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Thread: Chapter 13

  1. #1
    Alex Hipkins
    Guest

    Chapter 13

    This is chapter 13, or the very unpolished, unrefined rough draft of Chapter 13. Just wondering on thoughts and seeing if what I am marking in the printed version are much the same as everyone else.

    I guess that I am testing my editing skills to those that are unbiased to the writing.

    ____________________________________

    Every book in the library was strewn about the floor in an effort to find something that might explain what happened. Thousands of books had become damaged as they were thrown from the shelf to the hardwood below. Thousands more still needed to be shifted, turned and opened before they met their fates. It was very difficult to find a reference to any ghost story or paranormal experience in a library that was once had its upkeep done by a man too infatuated with himself and the pharmaceutical world of business to think outside the box. Finding anything other than dictionaries and enormous binded copies of business ledgers seemed a feat in itself.
    This entity was keeping Corporal Kincaid and the others far away from sight. Figuring out the answers had taken on the old familiar research methods rather than being able to jump right to the conclusion from the horse's mouth. Would have been much easier that way. But, this library was not always kept by Marcus. No, it had been filled over the century and a half or more that his family had resided in these halls. Someone in that time must have had some form of curiousness towards things that were not natural.
    All my job. Sebastian had confided in me that his reading abilities were great, but the measure of patience that mortal life had given him had not grown in the near two centuries of immortality that had passed by. Instead, his chosen path was to keep Elizabeth at bay in some far off room so that nothing would interrupt me. How special it was to be thrown back into the idea of being a bookworm rather than being with my beloved mortal connection. Selfish as it was, hatred brimmed in me. If more important matters had not surfaced, there would be nothing from me finding a way for Sebastian's life to be ended.
    Thus, there was a more important task at hand. I had to find out something, anything, on this cloud of storming death that sucked two immortals in and could have kept us there for all eternity for what we knew. A break was needed. Sitting in the same chair that had been the sole survivor of a drunken tirade some time before Marcus' death was the spot chosen. My thoughts did not cease, instead they looked deep down to try and remember every passage that I had read on those far off days. Every little inscription that might give a clue or stir a past memory up to guide me.
    What did I know of the supernatural? Television had spoken in many infomercial quality sideshow provisions that spirits needed some form of power to manifest. This seemed a total waste of time and energy as the others appeared so gracefully before me with nothing to really draw from. I had the gift of unnatural vision and perception that made them so clearly visible to me. Not a single light flickered when that cloudiness made known its intentions to Sebastian and myself. It had been a whole being, content with its own prowess and abilities, that it did not need an outside source to complicate the matter. Instead, it did it all on its own.
    Internal core temperature for my kind dropped so severely that judging the temperature of a room was a very easy task. That was the reason that hot showers were such a delight. They brought an incredible sense of pleasure. There was no drop in the base level of the heat in the dining hall. No pull at the moisture in the air. Nothing. Quickly, it was seeming that every thought I had known of a ghost was only a facade brought on by ratings.
    Disappointing as it was, an answer must be sought. Some book out there would have to speak of this sort of happening. I was only wishing that this book could be found in the library here at Irwin Manor rather than having to travel the globe in search of it. In the rest of the world I greatly imagined that all would be safe and free from this ghastly horror. Everyone safe except my Elizabeth. That was why I tried so diligently. Not to preserve self, but the mortal woman that raised me.
    Entirely possible, my eyes were growing weary. As was my mind. Taking a break had done nothing but add more confusion to the mix that had enough of its own already. Stiffness started to settle in all joints and limbs alike; stretching from jaw to spine to fingers and toes. The simple will it took to stand and begin moving aimlessly around the large corridor was still an excitement in its own right. Even while I did not look around, my body moved me past any object that stood in its path. Past the decanters of fine liquor, ladders for reaching the high shelves. Even weaved through several small tables.
    All the while, one simple item was in the pit of my concentration. I must know if this family has any secrets. I must find any record of such occurrences happening at any other time. Just to know what the hell was going on and find a way to stop it all. These were very simple wants, I believed. Very simple and so fanatical in the least bit that an easy outlet should be there! An easier way rather than fretting every moment that passed by because you were lost in shell of no knowledge.
    Only one attempt was left in me and I was not quite ready to make it. Instead I just willed myself to move. I had no particular part of the manor in mind. I did not even care if I was taken from the library to the cellar or even the remote area of the tower. Easy as this was, it did bring about uncertain disgust. How all of this was done with great ease, with no real trial or learning period and I could not even find what I wanted inside a place where I had dwelt for years. If only this gift would take me to what I needed. If only it would bring me to some form of a great discovery.
    On just that whim, I began to will it. My eyes closed very tightly and my mind just repeatedly told my limbs to move, move towards the most distinct and evil place in the entire manor. That in that place would be every answer that was sought out. Every answer to this problem. My body kept moving so effortlessly with the change in directives. There was no flaw in it that I could see when by when wanting anything badly enough, my body would take me to it.
    Yes, there was doubt that it could mindlessly bring me the greatest desire of my heart. Great doubt, indeed. But it was worth a try, as was anything for that matter. This was an unsolvable case that needed some preternatural force behind it to solve the great riddle. There was no way that I would be able to on my own.
    Voices were growing louder as I let my mind guide my body. Sebastian and Elizabeth were growing nearer to me, or I to them. My feet moved across the hardwood floors onto the marble onto carpet and the like, but walking with eyes shut might cause a stir in her. He would know what was happening if only in the most basic meaning of it all. She would find it strange and most likely rush forward to see if I were ill. That was the very least of the things that could cloud my mind at this very moment in time. I had purpose, whether it was clear or not, and needed to find the end result. Even if that end result was ending up lodged behind a table and tangled in a sconce.
    But I could not help it. No matter how resolute I was in staying on task of not doing anything but let my body wander where it must, their voices kept growing in volume and depth. They rang in my ears. I knew they were just feet away without opening my eyes. Were they not taking any notice of me? Hopefully, Sebastian was doing his job well and keeping her occupied with deep conversation. I had hoped more that he was making her leave the room.
    Each sounding word remained of the same timbre, so I knew that was not the case. But how I did not care! It was true that I was so stuck on the words which had no meaning, no defining characteristic to them, but wholly wanted nothing more than to end the charades and find the answer. Always the answer. I was so close to them now that feeling Elizabeth's hand reaching out to just touch or tug at my shirt was very clear. Her hello went unacknowledged and she did not even seem to mind. Will had drawn me past her, past Sebastian, who's movements were known in the rustling of his clothes as he turned and looked at me.
    One of my hands came to drift along the table, that wonderful table. It was hard not to get lost in the feeling of brushing against the grains of the wood. But another grain was soon beneath the other. Yes, I had stopped all forward movement. This seem very strange and a certain reason to finally open my eyes and break the hold of this trance. Shocked, slightly to a point of dizziness, I stood before the throne. That carved chaotic piece speaking of hell. Irony, it seems, had brought me to the one item in this entire house that I would never have suspected because of the sheer fact it was so connected by its appearance. What importance this chair had, I still did not know but it had to have some, otherwise, and I fully believed this, I would not be standing before it.
    Where to go with knowing that this chair, this mighty throne of the masters of Irwin Manor, had something to do with or some insight to what happened? Was it all in the carvings of the legs, back and arm rests? Was there some secret hidden behind the fabric of the backing? Beneath the seat? There were so many possible answers to the same question.
    Ring. It was perfect timing and Sebastian knew it as he aided Elizabeth to her feet and out into the hall. One of the hired help hurried her forward to the phone. It was not an important call, but one of her friends that requested some aid in a decision or some item of that nature. All in all, she had left the room and Sebastian and myself were there to explore this large trinket.
    “It's in this chair, Sebastian. Some answer, some telling of what we experienced was involved in this chair.” My words were quick.
    “Then tear it to pieces! Break it apart and we can scavenge through the pieces to find its tale. Simple as that.” Quite a brash way to begin things. He had a point, but destroying the chair would alert Elizabeth to an error in the world around her. We could not risk it.
    “If not that, then what? What, Jonathan? What would you have us do? Stand around and do nothing just because you do not want to interrupt the life of a mere mortal? A pathetic excuse!”
    Contempt was growing in me once again. His denial of giving a life to Elizabeth rather than referring to her as an inanimate object. I wanted to strangle, to maim and tear at his flesh. “What would you have then? A frantic group of people running around trying to figure out what we were doing by wrecking one of the oldest heirlooms that this mansion has ever seen? Hmm? Is that what you want? If we keep everything seemingly normal, then we don't have to put up with the distractions that they can all cause.”
    Defeat was in his eyes and I saw that I had quickly won the battle. It seemed to be almost too quickly. Sebastian turned his back towards me and I only imagined what was passing through his mind; could not picture the emotion on his face. Turning only caused him to turn. Frustration made me try harder to end up in front of him which only brought him between the chair and myself. That was when he struck out, grabbing the chair in both hands to wield it as a club. I knew what he would attempt; rather than stopping him, I listened to see how far the echoing crash would be heard. No one was near enough that it would be more than a quick startle. Not a single member of the staff would be able to single it out.
    Myself being defeated, I could only nod. A terrible force was put behind the blow, Sebastian himself flushing, if he could flush, and gaining a thing layer of sweat. Any normal chair would have broken, shattered to pieces. This one did not. He lifted it above his head again, and the same outcome; it just bounced off leaving large indentations, flakes of the flooring breaking loose. If I had not been so mystified, then I would have been scared. Nothing of this world would have been able to stand up to that amount of strength, violent pressure, and come out less than the worse for wear.
    Angered even more by the lack of cooperation to his motives, Sebastian threw the chair away from himself. It crashed against the wall before hitting the floor. In that moment I thought the secret, the riddle, would never be answered. In that little moment, thousandths of a second, a little item stirred from the bottom of the circular carved legs. A cap. It was a cap to the end that came loose and now rolled across the floor. While he stood too irritated to even pay attention, I was astute to this finite detail and moved forward with great speed. Underneath had been a storage space. Inside was a rolled parchment wrapped around many pages. Taking a quick glimpse I could see that this was not a complete manuscript.
    I pulled the chair up, flipping it onto its top and began twisting at the very ends of the other three legs. Requiring some force, the other caps eventually came off. Inside were much the same, pages within parchment, all coming together as a finished product. A manuscript that might just provide every answer needed. While I was ecstatic, Sebastian was less than amused that it was I and not him in his vain attempts at brute force, that discovered this. Both of us knew it was of the utmost importance and for me to be the better was eating at him.
    Good, I thought. You deserve every ounce of pain that I can give.
    A distance away, we both jumped at the click of a receiver. Elizabeth was on her way back. We moved much quicker than we learned necessary as putting the ends back on the chair was a much easier task than removing them. Like they wanted to cover up the little cistern of sorrows. Very well for us, as she returned at a very quick pace ready to tell of how her great friend had finally returned from Italy after a several year hiatus there. All the better as I knew she would want to spend some time with her friend. That would leave the opening that was needed in this very specific time frame to read through these many pages, nearly three hundred of them to be exact.
    Nearly risking pushing her out the front door, it had been decided that she would spend a week, if not two, on this retreat. The fates had apparently looked upon me with joy at that moment because surely this entire problem would be gone before then. Definitely had been a hope for it to all be over by then. She must be safe from all of this.
    If his help had not been a requirement, Sebastian would have been made to leave as well. Instead, as I said, he was needed. The help was not. They were sent on a vacation, paid fully, as soon as Elizabeth was out of sight and on her way to retreat. All of these were necessities.



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Jeepers, I think I'll post Chapter 45 of mine.

  3. #3
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Every book in the library was strewn about the floor in an effort to find something that might explain what happened.

    The syntax of this is sentence is garbled. Since this is a test, you can fix it yourself.

    That's as far as I got, because the rest of paragraph 1 looked equally strained. No one here is going to read and edit 2-3 thousand words. And agents are interested in your opening pages; if they don't like that, they'll never get to Chap. 13.)

  4. #4
    Otto Rabe
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Alex - don't give us "unfinished, unrefined, unedited." Why - because if you are truly here to learn, you have to do everything you know how to do first, before you ask us to get you to the next place - make sense, don't it?

  5. #5
    Misty Mann
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Well, Alex. You've posted a long one, so I'll be critiquing the following:


    Every book in the library was strewn about the floor in an effort to find something that might explain what happened. Thousands of books had become damaged as they were thrown from the shelf to the hardwood below. Thousands more still needed to be shifted, turned and opened before they met their fates. It was very difficult to find a reference to any ghost story or paranormal experience in a library that was once had its upkeep done by a man too infatuated with himself and the pharmaceutical world of business to think outside the box. Finding anything other than dictionaries and enormous binded copies of business ledgers seemed a feat in itself.
    This entity was keeping Corporal Kincaid and the others far away from sight. Figuring out the answers had taken on the old familiar research methods rather than being able to jump right to the conclusion from the horse's mouth. Would have been much easier that way. But, this library was not always kept by Marcus. No, it had been filled over the century and a half or more that his family had resided in these halls. Someone in that time must have had some form of curiousness towards things that were not natural.
    All my job. Sebastian had confided in me that his reading abilities were great, but the measure of patience that mortal life had given him had not grown in the near two centuries of immortality that had passed by. Instead, his chosen path was to keep Elizabeth at bay in some far off room so that nothing would interrupt me. How special it was to be thrown back into the idea of being a bookworm rather than being with my beloved mortal connection. Selfish as it was, hatred brimmed in me. If more important matters had not surfaced, there would be nothing from me finding a way for Sebastian's life to be ended.







    * "Every book in the library was strewn about the floor in an effort to find something that might explain what happened."

    ~The syntax is definitely off in this sentence. It sounds like you're trying (and failing) to implement the word 'strewn' into a sentence. Forget about words and simply go for making sense.

    In this sentence I would say:

    "Searching for an explanation, __insert__name___
    removed an innumerable amount of books from the shelves of his library. Consequently, the books lay strewn about him on the hardwood floor where he sat with an open book in his lap."

    The way you had your first sentence it made it sound as if the books themselves were trying to find an explanation, not a character. See? Also, it is hardly believable that EVERY book would be looked through. People have categories for books. Also, you didn't specify if the library was public or personal. I would assume personal because a librarian would never allow books to be all over the floor.
    Also, give us an image. What is the character doing?



    *"Thousands of books had become damaged as they were thrown from the shelf to the hardwood below."

    ~This is unbelievable. Thousands of books is ridiculous. Even the most adamant seeker wouldn't search through that many books. Even the CIA probably wouldn't do that.


    *"Thousands more still needed to be shifted, turned and opened before they met their fates."

    ~I would delete this sentence altogether. However, you can simply say: "There were still more to be pulled from the shelves."


    *"It was very difficult to find a reference to any ghost story or paranormal experience in a library that was once had its upkeep done by a man too infatuated with himself and the pharmaceutical world of business to think outside the box."

    ~To find any reference of the paranormal proved difficult in a library once kept by a disbeliever of the subject."

    Is this pharmaceutical reference saying the previous owner was a drug addict? I didn't understand that.

    *"Finding anything other than dictionaries and enormous binded copies of business ledgers seemed a feat in itself."

    ~"If one were to search for a dictionary or enormous, bound copies of business ledgers, it wouldn't be as much a feat as looking for books on hauntings."

    Binded is incorrect; it is bound. We already know it's a feat because you talk about the thousands upon thousands of books. However, I let you keep that.

    *"This entity was keeping Corporal Kincaid and the others far away from sight."

    ~I don't understand this. Really.


    *"Figuring out the answers had taken on the old familiar research methods rather than being able to jump right to the conclusion from the horse's mouth."

    ~This doesn't make any sense. Just say something like "The answers required old-fashioned research."

    *"But, this library was not always kept by Marcus."

    ~So, you FINALLY tell us who the story's about. Thank you. However, the sentence needs to be deleted because we already know the library had a previous owner. You told us. Don't hit us over the head with it.


    *"No, it had been filled over the century and a half or more that his family had resided in these halls."

    ~This sentence isn't congruent with the previous one. For example: The library was kept by someone else. No, the library was filled for almost two centuries in which his family resided in these halls.

    Just say: "For almost two centuries his family had resided in these halls."

    Course, I don't know why they lived in the halls when the rooms would be more accommodating. However, this is the first real mention of the building altogether. Is this building a castle or a mansion or what?

    *"Someone in that time must have had some form of curiousness towards things that were not natural."

    ~ Just say: "During that time surely someone must've been curious about the paranormal."

    *"All my job."

    ~This makes no sense! Are you trying to say: "It was my job to figure out who" or are you saying: "It was my job to find a book on the paranormal." Either way, you switched to first person! Don't use 'my' when your story has been saying 'his'. It was his job, etc.

    *"Sebastian had confided in me that his reading abilities were great, but the measure of patience that mortal life had given him had not grown in the near two centuries of immortality that had passed by."

    ~Again, you're in first person now! And who the h*ll is Sebastian?! Is Sebastian a psychic? Because to talk about someone's reading abilities seems out of place unless you're talking about psychics. Can you imagine someone coming up to you and saying "I can read very well. I mean, very well! I can read! I can read better than my two-year-old niece, even my English teacher. I can read, Marcus!"

    I would scrap everything in this sentence. It sounds strange and makes no sense. "Immortality that had passed by" Really? come on. Straight talk is something you should work on.


    *"Instead, his chosen path was to keep Elizabeth at bay in some far off room so that nothing would interrupt me."

    ~Speak plainly, say: "Sebastian chose to keep the others in another room and refrain them from interrupting me."

    I know this is chapter 13 but you could still give a hint as to who these people are.



    *"How special it was to be thrown back into the idea of being a bookworm rather than being with my beloved mortal connection."

    ~I really have no idea what this means since we have not the rest of the book. Couldn't you say, "It was for him pleasant to once again be a bookworm."

    I went back to the third person to keep on track with the beginning.


    *"Selfish as it was, hatred brimmed in me."

    ~Hatred is obviously selfish so don't mention it. Why is the hatred brimming? And for who?

    *"If more important matters had not surfaced, there would be nothing from me finding a way for Sebastian's life to be ended."

    ~ Just say: "A hatred for Sebastian had been brewing for some time now, and if it weren't for more important matters, nothing could've stopped Marcus from murdering him."


    Stick to 3rd person. it works better!

  6. #6
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Edit it properly, then post about 1000 words or so. Not only is this way too much, it's impossible to tell what's really wrong with it and what you'll fix yourself when you edit.

  7. #7
    Grandmaster Sik
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Also post to double line breaks between paragraphs - I looked at the above but it was too much of a strain to keep up with where I was at. You wonder why most agents/publishers want double spaced documents...?
    No need here, but please double space your paragraphs when posting such lengthy works.

    Something else to consider is that many writers here have their own projects and that takes up a lot of their time; I'd love to go through everybody's work here and offer advice, but the bottom line is simple: if you're not prepared to post what's your best and ask what's up with it, why should anyone else take the time to correct your work or flatter/trample your ego?
    I can't be ar*ed nit-picking every writer's work apart over grammar, metaphoric usage and whatnot, but I'll gladly judge style and offer guidance if something's clearly off or may possibly work better a certain way.

    In a nut shell: next time you post something of length, please let us know who's who and roughly what the scene's about/what's going on in the story (especially when it's the entire chapter that is the THIRTEENTH); post only work you've polished already and mention what is bothering you about it and the kind of feedback you'd like (i.e. Sebastian loves Clara but is too shy to say - does it come across in the text?, or Bob's afraid of losing his job whilst his wife's afraid of him turning nasty againand beating her half to death, the kids know what's going on but can't accept it and the neighbour's husband wants a piece of the wife's tail and is just waiting for right moment to get in there - does the reader get this impression from the txt or do I need to spell it all out more?).

    These things writers are more willing to help you with than others and these aspects are more universal than grammar (American usage of punctuation differs somewhat from Britain's, for example).

    Please take all this in to account, take a bit of time and come back STRONGER, sharper, and more in focus of what you want us to look at.
    Thanks for your time.

  8. #8
    S Stull
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    Polish, then post a smaller fragment. It really is painful to look at so much type.

  9. #9
    d. Leroy
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    What's up with everyone posting stuff that's later in the book - whatever happened to page 1, chapter 1?

  10. #10
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Chapter 13

    What d. Leroy said.

    And don't send chapters out of order to an agent, by the way. They like to start from the beginning.

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