Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post excerpts from your works in progress and give feedback to your fellow writers.
JadePhoenix
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by JadePhoenix » September 13th, 2010, 3:56 pm

There are actually three kids - Aaron, Kristin and Ashley. Rick is an adult hunter/teacher type and he doesn't go in with them. There were originally four kids but I found I didn't have a lot for the fourth one to do so I wrote him out. It's possible I left in a few references on accident so I'll look it over and I'll add a little bit more to make it clear there are three kids, one adult and only the kids go inside. Now that you've pointed it out I realize I never actually did state anywhere that Rick stayed out, I just kind of left him standing off alone in my head.

I'll get those typos fixed and thank you! I think maybe this one is better because I've got better direction - before I was just writing my book and meandering along, here I actually know where I'm going, why and how I'm going to get there. Plot summaries are very helpful! :)

Classic Camp
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by Classic Camp » September 13th, 2010, 8:23 pm

Just to clarify, I did get it that only three went inside, and had a hint that maybe Rick was a little older, but I wasn't sure. A little more clarity there should be about it. Pretty good writing though. The story flowed very well.

JadePhoenix
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by JadePhoenix » September 13th, 2010, 8:52 pm

Yeah, I figured that's what it was, though I also figured I might have missed some things - I DID originally have four kids going in and, in writing the fourth kid out, I easily could have missed references to him (it's happened before).

Yeah, I didn't establish Rick's age well enough. He's mid to late 40s so I'll get that situated more clearly. I'll have Aaron mock his age, he likes to do things like that. :)

Thank you though, flow was definitely one of the things I was looking for commentary about and I'm really, REALLY happy to know you think it flowed well!

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Bartle001
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by Bartle001 » September 14th, 2010, 5:53 am

JadePhoenix wrote: The almost-healed wound in his side gave a phantom throb in response, and Aaron’s heart rate
picked up. Continuing to repeat the litany under his breath, the seventeen-year-old rolled his body
to the side just enough to allow him to see past the trunk into the clearing.
My skill at literary criticism is puny unto the microscopic.

That said, I'll chip in to pick a nit, hoping you won't be too terribly annoyed.

In formal usage—to the best of my knowledge—a "phantom pain" is actually something very specific. It usually refers to pain in a limb that is no longer present. So, for example, if your hero lost his right arm a year ago, but he still feels pain as though it were coming from his right arm, he has what's called "phantom pain".

Lord Nelson, who lost an arm in battle, felt phantom pain in the nonexistent limb and took it as evidence of the existence of the soul.

I don't know if that should or shouldn't affect your word choice. Just an FYI.

B

JadePhoenix
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by JadePhoenix » September 15th, 2010, 3:13 pm

Thank you! I actually ended up rewriting it, and the chapter that followed it, and posted that a little bit higher up on this page. I think it's better, and more cohesive, than the page was so I'm hoping people like it!

EllieAnn
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by EllieAnn » September 16th, 2010, 9:37 pm

My only problem is this: I WANT MORE!
You are a fantastic writer with an awesome story--I hope you get published!

JadePhoenix
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by JadePhoenix » September 17th, 2010, 11:57 am

Thank you! My own low sense of confidence, and a nasty bout of perfectionism, were messing with my writing for a while but nice feedback like yours has been helping me to get back on track! :)

Amanda
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by Amanda » September 17th, 2010, 12:45 pm

Hi Jade,
I think everyone is making good points. You're on the right track. It just needs to be tightened up some more. This is my take on it.


CHAPTER ONE

The sound of big telling signalcrunching leaves sent Aaron Knight into a crouch behind a tree, a rush of
adrenaline chasing away the morning chill. You are describing what is happening here instead of from within Aaron's POV. The next sentence down is centered in his view point Rough bark dug into his back, but he ignored the discomfort and held still. delete. We know he is uncomfortable and the tension of the situation itself lets us know the he is still.Tightening his grip on the rifle, Aaron took a deep breath and closed his eyes. GOOD


“Please don’t be another werewolf. Please don’t be another werewolf.” This should be in italics because it is internal dialogue. If he is that scared of being discovered, he would not be talking out loud.

The almost-healed wound in his side gave telling a phantom throb in response, and Aaron’s heart rate
picked up. The healing wound in his side throbbed. The drum beat of his heart almost blocked out the sounds of the forest (or some such).Continuing to repeat the litany under his breath is he really saying this out loud? Werewolves, even common wolves, have keen hearing., the seventeen-year-old takes me out of the tension to process the fact that he is 17. Maybe just boy? rolled his body to the side just enough to allow him to see tellingpast the trunk into the clearing. Aaron leaned cautiously around the side of the tree and glanced into the clearing.

The rip was at the far end, a swirling blue-black and crimson vortex allowing other worlds to
bleed in where they didn’t belong.
very clunkyTracks led from the base, but he didn’t see anything in the
vicinity.

The walkie-talkie at his hip squawked, and a startled, inhuman snort sounded from Aaron’s left.He cursed under his breath; grabbing the device and turning it down before it gave away his position or, worse, scared the target. Again telling. Try to focus this more in Aaron's POV.
Damn. He grabbed his radio and turned it down. (The reader will infer that he is worried about giving away his position or scaring the target.


A shadow moved. period, and delete Aaron’s eyes focused on a deer grazing just deleteinside the tree line. The animal was deep ebony, and delete blendeding into the shadows under the canopy as it cropped at grass and
leaves underfoot.
delete. You just told us he was grazing. You are repeating yourself.

Aaron reached down, scooped up some of thedelete twigs and small pebbles littering the forest floor,
and tossed them deeper into the woods. The creature's startled and delete slim, onyx wings fluttered briefly
before settling.[/quote]
I'm a leaf in the wind.
Watch how I soar.
~ Wash

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writeonsistah
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by writeonsistah » September 28th, 2010, 2:01 am

Hi JadePhoenix! Just read your first chapter and man, I am HOOKED. Kristen was annoying but I did not see that ending coming. Killing a character in the first chapter? Bold move and I loved it! You've definitely peaked my curiosity about what these level 3's vs. level 6's, etc are. My only suggestion would be that the first sentence didn't really draw me in. I think you should start with dialogue or action to grab the reader's interest first, and then give us a better idea of where we are. Just my $ .02. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed it.
Check out the first two chapters of my debut novel, Jasmine Powers, Super Geek.
http://www.jasminepowers.blogspot.com

JadePhoenix
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by JadePhoenix » September 28th, 2010, 10:04 pm

Thank you! Yeah, I've gone back and forth on that first line of the chapter so I may rework it to make it more dynamic.

Yep, Kristin was supposed to be annoying though she does get a little redemption when you hear a bit more about her through her friend Ashley. I WAS hoping people wouldn't see the end of the chapter coming or, at the very least, that they'd think it would be Ashley and not Kristin. I'm happy to know I seem to have gotten it right, at least in that area!

Yay, yay, I'm so happy people are liking it! Thank you for the confidence booster! :) :)

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Bartle001
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by Bartle001 » September 29th, 2010, 12:17 am

Okay, so what if instead of Knight saying, "Please don't be another werewolf," he says, "Please don't be another ___________."

For _________ you simply invent some kind of monster native to your world with its own unique name and characteristics. The reader won't know what it is, only that, from the name, it sounds pretty fierce.

Later, several _______ could show up, at which point the reader's curiosity has already been whetted.

Just an idea.

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arbraun
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Re: Shadows - First Chapter (Revised)

Post by arbraun » October 9th, 2010, 4:45 pm

I love your opening, your first two paragraphs. It pulls me in, making me anticipate what's to come. I love "phantom throb" also. Good description. The "slim, onyx wings" part stopped me in my tracks, making me read it again. No big deal, but you might want to rearrange it. The way it's written, I'm wondering what kind of deer has wings. You might have intended it that way but, if not, I'd recast it. Other than that, I thought it was a gripping, entertaining excerpt. A seventeen year old with a rifle makes me wonder what's going on and if he has silver bullets. Good luck with it!

Cheers,

A. R.

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