Author Topic: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)  (Read 29023 times)

Offline SexyNelf24

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Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« on: February 25, 2009, 11:45:08 AM »
Chapter One

   Jane was running.  She was running from people she had known her entire life, people she loved.  Where was Ezekiel?  She had lost him somewhere in the woods and prayed that he was able to find somewhere to hide.   Ahead of her all she could see was more trees.  It was a warm, breezy night, a night that she would have normally taken her horse Serena down by the lake to watch the fireflies.  Instead, she was running for her life…or rather, her death.  It was not long ago that she was alive, but now she could not call what she was experiencing, a life.  Ever since meeting the dark stranger in the woods, she thirsted for blood.  How was it that someone can crave blood?  What was it that she had become?  What had she done to Ezekiel? Now he also had this curse, and all because of her selfishness.

   “Murderer!”

   “Monster!”

   Those were her friends behind her, people she had once considered closer than family and now  they were trying to kill her.  Would she have to kill them in order to save herself and Ezekiel?  Ezekiel… Where was Ezekiel?   She had been protecting him, but now though she believed that he was strong enough to protect himself, she feared for his life along with her own. 

   Jane ducked into a tall group of bushes that surrounded a large pine tree, the bushes were tall and full so she was easily hidden.  Since her change Jane had gotten stronger and faster. With her newly acquired speed she had been able to outrun the people from the town.  Being that she was further ahead of them, she felt safe in hiding for a moment without discovery.

   “Ezekiel! Where are you? Can you hear me?”

   Along with the strength and speed, her senses had also increased; she hoped that his had increased enough to hear her, wherever he was.

   “Jane? I lost them, I am down by the river.  Are you safe?”  Jane heard Ezekiel’s soft voice just barely over the loud taunts of the angry mob that was now growing closer.

   “They are close, Ezekiel, I don’t want to hurt them, but I’m scared.  I’m hiding, but I don’t know that I can escape.”

   “Be calm, my darling, when they pass, move quickly, we will run…I don’t know where we will go, but we will leave Devon and find somewhere safe to be together. We will leave this nightmare behind us.”

   Just then, Jane could hear footsteps, they were close.   She hadn’t been paying attention and they had gotten close without her realizing.  She crouched, ready to run as soon as she felt she could do so safely.  Her dress was torn and dirty; her long black hair had fallen and was now cascading around her moonlight pale shoulders.

   The footsteps belonged to John.  John was Ezekiel’s friend, but he had never been friendly towards Jane, thinking her not very ladylike.  He was the one that discovered them and had told the townspeople causing them to attack.

   “Jane? Ezekiel? You know what you have done is wrong; you have killed a woman.  Jane, you drank her blood while Ezekiel watched!  Turn yourself in and I will guarantee you a fair trial.”

   Jane knew he was lying, she could see the knife in his hand. If she turned herself in, the least that would happen was execution by hanging; she shuddered to think of what John would do if he got her alone.  The woman they had attacked was a servant on his estate; she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Jane and Ezekiel were hunting, trying to survive on animals in the woods but the smell of the woman’s blood was just too strong and Jane had attacked her.  John had happened upon them, on his way to town.  The look in his eyes when he saw them was strange; it seemed to be a mix of fear and lust.  How anyone could look at a person murdering another and have lust in their eyes was beyond Jane’s imagination.

   Jane had seen the lustful look before from John, once down by the river.  He had approached her while she was swimming.  Jane did not expect anyone, as she normally swam in the river without any interruptions.  That was a particularly hot day, and Jane had taken her clothes off to swim instead of keeping her undergarments on as she would normally.  John had emerged from the woods, spotted Serena tied to a tree and then Jane.  He refused at first, to turn his back, but after she pleaded with him, he finally turned just long enough for her to get her undergarments on.  He watched her closely as she finished, with that same look in his eyes.  She had been almost as scared then as she was now, but for a different reason.  At that time, she had not known the touch of a man nor had she known the pain or pleasure men could inflict on a woman.  Now she knew what men could do, and she was scared of what this man was capable of.

   Jane wondered if Ezekiel could still hear her, he had sounded like he was getting further away.   She wanted to call out to him again but John was getting closer.  Would he find her?  Would he know she was there?  She heard the crunch of a fallen branch only a few feet from her hiding spot.  She could hear his heartbeat; smell him getting closer to where she was crouched.  The thick wall of leaves in front of her started to move.  He knew!  He had found her!  What was she going to do?  Would she have to kill another person?  Or just concede to die, and hope he did not do more than kill her?  The trees parted and she was frozen in place.

   John looked down through the dark leaves and saw her there.  She was crouched low to the ground, staring up at him with wild, beautiful, bright blue eyes.  She was scared and that excited him.  He reached out his hand to her and she stared at him in confusion and hesitation.

   “Come on Jane, I won’t hurt you, you just need to give yourself over to me.”

   Jane stared at him, her thoughts racing, unsure of what to do.  She was tired, scared, dirty, and confused about what was happening to her.

   “John, I’m sorry, I don’t know what has happened, and I don’t know how to fix it.  I didn’t mean to hurt anyone, I promise.  Please, John.”

   Her eyes pleaded even more than her voice.  She didn’t want to hurt anyone; she didn’t want to kill this man, even though he scared her.  Maybe it was best just to give herself over and pray he didn’t harm her.  Unfortunately, she did not think it was going to be that simple.

   He walked closer to her and pulled her up, out of her crouched position.  The bushes closed in around them.  The taunting of the mob could be heard, though they were no longer close to the spot that hid them.  Jane tried to back away from him, but he pulled her closer.

   “You know, Ezekiel always talked of how beautiful you were.  I never saw the full extent of what he meant until now.  Something about you excites me, something even I cannot imagine.”

   John’s hand was wrapped around her wrist and as she tried to pull away from him, his left arm wrapped around her, pulling her body against his.  Jane could feel the cold steel of the knife in his hand, pressed hard against her back.

   “John, please, I will leave and never return, just please let me go.” Jane pleaded.

   “Jane, you know I cannot do that.  If I let you go, I would never know what it is that entrances Ezekiel when he looks at you, besides, you may kill again.” He sneered “And where is Ezekiel?  Why has he not come to your rescue?  Has he abandoned you Jane?”

   John let his grip around Jane loosen, pushing her backwards until she was pressed against the tree that stood behind her.  He was now pressed hard against her; the knife, still in his left hand, was at her hip.

   “I always loved this dress, shame it’s so tattered now, though I love what running through the woods has done to your hair.  I do not believe I have ever seen you with your hair let down before, it’s quite long, isn’t it?”

   His right hand released her wrist and grasped a strand of her hair, twirling it around his finger.

   “I never dreamed I would be this close to you Jane, to be able to breathe you in this way.”

   John inhaled deeply, seeming to take in more than just her scent.  Jane shuddered, then gasped as John grabbed a handful of her dark hair, pulled her head backwards. He looked at her, her eyes wide, scared, and then he kissed her hard on the mouth.  He released her hair and pulled his mouth from hers, staring at her.  There was evil in his eyes, burning to get out.  He lowered his left hand and the knife down to her thigh where there was a large tear in her dirty blue dress.  Jane felt the cold steel of the knife against her skin, and then she felt her dress ripping.  John was cutting it away with the knife.

   “That time at the river, I felt like I was in heaven, watching your pale body moving through the water, I think about that day a lot.”

   John now traced the knife lightly up her hip, across her stomach, around her left breast and held it firmly against her throat as he lifted her leg with his free hand.  Her leg escaped the tattered remains of her dress and he secured it against his hip.  This was it; this was the assault she knew would come if he had found her alone.  He was going to force himself on her and then kill her.  For a moment she forgot what she had become, what she could do to this man that was trying to defile her.  She could only think of where she was, how she had gotten to this point, and of her beloved Ezekiel.  Would she ever see him again?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

   “Why must it be so cold?”

   Jane was staring out at the frozen country side that surrounded the estate in which she was staying with her uncle’s family.  She had come to live here with her mother after the death of her father.  Her uncle, Tobias Hunt, owned two estates, one in Cheshire named Austinbrooke and one in Devon named Willowspring.  She was staying at Willowspring.  The house was beyond magnificent, only to be expected of one of the wealthiest men in all of England.

   “Oh Jane, please stop complaining and find a way to entertain yourself, why don’t you read a book?”

   Her mother, Francine Thomas, dressed in typical mourning attire, sat by the fireplace with her needlepoint.  She was trying to keep herself busy, in order to distract herself from the sadness she had been consumed with recently.  Her late husband, Johnathan Thomas, had died in his sleep after he had taken ill.  He was the love of her life, and his death two years ago had caused her much grief, of which she had not recovered.  She had tried to raise Jane on her own, but found herself unable to handle it alone after having lost her entire fortune to her husband’s debts.  Feeling helpless, Francine decided to take Jane and move in with her brother, a bachelor, who had just recently procured his fortune.  He asked Francine and Jane to move in with him so that he could provide for them and they could take care of him and his household.  Francine watched over the staff at Willowspring, ensuring that they complete all necessary tasks in order to maintain their status of living.  Jane watched over the grounds keepers, gardeners, and the stable attendants.  Jane loved the outdoors and animals, so she enjoyed spending time in the gardens and with the horses.

   “Mother, I am so restless! I want to go for a walk, to visit Serena and the other horses, they must be eager to get out and run.  They have been cooped up as long as I have!”

   “But Jane, it is snowing outside, if you go out you will catch your death of cold.”

   “I do not care, I simply must get out!  Uncle Tobias has been gone on business for days now and we are not expecting him back for at least a week, so why should I be stuck in this house?  We do not have to prepare for his return any time soon.  Please, mother, please let me visit Serena.  Let me take her to town and I will fetch some fresh duck for dinner.”

   “Jane, if it will make you happy, you may go.  Besides, duck does sound nice.  I will tell Rosalie to prepare something nice to go along with it.”

        Jane dressed in her warmest dress.  She was stunning in the long, pale blue, flowing dress, whose waist was found just under her breasts and her sleeves mere puffs.  She pulled on elbow length white gloves and secured the buttons of a long black riding cloak which she had wrapped around herself.  She opened the front door to the blast of cold winter air and hugged her cloak closer.  She strode through the garden to the clearing near the woods where the horses were housed.  She opened the stable doors and the horses whinnied from the cold wind that rushed through their stalls.  Jane stopped in front of the fourth stall where a solid black mare stood waiting patiently.  Jane opened the horses’ stall door and stepped inside.
   
       “Hello Serena, how are you today?  You must be ready to escape this dark hole and get out into the fresh air.”
   
       Serena threw her head back and whinnied gleefully, she was ready to go and Jane couldn’t get the saddle on quick enough for her.  Her dark eyes thoughtfully watched Jane as she tightened the girth.  She willingly took the bit in her mouth and nudged Jane anxiously.  Jane walked Serena out of the barn and shut the doors.  She stepped into the stirrup and swung her right leg over Serena, smoothing out her skirt and gathering the reigns in both hands.  Her mother would frown at her unrefined riding posture, but she felt free for the first time in weeks and didn’t care.  She pushed her heels into Serena’s flanks and the horse took off in a full gallop through the trees.  Jane wasn’t in a rush to get to town, she wanted to go down to the river, she was sure it would beautiful against the white landscape.  She slowed Serena’s pace so that she could take in her surroundings, noticing the silence that the snow brought to the woods.  As she listened, she heard the wet thud of snow falling off of a tree branch echoed by the crunch of the snow beneath Serena’s hooves.  The path she rode down was unusually bright because of the light reflecting off of her cold white surroundings, the snow heavy tree branches almost completely blocking out the sky above her.  As she rounded the bend in the path, the trees cleared and the river was just barely visible beyond the snow banks.  Jane jumped down off of Serena and guided her to a tree close to the bank.  She tied the reigns to one of the lower branches and walked to the water’s edge.  She laid out a ground blanket that she had brought along and sat upon it, gazing out over the icy water.  Seeming to not even feel the cold, she sat on the bank watching her surroundings.  As she sat, a doe and her fawn approached the other side of the river and bowed to drink.  Jane watched as the fawn bounded through the snow; delighted when it would blow up into the air and onto the fawns face.  Suddenly a loud crack from the woods behind Jane startled all of them.  Serena cried out in surprise and Jane jumped up to calm her, looking around to see the deer bounding back into the woods.  Behind her, a young man, about eighteen, the same age as Jane, emerged from the woods.
   
        “I am sorry to startle you Miss Thomas.”
   
       “Oh, Ezekiel, yes you did startle me, but I am glad it is only you.”
   
       There eyes met for a moment, Ezekiel's eyes seemed to burn into Jane's soul.  Jane blushed and then turned away toward Serena.
   
       “I was just taking Serena for a walk.  I am on my way to town to fetch some duck for dinner.”
   
       “Miss Thomas, if you wouldn’t mind, may I join you?  I’m sure your uncle would feel better knowing you were safe in his absence, these woods are full of dangerous creatures.”
   
       Ezekiel walked towards the tree where Serena was tied. Jane stroked Serena's velvety muzzle, she could feel the heat radiating off of Ezekiel where he stood close by. She felt her face blush again, and when she regained herself, she looked up at Ezekiel and found he was already looking at her.
   
       “I would appreciate the company, good sir.”
   
       Ezekiel helped Jane back onto Serena, where Jane took a side saddle position, feeling it prudent to be more genteel in the presence of a gentleman.  Jane was fond of Ezekiel’s presence and found she was more than glad to have him walking beside her horse, guiding them through the forest to the nearby market.  Jane bought several ducks and returned to her horse where Ezekiel stood waiting for her.
   
       They walked for several minutes without speaking, Ezekiel seemed withdrawn, lost in thought. Jane watched him as they entered the woods, he stared straight ahead with a far away look on his face.
   
       “How long do you expect your uncle to be away?” He said suddenly.
   
       “He has not sent word of when he expects to return, we believe it will be at least a week, he has a lot of work to do.”
   
       “How is your mother?” Ezekiel seemed to be searching for more to speak to Jane about, trying to form words that would not come.
   
       “Better, not as sad as she has been, of course the weather has not been helping her mood.  I often urge her to get out of the house and go for a walk, but she refuses.  She just sits by the fire and does her sewing.  Sometimes she will walk the manor, helping the maids tidy the rooms and making plans to redecorate.”
   
       “I pray she will be in better spirits soon.”
   
       “I fear she misses father more than ever, more than she lets on. I do wish I could find a way to cheer her up.” Jane said quietly.
   
       “I am sure that your mother knows her own heart and what is best to keep her spirits up.”

      “You are right, Ezekiel, but what about you, I have been rambling on about myself and mother, how are you doing?  How is your family?”

   Ezekiel looked up at Jane as he continued to lead Serena. He seemed to want to say something to her, something serious. His face looked tortured for a second, and then it smoothed and he once again took on the solemn far away look.

   “My mother sends her regards; she is doing well, enjoying the city along with my father.”

   “You must ask her to visit sometime soon.” Jane was confused by what she had seen. What was it that Ezekiel was hiding, what was he not telling her?

   “I will send her your kind words the next time I write.”

   At that moment, the trees broke again and Willowspring was visible.  Ezekiel walked Serena into the barn and helped Jane off.  As he placed his hands upon her waist to help her down, she shivered. His hands were now very cold and cut through the thick fabric of her cloak.  Jane slid off of Serena landing on the hard frozen ground, inches from Ezekiel.  She looked up into his large dark green eyes and felt she would get lost.  His brown hair fell around his face, making his eyes seem darker, yet they shone like emeralds. Another shiver went through Jane, but this time it was not because of the cold.  She broke away from his handsome face and entrancing eyes, suddenly blushing at her secret thought of kissing him.  He let go of her and took a step back.

   “Miss Thomas, I must say good day, I will take care of Serena, do not worry yourself.  Please send my regards to your mother.”

   “Thank you Ezekiel.”

   As she opened the door to the barn and walked back into the cold winter air, she turned to see Ezekiel watching her leave as he stroked Serena’s main, his eyes were smoldering.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 07:41:39 PM by SexyNelf24 »

Offline SexyNelf24

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 11:45:25 AM »
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

   “She is very beautiful isn’t she, John?” Ezekiel said to his friend John as he watched Jane cross the grounds back to the manor.

   John Burrows had emerged from a dark corner of the barn. Though he had been secretly watching them from the time they came in view of the manor, his presence had not escaped Ezekiel.  John was born into money and found Ezekiel’s company and friendship enjoyable even though his parents frowned upon him associating with a man of lower class.  He often visited the stables at Willowspring. He would stay with Ezekiel and watch him groom the horses.  Ezekiel did not have to do this, there were servants that had been assigned such tasks, but Ezekiel had volunteered to take care of the horses in order to get closer to Jane.  He was drawn to her in a way that he could not explain.  John was known to be a “lover of women”, having courted many of the women in Devon. He could not understand how Ezekiel could be entranced by only one no matter their amount of beauty.

   “Yes, but isn’t she a little strange? I have heard that she goes off by herself, into the woods with only the company of a horse, and that she has been seen riding that horse like a man.  She is beautiful, but she is lacking decorum.”

   “I assure you, Miss Thomas is very much a true lady.  I wish to court her, but I must wait until her uncle returns in order to ask his permission.  I do hope he returns soon, I wish to be by her side always and not being able to express my feelings for her is heartbreaking.”

   “I do not understand you Ezekiel, you come here and do servants work for a woman you might not be allowed to court, and then ignore every other doting woman that would hang on your every word.”

   “There are no other women that would hold my favor the way Jane does.” Ezekiel looked at John, his eyes serious. John laughed.

   “Well, I think you are a fool.  I heard that her uncle has recently made plans to marry her off when he returns.”

   “Are you sure John?  When did you hear this?  And to whom?!  Does she even know?” Ezekiel's face contorted with pain and confusion as John smiled at him.

   “Calm yourself Ezekiel, it is but a rumor.  I doubt that the gossip around town is worth any weight.” John's smile seemed malicious.

   Ezekiel seemed darker now; troubled by this rumor, afraid he may have already lost his chance to be with Jane.  There was something about her eyes, something that was hidden behind them, waiting to get out, something he wanted to find.  He had loved her since the first time they had met just a year ago when she arrived in Devon from Plymouth.

   “Maybe you should just forget about the formality of asking her uncle permission and just ask Jane to accompany you to the party at the Fitzgerald house next month.”

   “Do you think it wise of me to forgo her uncle’s permission?  Do you think she will find me too bold?” Ezekiel asked hopefully.

   “Of course not Ezekiel, if I were you I would be much bolder and just take her into the hay loft and…”

   Ezekiel quickly interrupted his crude statement. “John, please do not speak of her in that manner, she is not one of your whores for you to do with as you please!”

   John, laughing, continued.  “I am truly sorry Ezekiel, as I said I am much bolder than you.  Ask her to the party, seek permission and forgiveness when her uncle returns and pray the rumors are just that.”

   John left the barn after that, leaving Ezekiel to his fantasies of love.

   Ezekiel was deep in thought as he put Serena back into her stall. Should he ask Jane to the party? What would she say? Was her uncle promising her hand to some unknown caller? How would he continue on if he lost her?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 08:04:50 PM by SexyNelf24 »

Offline thatollie

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 12:51:56 PM »
Quote
Jane was running.  She was running from people she had known her entire life, people she loved.  Where was Ezekiel?  She had lost him somewhere in the woods and prayed that he was able to find somewhere to hide.   Ahead of her all she could see was more trees.  It was a warm, breezy night, a night that she would have normally taken her horse Serena down by the lake to watch the fireflies.  Instead, she was running for her life…or rather, her death.  It was not long ago that she was alive, but now she could not call what she was experiencing, a life.  Ever since meeting the dark stranger in the woods, she thirsted for blood.  How was it that someone can crave blood?  What was it that she had become?  What had she done to Ezekiel? Now he also had this curse, and all because of her selfishness.
OK, here's your opening. I'm going to go in depth and look at it sentence by sentence.
I've labeled passive verbs in red.

Jane was running. 
I'm going to preach to you the three things I know for sure about opening sentences.
1. Keep it short. You've done this.
2. Never use a passive verb.
3. Never open with a name.


She was running from people she had known her entire life, people she loved. 
You'll see a trend of passive verbs.

Where was Ezekiel? 
I'm not a fan of questions in narrative

She had lost him somewhere in the woods and prayed that he was able to find somewhere to hide.   
OK, most of this is unnecessary. If he's not with her, then she lost him.

Ahead of her all she could see was more trees. 
Would be a good image after a rewrite.

It was a warm, breezy night, a night that she would have normally taken her horse Serena down by the lake to watch the fireflies. 
This is probably the best of this paragraph, it's still passive and a little too long.

Instead, she was running for her life…or rather, her death. 
Could be funny with the right timing.

It was not long ago that she was alive, but now she could not call what she was experiencing, a life. 
This has potential.

Ever since meeting the dark stranger in the woods, she thirsted for blood. 
This is the only sentence in the first paragraph without a passive verb.
However, dark stranger is rather generic.


How was it that someone can crave blood?  What was it that she had become? 
If she craves blood, then she knows how someone can crave blood.

What had she done to Ezekiel?
Again, questions.

Now he also had this curse, and all because of her selfishness.
A fair way to end an opening paragraph.

Try to rewrite a few of the passive verbs out of this paragraph.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline SexyNelf24

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 01:03:23 PM »
I think I understand your reasoning behind wanting the passive verbs changed. I guess I just saw it as the narrator telling a story about Jane and Ezekiel, perhaps that is why I used passive verbs. I'll try to change it around and see how it works. I have toyed with making the narrator a character in the novel and have them retelling the story to someone. I don't know how to really do that without giving away too much too soon though.

Another question. Why don't you like questions in a narrative? I used them to express some of the things that would be going through Jane's mind as she was trying to escape. Does it not work?

One last thing. The question, "How was it that someone can crave blood?" is kind of a question that Jane has because she is opposed morally to what she has become. It isn't a literal question...

The "dark stranger" will be revealed later in the story, i know it is generic but i didn't know another way around it again without revealing too much too soon. 

Thanks for reading and replying. I'll take your advice into consideration when I edit it again.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 01:10:47 PM by SexyNelf24 »

Offline thatollie

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 01:09:51 PM »
Another question. Why don't you like questions in a narrative? I used them to express some of the things that would be going through Jane's mind as she was trying to escape. Does it not work?
Well, the narrator doesn't know what Jane is thinking.

I think I understand your reasoning behind wanting the passive verbs changed. I guess I just saw it as the narrator telling a story about Jane and Ezekiel, perhaps that is why I used passive verbs. I'll try to change it around and see how it works. I have toyed with making the narrator a character in the novel and have them retelling the story to someone. I don't know how to really do that without giving away too much too soon though.
When you've had a play about with the opening, repost it.

Another thing which caught my attention.

Quote
“Jane? Ezekiel? You know what you have done is wrong; you have killed a woman.  Jane, you drank her blood while Ezekiel watched!  Turn yourself in and I will guarantee you a fair trial.”
Would you speak like that to someone you saw drinking blood?
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline SexyNelf24

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 01:14:54 PM »
Ok. As it will be revealed later on, John feels he is invincible. He's cocky, rude, and feels he is gods gift to all creation. He isn't scared easily, and in fact the way he looks at Jane and Ezekiel is that he is intrigued by what he witnessed and strangely is turned on by it. He's just....John. I'm not exactly how to describe him at the moment.

When he is saying this...hes in a way playing with them. It's like...he's trying to act like he's really concerned about what happened, but secretly he just wants to find them and study them or figure out how to be like them. I think I worded this strangely because I didn't want it to seem genuine.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 01:18:14 PM by SexyNelf24 »

Offline ma100

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 04:38:29 PM »
Hi Nelf.
Could you please modify your post by double spacing between paragraphs. My iffy eyesight keeps on re-reading the same line again and I am unable to crit it for you as it stands. :) You might find others will crit then too. A wall of text is very hard to read.

Ma :)

Offline SexyNelf24

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 08:23:53 PM »
Ok Ma... I think I have done as you asked. Is it good now? I will try to take time this weekend to do some editing and include some of the advice given to make the story read better. I am studying for midterms right now though so it will have to wait. I had my Chuacer midterm today and writing a paper for my Japanese class currently. I better get back to it. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments! :D

Offline ma100

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 08:28:13 PM »
Thanks Nelf. I will pop back in the morning and have a go for you. Good luck with your exams. :)

Offline PretzelGirl

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 10:19:36 PM »
You need to watch your telling. Whenever you see “she was/has/had/is” you’re most probably telling instead of showing.
For example:

Her dress was torn and dirty; her long black hair had fallen and was now cascading around her moonlight pale shoulders.

You can also make this sentence more immediate and active, like this:
“her black hair cascaded down her moonlight shoulders.”
This already tells us that her hair is long and that her shoulders are pale, without you having to add it in.

John looked down through the dark leaves and saw her there.  She was crouched low to the ground, staring up at him with wild, beautiful, bright blue eyes.  She was scared and that excited him.  He reached out his hand to her and she stared at him in confusion and hesitation.
– you suddenly change POV here, going from Jane to John.

Furthermore, I don't think it's very realistic that John is thinking about raping her in the bush when others are out looking for her too. He'd take her with him if that were his intentions, but right then and there? Sounds a bit off.


Jane dressed in her warmest dress.  She was stunning in the long, pale blue, flowing dress, whose waist was found just under her breasts and her sleeves mere puffs.
– it’s good how you give us the time period without telling. I just don’t think a “warmest dress” would have had those short puffy sleeves, it would have been quite thick and long-sleeved.
Smoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!
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Offline SexyNelf24

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 10:31:41 PM »
You need to watch your telling. Whenever you see “she was/has/had/is” you’re most probably telling instead of showing.
For example:

Her dress was torn and dirty; her long black hair had fallen and was now cascading around her moonlight pale shoulders.

You can also make this sentence more immediate and active, like this:
“her black hair cascaded down her moonlight shoulders.”
This already tells us that her hair is long and that her shoulders are pale, without you having to add it in.

I like it. Makes it so that it isn't quite so wordy and fixes the past tense stuff. I'll work on that this weekend.


John looked down through the dark leaves and saw her there.  She was crouched low to the ground, staring up at him with wild, beautiful, bright blue eyes.  She was scared and that excited him.  He reached out his hand to her and she stared at him in confusion and hesitation.
– you suddenly change POV here, going from Jane to John.

Furthermore, I don't think it's very realistic that John is thinking about raping her in the bush when others are out looking for her too. He'd take her with him if that were his intentions, but right then and there? Sounds a bit off.

I change POV a lot in this story, do you have a recommended way of making it transition more smoothly? I like changing the POV because I think it makes more interesting...


Jane dressed in her warmest dress.  She was stunning in the long, pale blue, flowing dress, whose waist was found just under her breasts and her sleeves mere puffs.
– it’s good how you give us the time period without telling. I just don’t think a “warmest dress” would have had those short puffy sleeves, it would have been quite thick and long-sleeved.

See, I knew I would have flaws in my time period descriptions. I couldn't figure out what the dress would really look like in the winter. The only ones I had ever seen from this time period were the kind I described. I need to do some more research and figure out what it should really look like.

Offline flights_of_fantasy

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 04:55:57 AM »
Janie,

I'm not going to comment on your dialogue, because if it's a vampire story, the people who are likely to read this will not worry about whether the speech is in period or not. I find it a little modern, but that is often the case even in published historical fiction these days.

Quote
Her mother, Francine Thomas, dressed in typical mourning attire, sat by the fireplace with her needlepoint.  ...  He was the love of her life, and his death two years ago had caused her much grief, of which she had not recovered.
A widow was expected to mourn her husband for two years, but after a year and a day she could dress in half-mourning. This meant wearing black with coloured trimmings, pinstripes, greys etc. Even Queen Victoria, known for being in mourning for forty years, was only in full mourning for three years.

Quote
Jane dressed in her warmest dress.  She was stunning in the long, pale blue, flowing dress, whose waist was found just under her breasts and her sleeves mere puffs.  She pulled on elbow length white gloves and secured the buttons of a long black riding cloak which she had wrapped around herself.  She opened the front door to the blast of cold winter air and hugged her cloak closer.
My first thought here is why doesn't she own a riding dress. They didn't ride in everyday dresses, unless they were poor and couldn't afford anything better. You can see some riding dresses here. The elbow length white gloves would only be for evening wear. She would wear leather gloves for riding. Ladies often favoured York Tan gloves, which were a sort of yucky orange-mustard yellow. (regardless of the colour of the dress)

Your typical high-waisted dress, as seen in numerous Jane Austen adaptations, dates this to roughly between 1795-1820. Is that the time period you were aiming for?

Quote
Let me take her to town and I will fetch some fresh duck for dinner.
Earlier you said her uncle was one of the wealthiest men in the country, therefore it would be unlikely anyone would expect or require her to buy a duck. Actually, estates belonging to moderately rich men would have their own home farm, where chickens and ducks would be bred for the house. An estate was expected to be self-sufficient, and some also supported a town house.

Quote
She stepped into the stirrup and swung her right leg over Serena, smoothing out her skirt and gathering the reigns in both hands. Her mother would frown at her unrefined riding posture
Jane would have struggled to smooth her dress as, in that position, it would be gathered in her lap, with half her legs exposed.

She would gather the reins in her hand. A king reigns.

Her mother would not have frowned. She would have thrown a fit. Young ladies did not normally learn to ride astride, although it's common for hoydenish young women in romance novels to do so. If her uncle is wealthy, he would have staff in the stables to saddle her horse. In fact, she would have only needed to lift a finger and the horse would have been brought to the main entrance, saddled, bridled, and with a groom to ride alongside her.

If you can't imagine how one of the wealthiest people in the country lived, you might find it easier to lower the status of the uncle. Besides, a poorer uncle would be more likely to want to sell her off to the highest bidder than a rich one.

Quote
I have heard that she goes off by herself, into the woods with only the company of a horse, and that she has been seen riding that horse like a man.  She is beautiful, but she is lacking decorum.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a young gentle born woman, riding a horse astride, is equal to wearing stilettos and a mini-skirt, and hanging out on street corners. It doesn't actually prove lack of innocence, but very strongly suggests it. Therefore, the words lacking decorum are a bit of an understatement.

The status of Ezekiel is unclear, but if he's been working in the stables - particularly in an unofficial capacity - then why would one of England's richest men allow him to court his niece?

Quote
“Maybe you should just forget about the formality of asking her uncle permission and just ask Jane to accompany you to the party at the Fitzgerald house next month.”
A single man could not ask a single young woman to accompany him to a party. He would have to hope that she received an invitation, and that her mother accepted it, which seems unlikely considering she's still mourning her husband. Invitations could be accepted while in half mourning, but you've already set the mother up as still being upset over her husband's death, which would seem to preclude the idea of her going out partying.

Even if Ezekiel and Jane were betrothed, they still wouldn't be allowed to go to a party as a couple.

Hope that helps.
Heather

"A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in. My magnum opus, Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine."
Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder the Third, Ink & Incapability

Offline ma100

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2009, 05:29:43 AM »
Hi Nelf,

See spacing works for getting crits. :) Okay you have received some very good advice and there is no point me repeating. You must work on your showing by describing more action, surroundings, sights, sounds, smells, characterization with stronger words.

The telling indicators are was/were/had/it/that/there/lys. You also have to watch for repeated words too close together.

You can switch pov, but it must be in a scene. In othere words one pov per scene and these must be clearly defined. Bringing in another viewpoint for a sentence throws the reader out of the story if they are deep in your characters head. It causes confusion in other words.

A good start
well done
Ma :)


Offline PretzelGirl

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2009, 07:50:11 AM »
Nel, for my first novel I really put myself out there... I wrote a book set in 1860s England, and then Civil War America, in a tribe of Navajo people. I must be the only Aussie who knows who Colonel Kit Carson is and what he did!

Half the fun is research, and reading other novels set in the period you're aiming for.
Use google, and Wikipedia, they are your friends. Go to your library and look for books on historic fashion. Read Jane Austen to get a feel for the time period. Just read read read. It's worth it.
Smoke me a clipper, I'll be back for Christmas!
- A. J. Rimmer, Red Dwarf

Offline SexyNelf24

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Re: Ezekiel's Angel - Chp. 1 (new author)
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2009, 02:36:05 PM »
wow.. so much to reply to. I'll use quotes when i reply to flight's post so i'll do that in a separate reply. First off.. thank you thank you thank you for reading and critiquing this.. I love it! Also.. I plan to really work on my research this summer. School is kind hectic right now so I haven't been able to do much of anything. I already use google and wikipedia...and I have of course read Jane Austen. I have a list of regency books that I plan to read...i just have to find time outside of my schoolwork. I'll try to make some changes to grammar/spelling and some of the pov/past tense problems this weekend.