Giving Grace, a Fantasy story | SparkaTale

Sparkatale

Giving Grace

By: David Boyce

Status: In Progress

Summary:

Under no other circumstances would Kozel and Wendy have met. If anyone found out that they knew each other, there would be chaos. But hatred towards a mysterious cult is something everyone has in common, and stopping it may be the only way they can bring about peace. Rated T for language and violence. Light satire.

Created: January 13, 2015 | Updated: May 20, 2015

Genre : Fantasy

Language : English

Reviews: 0 | Rating:

Comments: 40

Favorites: 4

Reads: 2671


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    Comments / Critiques


      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        Wow. That was engaging. I could already tell that this is different compared to your other stories. It has that certain... zing that just makes me want to fly over to wherever the hell you are, hold you at knife point and request another chapter immediately. That's how great that first chapter was. I look forward to reading more!

        January 14, 2015 | Kain Delo


      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        Overall, I thought this was a good first chapter. I think you did a good job of showing both sides of the story when it comes to animals/monsters, especially in Wendy’s part at the beginning. I think they both had good points about killing the flying fish. Even though it’s sad they have to die they are a pest and can provide food, so I can understand the hunter’s side. Anyway, I think Wendy is an interesting character so far. I kind of agree with that hunter guy, to me she seems kind of ignorant, although I’m sure her heart is in the right place. Kozel seems interesting too, although I haven’t got that much of an idea of his character yet. I’m curious to see what will happen.

        I felt that the last line kind of dampened the suspense of the ending. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like something someone would actually say when faced with a threat and it’s already pretty obvious it’s going to be humans after him. I think it would be more suspenseful to leave it out.

        “and they would be expecting more of her.” I think this would sound better as “and they were expecting more of her” or something like that.

         “patted the gunne” “about to use the gunne” I noticed you used this spelling twice, is that deliberate? I can’t tell if it is or if it’s a typo xD

        “He got better,” I think it would be better if you found a different way to say that he healed from his injuries :P This one sounds a bit odd to me.

        "What do I do, damnit”

        By the way, I really like the cover. It looks so cool! Sorry this comment is really short. It's pretty late and my tired brain can't think of anything else to say, so feel free to bombard me with questions if you want xD

        January 27, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I'm glad it wasn't one-sided. There isn't supposed to be a "good side," kind of like in Gifted, so I want readers to choose which one you're on if either.

        I see what you mean about the last line. The only reason I'm unsure about removing it is because my purpose actually wasn't to be suspenseful, but to show that he's a monster, as supposed to a human that gets turned into a monster later on. Sorry if that makes sense. I don't know how obvious that is, but yeah :P I was trying to make readers originally think that he's human and Wendy a monster, for certain reasons. What are your thoughts on the matter?

        I agree with everything else you said though. As for "gunne," I told you my English sucks :P Just kidding, it's supposed to be another word for "hand cannon." I'll remove it to avoid further confusion.

        Thanks! Originally when I photoshopped the cover Kozel looked like a mouse with a unicorn horn xD 

         

        I don't really have any questions other than the one, though overall I'm worried about whether the plot is too slow and the character development unclear or unnatural, particularly Kozel's.

        January 27, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Hmmm… Well, if that’s the case, perhaps you could just change the wording of that line a little. It’s just, saying “No! It’s the humans, they’re after me!” seems a little comical to me (although, it might just be me cos I’m a bit weird :P). Even if you wrote something like ‘Kozel gasped. “Humans…”’ That seems more realistic and suspenseful, but it still gives the identity of his attackers and shows that he’s likely not a human himself :P That’s my suggestion, anyway, I’m not sure if it’s a good one >.<

        Well, I was confused about Wendy being a human/monster, especially when she said she hated humans. I was still kind of leaning toward her being a human (because the human on the cover looks like a woman :P)  but I only became convinced when the hunters started talking about monsters and stuff I figured if she were a monster they’d be attacking her xD With Kozel I kind of assumed he was a monster since Wendy seemed to be a human, but I was unsure until the ending.

         I hope that answered your question, I’m not sure if it did.

        January 28, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Yeah, I just wanted to know if their identities were unclear, which will hopefully make sense in the next few chapters. If it doesn't I can always change it. Thanks for your input :) Your suggestion sounds a lot better than the way it is now, so I'll go with that.

        Also two other things I'd worried about and would like feedback on, in addition to slowness and bad character development, is repetition and the whole plot being cliché. If so I apologize beforehand. I'll try to fix it but I'm not quite sure how :P

         

        January 28, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 1 Reply

        This was great! The opening was a great way to show exactly the type of world the reader would be exploring. Right away we're met with this wondrous and captivating creature that came in the form of the flying fish. I loved how you described them, they seemed so magical and peaceful.

        Wendy's fascination with them really rubbed off on me, but the way you wrote how the townsmen view on them really created that understanding of how troublesome they can be at times. The choice word you used "pest" seemed to describe them very well. To the townsmen they're like insects or rodents that need exterminating for making their home too close to their own.

        When it came to the hunters killing the flying fish and cheering about it after, I sided with Wendy completely. Though after my allegiance wavered a bit after the hunters explained their side. I saw both sides of the spectrum. Although it the killing was still a tough pill to swallow. It's a good reflection of how our own world works with meat production, we're usually sheltered from the brutality of the whole industry, so to read how the animals are disregarded so easily while being slaughtered (even if a flying fish), it was a bit unnerving for me. The hunters just dismissed the life of the poor thing so easily :(.

        The dialogue really impressed me. It just came off as so natural, just like any conversation you'd hear in day-to-day life. The hunter's way of speaking in particular added to the smoothness. Though I doubt he's a main character, you could still find he had his own personality. Which really made the world seem more three dimensional. He was witty, and snarky. He had a one-liner and sentences that made me laugh a bit even though he was being serious. "Damn, ignorance is bliss." Even so, he showed himself to be more kind than I expected. From the incident prior leading to his introduction, I was certain he'd come off as cold-hearted.. maybe even stoic. But he proved himself to be none of those- especially when showing concern for Wendy, trying to make her promise to be careful from then on out. And then he even acted as a mediator between Wendy and his fellow hunter.

        Wendy herself seems to be head-strong, driven by her emotions and passion. Although she does seem the sort to get carried away by it from time-to-time, she doesn't strike me as the type who would be completely irrational to the point of being unreasonable. This was shown with how she backed down (along with the hunter) at the end of their bickering. Even when she loses, she still wins. That's the type of person she seems like to me. I really did enjoy how you wrote her :D

        Kozel is the character I'm absolutely adoring right now. While reading his POV throughout the chapter, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him- even though I was laughing while reading. He's the type of character I can sympathize with the most because I felt he was able to draw out the most emotion in me. Not saying that the other didn't, but Kozel seemed to do it the most. His loneliness seems to have taken a toll on him by the ay he speaks to himself. He's desperate for companionship, and I can't help but wonder: when he speaks to himself does he hope for a reply? Or is it just a way to fill the silence, and keep himself from falling deeper into despair? He's also very poetic, and a bit philosophical, isn't he? While trying to think if he was actually in hell, or while gazing at the fire and comparing it to "snuffing out his soul". I really liked that. The part that made me the most sorry for him, and also made me laugh louder than necessary was the bit when he added the oranges to the fire, only to have it go out completely. He's a bit dense as well, which makes me love him all the more! I am wondering though, he was low on resources- food being one of them.. yet he had a whole basket of oranges. Does this mean monsters can't eat anything besides meat? Or do they just prefer it, and over-look all the other food sources? 

        The small mention of the war between humans and monster really piqued my interest, I hope you'll delve more deeply into that as the chapter go by! The cliff hanger you left on was a good hook! Though, to me, the hook was the entire chapter itself. Your writing has a certain charm to it. While it feels like reading a story book, it's more complex than any fantasy tale you'd see. Without too much description added, I somehow got such a clear picture of all your lovely characters. You have a talent for adding so much depth without drowning us with so many words! I'm very impressed by that. You don't force feed us things like most fantasy writers do. I loved this so far! Sorry for writing so much! :D

        January 31, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Reply

        Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked the chapter and its characters. I was going to make the hunter meaner, but didn't want to seem cynical or anything, so I made some of them nice, though they all still have room for personal development. I also didn't want it to seem that one-sided.

        One thing that I could be clear about is that Kozel actually thought the oranges were fire. Though you're right, even if he did know what oranges were he probably wouldn't eat them due to his preference for meat.

        There will be a tiny bit of romance in the story, but I wanted to introduce it later on since I don't believe in love at first sight. 

        Thanks again for your insight and praise! I feel a lot more confident in the story now :)

        January 31, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        First Impressions: Two chapters in and I must say, this is a very refreshing story! The first chapter gives a nice feeling of serenity that draws the reader in and almost immediately afterwards, it is demonstrated why Wendy finds humans so distasteful with the way they hunt fish. The concept initially feels common (finding the humanity in monsters), but that familiarity is what makes it easy to grasp and modify to your own style.

        Characters: Shooting fish with overtly powerful firearms? I personally find that idea enjoyable, despite how cruel it may seem (instantly cooked fish is awesome!). It adds a new level of darkness other than what is normally seen in humans, and the fact that Wendy openly condemns them for it makes her all the more memorable. I like Wendy's confidence in defending her principles and I also noticed how oddly human she is, which does well for her character. She prefers to side with monsters and yet she is somewhat terrified of them; a sign of caution: a human quality we are all familiar with. At times, she is idealistic while she has her realistic moments; a complicated character that intrigues the reader.

        Oddly enough, it seems that the hunter with the hand cannon is not a named character even though he is somewhat important in the first chapter. It is probable that he died, but I felt like he could have been expanded upon. The chapter 2 hunters seemed almost unrealistic if not rare, since Kozel's initiation of the fight would normally demoralize, not inspire. If their leader was such a charismatic person, then this would be more fitting. A small dialogue between the hunters could explain how they became inspired. Instead, the hunters arbitrarily gather the will to kill Kozel without any indication of fear, a trait that is more common for murderers and sociopaths.

        Kozel the Kaipra (Capra?) holds much weight as well since his story introduces a different viewpoint which is always welcome, but sometimes may seem redundant, as it does here. He seems to avoid human contact, but it seems entirely possible for him to live in a human village as long as he keeps his inner demon in check. This means that the whole fight with the hunters could have been avoided and thus Kozel could be developed in a different way. The trigger for his transformations seems unknown as it's only described as 'that feeling he gets every morning', so there is some possible confusion there. The way he fights as a monster is almost condescending to the hunters, which reveals a very interesting evil side to him. When he transformed in chapter 2, 'his hand moved in slow motion', meaning he could easily move faster than humans could comprehend and not worry about injury. Yet, he fought at the same speed as the hunters; slower even, given the injuries received. So this gives one of two conclusions: 1. The hunters are physically-enhanced super soldiers (probably not) or 2. Monster Kozel is extremely arrogant (Yep). This all led me to believe that Kozel and Monster Kozel are two distinct personalities with opposing ideals.

        Setting: There does not seem to be much of a 'clear' setting in the traditional way. The setting is mostly described using the Chekhov method which states: "If it is not essential, don't include it." This is a good thing, since it leaves much to the imagination (better or worse) and it does not bore the reader with longwinded details.

        Faults, Flaws, Things-Not-So-Good: There are a few grammatical errors I found while reading:

        Chapter 1, Paragraph 1: 'townsmen' should be 'townspeople' for a less chauvinistic term.

        Just at the end of Wendy's section: "Wendy and her new rival lowered their heads, but because of what he said." There is no contradictory statement, so the 'but' is not needed.

        When Kozel makes fire, he uses oranges? Maybe this is something in-universe, but it just seems odd to me.

        Chapter 2, the fight scene has this: "...the other hunters hacked at his body of smashed the pommels of their swords against his head." There seems to be some missing words in this sentence.

        Final Remarks: Good story so far in the first two chapters. Your style is simple to read and the dialogue is structured like modern interactions, so it is very relateable. Some focus is needed here and there, but rereading the story should make it easy enough to identify. I look forward to reading what happens next after the third and fourth chapters!

        February 1, 2015 | Drake Kanto


      • Reply

        Thank you for your insight and criticism. I'm glad you liked the story. Though I have yet to master satire, I know that exaggeration is an important point so that was intentional. However you have a point; I will make it more realistic so that it isn't too out of hand.

        The hunter's name and a description will be provided in the next chapter, though they aren't too important to the story. 

        By "that feeling he gets every morning" I meant to imply that he's a human at night and has his true form during the day, thus every morning he turns from a human into a kaipra, and it's something he can't control. I'll have to make that clearer, as well as why Kozel thought the oranges were balls of fire. (He'd never seen them before, and his years of seclusion had driven him insane.)

        Thanks again for your comment, I look forward to hearing more from you!

        February 1, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        I really liked the description of Kozel’s transformations. They were both really easy to picture and the first one especially was intense. And he’s a goat (sort of)! I love goats. I liked the details you had, like how his t-shirt ripped in the first transformation but he didn’t magically get it back when he changed into his human form, cos that would be weird.

        I also liked your action scenes. I’m no expert and this is really hypocritical of me, but sometimes I felt like they lacked a bit of extra detail. Particularly when Kozel was slaughtering human after human – did they make some sort of noise when they died? Did they scream, yell, etc? What were did their faces look like when Kozel killed them (like, did they look surprised, terrified, etc…). As for Kozel, I felt you could describe the injuries he received more. Did the cuts bleed, and if so how much? I don’t know, these are just ideas, I just felt if you included a bit more detail it would make those scenes more exciting and intense.

         “picked up his prey's sword and swinging it in an arc” I think this should either be “picked up his prey’s sword and swung it in an arc” or “picked up his prey’s sword and began swinging it in an arc”

        "Ha ha ha! You think you can beat me?" I kind of felt the “ha ha ha” distracted a little from the tension of the scene. I think it would be better to write “Ha! You think you can beat me” or just write that Kozel was laughing before :P

        “the other hunters hacked at his body of smashed the pommels of their swords against his head”

        “The dart had fallen off, and he didn't know how long the injection that kept him in his human form would last. He looked up, confused.” This part confused me, because when you described the dart in the first sentence it seemed like Kozel did know what was happening, but then in the next sentence he was confused as he looked up.

        Anyway, about the things you were worried about. So far, I don’t think the plot is cliché or slow, although it is only the second chapter so it’s probably a little early to judge xD I didn’t notice any major repetition, but there were a couple of things:

        “He hoped they hadn't really noticed the entrance to his cave” since the previous sentence mentions that they were standing outside a cave, it seems a bit repetitive to say “to his cave” at the end, since we can already infer that :)

        Secondly, and this isn’t really a bad instance of repetition I just found it awkward, you repeated “not wanting” a couple of times and I thought it seemed a bit jarring. Personally I’d find another way of saying it.

        Anyway, onto the characters. I guess I can’t say much about their development either at the moment since there hasn’t been much time for them to change and stuff, but so far I find them interesting and well rounded. I especially like Kozel. I felt really sorry for him when he transformed back into his human form, knowing he had killed all those people even though he never wanted to. I think you described his emotions well. To me he seems very lonely and has a defeated kind of attitude to him (even before he was defeated by the humans).

        I think Wendy is well-rounded too. She reminds me of those animal rights activists in real life who insists that all the industries using animals should be shut down overnight, but they don’t really seem to consider the effect that would have on the economy and society as a whole, as well as having a poor understanding of how those industries actually treat the animals. I guess because of that, I find her to be a very human character because she definitely reminds me of a number of people I know xD And she is trying to find out about monsters, so I guess she probably won't remain ignorant for much longer. I’m really curious what will happen when she meets Kozel, and how she’ll react if he changes into his goat form.

        February 1, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Kozel loves you too xD Thanks for your advice concerning the battle scenes, I wouldn't have thought of that. Also for all the other stuff. Sorry about all those careless mistakes. I'm trying to do a better job at self-editing :P

        It's such a relief that the characters are okay so far. I was worried that people wouldn't understand them because of the satire (which I have yet to master). The reason it sort of feels cliché is because I don't know if it's too similar to The Beauty and the Beast of Twilight with the monster-human relationship and all. 

         

         

         

        February 1, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 2 Reply

        Whoa, Kozel's personality gave a complete 360 there! He's a different person when he turns. For some reason I had already imagined him as being a monster in chapter one, so when you described his change it kind of threw me for a loop. The description in his transformation was excellent, by the way! At first I imagined him to look something akin to a faun or a satyr, but when you said 'goat from hell' my mind immediately went to Baphomet

        The hunters in this chapter seemed a bit more.. I don't know if 'heartless' would be the correct word to use here, the fact that they laughed at Kozel after he reverted his form into that of a human again seemed a bit cold to me. I mean, eight of their companions were just brutally murdered by a monster, and they treated it as if it were nothing. I guess they have to steel themselves against things like that, especially in the world they live in, where animosity between humans and monsters lingers. I wonder if it's a regular occurrence for the men to see their fellow men-at-arms die in front of them?

        Kozel is a really sweet character, he comes across as very kind to me. I really do love him. That said, it seemed a bit strange to me that his first thought wasn't something along the lines of 'How could I have killed?' but instead it was 'How could I be defeated by humans?' I don't know, it just sort of seemed to clash with how I first perceived him. Maybe those thoughts were his dominant because he was freshly out of his monster form? Am I right to think so?

        I'm interested in how the mayor of the town is going to deal with Kozel now that he's captured. He seems nice enough, with his priorities being nursing him back to health first and for most. 

        As for Wendy, ah, that mischievous girl! I love her, too! She's a thinker, isn't she? She knows there's more than one side to each story! I absolutely adore how determined she is to not paint monsters as villains right off the bat. Though her plan of action for stirring up some trouble to meet a captured Kozel leaves me a bit wary, I'm still excited to see how it'll pan out. I'm hoping she won't stir the pot too much, she seems to be on thin ice as is what with her defiance against the hunters, and her snarky attitude (which I love). Despite her parents scolding her (which, for some reason I imagine is a regular occurrence) I feel like their relationship is pretty strong. She seems to respect them, as she didn't sass them as much as I originally thought she would have. 

        I'm eagerly waiting to see how Wendy and Kozel get on with each other. Will their personalities clash or mesh? 

        This is turning to be one of my favourite stories on sparkatale. Kudos, and cheers! 

        February 5, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        Right off the bat this chapter made me laugh! Although Wendy doesn't try, she's just hilarious in her antics. The fact that she goes in whole heartedly in what she believes just makes it all the better! I guess her plan wasn't as devious as I feared it would turn out to be, though it's still a bit dramatic and perhaps a bit foolhardy. Though I think that description suits Wendy beautifully. :D

        Something struck me as odd though. The hunter she was first interacting with, Warren, mentioned that them holding a monster amongst their midsts would cause panic through the town if the information was leaked, yet.. there he was spilling the secret to Wendy- who is a citizen. Either he's a bit of an air head, or he has some secret agenda... I'm going with air head. It bothered me that they kept referring to Kozel as 'it', call me biased since he's my favourite character. But I'm glad Wendy spoke out against it later on. She and I are on the same page when it comes to things like that, I guess! Another reason why she's such a charming character. 

        I knew the mayor was going to turn out to be a good guy, too! I felt it in my gut, the kindly old man with a big heart. He seems like the father of the village. I bet if he could have it his way, he'd have everyone calling him papa. Hahaha. 

        Kozel and Wendy seemed to have hit it off as well! I felt bad for him when Carac was intimidating him for information. The bully *Shakes fist in a fury*! If anything, Carac seems more a monster to me than Kozel does. Is that weird? Even though I know Kozel has killed.. I don't know he just seems too kind to be described as a monster, it doesn't suit him at all! He was completely infatuated with Wendy, and I can see why! Her fighting spirit itself is something to be in awe of, and now that we have a good understanding of how she looks.. my, my, me! We have an angel in our midsts!

        I'm interested in this chemical the researchers developed. They are more advanced than I thought! Should I be on the look-out for more advanced medicinal workings? :D   

        I found just one typo I thought you might want to know about:

        -"Wendy yelped and threw the bad back to the hunter" I think you meant to write bag. 

        Besides that, I'm actually pleasantly surprised by this story- this chapter in particular. Usually 3000+ words is a bit of a daunting read, I have a hard time focusing for that long. It's a fault of mine :( But this story keeps me interested long enough to not see my mind wander. The charm, and the humour laced within the sentences, the wonderful characters, and the fantastical setting- the relatable dialogue, all this combined completely captures me! I ate this chapter up like candy.

        Once again, I give you a standing O on such a finely written piece. Well done!

        February 5, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Reply

        Thanks for your comments! I'm so glad you like the story :) 

        The heartlessness of the hunters like Carac was intentional, as part of the satire and symbolism of the story. Also, as you said, I figured it would be realistic given they're always fighting monsters. 

        Yeah, I should change the thought he has when he changes back into a human. Don't think that's the first thing he'd worry about. Thanks for finding that one typo, too.

        Warren has a soft spot for her ;) There'll be more elaboration on that in a few chapters. I'm glad Wendy was relatable. It would be strange if she weren't, because of how extreme she can be. 

        Okay, it's official. The mayor is now to be called Papa xD

        I like to base my stories off of a world that reflects what ours would look like but with limited technology, so they are advanced in areas like medicine.

        Thanks again for reading and commenting. I look forward to hearing more from you!

        February 6, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 3 Reply

        This was a great chapter. I like how determined Wendy is xD It was also interesting when she thought: “I think I'm the only one who wants to avoid conflict” right after the mayor said he wanted to prevent a war between monsters and humans. It shows that Wendy is kind of determined to see the humans in a bad light since she ignores the mayor when he says he’s trying to prevent a war, not start one, choosing to believe she’s the only one with her ideals. Although, I suppose he still said Carac could take extreme measures if Wendy failed. I guess even if he’s not as monster-hating as the rest of them he still has that prejudice.

        “wondering where she was when they had been fighting in the war” I thought this was worded weirdly. Personally I would write “wondering where she had been when they fought in the war”

        "Yes, they're real. They were able to keep one in human form” When I read this sentence I was confused, because at first ‘they’ referred to monsters so I thought it meant the monsters were able to keep one in human form xD

        “But first I have to think of a way to get in there, and get out him”

        “I don't know anything about monster”

        “The town already had enough problems” I think this should be has instead of had :)

        "Unfortunately I can't refuse your offer.” This part confused me. Why can’t Warren refuse Wendy’s offer? Is it just because they’re desperate? If that’s so, I still find it a bit strange he would agree so quickly, or believe Wendy when she says she can talk to animals. I mean, reading body language is different from talking xD Plus Wendy doesn’t have any experience with monsters and their body language could be different. Anyway, I felt like he accepted her offer to help a bit too easily. Or maybe it’s part of the satire and I’m missing it again xD

        Anyway, so far this story still doesn’t seem cliché to me :) I mean, I never even thought of it being like Beauty and the Beast and stories like that before you mentioned it (and it’s definitely not like Twilight, thankfully xD). I guess they do have similarities, seeing as there’s a monster/human relationship, but that’s only one aspect of the story and so far the rest seems original to me :)

        I loved Kozel’s part at the end. His reaction to seeing Wendy for the first time was hilarious. Especially when he referred to her as a “young maiden” :P The rest of his part was also well written. It was very tense and heartbreaking. I feel so sorry for Kozel, especially since he knows he could hurt Wendy even though he doesn’t want to. And now she’s been hit with that tranquilizer or whatever it is and they said some of the chemicals are lethal for humans… O.o I hope she’s okay.

        February 6, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Thank you, thank you very much. Wendy is indeed determined. What I meant to imply was that the hunters wouldn't be able to prevent war just by torturing Kozel, as that would only make tensions worse. But yeah, she is pretty cynical about everything :P

        I'm so sorry about all those typos. Hopefully they aren't too distracting. I do go over the chapters when I'm done, but I'm still terrible at reading xD You have no idea how grateful I am that you pointed those out!

        Warren definitely should have been more hesitant, even though they really wanted to get some information out of Kozel. Haha, thanks for the thought. I wish I could say that part were satirical.

        I'm glad the story isn't that cliché. It's easier to be original with a really weird story like HA but for this one it's harder to tell.

        Of course Wendy isn't okay, she just got shot :P

        February 6, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Ooohhh that makes more sense. For some reason I thought the mayor was referring to trying to talk to Kozel to get info and prevent a war instead of torturing him to do it. I don’t really know why I thought that xD Anyway, there’s no need to apologize for typos, I make plenty of them too after all :P They’re not distracting. I think it’s hard for a person really notice the typos in their own stuff anyway. Or at least, I always struggle xD

        Fine, I hope she WILL be okay :P Eventually.

        February 6, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 4 Reply

        Sorry for taking such a long time to read this chapter O.o This week has been rather crazy. Anyway, I really liked your action scenes in this chapter. I felt they were more detailed and nerve-wracking than the previous ones, so good job. I also liked the tension you created with that guy being so unhelpful showing Kozel where the doctor’s house was. The whole time I was reading that part I felt like screaming at him to hurry up and stop complaining. I quite agreed with Kozel when he felt like punching him in the face xD Anyway, I thought that was really well written. I liked the realism of it too, especially how Kozel didn’t really seem to understand what a map was.

        This is really picky of me, but my inner biology nerd has a problem with this sentence: “The chemical stung as it got on Kozel's fur”. I wouldn’t think that Kozel’s fur would be able to sting :P I think saying skin instead of fur would be better, since it would be the chemical seeping through to his skin that would cause it. But overall I still don’t see any problems with repetition.

        One thing that I thought you could do is find another word for chemical. You don’t repeat it too often, it’s just for me it seems a little awkward to use, since chemical is a very broad term. Personally I would call it a tranquiliser or something like that (at least, that’s what it reminds me of, although it’s not exactly a tranquiliser).

        “(He had no idea how he was able to read, but he could.)” I thought the brackets here were a bit unnecessary. I think it would be fine to just have that sentence there without the brackets.

        Also, I was confused at the end as to why Kozel could control his transformation. Why could he keep his human mind then, but not before? Was it because of the chemical? I didn’t quite get that part. Sorry for being stupid xD Still, that part was interesting, and I felt sorry for Kozel when he saw what his monster self looked like. Poor guy. And he wishes he were human. I find that interesting, since Wendy said she doesn’t like humans and doesn’t seem to want to be associated with them and what they do (although, I’m not sure if she’d actually want to be a monster).

        I wonder what those green arrow thingys are. I guess they probably have something to do with the mysterious cult mentioned in the summary. Still, that was definitely a surprise. Poor Joan. And Warren, if he was the hunter who got hit by the arrow. I thought it might be him, but I wasn’t sure since Kozel was just calling them all hunters. At the moment I think the arrow people are a group of humans who worship monsters or something, since they didn’t shoot Kozel. But then they might have just not gotten the opportunity to shoot Kozel, so it’s probably too early to say that yet.

        Anyway, as always feel free to ask questions. I just have this feeling I missed something :P

        February 13, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Thank you for taking the time to comment even though you're busy. I really appreciate it :)

        Oh, the part with his fur stinging was satire. It's supposed to criticize the way people think fur has pain receptors xD In all honesty I didn't think of that, thanks for pointing it out! I'll fix the other things you mentioned as well.

        I figured Kozel would be able to keep his human mind because after eating and stuff he had a more sable mental state, and the pain from scratching himself would form a connection between his conscience and body.   

        I like how you made the connection between Kozel's wanting to be a human and Wendy's not liking humans. That's going to be important for the future xD

        Hmmm, I can't think of any questions. I'm just worried about the suddenness of the next chapter, particularly the beginning. Something about it seems unrealistic :P Please let me know next time you comment hahahaha.

        February 15, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        I didn’t think the beginning was that sudden. I liked how it was a “quiet” scene after the action of the last chapter, and I don’t think it came out of nowhere. I guess if you’re worried about it you could have a short bit explaining how they escaped, but personally I don’t think it’s necessary. I liked it the way it was, with Wendy reflecting on her remorse and wondering if it was her fault the humans had gotten killed because she didn’t like them. That seemed like a realistic thought to me. I did feel like you could draw a little individual attention to her parents, though. I mean, she saw her mother die in front of her, and who knows what happened to her dad, but she didn’t seem to care that much. Personally I’d be upset if one/both of my parents were killed like that, even if I hated humans :P I know she’s probably in shock and wants to be all stoic about it like she thinks Kozel is about losing his family to humans, but I don’t know. I would’ve liked to see them at least mentioned.

        Kozel’s thoughts and struggle to maintain the bloodthirsty side of him really made me sad :( It reminded me a little of Finding Nemo, when Dory accidentally gets a blood nose and Bruce smells it and suddenly wants to eat her and Marlin even though he vowed never to eat fish. Anyway, I don’t think Kozel would ever think of killing Wendy or want to, but I’m worried something might happen that will make him lose control and then he’ll hurt her. I do hope he manages to keep himself under control though. I don’t think Wendy would suddenly start hating him or think monsters are evil if he lost control but I’m sure her opinion of them would change a little. And it would be horrible for Kozel too, knowing he had hurt her and he couldn’t control it :/

        Speaking of Kozel, I liked the details you had, such as him thinking humans were weird for taking baths since they’re going to get dirty anyway, and the detailedness of all the survival skills he had.

        The ending was also very intriguing. I wonder who this dude is, and how he knows Wendy. Or maybe he’s just heard of her, but then he called her a friend. I’m really not sure who he could be. Maybe he knows something about those dudes that killed everyone. Anyway, at the moment I believe he’s a good guy cos he has a dog, and I love dogs. I have to give him the benefit of the doubt because of that :P

        “He let out a yelp as he did a belly flap” I’m not sure if this is a cultural thing or not but I’ve always thought the phrase was belly flop :P
         

        February 19, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Thanks for your comment! I just realized that there's too many guys in this story, the same problem I had with Hunting Amaatlik. To make up for it, a friend suggested that I make Kozel female (like Sadie) and he could have a "special" relationship with Wendy, and someone else told me to make one of the hunters a transgender. Anyway, I apologize for being sexist :P

        I'm glad the details and realism were okay. I actually re-read the chapter like seven times and fixed a lot of mistakes, so it's embarrassing that I said belly flap and didn't make Wendy think of her parents xD Thanks for pointing that out. 

        Haha, I like your Nemo analogy. It'll be interesting to hear your reactions to Kozel's and that guy's actions in the near future.  

        February 19, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 4 Reply

        Sorry for the lateness of my comment as well. I've already finished reading all the chapters you have out, I just couldn't find it in me to sit down and focus on writing out a decent/passable comment. My mind has been scattered and I didn't want to litter your story with incoherent thoughts. :D

        I was a bit panicky at first when Wendy was shot, and Kozel sustained his injuries while gaining a few minor ones in the process. Courtesy of the hunters. Sigh, the brutes.. Their confrontation was a great way to show how strongly Kozel wanted to try and retain that kind nature he has(rather than explode and letting his instincts take over) By voluntarily licking the chemical off his fur and reverting in form. I'm guessing not all kaipra's are as well mannered as he is.

        When the tables turned and he 'took care of' the hunter- that really surprised me. He's surprisingly resilient in his human form, even when injured! But I suppose that's just a true reminder that he isn't truly human, even if he may look it. 

        The inner romantic in me loves how he pushed away his regret and let himself prioritize Wendy's well-being above all else. Even though I they just met, and romantic development takes time- well realistic ones do anyhow. I just had to melt for a split second before reminding myself that Wendy needed help. 

        The bit with Kozel asking for directions was hilarious. Seriously, I was snorting. Un-lady like, I know. But god damn, that was funny.

        Despite the humour, you really do tackle a bit of tragedy head on, don't you? The fact that Kozel wants to be something he's not is a bit heartbreaking. It must be terrible for him to hate the skin he's in. If only he realized that it was because of who- and what he is, that he was able to meet Wendy. And that just might be a good thing. It was clearly shown in the chapters prior as well, that Wendy quite dislikes her own kind. They are similar, but I'm wondering if there's a difference in perspectives? Kozel seems to hate himself rather than his own kind. Whereas Wendy seems to hate her kind rather than herself. Either way, I think they can find some sort of answer to their sorrows by interacting more with each other. Maybe learn how to love the things they can't change. 

        Another contrasting characteristic between the two seems to be that Kozel- despite all he's been through, still holds quite the optimistic outlook! I liked how he looked down at Wendy and says: Surely not all humans are like this. 

        You have a great way at shifting the mood of the story, I swear. One moment it's comedic, other times it's a bit philosophical- or sad. I swear, you made it all transition so smoothly and instantly. How the heck do you do it?? *hiding inner jealousy.

        "We don't want your cookies" This line.. I can't. It just through me off because, in my head,  I was kind of urging Kozel to get to the doctor quickly, and when he finally did that was the answer he got. I laughed too hard at that. It was great, what made it better was it had been Wendy's father who said it! hahahaha

        I'm glad Joan was praising and thanking Kozel- even though they don't know that he was the monster the hunters were after, I still think he deserves some sort of recognition. Step into the lime-light for a second, Koz. You're a great guy, no matter what they tell you! :D

        Now, I doubt that (despite what Joan says) the humans are completely innocent. Am I wrong here? It can't be completely black and white- nothing ever is! Who knows who actually instigated the war, or if that even mattered? Whoever started it, the other side chose to retaliate with the same brutality the first party threatened them with. What was that classing saying? Two wrongs don't make a right (unless we're doing math here with double negatives leading to positives). But of course, Joan and the rest of the citizens are privy to only so much information, I'm sure. They must eat up anything their leaders tell them, taking it all at face value. 

        And the ending.. I did not see that coming if I'm being honest. Joan D; She was such a sweetheart. It all happened so fast, but I guess terrible things tend to come in quick succession!

        There was just one part that seemed in need of a quick touch-up:

        "She's going to be alright. But it isn't monsters to be concerned for humans.." It feels as though a word is missing here. "But it isn't like monsters to be concerned for humans.." Or something like that :D

        Once again, another great chapter creating the foundation to what I know will turn out to be a great story. (Sorry if this seems more like rambling than it is helpful!) 

        February 24, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Reply

        Haha. I totally get what you mean. Thanks for waiting!

        Those hunters are such lovely people, huh? :D In addition to Kozel wanting to keep his humanistic side, he also licked his shoulder because he knew it would catch the hunter by surprise.

        I like what you said about how his strength as a human showed though he still isn't one, despite looking like one. That's not what I had in mind when I wrote that part, but I'll just use that from now on. 

        I'm glad the emotions were okay. In all honesty I don't know how the transitions would be as smooth. My first stories were humor/drama, so maybe it's experience. Or I guess we accept the mood shift because Kozel isn't human, and would surely experience feelings differently.

        There will be more elaboration on why the humans and monsters are fighting later on, as well as what they'll do about not liking who they are. Also the reason for Kozel's optimism will (hopefully) be explained in the next chapter.

        Thanks again for your comment! Wow, you're so philosophical it must have taken you quite a while to write. I look forward to hearing more from you.

        February 24, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        Damn. That was a really fun chapter! And the development was just... <3 And the fact that despite you saying that Kozel and Wendy aren't going to be romantically together, the story just makes it seem like it's heading into that direction. Their banters are so cute and just made me scream on the inside. It was amazing.

        There is one thing I'd like to point out though. In the previous chapter, when Wendy's mother offered Kozel something to drink, it was stated that he found anything other than water a little unusual and that leads me to questioning his skill in making hot chocolate. The dude has been living in a cave and then all of a sudden he knows how to make hot chocolate? Did he learn it in one of the books at the mayors house?

        That aside, it was great and I honestly can't wait to read more.

        March 7, 2015 | Kain Delo


      • Reply

        Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you liked it. It feels awkward writing romance but it's fun to get out of your comfort zone.

        I really didn't think about why he would know about hot chocolate xD It's funny how nobody pointed that out. I guess he read about it in a book, and having tea at Mrs. Sutherland's confirmed his suspicions.

        Thanks again for reading, and I hope the rest of the story meets your satisfaction as well.

        March 8, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        Poor Kozel xD He can’t seem to catch a break. I felt really bad for him when they were sort of ignoring him, but I guess Wendy was probably excited to see Dan again and stuff. I still think Dan’s a good guy (I mean, he has a dog) but I wonder about him. I hope Kozel doesn’t end up feeling like he’s a third wheel to them all the time though. #TeamKozel! I’m on your side!!!! xD Anyway, I wonder if Dan really is her boyfriend or something. I mean, they didn’t say anything, but it seems that way. Unless it’s gonna be like in those movies where the dude the hero keeps seeing the heroine with turns out to actually be her brother and things are really awkward. But then I don’t think he’s her brother, since he mentioned her parents and didn’t mention sharing them. And personally I don’t hold hands with my brothers (unless I was in a super duper scary situation or something like that), or act the way they were acting :P

        “All hesitation melted, and she blinked a tear out of her eye.” This wording seems awkward to me. Personally I would replace the ‘and’ with ‘as’

        “The parted and Wendy”

        “hopped on bear feet”

        “Dan held out the stick to her” This part where Dan re-entered seemed a bit sudden, he just suddenly had some dialogue and neither Wendy nor Kozel seemed to have much of a reaction to his sudden appearance, so it seemed a bit random.

        “noticing the way the weary glances they exchanged.”

        I thought that it was a bit weird that Wendy didn’t explain exactly what went on in Venyera to Dan. I mean, if he was from there then wouldn’t he want to know what happened? If his dad is the mayor, then… Something could have happened to him. Maybe he was killed like the others.

        Anyway, there was some very interesting developments in this chapter. I wonder why Dan suddenly started to be nice to Kozel at the end. I think it’s because Kozel said he wasn’t a hunter, and maybe before Dan thought he was a hunter since he was wearing that uniform and stuff and Dan hates hunters. Or because he felt he and Kozel were kindred spirits since they were both “accused” of being a monster (although in Kozel’s case it was true… Unless Dan is a monster that can control his form all the time. Conspiracy!!).

        And I’m really curious to see what happens with Adriana too, if the woman at the end was her, or even if it wasn’t and she appears later on. I wonder what a half human, half monster will be like. Perhaps they’re the ones who can control their form all the time, or they just have a few monster features. Like in InuYasha where he only has dog ears but then gets extra strength and the benefits of being a yokai/monster. But then he was also discriminated against because he didn’t fit into either the yokai or the humans. So maybe it’ll be like that :/

        March 10, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Hahaha, Team Kozel. This story was (at least originally) supposed to satirize romance, which is why some aspects might seem awkward at times given a guy wrote it. At least I felt awkward xD But yeah, everybody thinks they're really cute together so I'm not sure what to do.

        I wouldn't say he's her boyfriend...well, you'll just have to find out later :P I like how you think he's a monster. It's always fun to hear reader theories!

        Sorry about all those silly errors. Bear feet... I'll try two improve mine inglish before righting a nother chapter :D Also thanks for the other things you mentioned, I'll straighten that out as soon as possible.

        I figured talking about that happened would be too much for her to handle or something, and it would ruin the moment. I'll make that clearer, unless I should make her tell him.

        About why they were nice to each other at the end, in addition to what you said Dan wanted to seem polite in front of Wendy. Kozel was just keeping with his outwardly optimistic tendencies; the reasons for which will be explained in the next chapter. 

        I do have one more question. Ahem, *takes out sheet of paper* Does this chapter feel too short? It was only about half the usual length, and I know what I would add to it if so, but their meeting with Adriana would make it like 4,000 words so I can't include that.

        Also, does this seem like an okay story description? 

        The year is 2035, and their nation only five years old but the strongest in the world. Thanks to a a hidden power kept secret from the rest of the country, President Behrend's potential seems limitless. However this power proves to be unreliable. Four youth set out to find out what happened to Behrend and who is responsible. Mixed Genre.

        March 10, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Hmm, I didn’t think the chapter was too short. At least, I didn’t notice when I read it. But looking back I think it wouldn’t hurt to make it a little longer and expand it a bit, if you have something you want to add. I like long chapters though so I’m biased :P

        As for the description, I felt it’s a little unclear – I was confused by the last part, when it’s like: “Four youth set out to find out what happened to Behrend and who is responsible” because you hadn’t mentioned that something happened to Behrend beforehand, only that the power was unreliable. I’d just say something like “However, this power proves to be unreliable when Behrend is killed/kidnapped/disappears/abducted by aliens/whatever it is” :P But other than that it was good. It seems mysterious :P

        And as for the romance part, I think you should do whatever you want to do. Personally I wouldn’t really mind – I do think they would be, ahem, cute together, but I won’t cry myself to sleep if that doesn’t happen or if it does in a satirical way xD

        March 11, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Chapter: 5 Reply

        So wait, there's no clue as to who attacked the town? Darn it! Who was sniping people with these magic arrows? Was it one person who was the culprit, or a whole group? If it was one person, then damn they're skilled! I also like how you've included magic in the story. I'm calling it that because that's what they referred it to, unless it's some sort of technology that's in this world? After all, they seemed well advanced when it comes to medicinal studies, and nutrition. What other sciences are they advanced in, I wonder?

        I like how there was a bit of guilt clouding Wendy's mind, gives her a bit more dimension than she originally had (not saying she wasn't well rounded or anything, she was). You never realize how much you care until it's too late. Wondering what specifically she was referring to? The hunters she claimed to hate? The citizens she detached herself from? Her parents who were taken from her? At any rate, whatever it was (or if it was all those things) it really seems this is the start for some great character development for her. Even though she scorns humans, she still seemed to have some undertones of their teachings; flinching every time Kozel seemed to come off as threatening.  Especially that one sentence you wrote She understood that he was different from the monster of her nightmares, and would never actually hurt her. Despite her outspoken ways, and her preechings when defending monsters, she has actually also feared them secretly- if only a little. There was also the part where she was surprised at how craft savvy Kozel turned out to be when setting up camp. Did a part of her also believe that monsters were a bit less intelligent than their human counter-parts? She also acknowledged this, which was good. It showed she wasn't oblivious to her prejudice. It's interesting, and very believable. 

        I'm actually also a bit surprised at how much Wendy and Kozel were able to pack when escaping; packs full of supplies, some winter outfits (though still not warm enough), even blankets and food. Not to mention they escaped relatively unscathed. Though, it's something that can be easily over-looked, especially since we got a great image of Kozel in a green hat and blue back pack. You got countless Aw's from me here. x) 

        I was wondering why Wendy thought that anyone who yet lived would think her a traitor? Would it be because of Kozel? Sorry I'm a bit fuzzy in understanding why. I mean he was imprisoned, and escaped, but would they know Wendy left with him? Besides that wouldn't they have bigger problems by looking into who it was who decided to open fire in town? Unless they suspect it was Kozel's doing.

        I laughed pretty hard when Kozel suddenly seemed an expert when setting up their make-shift camp. In the first chapter he tried feeding oranges to the fire he had and managed to smother it. So there was a big contrast there. Though, I do suppose he could have been delirious from hunger and fatigue. Also, he must have had some skill if he survived in the wilderness alone for as long as he did, so it makes sense. 

        Kozel really did take everything in stride. As Wendy said, he must've been used to things like that happening more than her. And it really helped Wendy keep a level head on the situation, though I can only imagine how long it'll be till the pain of what happens catches up with her. She lost her parents, after all.. and even if they didn't always understand her, they loved her as best they could. At least that's what I got out of their relationship, surely that must have accounted for something? It'll be absolutely heart breaking to see Wendy in shambles, especially since she seems like such an emotionally strong character. That is assuming it happens. 

        I really liked how casual their conversation was, as though they've known each other for a while. With constant teasing, and a bit of sarcasm. They really just rolled with it, and really do suit each other. I enjoyed seeing Kozel pine over Wendy, as they travelled. Making sure she was following him, and serving her a warm drink. He's so cute hahaha. 

        I was afraid Kozel would fall prey to his natural instincts for a moment, and hurt Wendy. I'm really starting to get a "beauty and the beast" vibe here.. though perhaps it was implied before, it's only just starting to sink in for me. The other times must have flown right over my head x). I was holding my breath till the line "Sorry, Wendy, but I'm not going to take my pants off in front of you.." came up. Humour is always a good subterfuge for hiding other emotions. Even if he wasn't intentionally going for that. It was nice to see that even when suppressing his rage, he was worried about hurting her. That was touching. 

        His attempt at bathing was so pathetic hahaha, it truly was a sad attempt. But oh-so very entertaining. What was it that made Kozel revert into his human form? The cold? 

        I'm excited for the new character you've introduced. Is he going to a constant companion to Wendy and Kozel? 

        As always, your writing is a thing of inspiration. Your humour is enjoyable, the dialogue is natural. I love it. Keep up the good work! 

        March 10, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Reply

        Thanks for your comment. Usually my writing can be rather vague so I'm glad you were able to understand it. I mean wow, your insight is spot on. I learned a few things about my characters just be reading what you said!

        I don't know how they would be able to pack so much. I guess Kozel's size helped, though it still seems strange, haha. I'll make sure to make them almost get killed when they escape, if that makes you happy ;D Was Kozel's image really cute? I wasn't sure about that part, being a guy xD 

        Her suspicions at the beginning were just her fears, actually. Some of the hunters were keeping an eye on Wendy because of things she'd done. Also what  made Kozel go back was mainly the injection, which makes him change form at different times, though the cold could have set it off.

        It's nice to know that Kozel's and Wendy's interactions are enjoyable. Yeah, you should be excited for Dan, he and Kozel are going to be best friends. It's going to be so cute! :P

        March 11, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 6 Reply

        Oh, this chapter was short and sweet! Got through it fairly quickly, I wish there was more :( Especially since the mention of Adriana. If she is the product of man and monster, then she has captured most of my interest without even showing up! I'm wondering if how she came to be. Was there actually a human and monster that fell in love and squeezed her out? Or.. could she have been made in a different way? I'm thinking since they are advanced in some areas, would it be a completely ridiculous notion that some crazy scientist spliced the DNA of the two opposing sides and created her? Or could it have been by magic? Aghh, I just don't know. There are so many possibilities in this world, it makes every question an adventure! 

        Just one typo I found: 'He hopped around on bear feet.' But you're so good at writing, if it's you, I'll believe that bear feet is real :D

        So, Dan. He sure is suspicious. Either he has great intuition and can spot a monster easily or he's just like that by nature. At least where Wendy is concerned. Speaking of: Are they a thing? They sure seemed touchy-feely here, and Kozel's presence went almost completely unnoticed. See, here's my issue: I love Kozel. I love Kozel and Wendy. Seeing them interact makes me get all warm and fuzzy, so naturally I want them to always be together. Catch my drift? So if Dan enters this equation, Kozel+Wendy won't equal anything. It's like dividing by zero >:( 

        Sigh, but I can see his perks. I mean this guy is nice, he seems charming and friendly, and seems as equally passionate as Wendy. Not to mention he has a dog- a husky no less! As they were reminiscing of the 'good ol' days', the only image I had of them protesting was the hippy era. Where they placed flowers into the barrels of a gun, and afterwards went to enjoy each others company at Woodstock. It made me laugh.

        If Kozel does have a crush on Wendy, (which to me, seems like he does) I can only pray that there is still hope for him. I mean, even if Wendy called it weird, a person like Adriana is a possibility. This means that a human/monster pairing is possible if they give it a chance. Maybe Kozel can sway her on that decision, unless he finds it weird too :( Which then would cause me to weep for my ship has sunk and split like the titanic. I feel like him thinking that the sandwich didn't taste as good was him experiencing the bitterness of a romantic triangle. The night before it was sweetened with the thought of just him and Wendy, but then it lost that taste as soon as Dan shoved him out. 

        Is Wendy aware of Kozel's feelings? Was she aware that her words hurt him? She must've known something as she asked him to tell her if she said something to offend him. 'Oh, I'm such an idiot.' Is that her implying she knows there's a bit of bad blood brewing between Dan and Kozel? I'm a bit unsure why she thought that. Also- huzzah for unintentional alliterations: Bad blood brewing. :D

        'Dan being the reliable friend that he was, had brought a boat.' Of course he did. This guy can do no wrong, can he? He's so perfect- I hate it. It's tearing my loyalties to Kozel. 

        Also, why was it he had suddenly changed his tune, and became friendly towards Kozel? I don't trust this. 

        I hope we get to meet Adriana next chapter!! 

         

        March 15, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Reply

        I was disappointed myself with the length. Unfortunately if I try to make it longer I wouldn't have a good place to stop until it's like 4,500 words. Adriana will be introduced in the next chapter though. As for how she was born, I'll leave that up to you, unless I decide to explain near the end.

        Did I really say bear feet?? Sorry. Should be goat feet.

        Dan's and Wendy's relationship is a bit complex. But yeah, they do sound like hippies. Hahaha. I included him partly to add another element to the story but also because love at first sight isn't always a good thing and Kozel should get to know Wendy first. He still has a chance though!

        Wendy sort of gets what's going on, but because Kozel was at that moment a human she couldn't understand him that well. Dan and Kozel pretended to loosen up so that they wouldn't upset Wendy ;)

        Fun fact: "kozel" means "goat" in Russian and "ven(y)era" means "Venus", as in the Roman goddess of love. This takes place during the Cold War (or at least that's open for reader theory).

        March 15, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 7 Reply

        Wow, I really like this chapter. It’s definitely my favourite so far. So much happened and not everything was expected, so it was very exciting to read. And there were some great bits of humour and drama and mystery all mixed up into one, which is how I like it best.  I really liked all the characters in this chapter, especially Wendy. I liked all her doubts over whether she should be leader or not, even though Dan said she’d do a good job. It was sad to see her thinking back to her parents too. I think Dan’s right about that too, since she was too busy trying to escape and stuff it makes sense she wouldn’t think about them all that much, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. Stay strong, Wendy, stay strong!

        I wonder why Wendy and Adriana look alike. Maybe Adriana’s secretly her mum. Or maybe it’s a trait of witches and that means Wendy’s a witch too so that’s why she has this superpower to get people to do what she wants. Adriana said it wasn’t magic, but maybe she was lying. OMG, I’ve just discovered why pretty people exist. They’re all witches xD

        But, I know Adriana must be a good person because she has a goat. Like owning a dog, owning a goat (or sort of being a goat in Kozel’s case) means that I must give them the benefit of the doubt. Although it was a weird goat, playing catch and stuff, but it’s still a goat so that means I like Adriana so far. And she has a TARDIS (I mean, a house that’s bigger on the inside) so that gives her points too xD Anyway, she seems like a nice person, so I hope she doesn’t turn out to be evil and is actually sending them to the camp of these cult people or something O.o I wonder what will happen next. I hope even if Adriana sent them to the right place they don’t get caught by the cult people on the way or something. That wouldn’t be good.

        “more questioning than surprised.” I’m not sure if this is just me, but using the word questioning like that feels awkward.

        “from Wendy assumed was a kitchen”

        “with his han raised”

         “Even though the thought of her having used her magic on them scared her out of her mind.” There’s a few too many hers in this sentence for my brain to make sense of xD

        “Perhaps it was the fact that she looked like a middle-aged version of her,” I think herself instead of her would sound better

        “what he'd said soak in.” Isn’t the expression sink in? I’m not sure.

        Still, my favourite part of all was probably at the end, when Dan and Kozel were talking. It’s nice that they’re not going to let their feelings get in the way of things. I really wonder what’s up with Dan and Wendy though. Why does Dan think it might not work between them? Maybe one of them’s in an arranged marriage or something. I don’t know why, but that’s the first thing I thought of xD I must be really old-fashioned. Still, whatever happens I hope Kozel and Dan become besties, cos that would be like the best bromance ever <3 Aside from Darrow and Sevro in Red Rising, of course. That’s the mark I expect you to rise to :P Geddit?

        Anyway, I’m also excited/nervous to see what will happen when Dan finds out about Kozel’s kaipra-ness. I think Dan might try and kill him at first or something but then Wendy will reassure him Kozel’s not evil so then he won’t.

         “wearing a stylish black and blue dress despite the cold.” "And it's white so it blends in with the snow,” “It's obviously black and blue, are you color blind?” Nooooooooo I just forgot about that damn dress xD As always feel free to ask questions and stuff. This comment is so crazy and weird I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.

        March 27, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Whew, what a relief. I thought people would hate this chapter because the romancish stuff is being set aside. I swear, this story seems to have a mind of its own!

        I do have a few questions. Do you think I should change the cover and description, knowing it's not going to be that kind of story? I feel like I'm deceiving readers hahaha.

        Also, should I change the dialogue? I'm glad I put it there, but at times it seemed (to me) a bit rushed and unrealistic.What do you think of it, including what Adriana told Kozel?

        Yup, pretty people are all witches xD Hmmm, if the hunters had a pet goat, would you like them too?

        Anyway thanks for reading and commenting! I'm glad you liked the chapter and hope that the others will continue to meet your satisfaction.

        March 28, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Reply

        Aww but I like the cover xD Still, I can see why it might be a good idea to change it. I mean, I don’t think you’d have to change it much, just move the figures a little further apart or something. But, I have the artistic and photo-shop skills of a rock so I have no idea if that would work xD As for the summary, I think it’s alright. I mean, it doesn’t sound like the two of them will absolutely have a romantic relationship, or if they are then it doesn’t sound like it’ll be the main plot of the story. So unless the other stuff (the mysterious cult and things) have changed I don’t think you need to rewrite it.  

        I liked the dialogue. It seemed realistic to me, and I didn’t find it rushed. I thought what Adriana told Kozel was pretty deep, and I think it was well written. Pain was a metaphor for his monster-ness, right? That’s what I assumed anyway xD

        Well, if the hunters had a pet goat I’d have to give them the benefit of the doubt. As long as they treated the goat nicely, of course :P

        March 28, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        Yeah, what she told him was metaphorical but she also meant it literally, I guess :P Thanks for your advice, I'll leave it the way it is then.    

        March 28, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 7 Reply

        Oh dear lord, the infamous black and blue dress debate has even made its way here, hahahaha. It is totally black and blue, I don't see how anyone can think otherwise!

        Kozel's demeanour really changed from uncomfortable to nonchalant quite quickly in comparison to the previous chapter. Is it something about Adriana that puts him at ease? Dan and Kozel also seemed to become more friendly, it was actually pretty mature of them both to let things play out instead of competing for Wendy's affection. Which wasn't what I was expecting in the slightest. But I think I prefer it this way :D Dan seems like a cool guy, and Kozel could always use a good friend. Especially since I felt he and Wendy sort of became a bit distant towards each other here. Was it just me who sort of got this vibe, or was that what you were going for? 

        Adriana is.. different from what I imagined. I think in my mind, I was sticking to the 'old hag' stereo type. I mean, she's got the hermit part down. All she needed was a mole and green skin :D But no, she's a real beauty queen, albeit a bit strange.. Is there any particular reason as to why she looks like Wendy? Or is it coincidence? For some reason, from all the magic she displayed, I feel like she might have (if she can) changed her appearance to mess with them a bit. Heck, I would! Especially living as a hermit, you've got to take your entertainment where you can.

        What up with her goat? How the heck did she teach it to fetch? I mean, cute! The image I got was super cute! I'd like a goat who cant fetch, too! But.. what? I suppose that's not so strange in comparison of the other things she can do. Like magically bring them into a sauna, and change them out of their clothes. That last part is a bit unnerving.. I'd feel a bit violated :P She seems powerful to say the least, and well informed of their situation. 

        They were all pretty suspicious of Adriana, and rightfully so! She's pretty secretive in a very open and inviting way.. But for some reason, what ever secrets she has, I feel she doesn't keep them to harm. She seems like a warm person, kind and helpful. Especially since you've hinted what she knows seems like heavy stuff. 'She wanted to share more secrets with them but, to maintain their sanity, kept them to herself.'  I shivered there, and because I'm just curious by nature, I kind of wish she risked their sanity ;(I need to know, damn it all! But, like I said: she seems kind. She doesn't strike me as the type to intentionally set out and harm.

        I hope Wendy doesn't get herself too down with thinking about what Adriana said. Maybe manipulation wasn't the best choice of words on Adriana's part.. I'd have said charm. And Wendy certainly is a charmer! Similar to Adriana, Wendy might 'manipulate' unintentionally. However, if there's one thing I've learned in all my twenty years of living, it's that things never remain unchanged. Wendy (if she so chooses) can always become a person that she chooses to be, and not what some witch in the wilds perceived her as.. though she does have pretty sharp powers of perception! 

        Dan and Kozel are now bros, somewhat. I hope it lasts, I like myself some good bromances. I wonder what they're going to decide to do now though. It seems like a big decision. Do they take Adriana's advice and head towards Serdtsa? Will Kozel join them? Since Wendy is now the leader, and also having doubts concerning Kozel, will she allow him to join them? D; (Please say yes) 

        Anyways, great chapter! Full of your trademark humour and a great deal of mystery. Loved it, great job!

        March 29, 2015 | Emi V.


      • Reply

        If you tilt your screen or look at it from a different angle it changes color, haha.

        Kozel is acting differently. I'll find a way to make that transition smoother, but I thought it would be realistic because of what Adriana told him. Also he would try impress his friends because of his loneliness at the beginning of the story.

        But yeah, Adriana did put him at ease at the beginning and Wendy and Kozel are becoming distant now. The things Adriana told them were supposed to change their behavior a bit, like how Kozel might not really like her.

        I'm glad that the ending was okay. I was worried about ending the romance so quickly but didn't want it to dominate the whole story since I usually like to write mixed-genre. It will come back later, though :P

        One of Adriana's biggest secrets is her and the goat's identities (and why it was playing catch). It will all be revealed later on. As for whether Kozel's coming with them, well, 

        Thanks for the comment, and I'm glad you liked the chapter! I look forward to hearing more from you!

        March 29, 2015 | David Boyce


      • Chapter: 8 Reply

        Well, this was definitely an interesting chapter. I hope Dan, Wendy and Adriana are okay :( I don’t think they’ll be dead (at least, Dan and Wendy won’t be. Adriana is possibly dead in my opinion) but I’m still worried. I really liked the action scene in the house. It was really well written and exciting. I liked all the details and the decisions Kozel made during the fight, but my favourite bit of that scene was when Kozel recognised the chair Dan was sitting on and his reaction to that. That was really sad/nice, and makes me even more hopeful for a bromance <3 heheheh.

        It’s sad that Kozel finally meets some monsters and all they want to do (well, not Aiyx, but those other guys) is turn him into a blanket xD I thought the addition of Aiyx and the rest of the Feuig clan was cool. I must admit I’m a bit over dragons and seeing them in a fantasy story tends to invoke eye rolling for me, I like how they’re not full on dragons since they’re human shaped and stuff.

        Anyway, I liked seeing more monsters, and how you highlighted the differences between them and Kozel’s clan. Still, despite the idea of making Kozel into a blanket being thrown around, I think they’re not evil, and I’m sure Kozel will be greatly affected by meeting them. I hope they choose not to make him a blanket, and then he’ll be able to see that monsters don’t have to be evil and therefore neither does he.

        “I feel like a fucking stripper” How does Kozel know what a stripper is? I didn’t know monsters have strippers too :P Although I suppose they very well could. I shouldn’t judge.

        “Are really that bad at throwing,”

        “He climbed the counter”

        “The man was trapped inside. But Kozel wouldn't risk it,” I know Kozel probably means he wouldn’t risk going back and saving the man, but I think you could say this and make it a bit clearer.

        “and didn't hadn't even notice.”

         “the said simultaneously.”

        Sorry if this comment is confusing/repetitive. Anyway, I noticed you wrote a new story, would you like me to read it? Anyway, overall this was a good chapter and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens to everyone. 

        May 14, 2015 | Genevieve Middleton


      • Reply

        It was a well written and exciting chapter, wasn't it? I totally agree with you man. Really proud. I'm thinking of printing it and hanging it up on my wall, so I can show my future grandkids. It could be a sort of heirloom or something. Then they could be as proud of me as I am of myself. 

        In all seriousness, many thanks for the comment, and I'm glad the chapter was okay. I thought you'd like the chair scene :P He needed to snap out of it somehow, so yeah. Each clan is supposed to be loosely based off of a human fault, the Feuig clan being about alcoholism and the Kaipra clan domestic abuse (I think). The humans represent xenophobia.

        You're right, the monsters wouldn't have strippers since they don't wear clothes to begin with, unless they take their fur off. That's why I made Kozel read those books in the beginning, to give him some leeway on these things. It's also supposed to make you wonder what else he's read about... 

        No, that comment was neither confusing nor repetitive! If you're willing to read Control Z in such an early stage I would appreciate it, but I don't mind waiting. It's actually the Take Two of Storimhaib I promised. Though it's a different story they both have the common theme of acceptance, take place in the future, are sci-fi/fantasy/adventure, the characters share similar personalities (one of them being a female dictator who is ironically a protagonist), and they both have a Spanish version :{D 

        May 14, 2015 | David Boyce