Discuss Scratch

The-Book-Worm
Scratcher
100+ posts

Changes in the first chapter of PIP from original, to self-edited, to professionally edited

The title says it all.

Origional version:

Eric, the girl who had always gotten teased for being dumb and an orphan had just got in one of the ten Ivy League Schools: MIT. Eric was smarter than all of the students at the Ivy League Schools combined, and she was only sixteen. Four years younger than the regular age student applied. Eric would have gotten into all of them but she was to poor to apply for more than the required number of two. Any twenty year old that didnt get into the Ivy League Schools (Stanford and MIT were now one of them) were sent to fight in World War XVI. Actually the only colleges left in the world were Ivy League. The rest had been destroyed during the war. It was 9559 and the war had started in 5555. 4004 years ago; way before she was born.

Eric was somewhat self taught (Thats being modest.She raised herself from four with the help of her grandparents which died shortly after her parents in bombing 2341 when she was six.) She grew up on her own since her mother and father died in bombing 1257. (There had been so many bombings that no one even bothered to name them anymore. They were just given numbers) That also meant that Eric had to name herself. At six she choose a boys name to prove that girls are equal to boys and like the bombings, names didnt matter.
Included in her letter of acceptance, which was the smallest scrap of paper that said ‘MIT will take Eric Gates’, was a flash drive on a necklace. This was the final challenge. Eric had to plug it into her skin. The flash drive would go in even without a port and it would download a virus. It was simple, if she survived the virus she would attend MIT. If not? Well then she would die.
It was a test to determine the strongest. The Ivy Schools only wanted the best. The sooner you plugged it in after you opened the envelope the stronger the virus. If you wait till the day when you had to decide whether you might go there, you would have a better chance of survival. They would think you a
wimp for waiting till the last possible second and might hold you in low regardes. SO thats why as soon as Eric opened the package she stuck it in right at the point where the hand and wrist met.

Eric did not think. She just plunged the flash drive into her wrist without hesitation. Eric would die in ten minutes if the virus overtookher. A cold feeling crept over her and she felt alone and small. Luckily Eric had felt this way twice before (when her parents died and when her grandparents died) so she knew how to fight it. Instantly happy childhood memories started to flow back and push out the darkness.
Eric slowly managed to push away the darkness. Her eyes burst open and she found herself on the ground. She tried to raise her wrist to see what happened to it; the effort of moving left her gasping for breath. Eric lay there thinking I did it, Im not dead, and I am a MIT student! Finally she gathered enough energy to sit up and examine to damage at her wrist. The flash drive was still plugged in right where it Eric had pushed in. She pulled it out without hurting herself. On her wrist in ivy green where the welcomed words: MIT Student

Eric had heard stories about how the Ivy League teachers could use the mark to inflict pain as a punishment, but it would also get her access to restricted areas. Eric debated whether to take it off now or be stuck with it the rest of her life. It would be a permanent mark if she didnt wipe it off in forty-five seconds. Finally she decided to just lick it off. Eric had done what no other sixteen year old girl had ever done: she had gotten into MIT
and unmarked.
Tomorrow she would go to the administers office to confirm her position at MIT. Never have I seen someone survive after plugging the flash drive in right when they got it. And so young. said the admissions director. Eric had just turned in the flash drive. I have one request? Eric said with no confidence. The admissions director looked up wide eyed. Apparently no one ever asked her for anything. “Can I keep the flash drive?” Eric asked hesitantly. After an awkward moment of silence the admissions director spoke up, “Why would you want that thing? It almost killed you!” Fiercely Eric replied, “I
want it as a memento of what I when though to get here. So I never give up this position and never make trouble in fear of losing what I almost gave up my life for! ”
The administer, clearly touched by her speech, said, “I'll see what I can do for you.” Turning around she picked up the phone and typed ten numbers. “Yes, yes. Ill tell her. I see sir. No no, not a problem. Yes sixteen. Yes, never happened. Alright sir goodbye.”
Eric could not tell the results from the fragments of conversation she had heard. The admissions director turned back to face Eric, “He said yes” Eric breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. “But he wants to meet with you and decide if you are responsible enough to keep it forever.” Eric's smile disappeared as quickly as it had come. Why was she upset? Eric did not want to draw attention (good or bad) to herself in an Ivy League School. It was bad enough that she was four years younger than everybody else.
Eric left as the next student, a boy about twenty, walked in. Two days later Eric got a note that Mr. Firez, the head of MIT, wanted to see her. A guard
directed her to his office and left her standing in front of a closed door. Eric knocked twice and waited. In a mere twenty seconds the door was opened and Eric was pushed inside then seated. “Hello, Im Mr. Firez, the head of MIT.” said a distinguished looking man sitting in a chair across the desk.
“I'm Eric.” she replied stiffly.
He frowned when she didnt elaborate.
After realizing that was all she was going to say, he got down to business, “May I see your flash drive?” It was more of a command than a question. Eric held it so Mr. Firez could see what it looked like but not take it. The drive was black all over except for a red switch that extended the part of a flash drive you plug in (whether it may be into your skin, a computer, or something else). “Do you know what these colors represent?” He made it sound like there was no way she would know. “No,” Eric replied wondering why the color was so important. “The name of this flash drive is the widower because the colors on this flash drive are the same as the ones on a black widow. Black widows were all black with a red hour-glass indicating that your time was running out. Before the black widow went extinct, it was the deadliest spider in the world.” Mr Firez stated.
Eric put the clues together and replied, “It is the deadliest virus you have made and the black widow was the deadliest spider. Is black widow poison in the flash drive?”
“You are right about the first thing you said but no poison is in the drive.” He answered her questions. “I never planned on you keeping the widower. But since a little girl managed to survive, I might consider it. I have a proposal that I have given to all who wanted to keep their flash drivers. If you can fix my tongue then you can keep it.” He stuck out his tongue. It was a snakes tongue.
“I use to make the offer that if you made me have a snakes tongue I would give the flash drive, but one person figured out how to. But they wouldnt fix it. So now I make this offer.
”I'll try“ was Eric's only response.
Eric already had an idea of how she would fix his tongue. If she plugged the flash drive into herself and thought about a normal tongue, then plugged it into Mr. Firez, it just might work.
So she did just that. And the darkness came
again.
This time it was briefer. The darkness dissipated quicker than before and Eric found herself staring into the eyes of worried looking Mr. Firez. He sat back scolding, ”I said fix my tongue, not kill yourself.“ While he was talking Eric plugged the flash drive into him. ”Stick out your tongue.“ Eric whispered weakly sitting up. ”What?“ Mr. Firez asked not hearing her. ”Your tongue!!" she shouted. Then she collapsed and blacked out.


Self-edited Version:

Chapter 1
Eric, a girl who had always been teased for being dumb, had just been accepted into an Ivy League School: MIT. Stanford and MIT were Ivy League schools. What MIT stood for had been lost in previous wars. Eric was smarter than all of the students at the Ivy League schools even though she was only sixteen. Eric was four years younger than the regular age of most applicants. She could have gotten into all of the ten schools, but she did not have the money to apply for more than one, which was free.
It was 9559, and the war had started in 9459, a century ago. The only colleges left in the Amazon were the Ivy Leagues. The rest had been destroyed at some point during the other wars. The only reason that the Ivy Leagues had been spared from this fate was their fame. They had been better protected than the other schools.
Some people like Eric decided to apply before they were twenty, but the risk of applying early was if you didn’t get a response from the college you applied to, you would be sent to fight in the current war, World War XVI with other applicants that didn’t get in.
Eric was somewhat self-taught. She had been raised by her grandparents since she was four till six. She spent the rest of her sixteen years fighting for food and water in an orphanage after her grandparents died in bombing #2341. Her mother and father had died only two years before in bombing #1257. There had been so many bombings that nobody bothered to name them. They were now just given numbers. At six she changed her name to a boy’s name to prove that girls are equal to boys and like the bombings, names didn’t matter.
Her response from MIT contained two things, a scrap of light-sheet (a sheet of holdable light with words written with shadows) and a flash drive. The light-sheet had few words written on it, but for anyone applying it was quite clear. If you survived the virus the flash drive contained, and you were one of the first twenty applicants to plug in the flash drive then, you would continue to the admissions office to be shown to the school.
The virus would stay at the same strength after it was out of the envelope, but it had a timer of sorts on it. The longer it was exposed to oxygen without plugging it in the lower your chances of getting into the school was. It was one of three tests to determine if you were fit for an Ivy League School. This was the second test. It would measure your resistance to pain and your strength.
In the first test, your intelligence was measured. Every four years all teens, ages twelve to sixteen, had to take the test. The lucky ones took it when they were older and the unlucky ones took it when they were younger. Eric was part of the unlucky ones.
The last test was unknown. Many people thought it had already happened and others thought it never would. All Eric knew was that if she could pass this test, she would never have to sleep in the orphanage ever again.
___________________
So Eric plunged the flash drive into her wrist without any hesitation. She felt her body go numb and crumple to the ground. She found it astonishing how quickly the virus incapacitated her. The only part of her that still had any feeling was her mind, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not move.
A cold feeling crept over her, and suddenly she felt alone and small. Eric had only felt this way twice. First, when her parents had died, and then, two years later when her grandparents had died. It was like a blanket of darkness that covered her up and slowly suffocated her. It grew on her till Eric felt like she knew nothing other than loneliness. If you have ever been lost or in complete darkness, you would know about a tenth of helplessness that she faced.
Eric tried to uncover her mind, but the darkness felt like needles repeatedly stabbing her. She knew she had come too far and fought too much to die now when she was so close. Her eyes burst open, and her body burned like no other pain she had ever felt. It was like the virus was still trying to kill her, even though she was no longer wrapped up in its darkness.
She tried to raise her wrist, but the effort of moving left her gasping for breath. Eric laid there for a while, waiting for the pain to recede and her strength to return. Finally, Eric gathered enough energy to sit up and examine the damage done to her wrist. The flash drive was still plugged in right where she had pushed it in. Eric managed to pull it out with minimal damage. She would be fine after a very long nap. Tomorrow, she would go to the administrator's office to confirm her position at MIT.
___________________
“I have been working here for over twenty years and have never seen someone this young survive and get in,” said admissions director, looking Eric over. She looked around forty, and her blonde hair was done in a messy, bun showing her lack of sleep. She had a kind face and seemed quick to smile, even if she was tired. Eric had just shown her the flash drive and the marks from it.
As she reached out to take it Eric spoke up, “I have a request,”
“Can I keep the flash drive?” Eric asked hesitantly.
The admissions director drew her arm back and looked up wide-eyed. Apparently, most were usually eager to get rid of it.
After an awkward moment of silence, the admissions director spoke, “Why would you want that thing? It almost killed you sweetheart”
Eric replied, “I want it as a memento of what I went through to get here, so I never give up my education and never make trouble for fear of losing what I almost gave up my life for.” Privately, she was thinking that she would never mess up if it meant going back to the orphanage. She did not need some flash drive to remind her of that.
The administrator, clearly touched by Eric’s dedication to the school said, “I’ll see what I can do.”
Turning around, the woman picked up the phone and talked without dialing. Eric presumed it was only for matters like the one she had just brought up.
“Hello sir… this phone is only if someone asks about keeping their flash drive…. the person? she is very young, but seems pretty smart… I see sir…. I’ll tell her…. no, no, not a problem… alright, sir…”
Eric could not tell the results from the one side of the conversation that she had heard. The administrator director turned back to face Eric, paused, and looked like she was thinking about how to tell her what the person on the other end said. Finally, she spoke, “You may keep it for two days.” Eric looked at the woman with a quizzical expression written all over her face.
“Mr. Firez will meet you after those two days at his office. It’s the building right of the main school building. A guard will escort you there, and you will discuss keeping the drive.” Eric’s puzzlement disappeared and was quickly replaced with displeasure.
She was upset as she did not want to draw attention, good or bad, to herself at MIT. It was bad enough that she was four years younger than everybody else. Eric left as the next student, a boy of about twenty, walked in.
___________________
Two days later, Eric got a note that Mr. Firez, the head of MIT, wanted to see her. She rode the walkway to the campus which took about an hour and twenty minutes. Then, she displayed the flash drive and scar at the front gate. A guard directed Eric to Mr. Firez’s office after the flash drive was scanned. They left her standing in front of a closed door.
Eric knocked twice and waited. The door opened and Eric walked inside shyly. She was then motioned to sit down.
“Hello, I’m Mr. Firez, the head of MIT,” said the distinguished looking man on the other side if the desk.
“I’m Eric,” she replied cordially. He frowned when she didn’t elaborate.
After realizing that was all she was going to say, he got down to business. “May I see your flash drive?” It was more of a command than a question. Eric held it so Mr. Firez could see what it looked like but too far away for him to take it. She wanted to keep it, so she could further examine the great piece of technology, not like she knew the first thing about technology.
The drive was black all over except for a red switch that extended the part that plugs into your skin, a computer, or something else. “Do you know what these colors represent?” He made it sound like there was no way she would know. She shook her head no, wondering why the color was so important.
“The name of this flash drive is the widower because the colors are the same as the ones on a black widow. Black widows were all black with a red hourglass indicating that your time was running out. Before the black widow went extinct, it was the deadliest spider in the world.” Mr. Firez stated.
Eric put the clues together and replied, “That is the deadliest virus you have made and the black widow was the deadliest spider.”
“You are correct,” He confirmed. “I never planned on anyone keeping the widower since I was certain it would kill whoever plugged it into themselves, but if you can do, what no other has done, I will give it to you. I have a challenge that I have given to all who wanted to keep their flash drives. If you can fix my tongue then you can keep it.”
He stuck out his tongue. It was not a normal tongue, to say the least. It looked like a snake’s tongue! “I use to make the offer that if you gave me a snake’s tongue, I would let you keep the flash drive, but one person figured out how to, but then they wouldn’t fix it. So now I make this offer.”
“I’ll try,” was Eric's only response, though she wondered why the other person would not fix his tongue.
Eric already had an idea of how she could fix his tongue. She would plug the flash drive into herself and think of a normal tongue. Then, she would plug it into Mr. Firez. It just might fix his tongue. She did just that, and the blanket of darkness covered her.
This time it was briefer. The blanket slipped away quicker than before and Eric found herself staring into the worried eyes of Mr. Firez.
He sat back, scolding, “I said fix my tongue, not almost kill yourself.” While he was talking, Eric plugged the flash drive into him.
“Stick out your tongue,” Eric whispered weakly sitting up.
“What?” Mr. Firez asked, not hearing her.
“Your tongue!” she shouted.
Then she collapsed and blacked out, surrounded by darkness once more.

Professionally edited
Chapter 1
Eric plugged the flash drive into her wrist without any hesitation. She braced for the impact and instantly felt her body go numb before falling to the ground. It was astonishing how quickly the virus incapacitated her. Even after all the stories, she had expected it to take at least a few moments longer. Luckily, at least, none of the other children were around. They would have panicked and assumed she was dead. The only part of her body that remained unfazed was her mind, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t will herself off the floor.
A small, isolated feeling crept along her spine. All control seemed gone. It was a sensation she’d felt before, when her parents had been killed and then, two years later, when her grandparents had perished to the same fate. It was like a blanket of darkness covered her up, and slowly, it started to suffocate her. It kept growing and growing, consuming her every thought until she felt there was nothing other than loneliness. Eric tried to release her mind, but the darkness prickled as though it were needles repeatedly stabbing her skin, determined to keep her trapped.
Still, she had come too far and fought too hard to die now. Her eyes opened. A burn bristled in her body, sharp and insistent, ripping at every nerve in her system until she weakened under its bite. It appeared the virus was still trying to kill her, even though she was no longer wrapped in its void.
She attempted raising her wrist, but the effort of moving left her gasping for breath. Eric laid still, waiting for the pain to recede, for her strength to return. Finally, she gathered enough energy to sit and examine the damage done to her wrist. The flash drive still gleaned back at her. Eric managed to pull it out with minimal damage, only a small scar remaining on her wrist. Hopefully, she would be fine after a very long nap. Tomorrow she would go to the administrator's office to confirm her position. After a lifetime of teasing for being dumb, Eric had now been accepted into MIT and survived the flash drive’s virus.
It was 9559 and World War XVI had started exactly a century ago. Some people, like Eric, decided to apply to an Ivy League such as MIT before they turned twenty and became at risk for drafting. However, that was a gamble on its own. Applicants who did not receive a response from the college they applied to would be sent to fight regardless.
Her response from MIT contained a piece of light-sheet and a flash drive. The light-sheet, a sheet of tangible light with letters written in shadows, had little to say. Yet for anyone who had received it, the message was quite clear. If you survived the virus the flash drive contained, and you were one of the top twenty applicants, you would continue to the admissions office the next day to be shown the school.
While the virus would stay at the same strength after it was removed from the envelope, it did have a timer. The longer it was exposed to oxygen without being plugged into an applicant’s wrist, the lower their chances of getting into the school became. It was one of three tests to determine eligibility. This was the second test; a measure of strength.
All she had to do was pass the third, and Eric would never have to sleep in the orphanage again.
#
“I’ve been working here for over twenty years, and I have never seen anyone this young accepted,” said the admissions director as she looked Eric over. Mrs. Branpork appeared to be around forty with blonde hair tossed in a messy bun, dark under eyes tattling on her lack of sleep. She had a kind face and was quick to smile, despite the evident exhaustion.
As she reached out to take the flash drive, Eric spoke, “I have a request; can I keep the flash drive?”
Mrs. Branpork drew her arm back and looked up, eyes wide. After an awkward moment of silence, she responded, “Why would you want that thing? It almost killed you, sweetheart.”
“I want it as a memento of what I went through to get here, so I never give up my education and never make trouble, for fear of losing what I almost gave up my life for.”
In truth, Eric knew she would never mess up if the consequence was going back to the orphanage. She didn’t need a flash drive to remind her of that.
“Well…I’ll see what I can do.”
Turning around, Mrs. Branpork picked up the phone. Eric presumed it was a direct line, perhaps for matters like the one she had just brought up.
“Hello, sir… the applicant has asked about keeping their flash drive— the applicant? She is very young but seems intelligent— I see, sir— I’ll tell her— no, no, not a problem— alright, sir.”
She turned back to face Eric, paused, and looked as though she was deciding how to best phrase her next words before stating simply, “You may keep it for two days.”
Eric was certain the confusion was written all over her face, for Mr. Branpork continued without prompting.
“Mr. Firez will meet you in his office after those two days. It’s the building to the right of the main school. A guard will escort you there, and you will discuss keeping the drive.”
Eric’s puzzlement disappeared and was quickly replaced with displeasure. She didn’t want to draw attention, good or bad, to herself while at MIT. It was already noticeable that she was four years younger than almost everyone else. Still, she didn’t argue and quietly left as the next student walked in.
#
Two days later, Eric received a note that Mr. Firez, the head of MIT, wanted to see her. She left before anyone could ask where she was going. The walkway to the campus took an hour and twenty minutes, giving her plenty of time to regret not keeping her mouth shut, even though she had only wanted to see how the flash drive worked.
She dragged her feet to the front gate, looking to the stone and hologram hybrid building behind it. Eric displayed the flash drive and the scar it had left to the guard on post.
“Follow me,” he said as the gate opened behind him. The guard directed Eric to Mr. Firez’s office and left her standing in front of a closed door.
Eric knocked twice and waited. The door opened and Eric hesitated before shuffling inside, shoulders hunched and eyes downcast. She was motioned to sit down by a distinguished looking man, looming behind a desk so large that Eric knew she would need to sit on a thick textbook to even rest her arms upon it.
“Ah, hello there. You’re Eric I presume, correct?”
“Yes,” she replied cordially. Mr. Firez frowned when she didn’t elaborate.
“May I see your flash drive?”
It was more of a command than a question. Eric held it close enough to show what it looked like, but too far away for him to take. She wanted to keep it so she could further examine such a great piece of technology, not that she knew much to begin with. The flash drive was completely black except for a red switch that extended the metal blade which plugged into the skin. Eric had toyed with it so much that a smudge of oil laid where her thumb had continually pressed.
“Do you know what these colors represent?” Mr. Firez poised the question with a tone that expected her to say no, an explanation already hanging on the edge of his tongue.
Eric shook her head. She hadn’t thought the colors were important.
“The name of this flash drive is the Widower because the colors are the same as the ones on a black widow spider.” He nodded to the flash drive, drawing Eric’s eyes to the design, “These creatures were entirely black with a red hourglass on their body, indicating that your time was running out. Before they went extinct, they were the deadliest spider in the world.”
“So then, is this the deadliest virus you’ve made, since it’s named after the black widow, the— deadliest spider?”
“You are correct,” Mr. Firez grew quieter as he continued, “I never planned on anyone keeping the Widower. It is designed to be deadly. But if you can do what no other has done, I will give it to you. I have a challenge that I have given to all who have requested to keep their flash drives, and all have failed. The challenge is this; if you can fix my tongue, you may keep the Widower.”
He stuck out his tongue. Instead of an average pink and plump lump, it was cut partially down the middle, each side curling unnaturally like that of a wild, predatory snake.
“I’ve been stuck with this for 64 years. I used to make the offer that anyone who could give me a snake’s tongue could keep the flash drive. I thought it was impossible. However, one brilliant student figured out how to make my offer a reality. But after they recovered, they wouldn’t change it back. So now I make you this offer.”
“I’ll try,” Eric’s words came out slowly as she tried to think of a reason why person had refused help the Headmaster after completing his challenge.
Surely they didn’t want to make an enemy out of him. They must have been a first year, like herself. Whatever their reason, she already had a vague idea of how to fix the tongue of MIT’s headmaster. She would plug the flash drive into herself and concentrate on the concept of a regular tongue, then plug it into Mr. Firez himself. It wasn’t sure to work, but it was something. He watched as she went through the motions of her plan, and no sooner had she slid the device into place did a blanket of darkness enclose around her.
It was briefer than the first time she had plugged in. Less painful. The blanket slipped away easier than before, and when Eric rejoined reality, she found herself staring into the worried eyes of Mr. Firez.
He sat back, arms crossed, tsking at her, “I said fix my tongue, not nearly kill yourself.”
While he was talking, Eric reached out for his wrist. He quirked a brow and didn’t move, but after a moment, silently forfeited his left hand across the desk. She plugged the flash drive into him.
“Stick out your tongue,” Eric willed strength into her whisper, forcing her body to sit up from where it had slumped over.
“What?”
“Your tongue!”
Though she tried to fight it, Eric felt her body give way. She fell back and was surrounded by darkness once more.



Last edited by The-Book-Worm (July 3, 2019 20:01:22)


Read - Write - Live
Give 100% in everything you do… unless you're giving blood
I'm too busy on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
When life closes a door, just open it again. It's a door, that's how they work.


Stories I've written:
FlowerCat4444
Scratcher
45 posts

Changes in the first chapter of PIP from original, to self-edited, to professionally edited

Oof, editing is always the hardest part of writing, isn't it? I can see what you mean. I'll admit that some of your original voice does seem lost in the updated version. However, I believe that it is still your story. Your style is not lost and your basic vision isn't altered. That being said, I understand how unerving it is to see your hard-work changed. My personal opinion is to stick with your editor, but don't be afraid to say ‘no’. This is your story.

The-Book-Worm
Scratcher
100+ posts

Changes in the first chapter of PIP from original, to self-edited, to professionally edited


Read - Write - Live
Give 100% in everything you do… unless you're giving blood
I'm too busy on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
When life closes a door, just open it again. It's a door, that's how they work.


Stories I've written:

Powered by DjangoBB

Standard | Mobile