This is topic Fall For You - Supernatural/horror/love story in forum Fragments and Feedback for Short Works at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Genre: it's a dark supernatural love story.


NEWEST (4/8/12)

One thing: I am now looking for a reader or two. Anyone game? It might be a few days before I send it to you, but it would help me out a lot if I could get a few readers. My story is about 8,000 words, give or take. Thanks in advance!

I fell from the clouds and crashed into the yard, my feet pushing down a foot into the damp soil. I stood there and stared at an old white two-story house with a wrap-around front porch.
My heart thrashed to let me know I didn’t have much time before the portal to Everlasting Light closed.
But right now I didn’t care, couldn’t care. A girl needed my help. A simple girl. Why? I didn’t know yet. I just had to save her.
And I ran up the brick pathway bedded by flowers, and shot up the porch steps and into the house.Past the kitchen.Down the hall.Into the back room & threw open the door that slammed against the wall.
A beautiful Hispanic sad girl, her head enclosed in a noose, her tiny foot dangling off the chair, stared at me with wide teary brown eyes, and never—not once—questioned my nakedness. And it was


Old 4/6/12

I fell from the clouds toward the city like a comet as a blob made up of acidic rain. And I crashed into the yard, formed a liquidized form of a human being, standing there to stare at an old white two-story house with a wrap-around front porch taken up by rocking chairs and a glass door.
My new heart pounded in my chest. In my ears, my eyes. I hadn’t had a heart—a real one—in two hundred years. But I knew immediately what it told me was true, was right. I came to earth. But we weren’t supposed to. Angels were never supposed to… come to earth. It broke the rules set by God in Everlasting Light, and I would have to pay the price.
But right now I didn’t care, couldn’t care. A girl needed my help. A simple girl. Why? What made her different from all the


Older (4/3/12)

I fixed up the beginning sequence some. Let me know what you think. Thanks. I'm still working on revisions. =]

Falling from the clouds toward the city like a comet. Thousands of tiny acid raindrops came together to form a blob that splashed into her yard.
The acid blob bubbled in the rain—and formed skin, formed me.
This was the worst mistake I’d made in my two hundred years of existence, but I didn’t care.
My vision cleared; no longer did it feel like I was peering in through a thick window of glass. And the grass, cool and wet under my bare feet. A memory, yes, of my beautiful wife Shana. She was the only reason I even considered falling from Everlasting Light. This girl in that house reminded me of her. A lot. She was about to kill herself. I couldn’t let that happen, or demons would take her to Dark Everlasting. Dark Everlasting was where I was going now.

[ April 08, 2012, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: C@R3Y ]
Posted by rcmann (Member # 9757) on :
OK. The supernatural lover. A fine old tradition, and you are starting off with a good hook. He saves her, so naturally he is going to be left responsible for her. That much I can see coming. It's good enough to make me want to read further. You might consider veering away a bit from the lecturing approach. Maybe have some of it in the form of internal dialogue? maybe some of it him talking ot another angel? Or her thinking? Or something? The way it is, it sounds like we are sitting at a table while he gives us a status report. It's interesting, but it doesn't reach out and grab. Pulling the POV in closer might help, or whatever approach you prefer.
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Ah, thank you, RCMann. Actually, you might think he is held responsible for her, but I think I have steered it in a different direction from what you think. The girl he saves ends up with the Fallen Angel. He falls from the place up in the clouds, Everlasting Light, and they are together. Angels cannot go back up to Everlasting Light when they fall. Instead, they become human, and once their angelic powers dwindled away in a few years, they become human. Except, when an angel becomes a human, they start to age, and fast (usually, an angel that falls becomes the age that they wish to be upon entering earth, just so you know, and this guy turns out to be a twenty year old male). They can die in a matter of days and then end up in Dark Everlasting, where demons just love to greet Fallen Angels. They become the main target and it is ten times worse than human punishment down there. Demons in Dark Everlasting become stronger through Fallen Angels, so they need them.

It goes into more details in the story, but you get the picture.

I wont give anymore, but I can see that I already led you astray, which is exactly what I was going for. Sure, he can be considered responsible for her, but at the same time, not really. It gets pretty twisted and unexpected. At least I think so, but I could be wrong. I'm not so sure yet.

Thanks for the feedback. I understand how I should go about doing the approach you suggested. It has really helped. :]
Posted by Merlion-Emrys (Member # 7912) on :
I sort of agree with rcmann. I think you could probably even improve it if you just change the latter bits, where he is explaining, to "I statements" instead of "we statements." Perhaps as part of this you could also go into a bit more about him specifically, like "When I died X years ago and entered Everlasting Light as an angel I was told..." etc etc. Perhaps, even something about him already being given a choice upon death, whether to become an angel or not.
Also, you don't need "for" before the "whom."
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Thanks Merlion. That also helps. I have an idea where I should go from here and how I should go about opening it.

Posted by A Yeatts (Member # 9500) on :
I'll read. Send it on over! I love a good dark creepy love story that begins with a noose.
Posted by TempestDash (Member # 9026) on :
I agree that despite the subject of the narrator's exposition, it's missing a feeling of immediacy. The most URGENT action should be front and center, especially in a short story. My suggestion is to start your narrative at the moment he intervenes.

Something like, "I was holding her body desperately aloft, just before the snap of the noose, before I had a chance to realize what I was doing. It was too late to look back now. I had watched for so long, I couldn't wait any more..."

That's just me shooting from the hip, but I think you should start with something that puts the narrative already in action.
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
That's a good few lines, TempestDash. I will definitely consider it. It sounds really good.

Thanks. :] You gave me a few ideas to work with.
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Ping. New version is up. :]
Posted by babooher (Member # 8617) on :
The new version sounds like the much-maligned info dump. Literally, you're dumping the reader with a giant comparison between what the narrator grew up with and what is now.

I often say writing is like dating. You don't reveal all the good stuff right away.

Just thinking.
Posted by angel011 (Member # 9765) on :
I'd say speed things up and start with some action.
Posted by TempestDash (Member # 9026) on :
I agree with the above, you've stepped further away from the action than your previous first 13. You need to get closer.

What you have now is thirteen lines of setting, which is not a good start unless you're writing a travel brochure. Pick up the pace put us literally in the middle of something happening right now.
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Ping. Another new version is up. I think it gets into the action faster. Let me know what you think. Thanks! =]
Posted by TempestDash (Member # 9026) on :
Falling from the clouds toward the city like a comet, the wind rushed through my liquidized form solidifying into skin. (This sentence structure is a little awkward. I'm not sure why you're hiding the subject until the second clause. Also, 'liquidized form' is hard thing for me to conceptualize in the first sentence.) This was the worst mistake I’d ever made in my 200 years of existence. (I'm not good at articulating this, but I feel like there is some tense confusion here. The previous sentence is past tense this seems more present tense.)I didn’t care. I had to save this girl from ending herself. We weren’t supposed to help humans by no means. (By "any means", is better.) Again, I didn't care.

How could I care, when this woman reminded me of the wife in my past life? Flaming red hair downed over her shoulders, defined cheekbones, freckles dotted her face.
(I understand why this is here, but it's couched in "as you know" language. You should probably revise to fit it better into this sequence.)

In seconds, I landed in her yard gently. No cars were in the driveway, a chain-link fence boarded the house and met up at a brick walkway bedded by colorful flowers to the porch steps. White chairs rocked, and creaked—across from each other

This is closer to the action, but perhaps still needs some refinement along the lines stated above. I'm struggling with the tense issue -- which I have a big problem with myself -- because I'm not sure what's right or not. Perhaps someone smarter than I can chip in.
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (Member # 59) on :
The sentence structure in "Falling from the clouds toward the city like a comet, the wind rushed through my liquidized form solidifying into skin." is awkward, as TempestDash says, because it's what is called a "dangling participle."

Dangling particples happen when the clause at the beginning of the sentence doesn't actually refer to the subject of the sentence. In the above sentence, the wind (the subject) is not what is falling from the clouds.

Other examples of dangling participles (to help people recognize them, I hope) include such things as

"Being so awkward in a sentence, I never use dangling participles."


"Running through the dense forest growth, the roots kept tripping him."

I hope this helps.
Posted by angel011 (Member # 9765) on :
Closer to the action, but still too slow.

Or maybe it's because the first 13, and the very next sentence would bring action.

The way it is, it looks to me as if he says he has to save her from suicide, and then stops to describe what she looks like and what her yard looks like.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh.
Posted by Geoff Hawthorne (Member # 9772) on :
I agree with how the sudden setting description and the gentle landing after falling like a comet puts brakes on the action. Describing all the colors and things around him makes it feel like he's in a huge hurry, and then stops, like he's hesitating or can afford to take his time now. Unless the physical appearance of the house is important to the plot, you can probably leave it out...even just "I landed in her yard and rushed to the window" might be enough.

Also, is he going to see the woman inside the house? Maybe save the physical description details until he sees her, so the reader sees her at the same time? And telling us about his wife in a past life is too much info too fast...we've just learned that he was married before, that something happened to her, and he's been reincarnated at least once. Maybe break it up and spread out the facts throughout the story.

I look forward to seeing what you do with this, and I'd like to read more if it's ready. I know the 13-line rule can rob intros of context. [Smile] Break a pen, my friend!
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Ping. I reworked the beginning sequence some. Let me know what you think.

Am I closer in the new version, or was I closer in one of the prior versions?

I look forward to your comments and thoughts!

Thanks! =]

PS: I do understand grammar rules. However, writers have been known to break them and get away with it, if done well. My first sentence, I picture it going smoother in my head than it might actually appear. I know it's technically not grammatically correct, but I am wondering if it works as is. I would be very grateful if someone can help me with that part of it. I want to try and keep the whole "comet" bit, but I'm not so sure what the best approach to that might be. All help is greatly appreciated.
Posted by Merlion-Emrys (Member # 7912) on :
I'm not sure why the blob that becomes him is acid. It's also a little disjointed with kind of a lot going on and some of the exposition still strikes me as a bit matter-of-fact ("I couldn't let that happen, or demons would take her..." etc.)

I think you're getting closer with this one though.
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
New version up. Sorry I have so many. You don't have to read the others if you don't want. Just the new version, mainly. Thanks =]
Posted by LynnO (Member # 9789) on :
Your opening sentence is still too busy. Think about the clauses you are using and what they modify:

I fell from the clouds toward the city like a comet as a blob made up of acidic rain.

From the clouds
Toward the city
Like a comet
As a blob

"Like a comet" seems to be modifying "city," which I don't think was meant.

I'm at a loss as to what the "acidic rain" is implying.

In this genre, your manuscript would be far better served with a short, punchy sentence that almost forces the reader to continue.

I fell from the clouds.

See? This would practically beg a reader to continue to the next sentence.

After that first sentence, you can describe the fall, then the landing.
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
Thanks LynnO. I changed it up from even that latest version, and didn't post it, BUT I did take with me something from your comments. "Short and punchy" - you are absolutely right. So simple it's good.

Thanks. Deff. helps. =]
Posted by C@R3Y (Member # 9669) on :
The new version is up. I am also looking for readers. It would be very helpful if someone could take a look at this for me. Thanks in advance! =]

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