Thread: The Beta Place
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Old February 25th, 2009 (07:12 AM).
Mira Mira is offline
restless spirit
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: i iz ina mufin
Gender: Female
Nature: Impish
Posts: 1,748
BETA READERS:


Category: grammar, proof-reading

Genre Specialty: I specialize in fantasy, though I will pretty much work on anything.

Preferred Method of Contact: PM

Examples of writing:
A prologue. Could potentially have screwed up spacing, so I apologize.
Spoiler:
The girl gently drifted to the ground and knelt down in the grass, burying her face in her hands as emotion finally took hold of her. Tears prickled her eyes and the skin beneath her fingers burned. She had never before felt so completely alone as she did now.

She had been told by her mentor that this was something that only she could do. This was one thing he couldn't help her with or repair if she failed. Everything the Faeries had worked for would be undone. If she failed, that is. She didn't understand why everything had to fall on her now of all times.

The Power Mark on her forehead suddenly turned blissfully cool against her heated face, calming her emotions and allowing her to sort out her thoughts. Now wasn't the time to allow her feelings to take control. She knew what it was that she had to do in order to find him. She had to try and track him.

Taking a breath to steady herself and lay down on her back, allowing her eyes to slip closed. Her black cloak spread across the ground to reveal her translucent diamond-shaped wings. She became conscious of her chest slowly rising and falling and felt her heart-rate decrease as she relaxed. Her thoughts slowly faded and she allowed her senses to drift from her form. They continued to spread outward until she was no longer aware of the sensations in her body. She felt her spirit drift forward lazily and she reinforced her connection to her body to ensure she didn't split from it permanently. She reached over the presence of the animals and Faeries around her, seeking out her brother's Power.

She couldn't find anything.

She was about to pull back when something that seemed somehow familiar flickered at the corner of her reach. Her consciousness closed in on it, attempting to identify what it was. Suddenly, it sparked once more, flowing into the connection and flooding her head with fragments of sights, sounds and tastes that she couldn't sort out as they overwhelmed her. Next came a stream of words that were so clear that it was as if someone were speaking them into her ear.


The Moon will shine
once again
and will reflect the Light.

Her Light will glow
through the Dark
and will cleanse the Power again.

The Darkness will try to make her dim
and find a way veil the Sun,
but she will protect it with all she is
and in turn will never wane.

“What?” the girl whispered, frowning as she returned to her body.

She opened her eyes and sat up, troubled by what she had found. It was always a possibility that her mentor had transferred that to her, but for what reason? He didn't typically speak to her in riddles, let alone in verse, though she was never quite sure what he was up to.

Or had she seen into the future?

It seemed far too unrealistic and the very idea of it made her want to laugh, but she had been told that it was a possibility to do so by accident, since there was no way of mastering it. But if she had, what did it mean? Was it her own future?

The girl brushed the stray strands of coal-colored hair out from in front of her face and placed a finger to her silver Power Mark to find that it had returned to the temperature of the rest of her skin.

She stood up and looked back at the white marbled wall of the palace which stood less than a mile away, her heart sinking low in her chest. Her brother was still missing and the only way she knew of finding him had failed. The only thing she could do now was wait.

Her wings quivered slightly and caught the gentle breeze, slowly lifting her into the air and toward the towering building ahead. She was nearing the massive whitewashed doors when something brushed against her consciousness. She flinched, her flight wavering for a moment.

Her breath turned into a choked gurgle when she was swept over by the same sensation as before. Only this time, she didn't control the connection.

Her eyes remained fixed on the palace before her, but she could no longer see it. Darkness cloaked her sight, its inky-black embrace tugging her from her body. The flicker of flames surrounded her, revealing the silhouettes of what appeared to be Faeries, their wings glowing with the light that illuminated them.

She will have the chance
to repair it all.

The figures all raised their arms, their Power Marks shining with the colors of their Type.

Undo the mistakes
made long, long ago.

The glorious colors of the Power Marks slowly faded, transforming into a horrible black more deep than anything she had ever seen. They spread across the arms of the Faeries and down over their bodies until they were nothing but darkness.

But whether it is done
by death or Power
is to be her choice,
and shall change everything
forever.

As quickly as it had started, her vision ended. She was thrust back into her body and her sight cleared. Her leg and back ached and she was staring at an expanse of blue. The sky?

She twisted her head to the side with a wince of pain and saw the palace only a few meters away. She had fallen to the ground, her wings useless when she no longer consciously controlled them. The girl pushed herself up gingerly and saw that her left leg was twisted uncomfortably under the other. She tried to move it back into place, but only succeeding in sending a stab of pain through it. She let herself fall back again with a groan.

She thought about what had just happened with a shiver. Her mind had been overcome so quickly by the force of whatever had just happened, and she now knew for sure that it hadn't been something transferred to her. She'd seen into the future.

“Are you hurt?” a crisp female voice asked from nearby.

She looked up to see a younger girl flying over, a shocked look on her face. It was Martha, her assigned healer. Martha was there to make sure she didn't get herself killed.

“How does Martha always find me?” she muttered to herself, placing a hand over her eyes.

“Don't worry, I'll fix your leg lickety-split,” Martha said cheerily.

Martha placed her hands on the girl's injured leg and immediately the pain faded. She looked down to see that Martha had already managed to put her leg back in place and was now mending the bone, her hands glowing with a white light.

She is already very skilled in her Power, she thought, removing her hand from her face and pushing herself up.

Martha stood and held out a hand to help her up. She took the younger girl's hand and stood as well, experimentally placing weight on her mended leg. It worked as if it hadn't been injured in the first place. She looked up to give Martha a smile, but saw that there was a nervous expression on her face.

“What's wrong, Martha?” she asked in a low voice.

“We found your brother,” Martha said quietly, refusing to meet her gaze.

Her heart flooded with hope for a moment before realizing that something wasn't right.

“Is he okay?” she asked, her eyes wide with fear. “Did he get hurt?”

“No,” Martha shook her head slowly, her pale-brown curls tumbling across her face. She looked up at her with deep, mournful blue eyes. “But something else has happened.”


This is an excerpt from the first chapter of one of my stories. This is slightly older, however, so there may be a few typos.
Spoiler:
Imelda sat before the flickering fireplace as the rain beat against the roof of the house. Her brown hair was damp and plastered to her flushed cheeks, but she made no move to fix it. A book lay open in her lap, though Imelda's thoughts were far away from the print on the pages.

Her uncle had once again offered to open his home to Imelda and he had warned her that he would no longer support her if she stayed in her home. She was realizing that she would have to make the choice sooner or later, and later was approaching far sooner than she expected.

Ever since Imelda's mother had died, he had been struggling to find a way to keep Imelda in his household, but he had never succeeded.

Until now.

For as long as Imelda could remember, she had lived with her mother's friend, Sarah, and her uncle had seemed content with that arrangement. Two years ago, however, Imelda decided to go back to her home and live by herself, taking the money that her uncle gave to Sarah for her care in order to do so. The shrinking bag of coins in her belt served as a constant reminder of her dependence on her uncle.

But Imelda didn't understand why he wanted her to live with him so badly. He had never actually visited her with the exception of her earlier birthdays and, as far as she knew, he hadn't so much as lifted a finger to help her father when he became an alcoholic. Even if he was her mother's brother, Imelda couldn't say that she trusted him.

Somehow, despite thoughts weighing heavily on her mind, consciousness slipped from her body and she drifted to sleep.

* * *

A blood chilling scream assaulted Imelda's ears. Her eyes snapped open, though all she could see were the flames slowly dying in the fireplace. All of her senses were suddenly sharp. She could feel the cold floor beneath her cheek and hear how the rain had turned to sleet. A sharp taste floated on her tongue... As if she had placed a metal spoon on it. Imelda listened, wondering if it had been a part of her dreams until the screaming started again.

It was woman's scream. A man swore and the shrieks continued, seeming to get closer to her. She heard the man shout and all sound immediately ceased. The change was so abrupt that Imelda sat up and quickly pulled herself to her feet, her heart pounding loudly in her ears. She listened carefully for any sound and slowly wrapped her fingers around the knife that rested in her belt. Imelda held it in front of her and waited, every muscle tense, for the next noise.

One second passed, then another.

A man shouted on the other side of the door and the wood bent in, immediately breaking apart into hundreds of slivers that flew across the room. Imelda raised her arm to protect her face and watched in horror as a hooded figure jumped through the doorway. The black hood shadowed his face, but she could feel his eyes lock on her and see the shine of his teeth as he pulled back his lips into a smile.

Out of instinct, Imelda held out the knife, making sure it separated her from the intruder. He laughed, his voice like someone dropping logs on a pile of wood, and raised his right hand in her direction.

“Surmarsi!” he yelled.

Imelda twisted her knife and was about to throw it when she was struck by an invisible hand. Her throat constricted and she couldn't breath as the room began to swim around her. Her body was frozen in place. She felt her heart slow its beating and her thoughts start to fog as she quickly began to shut down.

The man lowered his hand and grinned darkly. An ashen hand reached from behind him and grabbed the back of his neck, pushing him forward. He screamed as smoke floated from his cloak and the next figure glided in. The new intruder pulled the man along for several strides before releasing his neck, dropping him on the floor.

“Idiot,” the figure hissed as she pulled off her hood to reveal her long, silver hair. “You just about killed her. Parmarsi!”

Immediately, air flowed into her lungs and her body started to work again. Imelda struggled to cry out, but she couldn't make a sound. She still had no control over her arms or mouth and her legs were held in place.

“I don't know why we were assigned to fetch this... child,” she said, stepping closer to Imelda. “Though she does strike me as an interesting little mutt.”
The woman laughed and took the blade from Imelda's hand, tossing it beside the crumpled man on the floor. She thrust out her pale arm and grabbed Imelda's face with her hot hand, forcing Imelda's head to move from side to side as the woman examined her. Imelda struggled with all her might to regain control of her body and break through the hex.

“Ah, it looks as though we shall be traveling with an honorary deihher tonight,” she said to her comrade, who was beginning to pull himself off the floor and pick up the discarded knife.

Imelda didn't understand. If anyone looked like a deihher, it was the woman. Her silver hair and purple lining around her black, iris-less eyes seemed to come right out of the horror stories that ran through the town. Except that she wasn't a wolf.

The woman ran her fingers through her captive's hair, causing Imelda's scalp to tingle. She abruptly took her hand and smacked it across Imelda's face.

“Most likely a traitor's offspring. I don't know what he would want with any of that sort, past revenge. But Christopher has always had a way of choosing,” she stared at Imelda with a mixture of distain and hunger. “But if he is wrong, we could always use another Aninoid.”

“You should not refer to your superior in such casual terms,” the man said sharply, glaring at her murderously from beneath his charred hood.

The woman waved her hand dismissively and turned to face her challenger. “To call him otherwise would be to grant him respect, and since he has done little over the past years to impress me, he has earned none.”

Imelda concentrated, focusing all her energy on moving her hand. Her fingers twitched.

“The man who reawakened the art of our magics? The man whose ancestors survived our people's fall?” he growled, stepping in front of the woman and drawing his massive body up to full height.

Imelda slowly broke through her paralysis and reached her arm toward the fire poker on the floor. She hoped that she could knock out the woman with it and have recovered enough speed to evade the man. She knew that if she were captured again she would be worse off, but she couldn't wait for them to reveal what they were going to do with her.

“He's a coward,” the woman laughed mirthlessly. “The only reason his family survived at all is because they placed themselves before their cause. They should have all died with the failed magic user those centuries back so we could have started over without his leadership.”

Imelda's hand brushed against the metal rod.

“We would not have half the spells we have now if it wasn't for his family's survival.”

She wrapped her hand around it and began to lift it up behind her.

“You are as arrogant as he. I suppose that if he asked of you to-” a loud clattering cut the woman off when the poker fell to the floor.

The two intruders stopped and stared at Imelda. I'm dead, Imelda thought. She waited for them to say the word to freeze her heart again, forcing her body to shut down as she slowly suffocated... But it didn't happen.

“You're a slippery little snake, aren't you?” the woman said with little emotion. She closed her eyes and thought for a moment, seeming to think that their captive was no threat. “The average length of the partial immobilization spell on a non-magic user is an hour, fifty-two minutes and twenty seconds.” She opened her dark eyes and stared at Imelda. “While the average duration of the spell on a person of typical magical capabilities is approximately an hour and four minutes.”

“Did you cast the spell properly?” the man demanded.

“Of course I did, but how can this be? We can't have been here for more than twenty minutes.”

Imelda realized that they had forgotten her, for they were too busy arguing, and began quietly edging around them as fast as her stiff legs could move her. They continued to bicker, discussing things that Imelda knew nothing of, as she approached the gap where the front door used to stand. A meaty fist came down on the side of her face and she crumpled halfway through the doorway, dazed and bleeding from her split lip. Splinters dug into her arms and neck and a lump already began forming on her head as sleet rained down on her face.

“You little-”

“Calm yourself. We were sent here to take her back with us in one piece. She's no threat to us. But tie her up. I don't want her jumping out of the cart.”

The man stepped away from her to find something to bind her with. Imelda looked outside and noticed that the town was completely quiet. The neighbors hadn't heard the noise before. Imelda coughed up a clot of blood that had gone down her throat and took a raspy breath.

“HELP!” Imelda yelled into the night until the word faded into a frantic scream.

Thin, long fingers pressed down over her mouth, cutting off her cries and causing her lip to bleed all the more. The heat that radiated off the hands was so intense that Imelda was sure that her face was being incinerated. The woman's deep eyes entered Imelda's vision, seeming to steal all the light from the room. Imelda couldn't look away. She felt her body melt into a strange mixture of calm and raw terror.

“You're safe, child,” the woman said softly, holding Imelda's gaze in hers. “We're taking you where you belong. We are going to take care of you.”

Imelda felt her ankles being bound, then her wrists. But that didn't matter. She was going to be taken where she belonged. They were going to take care of her.

She was lifted off the ground and carried the rest of the way out of the house into the freezing rain. A cart pulled by two horses was waiting outside. Waiting for her.

The man placed her limp body on the bundles in the cart before sitting up front to drive the horses. The woman, however, sat next to her in the back, placing a bag of items beside her. Her hood was up again, but Imelda could still see her dark, abysmal eyes whenever they looked down on her.

Imelda lay there, feeling content. There was something wrong and she knew it. Something was wrong with the way the bags below her smelled and felt, but she couldn't concentrate. She turned her head to the side and watched the wheels as they rolled over the paved road. The path was flat and empty until they passed a motionless body. Imelda blinked. Black hair was sprawled around the woman's pale face and her neck was twisted at a grotesque angle.

“Sarah?” Imelda gasped, staring at the mangled body of her recent guardian.


Examples of reviews/beta-reports:
Are these allowed to be from other websites?

Third review down by LydiaB:
http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/topic43545.html

Seventh review down by LydiaB
http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/topic42028.html

Strengths/weaknesses: I sometimes have trouble drilling into the core of the story to critique (especially when it's the first part), though that typically gets better as I am more exposed to the story line. I also tend to be random, which can be either good or bad
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