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Author Topic: Unnamed urban fantasy
KathiS
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The first 13 for an as of yet unnamed urban fantsy involving hunters, werewolves, vampires and a splash of romance. Stuck 6 chapters in on this one and already have an idea for a second one so I guess I'm thinking series.

Have at it!
--------------------------------------------
“You okay?”
Jezra Parks peered up through mousy brown locks of damp hair and wondered briefly just how in hell she was supposed to answer that question. Huddled on the toilet, naked, hugging herself to keep warm, a simple _fine, dear_ really wasn’t going to cut it. Neither, for that matter, was the truth.
“Must be the flu,” she muttered through chattering teeth.
Aaron raised a dark brow at that. Probably too well bred to ask the question evident in his far too beautiful green eyes. Too well bred or too bewildered to ask how she had suddenly, at quarter after five in the a.m., shown up on his bedroom floor, disoriented and without a stitch of clothing.


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axeminister
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Hi Kathi,

I like the start, and the premise. It definitely helps to know what you told us before the 13.

However, the writing is confusing. Unclear may be a better word actually, because I can picture the scene well enough. I think you may be trying to do too much in 13 lines. I'm trying to imagine what the 14th line would be. Dialog, I'd assume, but we seem to have reached some kind of peak or resolution already.

Also, I found the image of her sitting naked on a toilet with a strange man nearby disturbing. Then add he doesn't know her and I think his reaction would be a little stronger than your opening line.

(Plus, she ends up on Aaron's bedroom floor by the end of the 13?)

I tried to imagine what I would do in that situation and all I could think is I'd grab a towel or a bathrobe and cover the poor girl immediately.

Now for some nits.

She doesn't wonder briefly. She just wondered.
Fine, dear - traditionally signifies familiarity, yet I get the impression they don't know each other. Either way It's conflicting and it shouldn't be.

Too many too's. Remove the first too well bred, and the one about the eyes. They can simply be beautiful. I'm not sure anything can be too beautiful.

Referring to a human as well bred is odd. In the context of the story, and assuming she's not human, that's fine, but to open with it felt off. I think I'd like to know what she is before she relates to him on a pedigree level.

Lastly, and I'm not sure on this myself, did you mean to say mousy brown? I'm not sure mousy is a qualifier for brown. Unless you meant to have a comma between them, making them two different descriptions of the hair. If that's the case, you have a third a moment later - damp - which is a lot of description for hair so soon.
(Just looked this up on Google and sadly it was no help in determining the answer. I found both usages of above. Some said mousy was the style and brown was the color, and some had it as you have it, so it's probably okay.)

So, despite all I've said here, I did like the opening. It's humorous, and is a great launching place for a story.

Axe


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KathiS
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Thanks, Axe.

They do know each other. It will become obvious they don't know each other nearly as well as either of them thought.

I've always used mousy brown as a color. I don't really know if it's correct or not. My mom used to describe my hair as that color. Not quite brown, not quite blonde...

I appreciate the suggestions. All good ones that I will look at carefully. If you want to read beyond the 13th let me know. I will e-mail you a few more lines. ;-p

kls


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mbwood
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Okay KathiS, here goes:

First sentence - how can Jezra see her own hair? This is a POV problem.

She muttered through chattering teeth – (try) Her teeth chattered.

Aaron raised a dark brow at that. Probably too well bred to ask the question evident in his far too beautiful green eyes. Too well bred or too bewildered to ask how she had suddenly, at quarter after five in the a.m., (this is a little too wordy – detracts from the impact).

Consider: Aaron raised his brow and frowned. He had yet to ask how, at five-fifteen a.m., she had popped out of nowhere onto his bedroom floor, disoriented and without a stitch of clothing.

Has this any possibilities? I do like the content of your opening - it does grab my attention (as well as the idea of a naked lady appearing on my bedroom floor... ah, I'd better not go there).

Remember the first rule of writing… Write!

MBW


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axeminister
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"how can Jezra see her own hair?"

I took it as her hair is long and unkempt. After looking up mousy brown I found it seems to have a negative connotation associated with it. It's a good mood setter along with damp.

Thus, something is up, something is wrong. Her hair is covering her eyes and she peered up through it. It reminds me of anime. Girls usually have hair covering their eyes, and they are usually naked.

I think this POV is fine.

Axe


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mbwood
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Er, Axe, the POV problem is that this scene is takes place through Jezra's eyes.

So, Jezra cannot really observe her hair and how it hangs. To switch from an omniscient POV to a 3rd limited / close in the same sentence is jarring. Not advised.

Respectfully submitted,

MBW


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KathiS
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I have to go with Axe here. I don't see that I'm switching POV. If I feel like ****e and I'm perched on the toilet, hunched over and haven't ran a brush through my hair, believe me, I can see it. It's most likely hanging in my face. I guess I meant for her to be looking through it so she could certainly not only see, but feel that it is damp.

It's definitely great to see how other people interpret things. :-) Love the various views. Very helpful.

kls


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Rob Roy 99
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@Axeminister: "Referring to a human as well bred is odd. In the context of the story, and assuming she's not human, that's fine, but to open with it felt off. I think I'd like to know what she is before she relates to him on a pedigree level."

Describing someone as "well-bred" is not a comment on their ancestry, but their up-bringing. A "well-bred" person is refined and has good manners. When we're told that Aaron is "well-bred" it means that he's too genteel to even notice, much less mention, the fact that Jezra is starkers.

I'll grant that it's a little old-fashioned, but it's certainly not odd; all the 19th century novelists, from Austen down to Conan Doyle, regularly refer to their characters as "well-bred," and the expression remains entirely conventional all through the 20th century as well. Taken together with the biblical names, it helps to create an atmosphere; somewhat at odds with the arresting image of a naked MC showing up unexpectedly in the (love interest's?) bedroom, but perhaps these things resolve themselves. I actually find that kind of dissonance more interesting than if the character names sounded very hip or fringe, or if we were told that the male was too jaded to be fazed that the girl was naked.

Ard-choille,
Rob Roy.


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micmcd
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quote:
Too well bred or too bewildered to ask how she had suddenly, at quarter after five in the a.m., shown up on his bedroom floor, disoriented and without a stitch of clothing.

... He has a toilet in his bedroom?


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KathiS
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>>... He has a toilet in his bedroom?<<

No. But he does have a bathroom off the master bedroom and there is a toilet in there. ;-) Although it may, at times, be handier to have one in the bedroom....

kls


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MDBHarlan
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I like it.
I am a little confused about the toilet, bedroom thing too. It seems you might be saying that she had started on the bedroom floor but now she was on the toilet and he was checking on her?
I have always heard the term mousy brown too. I agree that it has a negative connotation which adds to the scene.

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LDWriter2
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Goodie another UF... of course it's a series they are all series. I have a UF finished and another one almost done and another one being slowly critted.

quote:

“You okay?”
Jezra Parks peered up through mousy brown locks of damp hair and wondered briefly just how in hell she was supposed to answer that question. Huddled on the toilet, naked, hugging herself to keep warm, a simple _fine, dear_ really wasn’t going to cut it. Neither, for that matter, was the truth.
“Must be the flu,” she muttered through chattering teeth.
Aaron raised a dark brow at that. Probably too well bred to ask the question evident in his far too beautiful green eyes. Too well bred or too bewildered to ask how she had suddenly, at quarter after five in the a.m., shown up on his bedroom floor, disoriented and without a stitch of clothing.


This one sounds interesting.

Not sure about that hair line it seems to break up the flow. Too long a description of her hair. The third sentence is kinda long too. As is the last sentence. Other than that I think it looks okay.

Hmmm, Shown up on his bedroom floor? So does she lives on another floor? Or did she get into the house-apartment-penthouse- by herself.

I assume by her use of the word dear that they are dating if not engaged. And by the description of his eyes I wonder if he is human. Elf maybe? I would also assume that she really is sick if she is stuck on the toilet. But I would have to read on to see if any of my assumptions are correct.

Curious, curious

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited July 05, 2011).]


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Tryndakai
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So, I'll just give a quick run-down of my reactions and mental images as they grew and changed with the scene, shall I?

quote:
“You okay?”
Jezra Parks peered up through mousy brown locks of damp hair and wondered briefly just how in hell she was supposed to answer that question. Huddled on the toilet, naked, hugging herself to keep warm, a simple _fine, dear_ really wasn’t going to cut it.

Ooh, how interesting. Certainly an unconventional place to begin a scene. The on-the-toilet thing, combined with the fact that something obviously unusual and unpleasant is afflicting our girl, and the "fine dear"--I've got an image of a concerned husband looking in on his wife, who is having some sort of serious problem . . . perhaps a miscarriage? My mind jumps ahead, trying to fill in the gaps faster than my eyes can track down the page.
quote:
Neither, for that matter, was the truth.
“Must be the flu,” she muttered through chattering teeth.

More curious, the presumed husband doesn't know what's going on.
quote:
Aaron raised a dark brow at that. Probably too well bred to ask the question evident in his far too beautiful green eyes.
Hehe, mushy.
quote:
Too well bred or too bewildered to ask how she had suddenly, at quarter after five in the a.m., shown up on his bedroom floor, disoriented and without a stitch of clothing.
Erm . . . huh? My whole mental image to this point is fairly shattered. Why, if she appeared on the floor, did she move to the bathroom? If all she's doing is huddling naked, I'm sure the bed or a chair or couch would have been much more comfortable, and a bathrobe at least might have been acquired. And the rest . . . well, I'm fine with reading on to figure out what's really going on. My mind leaps to way too many conclusions for it to bother me when I'm way off. But the bedroom-bathroom question is just perplexing.

I think you could assuage the confusion if you drag out those last details just a bit longer. In this very moment, just stay *in* the moment. i.e.

quote:
“Must be the flu,” she muttered through chattering teeth.
Aaron raised a dark brow at that. Probably too well bred to ask (etc.) . . . "At least let me call a doctor," he said . . .
(or perhaps) the cool porcelain made her shiver, but she didn't feel safe in the bedroom, with its large windows . . .


You know, just something to let us know why they are where and how they are. Then, once you've got that detail firmly established, you can start musing on the strangeness of her appearance in his room in the wee hours, what they've done since then, and what they plan to do next. Just take that extra breath, so you don't jar us too roughly when you hit that momentary flashback.


Oh, quick additional thought: I wouldn't think a man could possibly be well bred, and *not* ask *some* form of the questions of what she's doing here, now, and like this. I mean, a gentleman would, to my thinking, immediately go into "protect" mode and try to find out how badly she was hurt, and who'd done it. At least, those would be *my* first thoughts upon finding a naked, damp girl upon my bedroom floor . . . Nor would the gentleman allow her to remain unclothed for long, unless she somehow insisted upon it, or shied away from any proffered help or questions, so he is *forced* to simply do nothing and pretend not to notice. Another curious thing. Of course, curious things are excellent, so long as they're intentional. And not too far away from being explained.

Luck.

[This message has been edited by Tryndakai (edited July 06, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Oh one more thing. I wasn't perplexed by the toilet in the bedroom, I assumed he was standing in the doorway of his bedroom's bathroom. That could be a mistake on my part but it fits the scene. After all one does not place a toilet in a bedroom. Of course you could invent a society that does.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited July 06, 2011).]


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KathiS
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Thanks, LD and Tryndakai. Very insightful comments which I'll look at closer. A lot gets explained in the next several paragraphs so you're not lost for too long....I hope. :-) Anyone who wants more just let me know. I'm up to Chapter 7 on the first go.

I never saw the floor/bedroom/toilet as confusing but, then again, I know exactly what's going on. ;-p LD, your assump[tion on that was spot on.

~Kathi


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