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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Shining In Crimson (working title)

   
Author Topic: Shining In Crimson (working title)
bobbyshane
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I'm neck deep in my 3rd draft of this. It's the first in a series. It runs about 82k currently.

Here's the tag line: "When Hank Evans is found guilty of deadly sin, by law of the American Empire he is given the death sentence; a night in Necropolis, the city of vampires."

And here's the first 13:

Hank hadn't expected the judge to decide any other way. These days they didn't hand out robes to anyone afraid of sending less than a dozen men to Necropolis almost every day. Hank found that he couldn't blame them. It keeps the peace, he thought. Even in the days before the chaos had taken hold, America had never been as safe as it was now.

He was sitting in the back of a paddywagon, surrounded by twenty or so other men of all different shapes, colors, and sizes who were also condemned to die. Only a few of them committed violent crimes. A tall, pale, black haired man with tattoos covering his arms had murdered three people. More than a handful of the men were children. One of the convicts, a young blond kid, had been caught stealing in a supermarket.


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EVOC
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I like it. I have read it over a couple of times now and I kept hoping some how more lines would show up. I think it is a great hook.

Some ideas:
The second sentence was a bit hard to read, but that may have just been for me. Try this: "These days they didn't hand out robes to anyone who couldn't send at least a dozen men a day to Necropolis." Or something like that.

quote:
Hank found that he couldn't blame them. It keeps the peace, he thought.
I think this could flow better if you said. "He couldn't blame them; after all it keeps the peace."

The next paragraph I loved because you established something here with murderers and thieves getting the same punishment. Makes me instantly wonder which end of the spectrum in Hank on. Was he really bad? Or, is he caught up in the system?

I like it.


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Fahrion Kryptov
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I like it, too, but have a problem with the first two sentences. There's just so many negatives implying the positive. The first sentence by itself is fine, but following it up with another makes the reading difficult. You say that Hank did not expect to not be given the death sentence, because they did not give robes out to those who could not give it often.

I, too, want to read more.


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Tiergan
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quote:
Hank hadn't expected the judge to decide any other way. These days they didn't hand out robes to anyone afraid of sending less than a dozen men to Necropolis almost every day. Hank found that he couldn't blame them.[cut, instead. He didn't blame them.It makes more intimate. As a reader I want in his thoughts, not reminded that I am reading, I want to be immersed in his pain, his fear, his excitement.] It keeps the peace, he thought[cut, the he thought. It is not needed if in his pov. Again, it will ring stronger without the he thought.]. Even in the days before the chaos had taken hold, America had never been as safe as it was now.

He was sitting[cut, instead. He sat] in the back of a paddywagon, surrounded by twenty or so other men of all different shapes, colors, and sizes[, I think, suggest, all condemened to die, losing the who were also] who were also condemned to die. Only a few of them committed violent crimes.[I would consider cutting this sentence. The reason is you tell it here, where you do so well showing it in the next 2 sentences. It makes it more personal, again, feeling the MC's feelings, drawing us in.] A tall, pale, black haired man with tattoos covering his arms had murdered three people. More than a handful of the men were children. One of the convicts, a young blond kid, had been caught stealing in a supermarket.


Overall I like it, I think you got a story going. You list the problem, introduce the character. My main concern here is, the MC is sort of on the fence over the Death penalty issue, his feelings seem like he isn't for it for non-violent crimes, but yet he isn't against either, as he doesn't blame the judges. If a main part of story, man fighting system, I would expect him to choose a side and soon.

[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 06, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 06, 2011).]


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Reziac
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What EVOC and Tiergan said. Good points and edits. I like the premise.

I do wonder tho ... if it's a death sentence, where do the vampires come from? Oh, maybe we're going find out? -- I like being made to wonder odd things like this.


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bobbyshane
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Thanks guys. This is all good feedback. I appreciate it.

Fahrion Kryptov and EVOC, I agree that second sentence doesn't work.


Tiergan, those are all good cuts and edits. Just goes to show how even after three drafts a fresh pair of eyes is a big help.

One major flaw in Hank is his passiveness, hence the almost condoning of such injustice. Most of Hank's life America has been an empire so his experience gets in the way of his own sense of ethics. So he is very wishy washy. Also the judges are only one aspect of the empire merely doing their jobs.

And the vampires... imo that's where things really get interesting.

If anyone would be interested in critting more of this I could really use some fresh eyes on it. Thanks.


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EVOC
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I'd be willing to help out with a fresh set of eyes on this one. I like where you are going with this.
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bobbyshane
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Cool EVOC, how do you want to go about that? Want me to start with the first chapter, first few chapters, or what would you like to do? Thanks, I really appreciate the offer.

I have several friends I plan on showing the third draft to but most of them aren't writers I'm just mainly looking for a subjective viewpoint from them, so more input from other writers would be awesome.


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bobbyshane
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Oh, and what do you guys think about this in place of that second sentence:

These days they only hand out robes to those willing to send at least a dozen men to Necropolis almost every day.

Just a thought. It could probably be tightened up more but I have to get back to the day job now so I'll have to take a scalpel to it more later.


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Josephine Kait
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I like the flavor and the potential for vampires who are actual scary monsters.

My take on the 2nd sentence: “These days they didn't hand out robes to anyone unwilling to send a dozen or more to Necropolis daily.” Surely if they are willing to send children, then they won’t show a gender preference? Along that same line I would recommend trading “More than a handful of the men were children” for “more than a handful of the condemned were little more than children” and continue with “one, a young blond kid, had…” and use the word “convicts” in place of “men” in the first sentence of the second paragraph.

Okay, that ended up being a little more convoluted than it was in my head. Here it is with the changes incorporated. (I also included EVOC’s and Tiergan’s suggestions since you said that you liked them.)

quote:
Hank hadn't expected the judge to decide any other way. These days they didn't hand out robes to anyone unwilling to send a dozen or more to Necropolis daily. He couldn't blame them; after all it kept the peace. Even in the days before the chaos had taken hold, America had never been as safe as it was now.

He sat in the back of a paddy wagon, surrounded by twenty or so other convicts of different shapes, colors, and sizes, all condemned to die. A tall, pale, black haired man with tattoos covering his arms had murdered three people, but he was the exception. Only a few had even committed violent crimes, and a handful of the condemned were little more than children. One, a young blond kid, had been caught stealing in a supermarket.


[This message has been edited by Josephine Kait (edited February 07, 2011).]


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bobbyshane
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Thanks for the input Josephine. I appreciate it. Still not sure how I want the second sentence but

I think I'll wait until I'm done with the 3rd draft before I come back to it. Maybe the time away from it will bring something fresh. But still any suggestions or feedback will help me when I get there so thanks again!


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EVOC
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quote:
Cool EVOC, how do you want to go about that? Want me to start with the first chapter, first few chapters, or what would you like to do? Thanks, I really appreciate the offer.

It would probably be easier for me to go through a chapter or two at a time. However you can send me the whole thing and I will just give you my thoughts chapter by chapter. Whatever works for you.


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bobbyshane
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EVOC, it should be in your inbox now. Thanks.
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axeminister
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No input to speak of.

Just wanted to say I dug it.

Axe


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bobbyshane
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Thanks Axe, I'm glad you liked it!
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