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Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: Nat24 on October 13, 2020, 07:06:09 AM

Title: M is for Murder (chapter 1)
Post by: Nat24 on October 13, 2020, 07:06:09 AM
TW: Mental illnesses and murder
Just a quick note: This is not the first chapter in this story, this is just the one that I would really like some feedback on.

           Felicity woke up early today, her alarm set for seven still an hour behind her. Her mattress groaned as she sat up, rubbing her eyes groggily. She got up and ambled over to her bathroom to take a quick shower, wincing at the cold but enduring through it anyway. She then dressed quickly in a smart white button-down shirt and grey dress pants, then pulled on a matching grey suit. At half-past six, she walked out the door of her rented apartment that looked out over the streets of NYC. 

           Though it was already October, the day so far had been unusually warm, causing Felicity to take off her suit and drape it over her arm as she walked. While normally October would be the time of year that she would gladly wrap herself up in a wool coat, wearing such things in this weather seemed almost unthinkable.

        Unlike usual, she had decided to walk to work this morning in favor of enjoying the rare sunshine that had appeared today through the normal thick layer of clouds. She walked briskly along the bustling streets of the city, dodging flocks of people and the occasional rogue cycler in the more secluded parts of the city. 

           After about 20 minutes of nodding helloís to people and listening to the loud background noises of the ever turbulent city, she had reached the first precinct police station. The entrance itself was nothing of significate note, with stone walls covering seven stories, quite small for a building close to the heart of the city, and a revolving glass door as the entrance. While the station was not a jaw-dropping, glorious building, they had solved many crimes, many of which were Felicity's doing. 

        When she had left to become a Police Officer her mother had balked at her for a good five minutes. Her father had patted her on the back and wished her good luck. The two times her mother had visited the station from their grand, expensive home in Minnesota she had raised her eyebrows so high they had almost disappeared into her hairline. 

        "Hello, Felicity!" Felicity turned her head sharply at the sound of her name to see Brynlee waving at her. Brynlee was the receptionist for this police station and had been hired around five months earlier. She and Brynlee had an interesting relationship. One moment they would be chatting like long-lost friends and the next would be giving each other glares that could cut through a cement wall.

        She was bright, bubbly, and flirtatious to Felicity's drab, serious, rude, and slightly depressing self. 

        Today, to really emphasize that bubbliness, she was wearing a bright red shirt with a black pencil skirt that clung to her curvy figure, as well as a smart suit of the same color. Along with that, she had also applied a generous amount of dark red lipstick and the same amount of makeup around her eyes. Her dark hair was coiled neatly into an elaborate bun at the nape of her neck.

        "Hi, Brynlee," she responded with a tight smile. Brynlee waved at her and Felicity didn't have the kindness left in her to wave back and continued her walk to the elevator. Unlike most of the other women in the building, Felicity's shoes

        "Felicity," she turned around, ready to glare at another stranger so they would leave her alone when she realized that it was the Captain. 

        "S-sir," stuttering, she bobbed her head slightly in his direction while trying in vain to smooth out the creases in her shirt. He smiled at this and gestured for her to walk through the now open elevator doors. She nodded her thanks and stepped through the doors, the Captain following closely behind her. 

        The elevator, which was covered head to toe in mirrors, reflected her slightly ruffled shirt and pants. In an effort to look professional she lifted her coat off of her arm and shrugged it on. 

        "How is working with Ollie?" He broke the silence, his mouth turned upward in amusement.  

        "Oh, it's fine sir," she paused to straighten out her suit. Arnold himself was wearing a light grey suit which was a noticeable difference from his normal standard black. His dark hair was also styled in his very professional way: slightly pushed back and held in place with gel. 

        There was also a spot of shaving cream on his face, just behind the jaw where he wouldn't be able to see without a spotter. His tie was not as expertly folded and pressed as it normally was, and in his hand where normally a Starbucks cup would have been was an "Avalon" hotel cup, which all suggested that he was sleeping at a hotel, alone, without his wife. 

        Her eyebrow twitched upward at this, but she decided against her better judgment to keep quiet. 

        "Really?" He turned his head to look back at her, who had shoved herself into a corner. "That surprises me."

        "Why is that, sir?" She crept out of her hiding place in the corner, intrigued by what he was about to say. 

        "I hope I don't offend you, but, normally any partner you take on, one of you is normally begging me to move them with someone else," he chuckled a bit at this, and the elevator dinged. He checked his very expensive looking watch and stepped out of the elevator and into the bustling homicide division. Felicity followed closely behind him. 

        Many officers had come in to work early on operations or were just leaving from their nightshift. Felicity, as a detective, had more flexible hours. She was generally only called to work whenever the Captain needed her to. On average, she worked around thirty to forty hours a week, depending on the workload. 

        This morning, there were around forty or so officers opposed to the normal sixty or seventy. Many police officers were sitting at desks with dark bags underneath their eyes while sipping longingly at coffee as if it would solve all their problems. Others who were just getting started with their day were bright and chipper and hurrying around as if the devil was on their heels. 

        "Good morning, Felicity," one officer called out from his desk, which was piled up with folders and coffee cups, a computer peaking out somewhere in the mess. She waved back without glancing at him and continued onto the Captain's office. 

          Despite what many others thought, she was actually not all that cold and rude. Truth be told she would often put on that mask and wear it around comfortably, but she still didnít exactly enjoy it. Over her years of working with the police, she had developed a mask that fit the task. People listened to her and asked for her to work with them (though not because she had a great personality, she could just solve the crime quickly). It was the attitude that was needed.to get the job done. 

        She passed through the break room on her way to Arnold's office while the sun just starting to shine through the window, casting the whole room in a golden light. She turned a sharp right and was face to face with the Captain door. 

        "Sir," she leaned in towards the door as she knocked. She heard a shuffle and a squeak of a chair and then the door opened. 

        "Felicity," he gestured for her to come inside. He closed the door and walked to where she stood, just next to his desk. "I was actually just going to go find you again." 

        "Oh?" She sat in a leather chair opposite his desk. He plopped down at his swivel chair and began to open and shuffle through drawers. After a little bit of Felicity bouncing her leg against the chair, he curled back up from his hunched position and handed her a photo. 

        The photo showed a woman in her late thirties or early forties looking straight at the camera with eyes that screamed fight or flight. Her wild light brown hair was pulled back into a  double braid that fell across her shoulders. She was wearing a loose shirt with white and blue stripes that looked oddly like pajamas. 

        "You remember Margaret, right?" She nodded and looked over the photo again. "Well, I need you and Ollie to go ask her a few questions." She glanced up at him to see that he had leaned forward in his seat and was looking at her keenly. She squirmed in her seat, slightly uncomfortable with the intensity of his stare. 

        "When would you like us to go?" She asked. 

        "As soon as possible," he leaned back. "Actually, you guys can head over there tomorrow." She nodded again and stood up from her chair. "And Felicity, she can't know about her family," he looked at her with that intense stare again, but this time, she didn't squirm or flinch. 

        "Consider it done."


Title: Re: M is for Murder (chapter 1)
Post by: Mattdp123 on October 17, 2020, 02:35:43 PM
My criticisms:

"While the station was not a jaw-dropping, glorious building, they had solved many crimes, many of which were Felicity's doing." The last part of this sentence is a bit confusing. It makes it seem as though Felicity was committing the crimes instead of solving them.

 "'Hello, Felicity!' Felicity turned her head sharply at the sound of her name to see Brynlee waving at her." You might want to separate the dialogue and Felicity's response into 2 separate lines. As it is, it looks like Felicity is saying that to herself.

"Along with that, she had also applied a generous amount of dark red lipstick and the same amount of makeup around her eyes." Why refer to the specific type of makeup on her lips but to with a broad "makeup" for what's around her eyes?

"Unlike most of the other women in the building, Felicity's shoes" You're missing the rest of this sentence.

"There was also a spot of shaving cream on his face, just behind the jaw where he wouldn't be able to see without a spotter." It is absolutely possible to see that spot by simply moving his head. Also, he would be able to feel the cream, so it makes no sense for him to just leave it there.

"He turned his head to look back at her, who had shoved herself into a corner." This sentence has some redundancy and seems pretty clunky. Perhaps you could replace "look back at her" with just "look back" and "who had" with "seeing that she had."

Also, why is the corner she moves to referred to as a hiding spot? It's an elevator. There's nowhere to hide.

"She waved back without glancing at him and continued onto the Captain's office." Captain doesn't need to be capitalized here.

"Despite what many others thought, she was actually not all that cold and rude. Truth be told she would often put on that mask and wear it around comfortably, but she still didnít exactly enjoy it. Over her years of working with the police, she had developed a mask that fit the task. People listened to her and asked for her to work with them (though not because she had a great personality, she could just solve the crime quickly). It was the attitude that was needed.to get the job done." This whole paragraph just isn't realistic. Why would she need to adopt a facade of rudeness to be a good detective? Being a friendly person and being a good detective are not mutually exclusive.

"She passed through the break room on her way to Arnold's office while the sun just starting to shine through the window, casting the whole room in a golden light. She turned a sharp right and was face to face with the Captain door." "the sun just" should be "the was just" and "Captain" should be "captain's" and doesn't need to be capitalized.

"She heard a shuffle and a squeak of a chair and then the door opened." "a squeak" should be "the squeak."

I hope at least some of these criticisms prove helpful.

Overall, this is a very strong start. It seems like your story has a lot of potential, with some interesting characters and dynamics between them.

Also, thank you for having the character be from Minnesota. As a born-and-raised Minnesotan, I appreciate having my state get a little recognition.
Title: Re: M is for Murder (chapter 1)
Post by: Nat24 on October 17, 2020, 08:28:53 PM
Thank you so much for your feedback! It has been extremely helpful. I'll be sure to fix all of those things in the future.

Thank you again!
Nat
Title: Re: M is for Murder (chapter 1)
Post by: Mattdp123 on October 18, 2020, 09:50:21 AM
Your welcome.