Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

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BransfordGroupie
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Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

Post by BransfordGroupie » December 22nd, 2009, 4:05 pm

Well. Now that Nathan has given us his blessing to post our excertps I thought I would be brave and post my opening scene for all to comment. Here goes...

1. EXILE (4,166)
“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow. The More knowledge the more grief.” Ecclesiates 1:18


“Hey Angel, the doc wants ya. Musta found ya memory. Probly in a Happy Meal. Now ya'll know if ya Lady Muck or just a head case like the rest of us.”

If there was one person on the planet who I'd like to see win a free lethal injection or an all expenses paid holiday to the Bermuda Triangle, it was Esther Tomlinsen.

My smile was sickly sweet. “Oh Fester darl...”

“Esther!”

I feigned a pious innocence, “of course. 'Esther'. Oh, by the way, darling, when your mum has her next litter, can I have one of the puppies?”

I began the trek to Dr. Bill McCauley's rooms. I'm sure I heard Esther stamp her foot.

Suddenly all hell broke loose. Tituba Good was giving two Incredible-hulk-size nurses an all-out challenge as they tried to restrain her. She kicked and arched with incredible strength and flexibility and twisted so hard that one guy momentarily lost his grip on her arm.

If her superhuman strength was impressive, her voice was even more so. She screamed in decibels that defied the human range, so powerful that it hurt the ears, and must have shredded her vocal chords to a mangled mess. Her eyes bulged and constantly flicked from one point to another, and her tongue darted in out and around her open mouth. She was usually a pretty little thing, and shy as a possum. But now her jet-black curls were mattered and her lovely porcelain skin seemed wrinkled and red.

Tituba was a puzzle. Only ten years old, she suffered from multiple personality disorder, the dominant one being a witch who was hung at the gallows during the Salem Trials of 1692, and even though most of us didn't want to admit it she was pretty spot-on with her prophecies, and if you happened to be the recipient of one of her vile curses, you were rather nervous for awhile. As a result, although most of us liked her when she was Tituba, none were eager to know our exact time of death or wait around to break a limb, so she had few enemies and even fewer friends.

Without warning, she stopped her powerful gyrations and stared her too-wide eyes directly at me and cocked her head on an angle. “You are one of the few,” she said in an authoritive monotone, pointing at me with a steady finger. “You are fire and ice, water and stone.” The male nurses tried to move her along, but they couldn't budge her. “You are dead but are alive and you are three into one - you are trinity. You are young yet old and you have the power of the universe locked within. Magic walks by your side. Nature obeys your sway. All is wrapped now, but the ties are loosening. What you say will be and who you call will come. But only at her grave will you know it all. Step carefully. Watch and listen.”

Tituba had not taken a breath through her entire speech, and now, exhausted, she slumped into the arms of the nurses.

I was numb. Her words rang like an up-close tower bell, and so much of what she said held meaning that I half understood. But half wasn't good enough. I braced myself and shook Tituba from my mood. I had to be clear-headed for my date with Doc McCauley.
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REVELATION: The Book of Angel - First draft complete :-)
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Bron
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Re: Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

Post by Bron » December 22nd, 2009, 5:02 pm

Firstly, congrats on being brave and posting your excerpt! Overall I thought it was interesting and I'd keep reading. It sounds to me as though Angel is in an asylum for people with superhuman powers, which is an intriguing concept. There were two things that caused me to stumble. The first was the opening sentence. I get that you're trying to show us Esther's voice, and you do that very effectively, but I found it hard to wade through such a dialect-heavy sentence as your first sentence. Once I'd reread it, I was picturing a doctor's surgery with Esther as a very rude receptionist. Then I had to adjust my mental picture again. This is a pet peeve of mine - not being oriented in the scene. I don't mean you have to describe it in detail, but I like it when I have some faint idea of the setting and don't keep having to go back and picture it again. I don't imagine this gripe is shared with everyone though, so take this with a grain of salt. You could fix the first sentence thing by swapping the first and second sentences, and maybe inserting a quick descriptor sentence in between about what Esther looks like and the setting.

The other thing was I felt we missed a step with Tituba. You went straight to telling us she was being restrained by two nurses, without showing us what she did to be restrained in the first place.

So that's my feedback. Hopefully other people comment so you have a broader range of opinions than just mine :-)

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Re: Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

Post by Ermo » December 23rd, 2009, 12:52 pm

Nice work - this really pulls you in. Nothing like possessed 10-year old spouting prophecies to get your plot going, eh? I like your writing style - it flows nicely. You definitely have a skill for pacing. The description of Tituba was excellent! You have a couple of nice similes in here too but I would be careful not to overload your writing with them. I would like to see more description. How old is your protag? What do they look like? And where the heck are they? I get where they are from the people but I want to get where they are from the place - setting for mental hospitals can be almost as much fun as the people!

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Re: Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

Post by casnow » December 23rd, 2009, 1:14 pm

Perhaps a synopsis would be helpful... I feel lost.

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Re: Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

Post by BransfordGroupie » December 23rd, 2009, 3:57 pm

Thanks Brom, Ermo and Cas. I'll certainly be working on setting, sense of time and character descriptions during my edits. I thought I might include my original preface to give a little background. This has been cut and I am in the process of trying to weave into the story.

PREFACE

Sunshine Estate is an asylum for special needs children; you could say I was born here. I arrived nine years ago with amnesia and my age was estimated at about seven. The memory loss is so absolute that I still have no recall of my existence before arriving at Sunshine Estate.

While most children my age were in their second or third year of schooling, I was literally being raised from infancy and nurtured through all the usual milestones to adolescence. At seven, the dedicated staff - my virtual parents - changed my diapers, fed and bathed me and coached me through my first attempts at sitting and crawling. When I was eight, I took my first steps, spoke my first words, threw my first tantrums, and celebrated my first successful potty session. At ten, I progressed to early childhood where I began to realize that I was different, I seemed to be able to absorb my education at an accelerated rate, and I was so much taller than my brothers and sisters. The later stages of childhood started when I was about twelve and my siblings were beginning to catch up with to me. On my fourteenth birthday – based on the anniversary of my arrival - I was told the horrifying story of how I came to Sunshine Estate.

I arrived in the middle of the night, and lay in a crumpled heap at the base of the big iron front gates. My bare feet were a mutilated mess of festering wounds and blisters and my long auburn hair had stuck to the congealed blood that covered most of the left side of my naked body. It seems that I had been running, injured, never resting long enough to stop for water before collapsing at the gates of my new home. My only possession was an acorn clenched in my right hand. No one has ever claimed me as their own - no one that cares anyway. I am almost sixteen, or there abouts, and for now I call myself Angel.

Sunshine Estate has been good to me. It has been my home, my family, my life – my world.

At least it was... until the nightmares began.
Last edited by BransfordGroupie on December 25th, 2009, 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Excertp - REVELATION: The Book of Angel.

Post by ErinGayle » December 25th, 2009, 12:37 am

casnow wrote:Perhaps a synopsis would be helpful... I feel lost.
How could you possibly be lost, Cas? You've got a bitchy kid who gets her comeuppence from a cool, unflappable Angel ,a witchy kid who speaks with the authority of the C17 Salem dialect (and I'm still reading her prophecy to try to figure out the 'who' and 'what' of Angel - what an intrigue!)
If Angel lives up to Tituba's goosebump expectations she's got to be a pretty unique protagonist.
We know she's in a mental home ('head cases', 'nurses', Tituba's multiple personalities, 'Doc'). We know she's special in some way ('Lady Muck') and we get a gut feeling that Doc's going to present a challenge for Angel.
All this in a few paragraphs. Already I can 'see' these characters. Already I'm bursting with questions. This BransfordGroupie chick(?) is no spoon-feeder.
Have you visited the Revelation site, Cas? It's worth a look.

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