Author Topic: The Whore  (Read 2699 times)

Offline Vic09

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The Whore
« on: January 03, 2013, 08:02:24 AM »
Hi all,

I have been holed up recently with my WIP and find myself needing some help. The following excerpt is the beginning part of chapter 9 from the novel I am working on. I have been over this maybe 100 times (no joke) and subsequently I have stripped the text down to the bare bones. Trouble is, it now looks wafer thin to me. I don’t want to add all the descriptive stuff that was in there before. It was really quite boring and slowed the pace of the story. So, I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions to help me strike a balance.

Thanks in advance.

Vic


I know all about the Whore.

She resides on the east side of town, number 47 Cornwallis Street.
Go to the rear of the building, take the narrow steps down to the basement door, knock twice and wait for the buzzer. When the lock clicks, push hard. The door is reinforced steel. Enter with caution, your eyes need to adjust to the gloom. The Whore will be waiting for you inside, lounging in a big leather chair, picking the remnants of her last meal from her teeth. Her black silk skirt will be bunched around the top of her thighs, legs spread so you can glimpse her panties. She will grin through thin lips and you will know she intends to kill you. Your flesh is next on the menu.

‘No shit,’ Markus says, and gives me that ‘fuck you’ smirk usually reserved for tough guys.

I respond with a casual shrug. ‘You asked me for a story man. Just telling you what I know.’

Markus slides the notebook back into his jacket pocket, takes a sip of coffee and eyes me with a wounded expression. ‘Vincent, how long have we known each other?’

I open my mouth to reply but he stops me with a raised finger. ‘Look, I’ve written a lot of shit in my time. People love juice. My editor likes a bit of extra topping on the cake, but flesh eating whores ain’t gonna cut it. If you want to make a buck, give me a decent story - something I can get my teeth into.’ He cracks a self congratulatory smile, and waits for my reaction to the joke.

I stare across the table, deadpan. I need to rethink my strategy. I’m clean out of drug stories, sex scandals, and who is doing what to whom. I need Markus’s money if I’m gonna impress Josie. Dinner for two at Marco’s ain’t cheap.

I lean forward and whisper, ‘Markus listen. I know this is hard to swallow, but the story is true. The Whore is not what she seems. She’s not human.’

Markus shakes his head. ‘Time out Vincent. I’ve got things to do.’ He pushes back his chair and stands to leave.

My date with Josie is slipping away. I’ve got to act fast.

‘The Whore is a demon Markus, I can prove it. I’ll take you over there. You can see for yourself.’

‘For Christ’s sake Vincent, give me a break.’

‘No, please trust me. I’ve seen her.’

Markus hesitates, his eyes searching my face for the lie he expects to see there. I hold his gaze for a moment. Finally, he relents and lowers himself back into his seat. ‘OK, this had better be good. But you don’t get a dime until I verify the story.’

Now it is my turn to smile. I glance around the coffee shop. The place is half empty, no one is listening. I tell Markus we need to take precautions before we confront the demon. This time he doesn’t argue.


Never forget how important you are. God created the universe and he created writers to tell the story.

hillwalker3000

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 10:24:59 AM »
I wouldn't say it's wafer-thin. Bare bones writing works well enough in stories of this type where the plot has to drive things forward at a fairly quick pace to keep the reader interested. In fact, I think you can trim some more:

I know all about the Whore.
Good opening
-
She resides would not 'lives' do just as well? always choose the most direct expression when possible on the east side of town, number 47 Cornwallis Street.
-
The Whore will be waiting for you inside, lounging in a big leather chair, picking the remnants of her last meal from her teeth Don't think this adds anything of relevance at this particular point in the story. Her black silk skirt will be bunched around the tops of her thighs, legs spread so you can glimpse her panties.
-
Presumably all of  this ^^ was dialogue? Would it be better presented in quotation marks with the occasional assignments or actions (body language especially) breaking it up?
-
‘No shit,’ Markus says, and gives me that ‘fuck you’ smirk usually reserved for tough guys. confusing - is it a smirk Markus reserves for tough guys or a smirk tough guys use?
-
Markus slides the notebook back into his jacket pocket, takes a sip of coffee and eyes me with a wounded expression perhaps you can show us this?
-
I need Markus’s money if I’m gonna impress Josie. Dinner for two at Marco’s ain’t cheap. This observation took me right out of the scene. And having Markus and Marco together??
-
I lean forward and whisper, ‘Markus listen. I know this is hard to swallow, but the story is true. The Whore is not what she seems. But you haven't told us what she seems. You've already called her a killer. She’s not human.’
-
Markus shakes his head. ‘Time out Vincent. I’ve got things to do.’ He pushes back his chair and stands to leave.Why else would he stand?
-
‘No, please trust me. I’ve seen her with my own eyes.’
-
Now it is my turn to smile. I glance around the coffee shop. The place is half empty, no one is listening. I tell Markus we need to take precautions before we confront the demon. This time he doesn’t argue.

This closing paragraph is the weakest and could probably be expanded without giving too much away. 'need to take precautions' put me in mind of them having to stock up on some means of contraception but I'm assuming that's not the case.

H3K

Offline 510bhan

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 10:32:26 AM »
I take it the reader will know who Markus is, if they haven't  heard about him in a while, maybe reinforce the acquaintance, relationship to bring the reader up to speed. Where is this scene taking place or is that already set-up previously . . . might add to the atmosphere if we know where they are. If a public place, perhaps they won't want to be overheard. Markus' office? The mc could look around at some of the different headlines for inspiration. :-\ :-\ Oh, and just re-read that it takes place in a coffee shop -- maybe bring that higher up. ::)



I know all about the Whore.

She resides on the east side of town, number 47 Cornwallis Street.
Go to the rear of the building, take the narrow steps down to the basement door, knock twice and wait for the buzzer. When the lock clicks, push hard. The door is reinforced steel. Enter with caution, your eyes need to adjust to the gloom. The Whore will be waiting for you inside, lounging in a big leather chair, picking the remnants of her last meal from her teeth. Her black silk skirt will be bunched around the top of her thighs, legs spread so you can glimpse her panties. She will grin through thin lips and you will know she intends to kill you. Your flesh is next on the menu.
Is this someone reading? Thinking? Maybe open with Marku's response and then use this as an explanation/defence by the mc . . . maybe add, "I swear. I know all about the whore." Have an action beat while he reminisces with unease/distaste/regret/nostalgis -- break up the spiel in a couple of places to reinforce the tension. JMO

‘No shit,’ Markus says, and gives me that ‘fuck you’ smirk usually reserved for tough guys.

I respond with a casual shrug. ‘You asked me for a story man. Just telling you what I know.’

Markus slides the notebook back into his jacket pocket, takes a sip of coffee and eyes me with a wounded expression. ‘Vincent, how long have we known each other?’

I open my mouth to reply but he stops me with a raised finger. ‘Look, I’ve written a lot of shit in my time. People love juice. My editor likes a bit of extra topping on the cake, but flesh eating whores ain’t gonna cut it. If you want to make a buck, give me a decent story - something I can get my teeth into.’ He cracks a self congratulatory smile, and waits for my reaction to the joke.

I stare across the table, deadpan. I need to rethink my strategy. I’m clean out of drug stories, sex scandals, and who is doing what to whom. I need Markus’s money if I’m gonna impress Josie. Dinner for two at Marco’s ain’t cheap.

I lean forward and whisper, ‘Markus listen. I know this is hard to swallow, but the story is true. The Whore is not what she seems. She’s not human.’

Markus shakes his head. ‘Time out Vincent. I’ve got things to do.’ He pushes back his chair and stands to leave.

My date with Josie is slipping away. I’ve got to act fast.

‘The Whore is a demon Markus, I can prove it. I’ll take you over there. You can see for yourself.’

‘For Christ’s sake Vincent, give me a break.’

‘No, please trust me. I’ve seen her.’

Markus hesitates, his eyes searching my face for the lie he expects to see there. I hold his gaze for a moment. Finally, he relents and lowers himself back into his seat. ‘OK, this had better be good. But you don’t get a dime until I verify the story.’

Now it is my turn to smile. I glance around the coffee shop. The place is half empty, no one is listening. I tell Markus we need to take precautions before we confront the demon. This time he doesn’t argue.




Offline Vic09

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 10:52:39 AM »
Thanks for the insight H3k and 5io. Amazing what fresh eyes can do. I appreciate your input and will use your comments in the rewrite. Hopefully getting closer to a final draft  :-[

Best

Vic
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 11:00:06 AM by Vic09 »
Never forget how important you are. God created the universe and he created writers to tell the story.

Offline Clarius

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 03:51:49 PM »
I know all about the Whore. Nice opening line, but is it appropriate?

She resides lives over on the east side of town, number 47 Cornwallis Street.
Go to the rear of the building, take the narrow steps down to the basement door, knock twice and wait for the buzzer. When the lock clicks, push hard. The door is reinforced steel. Enter with caution, your eyes need to adjust to the gloom. The Whore will She'll be waiting for you inside, lounging in a big leather chair, picking the remnants of her last meal from her teeth. Her black silk skirt will be bunched around the top of her thighs, legs spread so you can glimpse her panties. She will grin through thin lips and you will know she intends to kill you. Your flesh is next on the menu.

Should this anecdote be told in the first person?

‘No shit,’ Markus says, and gives me that ‘fuck you’ smirk usually reserved for tough guys.

I respond with a casual shrug. ‘You asked me for a story man. Just telling you what I know.’

Avoid cliches relating to mannerisms and body language, a thematic dictionary is useful here.

Markus slides the notebook back into his jacket pocket, takes a sip of coffee and eyes me with a wounded expression. ‘Vincent, how long have we known each other?’

I open my mouth to reply but he stops me with a raised finger. ‘Look, I’ve written a lot of shit in my time. People love juice. My editor likes a bit of extra topping on the cake, but flesh eating whores ain’t gonna cut it. If you want to make a buck, give me a decent story - something I can get my teeth into.’ He cracks a self congratulatory smile, and waits for my reaction to the joke.

I stare across the table, deadpan. I need to rethink my strategy. I’m clean out of drug stories, sex scandals, and who is doing what to whom. I need Markus’s money if I’m gonna impress Josie. Dinner for two at Marco’s ain’t cheap.

I lean forward and whisper, ‘Markus listen. I know this is hard to swallow, but the story is true. The Whore is not what she seems. She’s not human.’

Markus shakes his head. ‘Time out Vincent. I’ve got things to do.’ He pushes back his chair and stands to leave.

My date with Josie is slipping away. I’ve got to act fast.

‘The Whore is a demon Markus, I can prove it. I’ll take you over there. You can see for yourself.’

‘For Christ’s sake Vincent, give me a break.’

‘No, please trust me. I’ve seen her.’

Markus hesitates, his eyes searching my face for the lie he expects to see there. I hold his gaze for a moment. Finally, he relents and lowers himself back into his seat. ‘OK, this had better be good. But you don’t get a dime until I verify the story.’

Now it is my turn to smile. I glance around the coffee shop. The place is half empty, no one is listening. I tell Markus we need to take precautions before we confront the demon. This time he doesn’t argue. This detail needs to come earlier.

Suggest you read dialogue aloud, to hear how well it sits on the tongue.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 03:54:40 PM by Clarius »
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Offline swimmer1948

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 03:31:39 AM »
Hi all,

I have been holed up recently with my WIP and find myself needing some help. The following excerpt is the beginning part of chapter 9 from the novel I am working on. I have been over this maybe 100 times (no joke) and subsequently I have stripped the text down to the bare bones. Trouble is, it now looks wafer thin to me. I don’t want to add all the descriptive stuff that was in there before. It was really quite boring and slowed the pace of the story. So, I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions to help me strike a balance.

Thanks in advance.

Vic


I know all about the Whore.

She resides on the east side of town, number 47 Cornwallis Street.

My only comment that lives would be better than resides.  Before I go on, I want to say that I like the chapter and really have nothing substantial to offer.  Now that I started, I will go on and comment on the little things I noticed.

Go to the rear of the building, take the narrow steps down to the basement door, knock twice and wait for the buzzer. When the lock clicks, push hard. The door is reinforced steel. Enter with caution, your eyes need to adjust to the gloom. The Whore will be waiting for you inside, lounging in a big leather chair, picking the remnants of her last meal from her teeth. Her black silk skirt will be bunched around the top of her thighs, legs spread so you can glimpse her panties. She will grin through thin lips and you will know she intends to kill you. Your flesh is next on the menu.

I think this is good too.  You are, in your inner voice, telling someone else what he will have to do to get in and how to prepare.  I think "flesh next on the menu" is nicely ambiguous.  Flesh on the menu could just refer to carnal expectations.  Kill you doesn't say kill you and eat you - I don't know what to make of it.  Is it sort of a precursor setting us up?  The rest of the dialogue clarifies this.  I would look forward to the next chapter were I your reader.  "Big leather chair?"  Drop the big - it adds nothing.  Have a semi-colon after caution or make it two sentences.  Picking her teeth could just be crude sucking of one's teeth.  The rest of the chapter makes it unambiguous.  Ambiguity is good at that stage.  Use something more descriptive than "lounging."

‘No shit,’ Markus says, and gives me that ‘fuck you’ smirk usually reserved for tough guys.

I respond with a casual shrug. ‘You asked me for a story man. Just telling you what I know.’

Markus slides the notebook back into his jacket pocket, takes a sip of coffee and eyes me with a wounded expression. ‘Vincent, how long have we known each other?’

I open my mouth to reply but he stops me with a raised finger. ‘Look, I’ve written a lot of shit in my time. People love juice. My editor likes a bit of extra topping on the cake, but flesh eating whores ain’t gonna cut it. If you want to make a buck, give me a decent story - something I can get my teeth into.’ He cracks a self congratulatory smile, and waits for my reaction to the joke.

Markus jumped immediately to the conclusion that it's a flesh-eating whore.  To me it was just carnal knowledge we were talking about.  Hyphenate where appropriate: "flesh-eating" and "self-congratulatory" is more correct - two words combined into a single part of speech, in both cases adjectives.

I stare across the table, deadpan. I need to rethink my strategy. I’m clean out of drug stories, sex scandals, and who is doing what to whom. I need Markus’s money if I’m gonna impress Josie. Dinner for two at Marco’s ain’t cheap.

I lean forward and whisper, ‘Markus listen. I know this is hard to swallow, but the story is true. The Whore is not what she seems. She’s not human.’

Markus shakes his head. ‘Time out Vincent. I’ve got things to do.’ He pushes back his chair and stands to leave.

My date with Josie is slipping away. I’ve got to act fast.

‘The Whore is a demon Markus, I can prove it. I’ll take you over there. You can see for yourself.’

‘For Christ’s sake Vincent, give me a break.’

‘No, please trust me. I’ve seen her.’

Markus hesitates, his eyes searching my face for the lie he expects to see there. I hold his gaze for a moment. Finally, he relents and lowers himself back into his seat. ‘OK, this had better be good. But you don’t get a dime until I verify the story.’

Now it is my turn to smile. I glance around the coffee shop. The place is half empty, no one is listening. I tell Markus we need to take precautions before we confront the demon. This time he doesn’t argue.

I don't understand the problems people had with this.  I guess you'll use the criticism well.  I wish I could offer some guidance but I don't really see where any is needed.  Sorry.  I think it is a good story.  Joe


Offline swimmer1948

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 03:40:53 AM »
I notice I have more to say.  "Verify the story"?  It will be fun seeing how he will do that - offer a finger maybe? Also "take precautions."  Obviously we're not talking about rubbers.  Something magical, or something by the way of self-defense?  "The place is half empty no one is listening."  You need to combine these two sentences somehow.  You could use a semi-colon or a period.  Is it only English teachers who insist on things like that?  Also, I think that half-empty is more correct.  I wish I had something more substantial for you. As I said, I liked it. Joe

Pale Writer

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 12:00:16 PM »
Hello Vic

You are over stressing about this.  I felt the story, loved the voice.  With a few brushes(which could not even touch the surface of your ink, it might be better.  I say might because as I said, I like this as is.  The few things which caught my eye were a bit of clutter.  I know .. I know you have said that now stripped to the bone it feels slim, but I'm more talking about phrases that can be tightened to let the reader visualise a bit more.

I will try to give an example, which is hard in a way because this is narrative description so allows a wider freedom of word usage.

Quote
She resides on the east side of town, number 47 Cornwallis Street.
Go to the rear of the building, take the narrow steps down to the basement door, knock twice and wait for the buzzer. When the lock clicks, push hard. The door is reinforced steel. Enter with caution, your eyes need to adjust to the gloom. The Whore will be waiting for you inside, lounging in a big leather chair, picking the remnants of her last meal from her teeth. Her black silk skirt will be bunched around the top of her thighs, legs spread so you can glimpse her panties. She will grin through thin lips and you will know she intends to kill you. Your flesh is next on the menu.

In the first bold I merely believe that the order could be reversed. Show the door, its weight, its barring capabilities, and then show the force needed.  I know it can go either or, but for me it felt backwards as you have wrote. 

'Enter with caution' -  You can remove this I believe and let the darkness be more in the forefront as soon as they enter.  In honesty when you say your eyes will need to adjust it shows better that they have entered.  Allow the story to be a story, allow the reader to feel the moment. Don't spoil.

The last line is too much tell.  Now I'm not all against Tell, as every story needs it but you have already shown her teeth full of a last meal and the line 'intents to kill you' shows enough, especially when later in the story the listener fills in the 'flesh eating whore' for the reader.  As the reader I wanted to be in suspense a bit longer, wanted to be kept in that dark. 

*

All in all I would read more. I enjoyed the side story, the voice of the characters and the way you have written.

Thank you,

Pale


Offline Vic09

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 06:36:24 PM »
Clarius, thank you. You're right about the mannerisms. I guess I'm guilty of lazy writing on that point.
Thanks for your comments and taking the time to read.

Best


Vic
Never forget how important you are. God created the universe and he created writers to tell the story.

Offline Vic09

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 06:43:55 PM »
Hi swimmer,

Thanks for your feedback. Yeah the protection reference has a double meaning. In the story Vincent takes Markus to see a witch who provides the spiritual protection. But there's a sub meaning which is sexual. I tried the same thing in the dialogue where Vincent tells Markus he knows the story is 'hard to swallow'.

I'm probably trying to be too clever. In other words I'm trying to be a smart ass. My problem , not yours.

Thanks again.

Vic
Never forget how important you are. God created the universe and he created writers to tell the story.

Offline Vic09

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Re: The Whore
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 06:55:49 PM »
Hi pale

Many thanks for your comments and advice. I guess I've cut all the fluff that describes their environment but neglected to cut the stuff I liked. I agree it still needs pruning.

I'm delighted that you get the piece. I may change the scene from a coffee shop to somewhere more interesting. Not sure where yet. Coffee shops are so fucking boring.

Thanks again

Vic
Never forget how important you are. God created the universe and he created writers to tell the story.