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Thread: The NightCap

  1. #1
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    The NightCap

    Ok, so I reworked the passage using shorter sentences, forbidding anything from impeding the unadulterated flow of prose. Interim, during the rewrite, as novel Ideas danced across the theater of my mind, a new character walked onto the stage. Should this version pass, I'll explain later. No, this story isn't going in the direction you probably think it is.

    ----------------


    Her intuition called, but there was no answer. Six minutes till closing, it called again.

    Her cell phone was about to die. Balancing it on the edge of the desk in front of her, Moira Nasari read the time. In six minutes the library would close and the 730 west would arrive. Through half slanted blinds she watched dusk transcend into night. The last thing she wanted was to be caught on the streets of D.C after dark. Oh well, Lord Balfour and Lady Ashton's inevitable nightcap could wait till the ride home.

    She shut her cell phone off and then realized she was in the company of ghost, alone, except for the eerie Crept Keeper on the cover of the magazine on a nearby table. There was distant chatter from the lobby floor, so she peered over the fourth floor banister. Ling, the elderly Librarian, herded the remaining stragglers out of the front door. Nasari yelled, trying to catch her, but her cries fell on deaf ears. After many long years, Ling was hard of hearing and only checked the upper levels, on a good day, when she felt like it. Once the library doors were locked, they couldn't be opened from either side without a key.

    Nasari crammed the novel she was holding into the dingy backpack, lying open, on the ground next to her chair. Her pace quickened as she headed for an elevator. Its dilapidated exterior stared back at her as she called it. Outside the window, a bus come to a stop. Nasari rabidly pressed the elevator button trying to recall when the bus was scheduled to arrive.

    Nearby, there was a door with an exit sign over it. Nasari raced through it, down three flights of stairs, and onto the lobby floor, sprinting across the lobby. Just as she arrived at the entrance the bus sped off. A few choice grunts later, Nasari paced the length of the double entrance doors and reached into her pocket for her cell phone. As her cell phone awakened, her gaze shifted to the library's glass pane where she caught the reflection of a man, in a gray janitorial suit, standing next to her. Nasari silently shrieked, whirled around, and fell to the glass.

    “Did I frighten you?” he asked, a scant smile tugged at his thin lips.

    He lifted her by the arm as she regained composure, unconsciously looking him over. Rich black hair. Boyish complexion. Memorizing Cinnamon hazel eyes. Maybe spending a night at the library wasn't such a bad thing after all.



  2. #2
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    Re: The NightCap

    Hi Author,

    I'm not an Editor, but let me note what I see and then I'm curious what the real professionals will say.

    First, I still find it confusing. Sorry . But I have no idea what the book is going to be about.

    Second, I think we have that "too many adjectives" thing going on that I heard one of the others talk about.

    Third, some of the verbs or adverbs are unnecessarily complicated. Here is an example:

    As her cell phone awakened (maybe a simpler verb?)

    Nasari rabidly pressed the elevator button

    Its dilapidated exterior stared back at her as she called it. (Huh?)


    Just as she arrived at the entrance the bus sped off. (I venture to guess the bus did not drive any faster than normal?)

    Nasari silently shrieked, whirled around, and fell to the glass. (it sounds like she crashed into the window display, but apparently that was not the case)


    What do you think? These were just my first impressions. Others might totally disagree with me.

    But I am sure whatever book you write, once you iron out those little things, will be very intriguing and good to read!

  3. #3
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    Re: The NightCap

    Author Pendragin Wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    > Ok, so I reworked the passage using shorter
    > sentences, forbidding anything from impeding the
    > unadulterated flow of prose. Interim, during the
    > rewrite, as novel Ideas danced across the theater
    > of my mind, a new character walked onto the stage.
    > Should this version pass, I'll explain later. No,
    > this story isn't going in the direction you
    > probably think it is.
    >
    > ----------------
    >
    >
    > Her intuition called, but there was no answer. Six
    > minutes till closing, it called again.
    >
    > Her cell phone was about to die. Balancing it on
    > the edge of the desk in front of her, Moira Nasari
    > read the time. In six minutes the library would
    > close and the 730 west would arrive. Through half
    > slanted blinds she watched dusk transcend into
    > night. The last thing she wanted was to be caught
    > on the streets of D.C after dark. Oh well, Lord
    > Balfour and Lady Ashton's inevitable nightcap
    > could wait till the ride home.
    >
    > She shut her cell phone off and then realized she
    > was in the company of ghost, alone, except for the
    > eerie Crept Keeper on the cover of the magazine on
    > a nearby table (this doesn't make any sense and doesn't seem to fit the context of the paragraph)
    . There was distant chatter from the
    > lobby floor, so she peered over the fourth floor
    > banister. Ling, the elderly Librarian, herded the
    > remaining stragglers out of the front door. Nasari
    > yelled, trying to catch her, but her cries fell on
    > deaf earsthis sounds sort of cliche.. After many longyou don't need long years, Ling was hard of
    > hearing and only checked the upper levels, on a
    > good day, when she felt like it. too many commas. Remove the one after 'levels' Once the library
    > doors were locked, they couldn't be opened from
    > either side without a key.
    >
    > Nasari crammed the novel she was holding into the
    > dingy backpack, lying open, on the ground next to
    > her chair
    .too much info. It would be perfectly fine if you didn't eplain the whereabouts of the backpack or that it was open. Her pace quickened as she headed for an
    > elevator. Its dilapidated exterior stared back at
    > her as she called it. What? What is she doing calling an elevator? How is it staring at her? I'm not sure about 'dilapidated'. I think this sentence could go away completely
    Outside the window, a bus
    > come to a stop. seems wordy to me. Wrong tense. Try 'a bus stopped.'. Nasari rabidly pressed the
    > elevator button (I don't think it is necessary to detail her pressing the button.)
    trying to recall when the bus was
    > scheduled to arrive.
    >
    > Nearby, there was a door with an exit sign over
    > it. You're telling here. Describe with action verbs.
    Nasari raced through it, down three flights of
    > stairs, and onto the lobby floor, sprinting across
    > the lobbyThis whole sentence seems wrong. Remove the sprinting clause and make a new sentence because it makes you think the lobby floor is sprinting across itself. Maybe 'Nasari raced through it and down three flights of stairs" would work better.. Just as she arrived at the entrance the
    > bus sped off. [yuck.] choice grunts? I don't like the sound of that. Remove itNasari
    > paced the length of the double entrance doors and
    > reached into her pocket for her cell phone. As her
    > cell phone awakened (try using a different word), her gaze shifted (did her gaze shift by itself or did she shift her gaze? to the
    > library's glass pane. this doesn't give me enough, or maybe too much. What kind of pane? where she caught the
    > reflection of a man,no comma necessary in a gray janitorial suit,
    > standing next to her. Nasari silently shrieked,How do you silently shriek?
    > whirled around, and fell to the glass.is the glass at her feet?
    >
    > “Did I frighten you?” he asked, a scant smile
    > tugged at his thin lips. run on. two different sentences. Scant maybe fine, but you don't need to describe his lips.
    >
    > He lifted her by the arm as she regained
    > composure, unconsciously looking him over (studying him?). Rich
    > black hair. This first fragment doesn't seem to fit. But if you complete the sentence the next two fragment don't seem to fit. you also use too many adjectives. maybe just briefly describe a dominant feature (with action verbs instead of adjectives)
    Boyish complexion. Memorizing Cinnamon
    > hazel eyes. Maybe spending a night at the library
    > wasn't such a bad thing after all.I don't like 'thing' here.

    A few pointers, but overall I kind of like it.

  4. #4
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    Re: The NightCap

    Crept Keeper

    Crept? Is that what you intended?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Re: The NightCap

    Hey Author. Here's a few of my comments:

    Her intuition called, but there was no answer. Six minutes till closing, it called again. (Her intuition calling doesn't make sense. Or was the librarian calling? ) How about: She sensed hurried movement on the floors below her. It must be almost closing time.

    Her cell phone was about to die. Balancing it on the edge of the desk in front of her, Moira Nasari read the time. In six minutes the library would close and the 730 (West)[s]west[/s] would arrive. Through half-slanted blinds she watched dusk transcend into night. The last thing she wanted was to be caught on the streets of D.C after dark. Oh well, Lord Balfour and Lady Ashton's inevitable nightcap could wait till the ride home. Why? Are they going to be drinking together on the bus? Did you mean "until she got home?"

    She shut her cell phone off and then realized she was in the company of ghost, (what ghost? ) alone, (delete the comma) except for the eerie [s]Crept[/s] Crypt Keeper on the cover of the magazine on a nearby table. [s]There was distant chatter from the lobby floor, so she peered over the fourth floor banister.[/s] Peering over the fourth floor banister, she could hear distant chatter from the lobby as Ling, the elderly Librarian, herded the remaining stragglers out of the front door. Nasari yelled, trying to catch her, but her cries fell on deaf ears. After many long years, Ling was hard of hearing and only checked the upper levels[s], on a good day,[/s] when she felt like it. Once the library doors were locked, they couldn't be opened from either side without a key.

    Nasari crammed [s]the[/s] her novel [s]she was holding[/s] into [s]the[/s] her dingy backpack[s], lying open, on the ground next to her chair[/s]. [s]Her pace quickened as she headed for an[/s] and ran for the elevator. Its dilapidated exterior stared back at her as she called it. Looking out the window as she waited, she saw the[s]utside the window, a[/s] bus come to a stop. Nasari [s]rabidly[/s] repeatedly pressed the elevator button [s]trying to recall when the bus was scheduled to arrive[/s]. (If the bus has already arrived, it doesn't matter when it was scheduled. )

    Nearby[s], there[/s] was an exit door [s]with an exit sign over it[/s]. Nasari raced through it, down three flights of stairs, and [s]onto[/s] through the lobby [s]floor, sprinting across the lobby[/s]. Just as she [s]arrived at the entrance[/s] reached the door, the bus sped off. A few choice [s]grunts[/s] words later, Nasari paced the length of the double entrance doors and reached into her pocket for her cell phone. As [s]her cell phone awakened[/s] she waited for her cell phone to turn on, her gaze shifted to the library window[s]'s glass pane[/s] where she [s]caught[/s] saw the reflection of a man, (delete the comma) in a gray janitorial suit, standing next to her. Nasari silently shrieked, whirled around, and fell to the [s]glass[/s] floor(?).

    “Did I frighten you?” he asked, a scant smile tugged at his thin lips.

    He [s]lifted her by the arm[/s]helped her up as she regained her composure, unconsciously looking him over. (Would probably read better to say: She tried to regain her composure as he helped her up. ) Rich black hair. Boyish complexion. Memorizing Cinnamon hazel eyes. Maybe spending a night at the library wasn't such a bad thing after all.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Re: The NightCap

    Also, did you mean Memorizing or mesmerizing?

  7. #7
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    Re: The NightCap

    It's better.

    More later.

  8. #8
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    Re: The NightCap

    Not bad, not bad at all. Alas, however, the word transcend doesn't mean what you think it does. And, I think what you meant to write was "Crypt Keeper."

  9. #9
    Cat
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    Re: The NightCap

    Author Pendragin Wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    > Ok, so I reworked the passage using shorter
    > sentences, forbidding anything from impeding the
    > unadulterated flow of prose. Interim, during the
    > rewrite, as novel Ideas danced across the theater
    > of my mind, a new character walked onto the stage.
    > Should this version pass, I'll explain later. No,
    > this story isn't going in the direction you
    > probably think it is.

    Yes, it's much, much better. See what happens when you concentrate on story?

    That, too, is pretty much what I'll stick to in my crit.

    > Her intuition called, but there was no answer. Six
    > minutes till closing, it called again.

    Something about that is off. Is her intuition whispering, "Six minutes till closing," in her ear? Or is her intuition telling her that something is wrong, and she is noting that it is six minutes before closing time. This needs to be made clear.

    > Her cell phone was about to die. Good, that adds more tension.Balancing it on
    > the edge of the desk in front of her, That feels like foreshadowing that it will fall and break, but it doesn't. Remember, when one shoe falls, the reader waits, whether he knows it or not, for the other show to drop - hence the saying.Moira Nasari
    > read the time. In six minutes the library would
    > close and the 730 west would arrive. Through half
    > slanted blinds she watched dusk transcend Transcend? Oops, you're threatening to break into literature again.into
    > night. The last thing she wanted was to be caught
    > on the streets of D.C after dark. Oh well, Lord
    > Balfour and Lady Ashton's inevitable nightcap
    > could wait till the ride home. That needs explaining or saving until a moment when you can. The reader thinks, "Who are they? and then you drop it, which is distracting.
    >
    > She shut her cell phone off Why?and then realized she
    > was in the company of ghost Another, "Huh?" moment., alone, except for the
    > eerie Crept Keeper And there's another. Or is that "Crypt"? on the cover of the magazine on
    > a nearby table. There was distant chatter from the
    > lobby floor, so she peered over the fourth floor
    > banister. Ling, the elderly Librarian, herded the
    > remaining stragglers out of the front door. Nasari
    > yelled, trying to catch her, but her cries fell on
    > deaf ears. clicheAfter many [s]long[/s] years, Ling was hard of
    > hearing and only checked the upper levels, on a
    > good day, when she felt like it. That sounds like an unrealistic plot device. We went from six minutes till closing to the prospect of her being locked in awfully quickly. And there are other things about the scenario that I don't buy, either. Like a four story (minimum) being locked up by a near deaf Librarian. An institution that size would have lots more staff. Cleaning staff would clean after hours. And the employees would not all leave the instant it closed. There are other holes in it, too - think it through. Once the library
    > doors were locked, they couldn't be opened from
    > either side without a key.

    > Nasari crammed the novel she was holding into the
    > dingy backpack, lying open, on the ground next to
    > her chair. Her pace quickened as she headed for an
    > elevator. [s]Its dilapidated exterior stared back at
    > her as she called it.[/s] paceOutside the window, a bus
    > come to a stop. Nasari rabidly Sounds like you're desperate to find a better adverb than "frantically". Trouble is, you didn't. I picture her frothing at the mouth. It's your literary tendency creeping out again. If the best word is "frantically", then use it. pressed the
    > elevator button trying to recall when the bus was
    > scheduled to arrive.Does it matter? Would she even be thiking about that when, the fact is, it did arrive and she's "frantic". Put yorself in her shoes.

    > Nearby, there was a door with an exit sign over
    > it. That sentence feels too casual for such a moment.Nasari raced through it, down three flights of
    > stairs, and onto the lobby [s]floor[/s], sprinting across
    > the [s]lobby[/s] floor. Just as she arrived at the entrance the
    > bus sped offBuses do not "speed off". A few choice grunts later,??? Nasari
    > paced the length of the double entrance doors and
    > reached into her pocket for her cell phone. As her
    > cell phone awakened,Avoid the passive here. her gaze shifted to the
    > library's glass pane where she caught the
    > reflection of a man, in a gray janitorial suit,
    > standing next to her. Nasari silently shrieked,
    > whirled around, and fell to the glass. What would she actually feel? Not relief that there is a janitor there who, presumably had a key, and could thus let her out? How about something mixed? Her reaction stikes me as off.
    >
    > “Did I frighten you?” he asked, a scant smile
    > tugged at his thin lips. You're getting literary, and passive again.
    >
    > He lifted her by the arm as she regained
    > composure, unconsciously unconsciously?looking him over. She's calmed down quite a bit, going from shrieking to calm perusal on a dime. Why? Rich
    > black hair. Boyish complexion. Memorizing "Mesmerizing"Cinnamon
    > hazel eyes. So that's why. A chance for the author to slip in some description. ;-)Maybe spending a night at the library
    > wasn't such a bad thing after all. Nuh-uh, waaaaaaay too tight a hair pin turn. I practically passedout from the G-force.

    Anyway, yes, it's better. Ever so much better. But now you have to address some logic issues, etc.

    Now, don't you dare post a fresh excerpt from something else until you've done that.

  10. #10
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    Re: The NightCap

    '...dinghy backpack on the (ground) next to her chair.' Maybe on the (floor)...'
    And I suppose you meant 'crypt keeper.'
    And 'Maybe spending a night at the library wouldn't be an inconvenience, but educational.'

    Just a few thoughts. It has a good pace and it will read read well if the comments of the other members are incorporated.

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