Revision reccomendations and overall comments are in green.
Editing comments are in red.
R/w = repeated word (consider using a synonym).
The Black Mist was receding, just like it did every day at dawn. The grand bird returned as the massive cluster of clouds dispersed--probably instantly reforming at some other part of the world--the wings of the phoenix blessed the morning with golden light. You stand, holding a pestle and mortar in front of a window. You crush the ingredients, casting an incantation of divination. Your world turns blue as your eyes are engulfed in a cerulean mist. Theoretically, this should protect you from long term damage coming off the sunlight. Twisting your torso to the right, you sprinkle the fine powder into the solution beside you. Great, now all you have to do was gaze. 'Have' is present tense, 'was' is past tense. Also, I feel like this sentence can end with a better word than 'gaze'. It's obvious what you're gazing into (since you just mentioned it in the prev. sentence), but it still sounds strange. You clutch at the power How does one 'clutch' at a concept? radiating off of the creature and feel the ecstatic sensation Can you explain why this sensation is causing ecstasy in the protagonist? of being removed from your body.
You are off to a strong start with your introduction. Your sentences flow well, your vocabulary is great, and you've introduced just enough information to intrigue the reader, while leaving them wanting more.
“Glorious Phoenix Star, my Supplier; my Guide; Semicolons are used to separate independent clauses. Commas can be used here. my Light, I ask you to connect me to my servants,” the elf spoke. Is the elf us? If so, you've switched from the second person to the third person here. That is it. Nothing more, nothing less. LUX didn’t demand large offerings or anything. He was always crisp. You return, stirring your tea and letting out a sigh. Tear/w 'tea' isn’t your thing, but it was the most potent way of accessing the bizarre power of the magika leaf. It was simple to grind into a powder, but getting it down is a challenge. Swallowing the bitter liquid, you look upwards at the firebird overhead; visions swirl in its fiery trail across the sky. As you study the bird, r/w 'bird' knowledge floods into your mind. “They are dead,” you mutter.. “All of them are dead!"
Fantastic suspense-building and descriptions of the scenery! I'm really interested to learn more, now.
The cerulean r/w 'cerulean' (though it might be more descriptive than just the general colour, so I'm not certain you need to change it) mist around your eyes diffuses, leaving your vision blurry and burning. Great description The Phoenix's consuming shriek beginsbegan to shriek r/w 'shriek' into your ears. Your eyes fluttered shut. Your yellow arms swoop upwards, alternating between rubbing your eyes and covering your pointed ears r/w ‘ears’. Neither worksworked, semicolon needed, not a comma nothing except time wouldwouldn’t silence the noise andor return your vision. All magic had some type of cost. Whether it was short-term or longer-term, I don’t think you need the comma here. depended upon the method. I would consider re-phrasing the last sentence very slightly. The word choice is great; I just think it could flow better.
I like how you’re describing the character’s body language, and how you’ve introduced the idea of consequences for using magic. I also like how you describe the character’s appearance and feelings by showing the reader, rather than simply telling. Your exposition is good.
Occasionally, you’ve switched between the present and past tense. Most of your excerpt is told in the present tense, so I’ve corrected the other instances
“I have to inform the Lord while I still can!” you hollered, stumbling stumbled. You kick the table at your side.. You have two periods here. Magical tools soar through the air, crashing into the floor. Some of them shatter into tiny pieces. The chaos smashes your magic mirror--a gift from your liege. Dust floatsfloated in the air, showering down upon everythingconsider a more descriptive word than ‘everything’. You stagger from the impact, but find balance, steadying yourself against the wall with your metal left hand. I feel like ‘but find balance’ is a bit repetitive since you mention that the protagonist ‘steadies’ themselves next. Maybe you can say: “You stagger from the impact, before steadying yourself…”
I like this sentence You’ve always been mediocre in divination. Your body never conqueredI think there is a better word than ‘conquered’ that you could use. Something to explain that you were never able to deal with it. the after effectsaftereffects of the art. With senses dulled, you are useless to his liege. For you, this was an unacceptable method of serving your lieger/w ‘liege’. It just ends in more harm than good. You are aware of this fact, but you still dodid it. Why? Oh, right, because you were afraid of using more direct methods.
Once again, the suspense-building in this paragraph is great. You’re doing an excellent job of building up a fantasy world, and adding atmosphere to your writing. I feel like the end of this paragraph can be edited a bit. What are these more ‘direct methods’? And I think the flow could be improved a bit.
Dust covering your robes, you shamble out of your quarters and dart down the first corridor you feel for. So I get that you don’t want to use the word ‘see’, since the character’s vision has been disrupted. But “feel for” parses oddly. Maybe consider a synonym. Your eyesight releases pain from pain’sr/w pain? grip just a little bit, mildly returning. The previous sentence parses a bit oddly – consider revising. Runic sigils good word choice light this passage blue. Each sign is its own separate designI think you can revise this first part of the sentence. You’re trying to say they all look different, right? Or are you trying to say the sigils are physically separated from each other?, and they’re engraved onto the walls and ceiling. Some of these engravings are even yours. This is interesting. You plant your left hand on thea wall; your sense of touch was unaffected and you need to feel your way around anyway. I didn’t originally get the impression their touch was unaffected, because you already mentioned they were ‘feeling for’ passages earlier. I might suggest something like: “You plant your left hand on the wall, feeling your way around the corridors.” But in that case, you should use synonyms for ‘feel for’ and ‘corridor’ in the first sentence so as to not sound repetitive. As you do so, the sensation of magic pulsating pastpassed your metallic palm becomes evident. “Sensation of” and “becomes evident” sounds a bit wordy. Maybe: “As you do so, you sense magic pulsating past your metallic palm.” It reacts to your presence! A powerful rhythm beckons you to tap into its power. You feel yourself siphoning, How and where are we being siphoned? but before long the power rejects you. In what way does it reject us? How do we know this? The azure rune falls dark, casting a shadow throughout the room.
This paragraph is intriguing, but it confuses me a bit. I think you’ve built an amazing picture in your head (that I’m really interested in knowing more about), but you haven’t given the reader enough details.
YouHe had never encountered anything like this. These runes had always been here--mostly for defensive, utility, and stealth purposes that kept the castle undergroundThe runes making the castle difficult to locate makes sense, but they also kept it underground? Couldn’t it simply have been build underground normally? and difficult to locate-- they were not serving this function any longer. Why not? And how do we know this? Is it because the runes fell dark a moment ago? You even designed some of the runes yourself. You said this already. There was only one location that that magic was leading to: I would rephrase this so that ‘magic’ comes closer to the beginning of the sentence. the throne room. Lord Stone Interesting name This makes me wonder if the elements are important to the magic, somehow. was channeling some type of energy!
You press on. Whatever the purpose of that beacon was, you cancould feel its desire to be used. Intriguing. You cast two minor good vocabularycantrips: a spell of perception, which will restore some of your hearing;comma, not semicolon and a minor haste spell, which quickens your pace. This sentence is excellently phrased. I really like it. I like how you introduced the magical abilities of the protagonist in such a descriptive way. I can’t help but wonder: If the character was able to cast a ‘perception’ spell, why didn’t they do so earlier? Maybe you can clarify in some way that it enhances only auditory perception? (Without actually saying “auditory perception”, which doesn’t flow as well as the way you’ve described it.) In your near-blinded state, such a sensation was a life saver. Now you have a trail to follow. You swivel around thea corner, finding yourself in front of a set of massive oak doors. You can make out a pair of good vocabularyrevenants guarding the doorsr/w ‘doors’. A revenant? That helps to build a lot of suspense. Iron and magic Perhaps a more descriptive word than ‘magic’? It sounds odd to pair ‘iron’ and ‘magic’ together. reinforced the entrance to the royal chambers. A pleasant thought passes through your mind. You are quite close to Lord Stone! Why is this thought so pleasant? Does the protagonist want to see this guy so much? Revenants stood beside doors; they The revenants are were suited in full plate armor, spears restingrested in their hands. Your heart pulsessends fire through your veins, adrenaline overcoming your sense of decencyI’d consider another word than ‘decency’. This prev. sentence is great. It really helps add to the tension in the scene. Breaking into a sprint, you erupt with neurotic energyNeurotic energy? You mean he was anxious? Or are you trying to say something else?, gunning for entry into the Lord’s court! The guards slammed their spears onto the stone floor, before crossing them into an ‘Xx’. Your right shoulder slamsr/w ‘slams’ into one of the revenants, sending it stumbling into the armored door. You crash into the ground, pain pulsing through your body. Great concluding sentence.
“Court Mage,” the other revenant nabbed lifts you to your feet, clutching you in her hands with surprising tenderness. I wouldn’t expect tenderness from a revenant, but perhaps you expected this reaction from the reader. “What is the meaning of this?” Her voice is gravellywas gravel. I like the description you attributed to her speech. You know this one, although you don’t remember her name. I like this prev. sentence too. You open your mouth to speak, but you’re interrupted when the other revenant rises from the ground. Great. I like this paragraph.
**You need to insert a line break when another character starts speaking.**
“--Aand why are you indecent?” the other one wonderswondered. The word ‘wonders’ makes me think that this is a thought. I get that this is a thought the character is voicing aloud, but I think another synonym would work better. His helmet must have fallen off. You recognized this one. You said this already. He iswas a handsome man, with chin-length hair and a strong jawline. If you didn’t know better, it’d be a tough job identifying him as undead. His name was Leon, you think. Here you were in stained and dusty robes--which were somehow torn--trying to reach the Lordlord of the castle! You must look like a madman. Fantastic description of the characters’ appearances, here.
**Line break needed**
“It’s an emergency! There’s an imminent threat to the castle!” Youyou throw out a plethora of frantic gestures in an effort to communicate the seriousness of the situation. “I swear on LUX’s name, that this is serious!” Leon’s eyebrows riserose in surprise, but other than that, the two undead didn’t respond. After all, the undeadr/w ‘undead’ did not worship LUX. They let you in, no comma needed with reluctance. I love this paragraph too. I’m really interested in learning more about the King, now.
Simply Oopening the doors sends a cascade of warm magic to floodflooding through you, restoring your vision and the rest of your hearing, but he was still a wreck. I recommend removing the last part of this sentence. My reasoning is that I’m not sure who ‘he’ is, nor why he is still a wreck. Also, it causes the sentence itself to train on a bit long. You witness a seemingly-boundless multitude of shining runes dancing around the room, illuminating the room with blue light. A boundless multitude of shining runes dances around the room, illuminating it with blue light. Atop the throneno comma needed, iswas Lord Stone. He iswas a tall brute of an orc, his balding gray head reachesreached six feetfoot while still sitting, and his eyes were closed. I feel like you can move the part about his balding grey head next to the part about his wrinkles. I also feel like you should just say he is six feet talk while sitting, instead of saying his balding head stretched this high. His facial features face iswere beset with wrinkles;Use a period instead of a semicolon here. Otherwise, your sentence is a bit long. His teeth arewere sharp, pointed things, with curved canines that jutted out of his mouth; he was balding. Move the ‘balding’ part next to your description about his head.The runes beginbegan swirling around the throne in an azure vortex of pure energy, consolidating as one big wall of magic, wrapping around the orc and permeating him. This last sentence can be rephrased a bit. Firstly, you already described the movement of the runes – it’s okay to describe how they are changing here, but try to use synonyms so it doesn’t sound repetitive. I believe you used the phrase ‘vortex of pure energy’ or ‘pure energy’ before, as well. Secondly, I’m not sure what it means to say that the magic ‘permeated’ the orc.
Overall, I thought this was very well-written. You’ve got some great characterization of the protagonist. You’ve introduced a sense of suspense and urgency that hooks the reader into your story. I love how you started off with the reader performing some sort of strange, unexplained magic ritual. You’ve constantly described the scenery and the characters’ appearance/body language in a way that shows the reader what your characters are like, rather than simply telling them, and that is an excellent thing to do as a writer.
Your world-building is off to a very strong start. I particularly liked your introduction of the magic spells, the mystery surrounding the King of this land, and the revenants. I loved how the revenants described us as the “court mage”: that gives the reader a sense of identity and makes us wonder what role we might play in this environment. I expect this to turn into a very excellent final piece, and I genuinely look forward to reading it.
I was going to go through this when I got some free time, but it looks like you pretty much covered everything! The main issues for me were the tense shifting and some minor grammar issues, and sometimes it was a little confusing what was happening, but overall I thought it was pretty interesting, exciting, and a great first draft.
One quick thing, your comment here is actually incorrect: " You cast two minor good vocabularycantrips: a spell of perception, which will restore some of your hearing;comma, not semicolon and a minor haste spell, which quickens your pace "
The semi-colon is correct. If items in lists following a colon have internal commas to describe them further, then you separate items in the list with semi-colons instead. E.g:
"The bus makes three stops along First Street: at the school, by the track field; at the gas station; and at the park, where I plan to get off."
Yeah, Tri mentioned to me that Gower taught them about supercommas. My bad. Thanks for pointing that out :-).