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Prologue:
The Last Battle

    White skinned, blue-eyed beings known as the Spacers ran across the rocky desert as they were under attack by their ruthless enemy, the Titans. Clad in bulky plate-mail and wielding plasma weaponry, the tall grey-skinned Titans were slaughtering everyone in their path. The Spacers fired their particle beam rifles as they ran. A few of them stopped and threw grenades releasing powerful gamma explosions, vaporizing that squad. A few of them backed away, having their armor torn apart revealing their glowing open wounds.

    From afar, the soldiers caught a glimpse of half of a step pyramid made of iron. They knew they were approaching their bunker. Tanks shaped as spiders crawled out of the soil in front of them. With agility and speed, they leaped on to them and tossed their last grenades into the main guns. They jumped off and took cover just as the tanks exploded.

    The hiding Spacers in the bunker grabbed the ionic machine guns from the armory and aimed them out of the openings. On their scope, they spotted three of their comrades running to them with a wave of Titans behind them. Two of them opened the bunker and fired with their cosmic launchers. Balls of lightning shot out of the weapons ripping enemy ships apart. The running Spacers sprinted to the open doors and sealed themselves.

    One of them touched a communicator inserted in his ear, "Captain Carato, Corporal Fedlo here! We are pinned at north of the Atla Region!"

    Captain Carato ordered, "Councilor Feidlima and her army are heading to your location gathering survivors! Once she finds you, follow her into the Ark! Hold the Titans off as long as you can!"
 
    They continued to fire their cosmic launchers at more Titan fighter ships and army after they got their friends. More tanks crawled out of the dunes to blow up the bunker. The incoming army fired at the opening of the bunker and hit a couple of magazines, releasing massive sparks electrifying three Spacers to death.  

    Then the opponent side transformed into a frozen landscape. More Titans stepped onto the ice and turned to frozen statues. A woman dressed in a bulky diamond full battle suit stepped out of the ice cap.

    A few more Titans dived from their ships and she fired ice balls at them. As the projectiles struck them, they froze and smashed into pieces as their bodies crashed to the surface. She stomped on the ground and stakes of ice pinned more of them. A couple of surviving Titans charged at her, but impaled them with her blades of ice.

    After she had disposed of them, she entered the bunker. Fedlo and the others bowed to her, "Councilor Feidlima, twenty-five of my soldiers are dead."

    "You did what you could do," Feidlima nodded. "Now, we must reach the Ark. Councilor Cade had his men hack the Titans' gates, transporting every last one into this region."

    Fedlo's eyes widened with shock as he found it insane, "You transported them from across the galaxy to here? They will wipe us out!"

    "If we don't activate the portal in time," she warned them. "Now hurry!"

    Under her order, they exited through the back of the bunker and headed towards the Ark. As they traveled for eight miles on their convoy, around them were mountains of ash and dust releasing columns of smoke into the sky. The ground shook from the ship's lasers causing each vehicle to skid. Within minutes, they made to the base of the Ark which was a giant golden pyramid. Fedlo's men rushed out of the convoy and headed to the top while Feidlima stayed behind, freezing everything. A couple of Titan fighter ships locked their target on her, but a male Spacer shot them with lightning bolts.

    Feidlima ran up to him and said, "Thank you, Judus!"

    Judus grabbed her hand, " Come on, We have to get in the Ark!"

    They looked up and saw three more portals releasing more waves of Titan ships. The remaining Spacer fleet hovered above the Ark. The rest of the Council Teutor, Cuno, and their leader Cade were guarding the entrance at the top as they waited for Feidlima and Judus.

    Once everyone was together, they rushed inside just as the Titans closed in on them. The control room constructed of glass, with the systems at the very center along with a map of the galaxy. The Council gathered around the controls and a holographic image of a ring appeared above the map.

    "This is it," said Cade. "Time to banish Seiton and his minions to Tartarus!"

    “I am using our Spacer gate as an engine for the Ark to get us out of here before we get trapped," said Teutor. He punched in codes at the side of the control panels.

    "Activate the portal now!" Feidlima urged.

    Five domes emerged from the panel. Feidlima touched a blue dome, Teutor touched a purple dome, Cuno touched a red dome, Judus touched a yellow dome, and Cade touched a green dome. Hundreds of moon-sized panels circled around the stellar region creating a ring and a large vortex appeared pulling in the Titan ships and their planet.

    Control panels split in half and a glowing white column emerged. An alarm went off indicating that someone was trying to contact the Council. As they answered it, an image of Seiton, the leader of the Titans appeared before them. Seiton's eyes glowed red with anger as he looked at the Council.

    "Spacers!" Seiton snarled. "What have you done?"

    "We’re banishing you out of the galaxy!" Cade shouted.

    "Fools, I will return to this galaxy. I will find the Source and recreate the Universe," Seiton warned them.

    Feidlima looked into Seiton's devilish eyes, clutched her eyes, and fell to the floor. Cade touched the glowing column and the Spacer gate launched them out to safety. Seiton snarled as his transmission was ending, "I will be return!"

    When everyone assumed the conflict was over, they watched as the star and its planets consumed and the ring shattered into dust. The Spacers had won the war.    

    They got Feidlima up and she opened her eyes. Her tears poured out as a fountain. Teutor helped her to a bench as she tried to calm herself. Cade came up to her and asked, "What happened?"

    Feidlima spoke as she tried to breathe, "I looked into his eyes and saw the future of our fate."

    "What do you mean? The war is over," said Cuno.

    "No, Seiton will kill us!" she cried and clutched her hair as if she tried to get rid of the vision.

    "We got rid him!" Teutor shouted. "He and his Titans will never come back!"

    "Tell us more of this vision," said Cade.

    Feidlima took a couple breaths and wiped her eyes, "He will return to our galaxy and turn every piece of technology against our kin. Then have access to the Source and recreate the Universe."

    The Council looked at each other trying to figure out what they must do. Seiton’s banishment was the only way to end the war.

    Feidlima continued, "I did see other worlds inhabited with a variety of new beings that are intelligent, but we never interacted with them.”

    Cade took a minute to think and said, "If Seiton returns, we and the primitives shall be ready for him."

    "How?" Judus asked.

    Cade explained, "We shall meet them face to face and cultivate them into civilization. Once their civilizations are established, their technology will grow to be as advanced as ours. With our guidance and their technological advancement, they will come together and assemble the most powerful legion the galaxy has ever seen. We will truly be defeat the Titans."

    "What if we don't survive to that time?" Feidlima asked with concern.

    "We have to," said Cade. "Otherwise, the primitives will die."
This is a new prologue to the first Hybrid Story. My friend suggested I write a different prologue that started before Helen's Hospital Scene that way the readers will get a better idea of what the heck is going to happen next. What do you think?
The preview image was drawn by 0-xcheekymonkeyx-0 Check her gallery if you want to. 0-xcheekymonkeyx-0.deviantart.…
Prologue:reading
Chapter 1:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 2:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 3:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 4:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 5:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 6:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 7:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 8:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 9:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 10:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 11:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 12:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 13:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 14:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 15:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 16:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 17:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 18:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 19:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 20:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 21:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 22:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 23:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 24:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 25:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 26:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 27:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 28:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 29:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 30:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 31:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 32:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 33:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 34:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 35:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 36:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
Chapter 37:bclement117.deviantart.com/art…
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:iconspace-commander:
Wow, this thing is sitting in 196 groups and there are just 25 comments so far. Ugh, I guess that's dA for you. Sometimes I wish these group admins would either actually give feedback or just be more selective about what they pass through submission, but I digress.

First I'd like to congratulate you on following your dreams and getting an entire draft of a novel typed out. 37 chapters is a lot and most people do not have that kind of commitment. But based on what I see here I think you have A LOT of work ahead of you and I would encourage you to work on getting a few short stories published in actual sci-fi magazines in order to have a better idea of what you will need to do to get Hybrid ready for publication. Self publishing works for some people, but I would highly discourage putting Hybrid out there in its present form. The main thing you need at this point is to find a good beta reader who will be brutally honest with you and push you to where you need to be: befriend the best writer you can find, invest time into him/her, and then ask for feedback every once in a while. I noticed in your most recent journal that you are reading Resolution by Ezri and I commend you for that. Ezri is a great person and I liked the upbeat feel of that novel.

Vision *** - There is only so far you can go with this kind of a setup. What you basically have is a ripoff of mythology deep-fried in sci-fi atmosphere and given the 'recreate the universe' capability you seem to be digging yourself into a hole. My advice: pay attention to what is going on around you in real life, listen to people, and try to integrate more of what you experience and observe into your writings. That being said, excellent presentation can get you very far even with formulaic stories. Truth be told, if the actual prose is good enough you can get away with a lot of the other flaws.

Originality **** - It's always refreshing to see a non-fanfiction story, but as I read this it felt a lot like I was reading a cross between a Thor fanfic and a Stargate fanfic. The way to score points in the originality department is through original characters, original plots, and original settings--none of which I saw in this prologue. Your characters are contrived and one-dimensional; the plot is not particularly complex or unique; and the setting seems as if it was pulled right out of the last Thor movie (you know, that desolate place where Thor was fighting the Dark Elves...).

Technique ** - Dude, DorianHarper wasn't kidding when he said you have a lot of grammatical issues to work out, and based on the latest version that I read I can't say I blame him for blowing off your March 1st comment. Get your [butt] in there and fix this thing!

Impact ** - The key to making an impact is getting a good sense of reader empathy. One of the main problems here is that you introduce too many new words that quite frankly just don't mean anything yet. "Titans," "Spacer Elite," about five character names--the reader hasn't been properly introduced. Think about the beginning of Star Wars IV: there were very few vocabulary words introduced and very few characters' names were mentioned.
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:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Mar 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

Critique courtesy of GrammarNaziCritiques:


Right away the line “A hundred thousand years ago, there was a planet” has me worried. Why a hundred thousand years ago? Why not ten thousand years or a million years or a hundred thousand and one years? I mean, I doubt it was exactly that number of years, unless this story starts on some kind of celebrated anniversary. It's a cliché but “Long ago” is a much stronger start because it doesn't cause me to ask questions that are unimportant, thus taking me out of the story … or if the number of years is important, how? Consider the line “One year ago the battle began” and what that tells the reader; not just that a battle began or that it began a year ago, but also we can expect a certain mood for the start, a We've Been At War For A Year mood. That's different from one month or several years or a lifetime, and thus interesting.


And then the rest of your first paragraph just confuses me: first the Spacers and the Titans are warring, and I'm cool with that. I imagine these two giant armies clashing, trading blows and not caring about the neutral third parties they hurt or the planets they ravage. But then the Spacers are running desperately from the ruthless and unstoppable Titans? That's not a war, that's a genocide. It sounds like the Titans are doing all the ravaging and the Spacers are just trying to get away. And are they both extraterrestrial? Meaning they chose some planet other than their own to have this not-war?


Second paragraph and onward, I think I'm feeling whiplash from this sudden close-up view of a battle. This works in film when a narrator does a voice-over explaining current events (first paragraph) while we see a battle that epitomizes those events (second paragraph and onward) but you are not writing a film script, you are writing prose. There are differences between the two. Maybe if you made that first paragraph italic to differentiate it?


And because you are not writing a film script, don't do that whole “each Titan was fully armored with bulky muscles and grey skin with glowing purple wounds and scars were clearly visible. They were slightly larger than a Spacer, and have goat horns sticking out at each side of their heads. Each of them carried heavy duty weapons.” That's too much description at once for prose, space out your descriptions and start with the important stuff like the horns. That line feels exactly like you are giving description to the makeup and wardrobe team, it needs to come off more naturally for your readers.


“and scars were clearly visible” makes the sentence run on, try something like, “glowing purple wounds, their scars clearly visible.”


“and have goat horns” needs to use “had” since the rest of this piece is in past tense, be careful with your tenses


For some reason I can't see this first scene very well. I thought Fedlow and his soldiers jumped in a convenient trench and started firing last-stand style, but the Titans were so badass that it did nothing and so the Titans were standing over them - “As they looked up” - about to kill them. But then Fedlow calls for reinforcements, gives a one-liner pep talk and they all shoot some more … and the Titans are only now coming to get them with tanks? I thought they were right there, but now they are across the field of battle?


Don't tell us that the Spacer guns malfunctioned, show us and make it interesting. And what, they all malfunctioned? Isn't that kind of weird or suspicious?


Unless those are self-propelled grenades they did not fly them at the Titans, I think you meant “threw” instead of “flew” … although self-propelled grenades would be pretty futuristic and cool.


“All of a sudden” is one of the most cliché ways to start a sentence; it immediately tells the reader that whatever happens next will be different and important, so why not show how different and important it is instead? Which you do by showing the opposing side become a frozen landscape as a woman in badass armor steps in to the scene and kills all the Titans in thirty seconds. You don't need that start to show that the tide was turned all of a sudden because we see it happen.


“a woman in a bulky diamond full battle suit with” would be easier to understand. And where are the flames? In her armor? In her hands? Above her head? And why does she “appear” as a woman? Using “appeared” like that implies she is not as she seems. Maybe change the last two sentences of that paragraph to say something like, “A woman appeared in a bulky diamond full battle suit, burning blue flames around her hands as she stepped out of the ice cap.” Then when Fedlo bows to her he introduces her more naturally as “Councilor Feidlima” instead of just “Dear Councilor” which feels a little smarmy.


Instead of telling the reader he thinks she is insane, show us in some way, maybe with big shocked eyes, mouth agape, or just have him add, “Are you insane?!”


I'm really curious how they transported the Titans … this could be something to be revealed, but I'm worried it will turn out to be a plot hole. If they could transport the Titans here, why not transport them in to a star or a black hole or something? Or maybe you mean they lured them all here, but then how? Are the Titans really dumb enough to all be lured to one place, to what is obviously a trap?


So I understand that this mountain is also the pyramid mentioned by Captain Carato, and so they were headed there from the start … but they seem to have arrived really quickly. Why wasn't the mountain part of the scenery description during the trench fighting if it was so close? And why did they jump in the trench for a last stand if the mountain where the guys with super powers had gathered was so close? And you know that a mountain is not the same as a pyramid, right? The visual, in other words what the reader sees in their mind's eye, is completely different.


Even more cliché than “All of a sudden” is a man named Judus who smiles and promises to have your back. It's not bad, but I will roll my eyes when he betrays everyone, and if he doesn't betray everyone then why was he set up to do so? It's a lose-lose name unless you are doing something really, really clever with it … which, having read to the end now, maybe you are.


Please read what you write out-loud, preferably with someone listening. Note where it sounds awkward, like “Five domes they must touch to activate the ring” as if Yoda was the narrator. Change those places.


A static image means unmoving, and yet Seiton (lol, Satan) looks at them, his eyes glow red and he snarls. That's a lot of movement right there, not static at all.


How in the world did the vortex pull in every Titan ship, but not the Spacer ships nor the pyramid-ship? Their victory over Satan strains credulity to the breaking point, it's too easy. Maybe someone has to do a heroic sacrifice, maybe Judus shows he isn't such a bad guy by distracting Satan for a while as everyone else sneaks away using cloaking illusions, then Judus hits the win button and goes out with a smile … ha, because Judus was a double agent and is betraying Satan! Or maybe the entire Spacer fleet is banished along with Satan, heroic sacrifice on a species scale, while the Councilors survive because the pyramid is protected.


Okay, so thanks to Feidlima having that convenient vision we now know why a hundred thousand years was important … still, it feels silly, like the narrator knew she would say that later and so was able to say “One hundred thousand years ago!” with complete honesty and without any irony. If it was me, I would take out that “One hundred thousand years ago” from this prologue and instead use “One hundred thousand years later” to start the first chapter because at least by then we know why that number is important … or even better, just get rid of those exact numbers entirely and have Feidlima say that Satan would return someday, she doesn't know when.


Despite it's awkward writing or cliché moments, this prologue genuinely works well to start a story about a world in which technology is both our greatest strength and weakness. Cade wants to guide the primitive race (Humans I assume) to be technologically advanced … which is the stupidest plan he could suggest seeing as Feidlima just told them that Satan would win using their technology, it seems like what he should do is suggest they keep the primitive people primitive while training them to be badass warriors even without tech. But hey, people suggest dumb plans sometimes, it works. Anyway, I can see Cade's dumb plan leading to a modern day where technology is feared (Satan will see you though your TV!) and respected (we need technology to defeat Satan!) and so there are genuine fears of networked technology, but maybe the Humans forgot why and so people are starting to do it anyway … a clever parallel to the real world where social networking is sometimes called the tool of the devil and seems to be capable of both bringing us together and tearing us apart. And meanwhile those Councilors were guiding humanity in their own ways, such as Teutor creating the Teutonic Knights or Judus being Judas. If you're doing something like that I applaud you, that's very ambitious and cool!


In summery, please read what you have written out loud and fix the writing that sounds awkward, there's quite a lot of that; if you don't know what sounds awkward, all I can say is read more. If you want to write a movie script then I suggest you do so, but know the difference between the two. Spelling seems pretty good but there's a small bit of work to be done with tenses still, as well as point of view. Remember to show don't tell, and especially work on describing the environments so that readers can see the scene and know where everything is … but to be honest small stuff like all that is excusable, especially when you have a clever, ambitious and visually dramatic story like I hope you do.


Any questions?

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:iconbclement117:
Alright then, I see you point on this prologue. I have followed your tips and I made the prologue sound much better now. I added some more details not trying to sound like I am telling. I fixed the parts you have seen and kept looking it over. Would you be able to reread this? Would you also be interested in the next chapter?
Reply
:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

I'll give rereading this piece a try. But in the future please, instead of asking a critic to read the whole piece again, ask directed questions like “Did this change work?” or “What if I did this?” Have a conversation, don't just say "Again!" As for any other chapters … I'm interested by your story, but it wasn't easy and besides the critique I gave you was for my group. Perhaps we could trade critiques as a separate matter, one for one?


“On their world” … you're telling again, ironically you could have done that back when you had a narrator but without one it feels awkward, though I'm glad to discover this is the Spacer homeworld, that makes the end of this chapter more meaningful


“an army of … Spacers ran into their bunker” … I think you need more than 10 to 35 soldiers to have an army, this seems to be an artifact from when you were talking about two ravaging armies


“and wielded advanced” … really, a sentence like this doesn't sound off to you when you read it back to yourself? The tense would be “wielding” unless you change the whole sentence.


“then summoned tanks” … magically summoned, out of thin air? Because that's what this feels like.


“released massive sparks” … either this is the worst malfunction ever or that Judus guy is involved somehow, the former is taking your description of a malfunction a little too far but the latter is interesting


If you're going to use my suggested sentence exactly in the rewrite, do I get writing credit?


“and have only ten” … I was hoping you would see this yourself while re-writing, I believe there should be a pronoun in here


Feidlima calling the pyramid an ark is nice, I don't think I noticed that before


Either “Cade had his men hack the Titans' gates” or “Cade's men hacked the Titans' gates” would be more grammatically correct than what you have now, I can't really explain why. Also I'm still left wondering why they didn't just send the Titans into a black hole with this sneaky stuff.


If you have succeeded at showing instead of telling that he found the plan insane then you won't need to say it, so take out “finding it insane” and figure out a way to show it. Think about it like this: how would you react to hearing a really insane plan? Back away? Laugh uncomfortably? Get angry? Now figure out how Fedlo, a war-hardened soldier and leader of others, would react. Write that. Don't tell your readers he thinks the plan is insane (revealing a thought inside his head is bad because this piece isn't from his first person POV) show it. It's even a little bad to tell your readers he was shocked, that being both an emotion inside his head and a facial expression. And timing is important too. Let's say his eyes go wide, but when? Generally his facial reaction would happen after she speaks and before he speaks, but the tense and placement of the phrase “his eyes widen” has it happening after he speaks.


I'm still wary about Judus' name but that smile going away helps


“They needed to reunited” is bad grammar, and the rest of this sentence is telling. Why not have someone say it? As in, “We need to reunite with the rest of the Council or our race will come to an end!”


“The one with fire … was Teutor” … same as before with Feidlima, when you introduce someone don't just tell the reader who they are, find a way to reveal their name in a more natural manner. And should I know what Earth gauntlets and warp wings are? I can imagine some random weird thing for warp wings, but what are Earth gauntlets? Special named gauntlets that can control earth, or gauntlets made from earth?


You didn't really fix that “five domes” line with the change … get rid of “they must touch to activate the ring” since you show them doing exactly that in the next few lines.


“they would come together and assemble a prowess and mettle legion the galaxy would ever seen.” … what is a prowess and mettle legion? I understand the words separately but when put together in that way they make no sense. And I think you want something more like, “legion better than the galaxy has ever seen.” or maybe “assemble a legion of more prowess and mettle than the galaxy will ever see.”


“peace will be restored” … restored from what, the peace before Satan showed up in the first place? Something about this feels off.


The piece still feels more like a script and less like a novel. This is really hard for me to explain but there's just something dry or unmusical about your writing style, you write like someone who has watched a lot of TV but not read a lot of books. Your story has drama and visual flare and that's why I can see it working as a script in some visual medium, but your writing itself is clunky and unrefined for the needs of prose. Compare these three sentences “The good guy army attacked, they kill some guys on the other side. The other side attack next, they were big and way more badass. The good guys had to ran away.” to these three “Shots of violet plasma arced across the trench-covered battlefield, each hit a soldier down, left behind for the mercy of the victors. The horn-headed Titans in their plate-mail advanced as the white-skinned Spacers ran for their bunker, but even that was no promise of safety. The Titan's tanks rumbled forward.” See how the first (an exaggeration of how your writing sounds to me) is basic description of the exact events and the second sort of flows from one thing to the next? Issues like this with style will only improve after a lot of practice, a lot of feedback and a lot of reading other people's writing, so keep at it! Reading other people's work (preferably professionally published) will also help your grammar, so first and foremost get reading.


The rest of the piece is still full of those same grammar issues, sometimes even in the places you made changes. I can't fix it all. But here's the good news: the story is what matters most. Any good publishing house will fix the grammar before publishing, if the prose is in good enough shape for them to read it anyway; there are professional authors who struggle with grammar too but you wouldn't know it thanks to the publishing houses. What matters if you want to see this story published is that you have a dramatic plot (which you do) and an engaging writing style (which you need to practice) so don't worry too much about the grammar.

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:iconbclement117:
I finally fixed the whole prologue!
Reply
:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Panda Bunny Neko Misc Emoji-07 (Applause) [V1]

And do you have any directed questions about it?
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:iconbclement117:
No, I am just letting you know that I have gotten help and everyone loves my original plot.
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:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That's good to hear, I too enjoy it when everyone loves my original plot and helps to polish it. Speaking of, my offer still stands if you would like to trade lit critiques on a one-for-one basis; I could work my way through the rest of your story and you could do the same for mine. I think we would both benefit from this arrangement, and I would like having another reason to read the rest of your story.
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:iconnamelesssaint:
NamelessSaint Jan 4, 2014  Professional Writer
Is this fan fiction?
Reply
:iconbclement117:
No this is an original work that I made up on my own. The artist that did the covers is 0-xcheekymonkey-0.
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