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  1. #1
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    First Chapter of Berkley Lane: A Tale of Horrors.

    Chapter One:
    They say it was an asylum, they say a murder took place, but in 1942, it was home to the Mathers. Mr. Mathers was a man in his mid-50’s and stood at 6ft 2 inches with dark brown hair and streaks of gray running rampant wherever they pleased, he was not lanky but rather well built with broad shoulders and strong arms, especially for his age. He had light blue eyes and laugh lines could be found at the corner of each eye. The right corner of his right eyebrow and eye lashes were pure white. He had always had this unique quirk and he regarded this as one of his best features. His face was clean-shaven except for the mustache and beard he kept exceptionally well groomed. Mr. Mather’s could always be found wearing a three piece suit and always had his lucky pocket watch tucked neatly into his outer pocket; its gold chain wrapped tidily around the third button of his suit vest.
    Mrs. Mather’s however could be described as a vixen of sorts, at the age of 35 she was a real 1940’s beauty. She stood at 5 ft. 4 inches tall, which was quite the height difference between her and her husband. She was thin, and had very long thick red hair. She nearly always wore it up in a bun and had a different flower in it each day. The lilies that Mr. Mathers regularly surprised her with were her favorite by far. She had bright green eyes and rosebud lips that were so delicate set against her ivory flawless skin. She had a very oval face that reminded many of a china doll; Mrs. Mather’s was a very proud woman, and each day spent hours on her appearance. Even if that day, the only one to see her was her husband. They were relatively happy and had been married for only a short time before moving into 135th Berkley Lane Adel, Iowa.
    Mrs. Mathers was the one who initially proposed building a new home in Adel, Iowa. Mr. Mathers was not so sure about it; but after months of both Mrs. Mathers, begging and promising anything and everything she could think of Mr. Mathers finally began work on their new home. The house itself was not so special compared to all of the other houses both of the 1940’s and the area they eventually built it. However, Mrs. Mathers considered it the “Mathers Manor” and poured endless hours into each detail of the house becoming more and more obsessed about the particular way the light shone in the window, or the way the tiffany chandeliers glittered in natural sunlight that seemed to seep in from every corner of the house. It was one particular day that Mr. Mather’s patients with his wife’s obsession ran short.
    “Ellie,” Mr. Mathers complained to his wife who was meticulously scouring her instructions to the construction workers who were hard at work building her new home, “Ell…”
    “What?” Mrs. Mathers spat, not looking up from her paperwork, “As if I actually have time for your incessant noise…” She muttered under her breath, some things had already been broken in the house due to ongoing construction and this frustrated her to no end. Mr. Mathers shifted his weight both frustrated with his new wife for becoming so infatuated with this house and exhausted due to her seemingly impossible demands. Mrs. Mathers expected nothing but perfection with this home and this was not the woman he thought he married. He wondered if this would continue when in their new home.
    “I was just going to ask if you were hungry my dear” Mr. Mathers asked gruffly, Ellies’ short temper had flared his own, Mr. Mathers sighed and took a seat close to his wife, she didn’t even bother to look up.
    “Go away Charlie, don’t you understand I’m busy? I have no time for you or your nonsense right now. Still Mrs. Mathers refused to look at him.
    “Damn it Ellie look at me.” Charlie demanded and Ellie sighed putting down her work and did as her husband ordered.
    “Fine; the house will be crap then.” She muttered as she looked at Charlie. He calmed himself before continuing.
    “Darling the house looks marvelous but we’re spending every waking moment on the house, sometimes you don’t even come to bed until very early in the morning. I don’t need to tell you that a proper wife does not leave her husband in bed until all hours of the morning.”
    Mrs. Mather’s sighed as well and rubbed her eyes, she was in shabby disarray. Charlie was right; she wasn’t being a good wife, but what was pulling her so to spend so much time getting everything just right in this home? Ellie could not grasp it; it seemed the answer lay deep within her. Shrouded by some mystery she couldn’t explore.
    “Your right dear, I have been lacking on my wifely duties, I’m sorry. This house just means so much to me… to us.” She said getting up and slipping into his arms.
    “It’s understandable, it’s our first home together as man and wife, this house is large but it just won’t suite our demands, and possibly a growing family?” Charlie asked, kissing the top of his wife’s head. Let us go to dinner and forget the house for one evening.”
    “Alright,” was all that Ellie muttered as Charlie veered her from her papers.


    This is the first chapter, it is a rough rough draft and is just the introduction to my novel.



  2. #2
    simba major
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    Okay, not to be unfriendly but informative: most of us prefer to critique excerpts that the author has put a little more effort into than a "rough rough draft".
    Last edited by simba major; 02-23-2012 at 05:50 PM.

  3. #3
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    It's never a good idea to post a rough draft. Writers.netters are notoriously picky about things like grammar and punctuation and spelling. After all, this is a writing forum: it isn't the place to learn basic writing skills. So, it's particularly annoying when we take the time to point out the simple mistakes in a post, only to have the poster reply, "Sorry, this was only a draft, I just threw it up there to see if anybody liked it." Or some such.

    As it stands, your piece is shot through with simple errors: comma splices, misused words (suite for one), run-on sentences, unintended fragments, semicolons in place of commas.

    I'll reserve commenting on the content because I'm afraid you'll say it's just an introduction and not the real thing. So take a little time, clean this up, and post the polished opening of your novel. I'll be pleased to offer my critique of the narrative.
    Last edited by jayce; 02-23-2012 at 05:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    AC. We can't critique a rough draft. It's like doing two brush strokes of a painting and asking how it looks. Good luck!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    AC, for future reference - please format this with a space between each paragraph. It makes it so much easier to read. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    AC,

    First, Welcome to writers.net. I agree, you shouldn't post a rough draft. It's hard to critique something when we have no idea of the mindset of the author, how much is going to be changed, and where the story is going. If you're posting a rough draft, you either a: haven't made up your mind, or b: need help to “feel” out the story. I'm offering some critique so as to help you grasp the concept.

    Good Points:|

    I actually liked this story. I think you have some interesting prose going on here. At first, I didn't get your opening sentence, until I realized that Mr. Mathers was building the house referred to in the first sentence. Overall, I think it has a lot of potential. It is going to be interesting to see where you take the piece.

    Points to work on:

    Instantly, three things jumped out at me.

    1. There are a considerable amount of run on sentences. The idea behind a sentence is to convey a complete thought. Any phrases, adverbs, verbs, or nouns need to be in support of that thought.

    Mr. Mathers was a man in his mid-50’s and stood at 6ft 2 inches with dark brown hair and streaks of gray running rampant wherever they pleased,(end of one thought) h(start of another.) He was not lanky but rather well built with broad shoulders and strong arms, especially for his age.

    2. You go on for far too long about Mr. Mathers. If details don't pertain to the main story, then exclude them.

    Mrs. Mather’s however could be described as a vixen of sorts, [s]at the age of 35 she was a real 1940’s beauty[\s] (do we really need to know this?). She stood at 5 ft. 4 inches tall, which was quite the height difference between her and her husband. You repeatedly overpower with details.
    She had bright green eyes and rosebud lips that were so delicate set against her ivory flawless skin. She had a very oval face that reminded many of a china doll; Mrs. Mather’s was a very proud woman, and each day spent hours on her appearance. Even if that day, the only one to see her was her husband.
    Instead of so many separate ideas being thrown at the reader, this read would greatly appreciate if you found a way for those details to work together to achieve a common goal. Also, please learn to use pronouns. There are quite a few Mr. Mathers this or Mrs. Mathers that.
    Last edited by Author Pendragin; 02-24-2012 at 03:06 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thank you,

    Thank you guys for your comments i realize now i put the cart before the horse in writting this i will definatly work more on it and may or may not post in the future with this novel i haven't decided yet.

  8. #8
    Debbi Voisey
    Guest
    Why the random apostrophe in mrs Mathers' name?

    All things ending in "s" do not have an apostrophe. This is my pet peeve.

    Debbi

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