what the setting is. All they see are figures on a white page or flat background. What is the setting where the fight is? Is there grass? dirt, what does he smell? What does he hear? You need more of it.
CharactersWe do see Jake, I've forgotten what he looks like. I'd love to see more him. Describe him as he fights. Is he in human form or wolf or both? Use that to help him move.
Goal We know that he is training but for what? to catch up to be equal to the other warriors in his father's army? If he isn't that good, why is his father sending him out to capture Hassarov? Is he ready for this? You might have the General tell Jake he spoke with the Goat who says you need more training but you're good enough to go on this mission, (pause) with Callore. Jake can be offended at first like the General thinks he needs a baby sitter. When he tells Jake the mission he realizes he will need her expertise.
Motivation This is something you don't show. What motivates Jake? What does he want? His thoughts and actions need to move him. In Wiz of Oz we always know Dorothy wants to go home. It motivates everything she does. Remind the reader in each chapter of what he wants. There has to be a reason he's going to do what the General asks him to do. If its just a mission then it's not enough. I want to know why he's in the story? What does he want?
ConflictOther than the beginning and the little tiff with Callore at the mess tent there isn't much conflict. There might be more added as he and the General talk. This is where you can show what motivates him, what he fears, he has to have a fear of this mission. What if he fails? What if he isn't good enough to capture his cousin.? Its too easy. The General says go and stop your cousin from taking the information to the enemy. Now he tells Jake the elixir worked and his cousin is proof. Does his cousin have a sample of what ever it is and then it can be replicated? What does his cousin have against their kind? This can be discussed also.
What I liked I like you story. I think it has real promise.
A sweat bead ran down Jake's face as he saw a shadow sneak past him. He crouched, ready to spring. Something jumped on his back. This isn't clear. It might read. Sweat ran down Jake's face and into his eyes. He didn't dare move to wipe his face. A shadow block the sun's rays and before he could react something leaped on to his back. He threw the wolf away from him as he sensed another being move to attack, but he felt a fist drive into his stomach and he lost his balance falling. At the same time he drew his sword for protection. Thrusting it at the new threat his sword hit the blade of another swords. Using his hand he sprang to his feet to ward off another blow. He fought for his life, deflecting the onslaught from the other pire. Just as he had gained advantage of his foe, he felt the prick of a pointed object at his throat. "Yield!" Do you see how the fight is played out with more detail? I had trouble keeping track of what was going on. It was over too fast.
I have a problem with you using 'pires the way you do. If you use this as a distinction then spell it out. vampires. If people are talking they can use a nick name like 'pires. But when not speaking, you should use the full terminology or give them a name like PIRES, not 'pires. What (') is saying is someone is dropping a sound. like dunkin'/dunking or 'art (Heart) These are usually dialect references.
What does this mean? Why did the general want to see me so urgently? *********************************************************************** The asterisks make no sense. Also, why does the reader need to know what they think?
It doesn't move the story, give information or pose a question that's important. If you take it out will something be lost? Ask yourself that question.
What if you were to write:
Jake glanced at Callore, clicked his heels together in a comic fashion and followed Adrian as the manservant marched across the field.
"Adrian, What's the big rush? Are we under attack?"
Adrian didn't answer. Jake took a quick look at the young mans profile. He was hiding something. He could tell by the set of his jaw and the furrow of his brow. "Come on, can't you give me a clue so I'm prepared?"
Andrian said nothing. When they reached his father's tent, Andrian motioned for the guard to let them pass. this is how to set emotion into the scene.
The same for the meeting with his mother. Her reaction is as if they were just meeting for the first time. Is it? If not then she wouldn't need to replay something they already discussed. If she is, he can go to her and remind her he'd forgiven her and they don't need to bring it up again.
If not, and this is the first time he's seeing her you need to rework this meeting. It lacks the emotion of a first meeting.
As Jake exited the general's hut, a man in uniform with a brown wolf on their sleeve walked by. "Do you know where I can find Number Two, Callore?"
You have a lot of dialogue. It's too much, This reads a bit like a screen play. All words and nothing much else. What can you do to engage your reader so it's not so sterile?
Jake exited the tent and stopped. He scanned the grounds in front of him for a sign of Callore. His father's warriors seemed too relaxed. Some played games of chance using sticks or stones. Others conversed as they oiled and sharpened their weapons. Laundry hung from tent ropes, dancing ever so slightly in the breeze.
A warrior in a brown uniform with a wolf patch embroidered on his arm turned the corner almost bumping Jake.
"Sorry Sir." The man swerved at the last minute to avoid him.
Jake stopped him with his arm, "Have you seen Number Two?"
The man looked over his shoulder and jerked his head back toward where he'd come. "The Mess tent."
"Thank you." Jake moved away and crossed the yard avoiding dogs who'd entered the camp for food. Jake almost grinned, They'd better watch out they might be food for someone, if they're hungry enough. The Mess Tent sat just to the center of the compound. It emanated smells of food enticing those to come when the shield outside the main door was hit indicating food was ready.
As he neared the open tent flaps he heard raised voices."
Do you see that adding setting, the sense of smell and possible taste, can add to the reader's experience of camp life?
Callore clenched her fist and pulled it back. She punched Boaz in his stomach. The half man doubled over and fell to the floor. The other soldiers roared with laughter. POV This is Jake's story, He can observe this. You shouldn't be in Callore's head thinking, talking or acting.
Again: Jake tells Callore only part of the story. As I recall the General didn't say, keep this part to yourself. He might say to Callore "Come with me, I have to tell you something and I don't trust anyone else to hear." She nods and follows him to his tent and stops before he can go inside.
"We need to talk here. It's in the open and no one will hear us."
Jake agrees, but lower's his voice standing close to her. "The General has ordered me to hunt Hassorev." Before he can continue, Callore grabs his arm.
"What? Did you tell him no?"
Jake pulled her fingers off his bicep."Ouch, you have a death grip. I told him yes, and he told me to take you with me."
"You'd better tell me why we're on a murder mission."
"Did I say anything about killing? There is something I need to tell you about Hassorev. He's got information that could be used against us. I'll tell you more when we're on the road."
(Insert the rest of your conversation)
"Are you sure?" She raised her eyebrow at him.
"You're not just saying this to get out of training?"
"NO! Now get ready to leave." He shook his head at her, his hair flying around his head. "Women." he muttered as he entered the tent. Are you getting the picture here about how to give information and add emotion? I hope this helps.