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  1. #1
    A L Stark
    Guest

    100: Into Devil's Gap

    “I give them what they deserve,” he whispered. Her gaze came to rest on the glinting steel, following the movement as he slid his thumb down the long, sharp blade. “...those whose greed leaves no room in their hearts for their own flesh and blood.” He didn’t seem to notice the cold, cutting steel or the welling of blood beneath its bite. “Sometimes -- the worst of them, I give them what they deserve…”

    A single dark burgundy drop hung a long age as her heart beat in her throat; finally falling through flickering fire-lit space to settle in a dark bead on an upturned fold of blanket.

  2. #2
    Finnley Wren
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    It's not bad, and you start off real strong with that first sentence setting a malevolent scene. Alas, it goes downhill from there.

    Her gaze came to rest on the glinting steel, following the movement as he slid

    Her gaze came to rest means she stopped. You're gonna need to transition from that, maybe came to rest on the glinting steel, then against her will followed the movement

    Now, that's bad too, but you see what I mean? It is jarring - to me, anyway - to come to rest and then start moving.

    A single dark burgundy drop

    Love it!

    hung a long age

    Hate it!

    her heart beat in her throat

    No, it didn't. Perhaps blood pulsed there, but her heart didn't beat there.

    Like I said, you set a great atmosphere of darkness and evil, but you need to be more careful with your choice of words and imagery. I did fing it interesting enough to look forward to hearing others chime in!

  3. #3
    Harper
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    ...finally falling through flickering fire-lit....

    ooh, don't do that. even in a poem you shouldn't do that.

    ...to settle in a dark bead on an upturned fold of blanket.

    that's very nice. poetry has its place.

    the repetition of "I give them what they deserve" is troublesome because the second time he says it, it seems that he is trying to indicate a WORSE treatment. So having him say it the same way twice doesn't work.

  4. #4
    Bill Wells
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    I like most of it. Good images. I seemed to find myself stumbling a bit, though. Try rearranging some of the sentences.

    I apologize, my method of critiquing is to rewrite things to experiment with what seems to work better for me. Hopefully, people find it helpful. That said...

    “I give them what they deserve.”

    He slid his thumb down the long, sharp blade. The glinting steel was magnetic, she found it hard to pull her gaze away from it. His voice, a whisper as cutting as his knife, raised the hair on her arms.

    “Those whose greed leaves no room in their hearts--the worst of them--I give them what they deserve." He didn’t seem to notice the welling of blood on his thumb. A single dark burgundy drop hung a long age before finally falling through flickering fire-lit space to settle in a dark bead on an upturned fold of blanket.

    She would die tonight, she knew it. And she would die horribly.


    Okay, that's not exactly it either, but hopefully you get the gist.

  5. #5
    Jay Weaver
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    Don't apologize for rewriting, Bill.

    In proposing the 100-word challenge, Andrew said, "Since it's only 100 soddin' words, a critter should whenever possible rewrite the sentence or paragraph or entire clip to show how she/he/it/they would've done it."

    So, in fact, that's what you're SUPPOSED to be doing.

    And besides, I enjoy reading your rewrites. Often I read what you've written, and think to myself, "Man, I wish I could have worded it like that." While there's no one "correct" way to write a particular passage, yours are consistently good, and that, I think, is a mark of natural talent.

  6. #6
    john palmer
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    I like it.

    “I give them what they deserve,” he whispered. I think you need a new paragraph here to signal the change of focus to the second character. Also an ellipsis. I'll illustrate underneath. Her gaze came to rest on the glinting steel, following the movement as he slid his thumb down the long, sharp blade. Same thing. “...those whose greed leaves no room in their hearts for their own flesh and blood.” He didn’t seem to notice the cold, cutting steel or the welling of blood beneath its bite. “Sometimes -- the worst of them, I give them what they deserve…” Nice repetition - a nice psychotic feel to it. I think that's how they talk.

    A single dark burgundy drop hung a long[/i] Is there any other kind? age as her heart beat in her throat; As someone pointed out, it doesn't beat there, but I think you're right to use the image becasue that's how it feels to her which is, after all, your POV. finally falling through flickering fire-lit Beautiful alliteration, especially as it underscores the clash between event and setting. The pathos is palpable. [/i]space to settle in a dark bead on an upturned fold of blanket.[/i]Nice, nice touch.

    I like it even better on the second read through.

    To illustrate:

    “I give them what they deserve...” he whispered.

    Her gaze came to rest on the glinting steel, following the movement as he slid his thumb down the long, sharp blade.

    “...those whose greed leaves no room in their hearts for their own flesh and blood.” He didn’t seem to notice the cold, cutting steel or the welling of blood beneath its bite. “Sometimes -- the worst of them, I give them what they deserve…”

    A single dark burgundy drop hung an age as her heart beat in her throat; finally falling through flickering fire-lit space to settle in a dark bead on an upturned fold of blanket.


    I don't usually get so breathless over the writing folks post in public fora, but this is so good!

  7. #7
    Harper
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    Contemporary thriller/mystery novels cannot get away with that kind of alliteration. It's the mark of an amateur. Sorry.

  8. #8
    Harper
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    Actually, no contemporary writers can get away with it, really. Not even poets.

  9. #9
    A L Stark
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    I know it’s not following the rules set out for the Hundred-Word Death Match (-- the thread should be reserved exclusively for crits, one/critter, period. Further comments should be put in a parallel thread...) but it seems that using the original challenge post as the forum for discussing submissions has been dropped…?

    So, first – Wow! Thank you, John for your blush-inducing praise. I expected to receive some stinging comments but your post was a pleasurable surprise. =}

    Though she doesn’t die and knows she won’t, I enjoyed your rewrite, Bill and will keep it in mind when I edit.

    I would note (though it doesn’t matter according to Harper) that this is not a Thriller/Mystery. However, I do admit to being an amateur.

    Yes, this excerpt can be construed as rather poetic. The visual detail was intentional in order to communicate her being spellbound and the repetition to show his depth of psychosis. I might sometime post more of the passage to ask for suggestions of ways to better convey those tones but this passage is about 20k words down the line for chopping and I’ve just started over from the beginning. It will be a while.

    Harper, in the context of this pared-down version and according to the rules (-- since it's only 100 soddin' words, a critter should whenever possible rewrite…), could I ask you to float your fix for my flippin’ faux pas? =oP

    I'm having a little difficulty replacing "flickering". Best I could do was to reword: "It glistened in the fire-light, finally plummeting to settle in a dark bead on an upturned fold of blanket".
    I do appreciate your comments and assure you that any suggestions would be considered. If you have the time & inclination...

  10. #10
    A L Stark
    Guest

    Re: 100: Into Devil's Gap

    While I’m at breakin’ the rules, I’d like to thank all of you for your posts – not only here but in the entire forums.

    In just the last three weeks that I’ve been reading these forums I am amazed at how the suggestions made between you all have changed the way I look at my own writing. I appreciate your taking the time to read and post on so many subjects relating to the writing craft. Your critiques, suggestions, tips and comments give me more to consider as the words are rewritten – for the two hundredth time. lol

    My most humble gratitude,
    als

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