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  1. #1
    Xander Cohen

    Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    This is the first draft of the opening to my first book, it's also the first time I've shown anything to people outside my immediate circle (a lot of firsts).

    I would like your opinions, and suggestions on how I can improve my writing.

    Title; Bloodlust

    I woke in confusion, my head spinning like one too many beers passed through it. That time of the month I guess. Through the daze I could hear the sounds of the woods; birds, a stream, the trees around me moving in the wind, leaves rustling underneath my subtle movements, the sort of stuff you get on tape to help miserable old bastards sleep at night. Sitting up seemed like a good idea; getting a view of my surrounding might help me figure out where the hell I am. My body argued at first, straining against the weight of a finger; after a few moments, I found myself, almost miraculously, leaning against a nearby oak. My eyes closed through the pain of movement, I could still hear the birds, noisy bastards, I breathed heavily to stop the thumping to my brain and the shrill of the morning call. Something lingered on the air, the smell of cinnamon. It rolled onto my tongue, it was familiar, almost nostalgic. I opened my eyes again, trying to keep them wide enough to figure out how to get home, or to work, or both, depends. I looked at the trees surrounding me, they were warped, tore, ripped, some even knocked over. Something had been through here, something powerful; Hurricane? Tornado? Twister? I never know the ****ing difference between that sort of stuff. The path of destruction went deeper into the woods; two things crossed my mind, one; follow it, or two; run like a dog with its tail between its legs the other way. Iíve seen the movies, guy wakes up not knowing what the @!#$ is going on and follows a mysterious path in the woods alone? Yeah, Iíd like to live for the sequel. I picked myself up with some hesitance, my pain threshold wasnít exactly high right now, with the whole dizzy thing. I was right to take this slow. Clambering to my feet, I used my knees to support the top half of my body. The birds seemed closer than they were a moment ago, their voices rung in my ears, the crescendo of noise was enough to bring me back to my knees.

    Then. Nothing but static. It hung around me like a mist still clings to a bitter winter morning; refusing to accept it was spring. Silence drove out everything but my sanity, I revelled in it. Darkness enveloped me, wrapped me in itís tender embrace. The darkness filled with colour, and I closed my eyes once more. Maybe for the last time.

  2. #2
    Cammy Stevens

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    Hi Xander,
    I enjoyed reading your work. It seemed to have some good potential to me. I've never been published, so you're just getting reader advice from me, but after writing myself and scouring books on the subject, here's the few points that I stumbled over as I read: keep in mind I'm writing this on the 4th and a bit rushed as it's late.

    'That time of the month' sounds like a woman's period.

    'through the daze' - through my daze (makes it personal to the character so the reader 'feels it')

    thumping to my brain should be - thumping in my brain.

    lingered in the air (not on the air) or maybe- wafted through on a breeze of air. (the last way made my mouth water)

    I liked your 'rolled onto my tongue' as a little play on words instead of rolled off the tongue.

    I was surprised to read about cinnamon rolls and then tornado destruction. I expected maybe the smells of garbage and sewage after a tornado. It helps also to develop the severity of the storm in the reader's mind.

    I liked the 'whole dizzy thing' humor and then the use of vocab with clambering right after, it lightens the mood but brings it right back to a serious topic. - not sure what you are saying with 'used my knees to support the top half of my body'. Is he on his knees? Otherwise I just thought 'well we all use our knees, they're a part of our legs'.

    mist is wet, doesn't cling in the air on a bitter winter morning (unless you're somewhere like Niagara falls, that I've seen). oh wait, then I read the rest - spring. Now I'm surprised, I like it!

    Silence drove out everything but my sanity... I was going to comment, then got thinking... first read I knew what you meant even though the wording isn't what someone would usually see - I think I might keep it if it was me, though I also thought perhaps a comment about the air being void of sound or even like there being a vacuum of ... anyways, I did know what you meant when I read it the first time.

    Good job. And for once, the guy didn't go wandering in a dark house without trying to turn the darn lights on, ugh!


  3. #3
    Xander Cohen

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    Thank you for your comment Cammy.
    One thing that's clear in hindsight is that the protagonist has a 'condition'.
    He is a werewolf; so 'that time of the month' makes sense when in that context.

    I apologise for not explaining this beforehand.


  4. #4
    Sam English

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    Xander, even given the context that he's a werewolf, "that time of the month" will ALWAYS be a menstrual period to ANYONE reading it and will pull the reader right out of your story...probably for good. Maybe try something like "cycle of the moon" (not that, exactly...but you see where I'm going.)

  5. #5
    Battle Angel

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    I kind of like the 'that time of the month' reference now that I know why. As long as the reader already knows he's a werewolf (and the subject himself knows, I can't tell here), I think it would work as a play on words. Without that knowledge, it doesn't work. JMO

    Overall, I like it but it needs some work on sentence structure and punctuation. I think you have a few semicolons that should be colons, missing commas, and incorrect tenses (tore should be torn, for instance.)

  6. #6
    nancy drew

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    B.A. is right -- as long as the reader knows the play on words, it works.

    I think That Time of the Month would be a great title for a tongue-in-cheek werewolf story.

    Have a splashy photo of a werewolf with bloody fangs on the cover, howling at the moon.

    <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvSPBu7ajuA>Young Frankenstein</a>

  7. #7
    Cammy Stevens

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    omg loved the clip on youtube! Our family watched that movie probably ten times this last Halloween! And I agree with everyone on the context of the words, knowing it's a werewolf. You have a good sense for the humor in how you write. Kind of explains why he would smell cinnamon rolls through the smells after a storm too. Cool.

  8. #8
    Topher Too

    Re: Opinions, suggestoins and all between.

    I stopped reading it at "That time of month."

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