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Author Topic: The Hunt
Axis Dervan
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When Manny and Gonzalo entered the bar, every eye turned to them. The eyes searched their faces briefly, but lingered on the medallion that Manny and Gonzalo wore around their necks. Manny learned early on that fear affects people in different ways. Some people immediately hushed and made themselves as small as possible when they saw the medallions. Others tried to mask their fear by continuining their conversations in even louder voices. The tension in the air was felt by everyone. Gonzalo looked around, and those who made eye contact immediately halted their conversation. Silence did fall, eventually.
"Where is it?" Gonzalo asked in a voice that demanded respect.
It was one of the ones who masked his fear by over-compensating that responded.

[ February 17, 2012, 12:04 AM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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rcmann
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Not bad. I could offer a couple of nit picks if you don't mind.

"Some people immediately hushed and made themselves as small as possible when they saw the medallions. Others tried to mask their fear by continuing their conversations in even louder voices. The tension in the air was felt by everyone."

This could be made a more active, energetic passage. The last sentence in particular is in the passive voice. The words 'was felt by' tell the reader that the characters are sitting there being acted upon.

The first of the three sentences is active, but it could be visually intensified. Instead of saying that the immediately hushed and made themselves as small as possible, you might try telling how their mouths snapped shut and they sank down in their chairs, or something along that lines.

The middle one tells more than necessary. You don't have to explain that the people are talking to cover their nervousness. Show that they are babbling nervously.

Don't know if that made any sense.

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Axis Dervan
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Thanks for the input.

Don't worry, you made perfect sense.

Unfortunately I'm still locked in a struggle with the monkey on my back that is 'tell'.

Input like this helps me when that damned monkey finds my blind spots.

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rcmann
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"The eyes searched their faces briefly, but lingered on the medallion that Manny and Gonzalo wore around their necks."

Something you might try is switching the actor in this sentence from the eyes to the medallion. In other words, instead of having the eyes searching the faces and lingering on the medallions how about having the medallions being the focus of the statement. Like "the medallions seized everyone's attention" or some such. Make it plainer that the medallions are the important thing, not the eyes.

The sentence about Manny learning early, etc. really doesn't seem to fit well in this paragraph. you might want to move it to another place where you are focused more on Manny's internal dialogue. This paragraph seems more of an action scene, with external activity being the main point.

Again, this is just my opinion. Free and worth every penny.

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babooher
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I often try moving a beginning of the story up a bit.

I could be wrong, but is there some kind of interrogation/confrontation coming up soon? It felt like that to me and I wondered if you could start in that interrogation/confrontation as opposed to leading into it.

Just something to try.

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Bycin
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The overall tone of this opening was catchy for me, but stylistically it failed to hook me. There was quite a bit of passive voice that kept me from truly engaging with your characters.

quote:
Manny learned early on that fear affects people in different ways. Some people immediately hushed and made themselves as small as possible when they saw the medallions. Others tried to mask their fear by continuining their conversations in even louder voices.
I think you can cut this section out entirely from where it is. It might work better as dialogue between Manny and Gonzalo, as a form of crowd control and intimidation. Something like:

Manny walked over to a table of people talking just a bit too loud, their voices sounding strained and forced, "Gonzalo, look at them putting on a brave face. It won't work, though. Their fear is written all over their faces."

Now, this may not work with the flow of your story, but something like this can turn an info dump into action and that is what your opening needs. More action.

quote:
The tension in the air was felt by everyone.
The POV seems off in this sentence. At first I thought you were on Manny, but now it seems to be omniscient. I would recommend making it more clear.

All in all, I found the opening to have potential. I'd read on with more action.

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angel011
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In the second sentence, you repeat "Manny and Gonzalo". Perhaps "the two men" or something similar would work better.

I agree with the remarks of the others, it is interesting, but with too much telling instead of showing some action.

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