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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » A Growing Darkness

   
Author Topic: A Growing Darkness
BoldWriter
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Here's the first part of what I've been trying to shop around:

The lights in the kitchen flickered back to life. Genevieve Masonís body laid on the floor. Her green curls were splayed out along the side of her head and matted with blood. The black and white checkered tiles of the floor shone under the fluorescent tubes overhead.

Will Decker grinned, shocked, breathing heavily. His arm was frozen, stretched out in front of him like an alien appendage. His deep brown eyes fixed on his thumb in amazement. Just moments ago it was pressed against his middle finger, held with the tension of a loaded shotgun. The lights in the room dimmed. At that moment of release, he had wanted her dead more than anything. He snapped his fingers, and then she was.

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hoptoad
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Hi BoldWriter,
This is interesting. I am not sure where it will go from here but imagine Genevieve will figure more in the story, which I guess will make the entire story a flashback? I might be wrong but I would probably read on, tentatively.

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BoldWriter
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quote:
This is interesting. I am not sure where it will go from here but imagine Genevieve will figure more in the story, which I guess will make the entire story a flashback? I might be wrong but I would probably read on, tentatively.
Huh. The rest of the story is not a flashback, only that one paragraph. I'm not sure what gives that impression, but that's not really what I was going for. Perhaps I could switch the place of these two paragraphs. The rest of the story revolves around Will and his brother, Genevieve is only Will's first victim.
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hoptoad
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Sorry, if my comments were confusing rather than helpful. I think my mistake was because the introduction of Genevieve Mason's full name and such a vivid description figured so prominently in the first few words, I assumed she was going to figure more prominently in the rest of the story. Often a full name and description so early is a cue to the reader that "this is something you'll need to remember for later".

Your writing evokes strong imagery. I am not sure whether 'alien' appendage means the appendage of some alien creature or an appendage that is strange or somehow alien to its owner, the way some women feel when they first notice a baby stir in their womb. Either way works - both of which are exciting ideas - but each have different implications

For some reason, I see this all as though it was painted by Brom. Perhaps it is the extreme pose and the bright colours combined with high contrast light and shade.

Happy to read, if you think it may be useful.

[ August 10, 2012, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: hoptoad ]

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extrinsic
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Is it "laid" or "lay" on the floor?

Irregular verbs like to lie and to lay cause no end of complication.

Present tense of to lie, as in I lie down, is lie; past tense lay, as in he lay down to rest, past participle lain, as in I've lain here now for awhile. Lie meaning the doer takes a reclining action.

Present tense of to lay, as in I lay bricks all day, is lay; past tense laid, I laid the table; past participle laid, Sarah had laid the body out in the coffin. Lay meaning a doer places or sets an object or person in a place.

"Genevieve Mason's body laid on the floor." Implies the body was positioned by another doer, which then because to lay takes a subject is grammatically incomplete. The body is the object of the verb. "On the floor" is a predicate complement.

//Genevieve Mason's body was laid on the floor.// Illustrates the passive voice, subject-less past participle construction.

//Genevieve Mason's body had laid on the floor.//
Illustrates an incomplete perfect past participle where the time the body had laid on the floor isn't given.

//Genevieve Mason's body lay on the floor.//

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BoldWriter
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quote:
I am not sure whether 'alien' appendage means the appendage of some alien creature or an appendage that is strange or somehow alien to its owner, the way some women feel when they first notice a baby stir in their womb. Either way works - both of which are exciting ideas - but each have different implications
I intended it to be more like the second, where his arm feels like it belongs to someone else during this scene.

quote:
For some reason, I see this all as though it was painted by Brom.
Thanks. That was my intent, and it's reassuring to know I managed to get you on the same page with me.

quote:
Is it "laid" or "lay" on the floor?

Irregular verbs like to lie and to lay cause no end of complication.

You are not kidding about that. Thanks for laying it out for me clearly, I appreciate it.
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wise
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quote:

The lights in the kitchen flickered back to life. Genevieve Masonís body laid on the floor.

Can you combine these sentences, perhaps adding "revealing" between them? I would also like to know that the lights were fluorescent and harsh or bright or some other describing characteristic right here rather than learn a few sentences from now. You can also mention right here that the tiles were black and white checkered (or do what I suggest in the next few sentences). As to the "laid" - "lay" I think would be correct.

quote:

Her green curls were splayed out along the side of her head and matted with blood. The black and white checkered tiles of the floor shone under the fluorescent tubes overhead.

Maybe: "Her green curls were splayed out along the side of her head and matted with blood, which was slowling spreading over the black and white checkered tiles of the floor."

quote:
Will Decker grinned, shocked, breathing heavily.
There are two past tense verbs then a progressive verb. They should be the same. I'm also not sure "shocked" is used well in this sentence. He was in a state of shock, not in the act of electrically shocking someone.

quote:
His arm was frozen, stretched out in front of him like an alien appendage. His deep brown eyes fixed on his thumb in amazement.
I like these two sentences, esp. the first one. Good imagery.

quote:
Just moments ago it was pressed against his middle finger, held with the tension of a loaded shotgun. The lights in the room dimmed.
"it had been pressed" and "the room had dimmed" might be better.

quote:
At that moment of release, he had wanted her dead more than anything. He snapped his fingers, and then she was
Again, "he had snapped" would work better. (You can say "he'd" if you prefer to be less formal.)

Overall, I like this beginning and would want to read more.

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Tryndakai
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I agree with the overall sentiment of Wise's post, in that almost all of your sentences have the same basic, subject-verb-object setup. "The lights did this. The body did that. His hand felt this." etc. Just juggle the sentence structures a bit, and it'll flow better. The concept is certainly intriguing. [Smile]

The full-name thing didn't cause me too much trouble, because it was obvious fairly immediately that she was a dead person, so I started reading the details more as a crime scene report, in which you also find full names and other such official details. [Wink]

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