Peer editing! 

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Peer editing! 

Peer editing! 

This sounds like school, so let me explain: you can post any writing that you're working on and want help with, and anyone can leave constructive comments to help you out! 

The main rule, obviously, is be nice in your comments and be sure to tell people what they did well! Also, though I enjoy editing grammar, comments about ideas, descriptions, and structure are usually more helpful. 

:) have fun! 

submitted by Lupine , Shell Cottage
(February 2, 2022 - 10:16 pm)

Ooh, great idea! I think it'll really help lots of people!

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(February 3, 2022 - 3:28 pm)

This is a great idea!! :D

submitted by RainTOP!
(February 3, 2022 - 6:30 pm)

Oja's eyes fixated on the boned-coloured spires that pierced through the canopy ahead.

A music box within her mind slowly began to chime, the nearly-audible creaking old wood and scraping metal bits lost to her as each note struck, ringing tightly, and not just in her head. She shook it off and stepped into a clearing. The castle before her stood stark; noble and pearly against a sky of fading twilightish pinks and oranges which were soon tinged with a hint of blue.

The haunting toothpick-dance continued, burrowing ever-so-slightly deeper with each step onwards as the colour was slowly wrung from the sky. It was still bright, and the mellow colours only accentuated the pristine, lonely nature of the castle.

A voice somewhere in the depths of Oja's chest tugged at her heartstrings, the silence seemingly too much to bear. It vibrated, heavy and unsung in the cavity of her chest, as if begging to be released and eased of its viscosity. Oja's lips parted as her feet met the cold, glossy stretch that surfaced the unblemished white courtyard. Like a milky lake, it reflected every smooth movement and star opening its bright eye in the dimming sky's blush.

Her white dress fluttered behind her on a gentle gale in time with the swell of music, giving her the appearance of gliding like a swan-fairy as she drew yet nearer. 

A soft hum escaped her lips, pouring over the unfolding scene and preserving it in clear resin; swallowing up everything and coating it in a protective layer, making every moment smoother and every surface clearer and shinier.

Pink had completely overtaken the sky, and purple crept yet deeper towards the heart of the sky. Oja now stood at the castle's gates. 

The empty structure echoed with nothing but silence and the hum emitting from her. It sent shivers down her spine and stayed; trickling, dripping -- counting down towards… Well, something. 

The doors loomed, tall and innocent of human touch or age, yet simultaneously appearing ancient and arcane. Oja gingerly reached a hand out to the barrier. At that instant, the voice inside gushed into a haunting melody, pricked by the strums of a harp and piano now, in addition to the music box. It rose, cradling every sense and holding hostage the girl's every thought, coaxing Oja's own voice to spring free and flit over the castle's spires; swooping and scaling its sky-poking towers and chiseled walls.

All at once, Oja's hand met the doors and they groaned as they swept open at her touch, allowing her into the noiseless white atrium. The music fell to a stop, dousing her in cold water. 

Yes, she could feel the cold nibbling at her fingers and toes-- straggling across her skin like a silk veil. It shocked her awake, broke the Illusion and cloaked everything in the shattered fragments of silence. All the same, the music-box rang a crystal-clear pair of sombre notes, then another, and then Oja's head was clouded with song again. Her voice, clear as a bell and covered in haze at the wisped ends, like mist upon the mountains upon the morning light, lilted on, mirroring the voice hidden beneath her ribs.

She tread onwards, like a ghost; aimless, but unable to be drawn away from the path her feet knew too well. They slid over the polished tiles lined in blue crystal, through corridors and arches no one person should ever have known, past seemingly endless walls of mirrors and windows. The rose-coloured sky, veined with purple and black poison, streamed in through in thin rays, dyeing the pearly interior a much more sinister shade. The shifting reddish aura was only further exacerbated by this wanderer's song.

Oja's feet padded to a halt at the very end of the long hall, draped in shadow. A single carved pedestal stood against the wall, holding a white box. Oja's fingers ran over the box, and found the gold latch. In a moment, the mirror inside was revealed. The wanderer lifted it from its velvet bed and cradled it, moving to the heart of the bleached palace. 

The core of the castle sat undisturbed, even more so than the rest of the palace. Its corners crept with blue-violet shadows, and the entire room was heavy with nightishness. There, in the darkness, lie a round pedestal with an open book and a withering rose. Oja gently placed the mirror there, looking into the blackened reflection. 

Suddenly she was in the forest. She glanced up, eyes focusing on the staring ebony spires that pierced through the canopy ahead and sliced into the pinkish-orange sky.

A music-box within her mind slowly began to chime, and she didn't even notice the near-audible sound of splinting wood and grating metal as crisp notes rang clearly and tightly from within. 

The light once more began to retreat to the horizon, and Oja slowly made her way towards the Night-soaked castle. 


I wrote this a while back; any suggestions? I think the pacing might be a weaker point? Please leave your thoughts below!

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(February 3, 2022 - 7:43 pm)

Wow, that's amazing! The descriptions are absolutely gorgeous, and I really love the way you described the "music-box within her mind." The only things I would suggest are really tiny: is it intentional that the spires change color at the end? Because first they're bone-colored but then they're ebony. Also, it's a little confusing when you say "ringing tightly, and not just in her head." Maybe explain that a little more? But other than that it's beautiful! 

submitted by Lupine, The Lovegood House
(February 4, 2022 - 1:10 pm)

Yep, the castle and its spires 'subtly' change from white to black at the end, which is supposed to add to the mysteriousness of it all, like why everything's repeating, but slightly different-- slightly darker. I actually intentionally made the language at the beginning and the end mirror each other to vamp up the creepyness. :P

As for the second quote you found confusing: "ringing tightly, and not just in her head" it's sorta supposed to be unnervingly uncertain; like, neither Oja or the audience really know what's going on, and cannot be sure whether there really is a source of music that has this wierd, magical effect or something(which is implied by the strange, apparently looped scenario at the end, and details that point to Oja not being herself once she hears the music/it seemingly functioning like a spell, almost breaking when she snaps out of it for a second), or whether its all just Oja and her mind(which can be supported by the fact that the music box is said to be in her head, as you pointed out earlier).

Anyway, sorry for the confusion; a lot of my work can be worded/phrased a bit vaguely at times, in order to invite ambiguity and the audience's imagination to take over, but I also understand that that same flexibility can be frustrating or come across overdone and sloppy for some. 

Thanks for the feedback, Lupine! I really enjoy reading/hearing constructive criticism or points that confused people in my work, since that lets me focus on my weak points and refine, or at least be more mindful of them. I really appreciate that, and having the ability to explain it out! I look forward to seeing more of your critiques, and great idea, starting this thread!

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(February 4, 2022 - 4:06 pm)

(There's technically more before this, but this is the specific scene I want to focus on):


Eula gently swiped her thumb over Bitty's chapped lips, pretending not to notice the anguish in her eyes. The pink eyes and pale skin of the latter were scarred with unmistakable tearstains, traced and deepened by the thin shadows and highlighted dyed purple by the faint teal glow of the lab's 'equipment'.

Only the golden eyes that stared back --practically glowing-- didn't match the scene.

"Lala..." The words were choked out, raspy and painful, "Lala, please don't... P-please- I beg you, I'll do anything... Just please don't do it..."  

The golden eyes remained empty as a smile creeped up into their matching lips. It should've worked. That was what made her want to laugh; just a little while ago -- heck, just days ago -- and that kind of begging from the only person that meant anything in her life would've made her drop everything and desperately go over in an attempt to soothe the girl. It really should've worked this time too.

The corners of the golden eyes creased until the gold disappeared, as if to hide the hollow irony within.

"Sorry, Bitty. I'm afraid I can't." Her thumb continued its trek across Bitty's cheek. The pink eyes widened in horror.

"W-why? If someone's threatening you, I can-" 


The pink eyes lowered, voice trailing off, and Eula's hand fell to her own side. The invisible red string that connected them was clipped before her eyes. For good. It was a done-deal. Absolutely over.

"I said 'I can't,' didn't I?" Her eyes were dark and yet still seemed to shine, glinting ominously against the dimness of the room. "I meant it."

Her eyes swept the dim room, as if to punctuate her sentence, and a red button caught her eye on the control panel. It was impossible to see from where Bitty was currently situated, and as long as she didn't come any closer and was kept distracted, it would stay that way. Eula smiled, a gesture that went unnoticed under the cloaking dark. She slowly edged towards the button, all senses peeled for any strange occurrences.

"Lala, wh-why are you doing this? Answer me, for real this time." Bitty's voice trembled, eyebrows scrunched up like she was pretending to be angry or commanding, or maybe both. It was just adorable. The smile sunk deeper into Eula's lips. Why? Did it really matter, why? When had it ever mattered before? Did it- No. Calm down. Eula shook her head lightly and the dark crawling-feeling under her skin dissipated, like ice to a blowtorch. She was no monologging villain, and certainly not some idiot who’d ruin her own plans by revealing them to a party that couldn't be trusted -- especially not when the other party was clearly dead-set against her own goal.

She forced out a cold laugh. 

"Quit playing around. It's over, Bridget." Bitty looked like she had just been slapped. 

"Bridget?" Disbelief and indignation rose in that usually-soft voice, actually making it sound angry for the first time. "Since when- What- Did you just- Why-???" She sputtered, seemingly incapable of forming a complete thought in frustration.

Eula internally punched herself, desperately forcing down the lid of the wooden chest that held her heart and those pesky left-over emotions with every mental ounce of strength she had left. Why did she have to say something so openly provocative??? Who knew what would happen if she let herself lose her cool here? That had been way too irresponsible! She exhaled and focused on her body, on steadily inching towards the button, biting back curses and forcing herself to retain a blank expression. Maybe… Just maybe, it was for the best, after all…

However, Bitty seemed to notice this strange behaviour and in an instant her eyes darted about Eula's direct surroundings, and spotted the button. It all connected in that moment; her eyes widened, she lunged forward.

"LALA NO-" It was only a split second that Eula had to react, but pushing a button is so often easier than keeping someone from doing so. When the flurry of movement ended, there was only silence. Black, sickening silence. Eula removed her hand and the button stayed down, fixed in its "pressed" state. 

Suddenly, a wave of deadening sound rent the very air, pulsing through and rocking the ground like a violently hungry monster tearing to get in. A crack appeared in Eula's composure. The shaking and tension only let it spread; then silence again. 

But the damage was already done. By then, the crack had spider-webbed, wiggling itself into a thousand pieces, all threatening to shatter loose at the slightest breath.

A whimper stirred the thick silence.

And Eula broke.

A laugh tore from her throat, every last particle reverberating -- trembling in relief as she doubled over, her insides no longer threatening to burst open in the name of hiding that unwanted secret. It was over. She did it. Her laughter echoed and bounced around everything, tickling her into laughing again, somehow even harder.

"Lala- no -- Eula! How... How could you?" Bitty's torn voice drew her back to reality. It sounded painful, like getting those words out was ripping her throat apart, making the other girl grimace internally. She made no move of resistance when the gentle girl reached up and grabbed Eula's collar with all the force she could muster, wrenching -- or at least trying -- the sturdier-framed rebel. Eula's expression didn't change as she was fixed with a glare, eyes brimming with tears; her tiny frame trembling with anger and grief. Nothing came out of that golden-eyed face. She didn’t need to justify herself. Instead, she just watched, pretending as if she felt nothing as the girl she had once loved brokenly sobbed into her chest. 

Deep down, Eula knew it wouldn’t matter in the end. None of it would. It was simply never meant to be.

She raised her head, as if staring into the blackness would cue a hidden source of refreshing rain, or reveal the framework and machinery of a stage. But this was no play. The lab would not disappear, melt like undried paint under raindrops, no matter how hard they tried. Her empty yellow eyes dismally bore into the dark, head buzzing faintly, but only to tune out the sobbing. She wondered if she'd be ordered to kill Biddy next; If she would have to return to the torn world outside, and witness all she'd done. If she'd have to face the villagers some day.

But she knew. Her time had not yet come.

Fleeting emotions, or even deeper affection, would only hold out -- linger helplessly in this world -- for so long. But this was all for The Cause; and The Cause would last for years to come. It was the beginning of something new and real, and would change everything for the better. She just knew it.

And so here was no going back, nor was there any room for compromise. 

[Chapter, fin]


Hey, do you mind giving some feedback on this one too? It's a little different in tone and emotion and all that, but it's similarly vague in some places for the same reasons. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

submitted by Jaybells, age Nebulous, Lost in the Universe
(February 4, 2022 - 4:50 pm)

WOW that is really intense! Even though I don't know these characters or their backstories, I already felt really strong emotions for them during this scene. It's creepy and sad and full of feelings. I love the subtle, underlying uncertainty in Eula.

submitted by Lupine, Ravenclaw common room
(February 4, 2022 - 5:39 pm)

Thank you! :D

I actually have a little backstory loosely planned out for the pair, which I laid out in a discussion with Hollyshock back on page 2 of my Prompt Thread¹, and have written a few more parts(and am in the middle of writing a few more) on Silver Crystal's Regular Writing Thread², page 5 and on.



¹ = Here:

² = Here:


And of course, you're also welcome to ask questions about the plot moving forward/looking backwards, if you're still curious! 

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(February 4, 2022 - 7:07 pm)

This is really good!  The dynamic between the characters is interesting, and intriguing.  I love the way the scene plays out too, it's dynamic and I can visualize it.  The only critique I have is that it was hard to follow at the beginning, I wasn't exactly sure what was happening or which character you were describing.

submitted by Sterling, age unknown, The Misty Mountains
(February 4, 2022 - 5:54 pm)

Thank you so much!

And for the part at the beginning that confused you:

>> Could you be a little more specific? Like, how many of the first paragraphs had you lost?

>> Is there anything in particular that could be improved to make it clearer?

>> Were there certain parts that seemed unnecessary complicated, or on the other hand, too scant?

>> What made you continue to read/grabbed your attention, even though you were a little confused? 

I don't mean to inundate you with questions, but I would like to fix anything that confuses anyone, especially if it's at the beginning if at all possible.

Thanks for your help! :)

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(February 4, 2022 - 6:46 pm)

I'll be posting this story in chunks since it's kinda long so far and I don't want to explode the Admins xD I appreciate any kind of feedback!


It was a dark and stormy night.

            Noema Moore-Bahaghari’s skin prickled with goose bumps as she curled up in her reading chair, a throw blanket wrapped around her legs. A small leak in the basement window let a trickle of rainwater drip down the dusty wall like a long gray tear. Far above her, the rain pounded on the roof, but Noema hardly noticed. She was used to rain, and from her spot in the basement the sound was muffled by the two floors above her.

            Resting on her lap was a large closed book. Its leather cover was no longer soft and smooth like Noema’s mother’s leather purse, but worn, rough, and faded. Peeling letters in gold leaf adorned the spine, but they were too flaky to be readable. The pages inside were yellowing and crinkled. When Noema had spotted it at the used bookstore’s free giveaway, it instantly reminded her of a spell book, like something that would reside in the Hogwarts library. Her mom had already been honking the car horn, so she grabbed the book out of its bin and took it home. Now, Noema opened the book for the first time—with some difficulty, as it was very heavy and the pages were slightly stuck together with mildew—and gazed at the title page.

            It wasn’t written in any language she recognized. The letters were slanted and wispy, with tall ascenders. The very first letter of the first page was stylized larger than the rest, and reminded Noema of something from medieval times, with illuminations of vines and thorns twisting around it. Noema traced her finger along the lines of text, marveling at the skill of what seemed to be painstakingly handwritten. She gently flipped through a few more pages, careful not to tear the old paper. She found a labeled diagram that showed progressions from a healthy tree to a bent and leafless one. Noema stared at the page, wishing she could read the words. Tomorrow she would look up what the language was.

            A rumble of thunder interrupted her thoughts. She should probably get to bed. Noema disentangled herself from the blanket and ascended the basement stairs, not looking back to see a dark shape slide in through the crack in the window.


submitted by Lupine, The Hogwarts Express
(February 4, 2022 - 5:40 pm)

Ooh, you've got me intrigued! I love the beautiful descriptions and relatability of so much of this! Also, I have a feeling we're not supposed to really like the mom, hmmm. *narrows eyes in suspicion*

Nice set up for the next part, by the way! I'd love to see a continuation, with the way this little snippet tickles the imagination just right! 

I just have a few nit-picks with flow'ability in the second paragraph. There are a few lines that could be a little smoother(just ask, if you want some elaboration). Otherwise, great job, though! :)

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(February 4, 2022 - 7:22 pm)

Thanks! I'd love the more detailed comments if you have time to post them :)

submitted by Lupine
(February 6, 2022 - 10:02 pm)

So...what is that part of? Is it a short story, or the beginning of something?

Personally I think it could do great either way.

submitted by ShiningStar@Lupine
(February 8, 2022 - 9:47 pm)

It's the beginning of a book that I'm writing.

submitted by Lupine, The Hogwarts Express
(February 11, 2022 - 4:44 pm)