Author Topic: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words  (Read 2207 times)

Offline Markopolo

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A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« on: December 09, 2016, 05:49:15 AM »
Hi Guys,

I have written this chapter and would really appreciate some feedback please.  Does it work for anyone? If not, what would you suggest to improve?

Paragraph two might not flow too well but I may be wrong.

Paragraph three is tell but It’s intentional.



Leviathan had expended enormous amounts of energy getting through the portal to earth and lay exhausted on the green carpeted floor. Humans went about their business in the office none the wiser. His demonic form unseen to them. Their stench clung to the inside of his large nostrils and forced its way down his throat. Each time one came close he gagged. His stomach twisted and wrenched. He had forgotten that his senses would be attacked like this.

    He tried to stand but didn’t have the strength. His shaking scaly arms flopped back onto the floor. An overweight human stuffing his face with food walked over the top of him oblivious. His body convulsed at the putrid, pungent tastes and smells that assaulted him. How could they eat this stuff? He wanted to unfold his wings and rip the man’s head off with his claws. Instead, it jolted him to his feet. He had to pull it together at least until he had possessed Molly Parkinson.

        The demons from hell had debated for years as to which human to use. It was supposed to be Leviathan’s choice, but in the end, Lucifer stopped the squabbling and selected her himself. Molly's job made her the perfect candidate. Leviathan was very pleased. Having access to germs and diseases at a secret lab couldn’t have been better for him. He had plans. Terrible plans for humanity. Their misuse of the antibiotic would now be their undoing.

        He knew that infusing with this wretch of a human would be unbearable, especially for a demon of his standing, but the downfall of humanity was in his hands now. It was a small price to pay. He stumbled his way to Molly’s office and waited inside.

        With the blinds closed the pokey little room was dark. Leviathan's fiery red eyes could see perfectly, though. A photo lay on her desk. An adult male, Molly and two kids, presumably her husband and offspring. Molly leant over hugging the little creatures. Smiling and happy. He was looking forward to changing that. The room was bare apart from a computer, the photo and a few odds and ends on the desk.



        His time came when Molly returned from lunch. She was anything but predictable. One o’clock precisely. Leviathan circled her as she sat at the desk, gaining strength from her essence. He fought the sickness back. He wanted to see first-hand his new form. Satisfied he opened himself to her soul. It fought back. Repelled him, but he wasn’t a young demon and had done this many times before. He called on all his strength from the darkness. Molly’s soul was larger and brighter than any he had devoured before. As his darkness descended on her, Molly’s soul jutted from her body in a ball of light and grew brighter as it fought its aggressor. All the time the pathetic woman typed obnoxiously on her keyboard. Oblivious. He reached out to her soul. Snakeheads hissed and snapped from his ten foot wings at the glowing white light. The soul's light flickered. The evil grew in strength.  Black tendrils reached out and began to wrap themselves around it. Slowly at first. Then more. Whipping and lashing. Strangling. Crushing.  The light fought to stay alive in vain. The darkness took its opportunity and snapped itself around the weekend soul, and in an instant, it was gone.

       Leviathan’s body jerked and became rigid. His head thrown back staring upwards. The familiar surge of ecstasy tinged with disgust pulled at him from Molly’s human body. He wanted to resist, just for a while. To let the feeling course through his black blood for just a moment longer. History had taught otherwise. The gateway was open for only a short time. Then it would snap shut just as quickly and would be lost to him forever. The feeling surged through his whole body. He drew in a deep breath and let go.   

      When he opened his eyes, he was sitting at the desk. Feeble pink hands in place of his black claws. The light stabbed at him; it was extremely bright through a human's weak eyes. At least the stench wasn’t as bad. His demonic form was superior in every way to this pink sack he now controlled. He stretched out his skinny fingers and lifted a pen from the desk. A world of difference from the flaming sword he usually wielded. It would take him time to get used to the change. It always did. 

      He stood on shaky legs. Possessions took a lot of strength out of the human body. He walked to the mirror flinching at the grotesque sight. There were no black horns, no burning red eyes. Just a pale face with greying hair. Pathetic. As ugly a sight as he had ever seen. His home for the foreseeable future.    

      It was time to start moving forward with his plan. He would give this body a few hours to acclimatise first. Molly worked for Y-Corp, so he busied himself with learning as much about what they did as possible. Leviathan instantly had her memories and knowledge but had to scan through them in his mind to process and assimilate. He learned they were working hard at producing drugs to combat germs and viruses. The antibiotic was about to stop saving human lives. All that knowledge was his. He would create something so horrible and deadly. A new disease. It would be devastating. Like the plague all over again. Only unstoppable this time. His lips lifted upwards in an awkward smile. Demons didn't smile. His heart rate increased at the thought of bringing humanity to its knees. 

      The door knocked. Leviathan was startled out of Molly’s memories. He waited. Again, a knock at the door.

      “Come in,” Molly’s high pitched voice called out.

      It was the large human who had trampled over him in his demonic state. A hunger rose inside him. Heat burned from his stomach. Warmer and warmer. The urge to kill overtook him. He stood and felt the muscles in his body coil. His demonic strength was now flowing through Molly's body.

      The fat man lurched forward. “Hi, Molly. Just checking you still haven’t had any mail sent here by mistake. We still can't find it. Same person Lucy Fer?” He stood with a smile on his face. Like some stupid puppy dog.

      The name Lucy Fer stopped Leviathan from smashing the fat man’s skull in with the glass paperweight he had picked up. He calmed himself.
“You are a follower?” he snapped.
 
      The fat man’s smile dropped along with his jaw. He stood open-mouthed. Staring.

      Leviathan banged the paperweight down. The sound was enough to bring the man round. He immediately dropped to his knees. Head bowed. Leviathan could see a tattoo on the nape of the man’s neck. A symbol of the occult.

      “I have been monitoring this woman for the last three days waiting for you to arrive master.” His head remained bowed, and he stared at the floor.

      “Get up and close the door.”

       With the door closed, Leviathan sat. The fat man was about to walk over when Leviathan raised his arm. "Don’t come any closer, human. Your smell sticks in my throat."

       "Yes, Master."

       "My name is Molly. Master identifies me to our enemies." He glowered at him. "Have you a name?"

       "Yes, mas...Molly. Clark. My name is Clark." He stood wringing his hands together.

       "Don't worry, Clark. I will not eat you. Not yet," he said trying out his smile again.

       "Where are the Artefacts?” He had a glint in his eye.

       “Safe. I’ve taken care of them personally.” Clark cracked a small smiled.

       Leviathan nodded. “Bring them to me tonight. We have a few days before Molly’s husband and children return. Gives me a few days to work out what to do with them.” His eyes changed. They looked cold, dark and he stared at Clark with intent.  “And the Seeker?”

       “We know him. And the Keeper. We’ve been watching them for weeks.” Clark shifted his feet under Leviathans gaze.

       “We shall discuss our first move tonight. Bring your most trusted followers with you. Now leave me alone.” He waved a hand at the door. Clark needed not to be told twice.

       As the door closed Leviathan sat back in the chair. “This time Seeker you will perish at my hands.”

hillwalker3000

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 09:01:16 AM »
I'll comment as I read through as usual:

Your opening sentence is rather lengthy since we're asked to absorb at least three separate pieces of information. Leviathan is exhausted. He has travelled through a portal. He's lying on a carpeted floor (not sure 'green' has any relevance. My first thought was that he was lying on grass.) You need to decide what's most important plot-wise at this point in the story. It's either the fact that he's exhausted - or that he has just arrived on Earth (the planet always has a capital E). The less important of the two can be introduced later in the paragraph. The carpet is probably inconsequential since we discover shortly after that he's in an office.

You also have a POV issue if this is being written in close third person with Leviathan as the MC.
Humans went about their business in the office none the wiser.
How does he know this? Presumably it's because his demonic form is invisible, in which case you need to perhaps incorporate this into the same sentence.

You continue in Leviathan's POV describing what he smells and feels. But then there's a sentence that makes no sense.
Each time one came close he gagged.
'one' refers to the humans but as it stands you refer to them in sentence 2 then there's no direct mention of humans again until sentence 5. Flow is all about sentence order. By switching focus so many times the reader starts to lose confidence in the narrative.

The same goes for paragraph 2. The opening two sentences are about Leviathan. Then an overweight human. Then 'his body convulsed'. Whose body? The human's?
And again further down :
    He wanted to unfold his wings and rip the man’s head off with his claws. Instead, it jolted him to his feet. He had to pull it together at least until he had possessed Molly Parkinson.
I have no idea what 'it' is referring to, or whether both 'its' refer to the same thing.

Personally I'd trim this pair down to a single paragraph since you're covering the same points regarding how he's offended by the smell of humans. The Molly Parkinson reveal is a hook to grab our attention so might also work best in the opening paragraph.

Paragraph 3 is all tell and I found it jarring to say the least. Do I care at this stage in the plot how or why Molly was chosen? No. Am I intrigued by the 'access to germs and diseases at a secret lab' or 'the misuse of the antibiotic'? No. I don't even understand what any of that has to do with the story. Dumping a load of complicated facts into a paragraph like this is a lazy way to provide context, especially when you obviously know what's going on and expect the reader to catch on in the space of 77 words. You have to be far more subtle than this. Once the discerning reader recognises that the story's on hold while he's being fed a series of facts alarm bells could well begin to ring. Note that I used the term 'discerning reader' (aka 'your fellow-writers on MWC') since many readers won't notice. Personally I'd again pick out the most pertinent details and drip-feed them into the storyline in such a way that they're invisible to the naked eye.

We then return to the plot apart from a short paragraph where he reflects on the situation. This acts as a speed bump and hardly earns its keep. You're meant to keep coaxing the plot forwards whenever possible.

Then the paragraph describing the office - the photograph - and the office again. You keep jumping from one focal point to another and again it interrupts the flow. Quite why we need to be told twice that there's a photo in the room, I'm not sure. The easiest fix is to bring the final sentence forward and establish that there's a photo on the desk one time only.

But then there's a very awkward transition to when Molly returns from lunch. Firstly you contradict yourself by telling us she arrives back at precisely one o'clock (so presumably that means she is predictable). Then we have the actual possession of Molly's soul. I found it very difficult to picture how this works. It seems horrifically convoluted. You add so many random details that we haven't been told about until now - 'her essence' - 'the gateway'. It's hard work keeping up. I also assume her 'weekend soul' was actually 'weakened'.

So essentially Leviathan enters Molly's body and inhabits it in order to join the 'human world' and carry out some demonic plot. I'd suggest there's an easier way to get this across to the reader.

Possessions took a lot of strength out of the human body.
Uh? I read this to mean possessions like shoes and handbags and laptops etc.
He walked to the mirror flinching at the grotesque sight.
She has a mirror in her office? You haven't mentioned it until now. . . I thought the room was virtually bare.

 He would give this body a few hours to acclimatise first.
Again, I'm not getting what you mean. Molly's body has presumably already 'acclimatised' since she's always worked there.

Molly worked for Y-Corp, so he busied himself with learning as much about what they did as possible. Leviathan instantly had her memories and knowledge but had to scan through them in his mind to process and assimilate.
Clunky - you insert this fact as if you've just come up with it - and it reads as if he busies himself because she works for this company (a non-existent cause and effect). And he 'busies himself' yet he's also able to assimilate all her memories 'instantly'. That suggests he wasn't busying for long.

We then have more reflection, woven with more telling, followed by:
      The door knocked.
How odd.

      “Come in,” Molly’s high pitched voice called out.
By now we get it. Leviathan is Molly so there's no need to keep hammering home the point.

      The fat man lurched forward. “Hi, Molly. Just checking you still haven’t had any mail sent here by mistake. We still can't find it.
Why 'still' x 2?

      The name Lucy Fer stopped Leviathan from smashing the fat man’s skull in with the glass paperweight he had picked up. He calmed himself.
“You are a follower?” he snapped.

Oh dear. This is such a cliché plot device.

And the layers of complications continue - a 'follower' who's actually been expecting Leviathan to show - 'the occult' - 'the Artefacts' - 'the Seeker' - 'the Keeper'.
Good grief.

There's a world of difference between a complex plot with lots of twists and turns where the reader is still able to work out what's going on and a grossly over-complicated tale where we're left floundering at the number of random terms that are supposed to mean something to us. I feel you're trying to tell us way too much way too soon. I'll let you work out for yourself the best way forward.

H3K

Offline Markopolo

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 09:22:21 AM »
Thanks H3k.

A lot to go over. I'll have a good look over the weekend hopefully.

Well spotted I also assume her 'weekend soul' was actually 'weakened'. 

Possessions took a lot of strength out of the human body.
Uh? I read this to mean possessions like shoes and handbags and laptops etc.
  - I will re word this.

Mirror point taken. Missed that.

I really liked the scene where Leviathan possess Molly. I want to keep it. Any suggestions on how to make that work better?

hillwalker3000

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 09:59:38 AM »

I really liked the scene where Leviathan possess Molly. I want to keep it. Any suggestions on how to make that work better?

Trim it - and trim it some more. Focus on one or two points that are the essence of how it feels to Leviathan and that way you'll avoid trying to say the same thing two or three different ways . . . also maybe bring it in earlier in the chapter so it stands out as a pivotal part of the plot. At the moment it's just something else that happened along the way.

H3K

Offline Markopolo

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 10:03:21 AM »
Thanks - I'll give it a try.

Offline Markopolo

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 10:27:24 AM »
LOL - Just realised what I have done here - She was anything but predictable. One o’clock precisely.

What a plumb. Not what I meant obviously.

Offline Emery

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 02:50:24 PM »
Fantasy is not usually a genre I read, so I can't speak on the originality, but I liked the concept. I find the POV of the antagonist (I'm assuming) interesting. Like h3k said, you need to trust your writing a bit more. You make a statement or an image and then you double down on it. Let the story and your words speak and lose the need to explain.

Readers of fantasy may enjoy it, but I found the entire possession paragraph slow and pointless. If it's a genre thing, then ignore, but I would either dispense with it quickly or make it more personal. A lot of light and darkness and not enough emotion.

And the constant description of the demon wears thin. I rolled my eyes with when he studied his human form and made comment on the flaming sword and horns. Also, Lucy Fer is just awful. I don't know any way the tactfully put that.

The good, trim it up, lose the repetition of similar images (Strunk and White is a good reference here), get rid of the kitschy stuff, and I would keep reading.
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Offline Markopolo

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 08:49:27 AM »
Hi Emery,

Thanks for the crit. Have to say I agree with everything you have said.

I have to chuckle now at Lucy Fer. Not the most inventive I have ever been.

I am looking at the possession paragraph. H3K mentioned the same thing.

I have a habit of maybe overwriting as you suggest. The bad thing is I can never see it. Can you please point some of it out to me. I really would like to get a grip on it.

I was also looking at some advice you gave on another crit which I will be looking at using. - I always like to give some concrete advice. The best way I can do this is describe what I did to overcome, or attempt to overcome, the same issues. First, I would go through any work and underline adverbs and adjectives. Are they needed? And if so, could I replace with a better noun or verb? Next, I would highlight 'was'. Many times it will precede a telling event or evidence of poorly constructed descriptions. eg John was slightly disturbed. You simply told the reader something you should've shown. Not that all telling is necessarily bad and needs to be used to not drag down the pace, but you need to make a conscious decision about it. One more and then I'm done. Bracket your modifying phrases and treat them the same way as adjectives and adverbs. Are they needed? Do they add anything?

I really like this and will give it a go myself.

So thanks

MP

Offline Emery

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 01:02:23 PM »
The reasons I have those things during editing are 1. I get overwhelmed when editing a piece if I just try to 'make it better' and 2. Those are the things that I suck at.  The word of warning is that this might not be what you need and I don't want to send you in a wrong direction. I would recommend finding a piece of the craft, say something as general as characterization, and reading on it.

But, since you asked, something I do when reading my own work after I've done all the nitpicky things like the adjectives etc. is to ask myself what each sentence or phrase does. So:

He stood on shaky legs Here, two things stand out. One is the adjective which I think is needed. Without, the meaning of the sentence changes. The other is that there are 5 words and two begin with 's' with two letters separating. Not a bad thing, but I actively try to avoid alliteration. Possessions took a lot of strength out of the human body Red flags here. You're in close 3rd POV so even though you have the psychic distance to play with, this is a big change. The bigger issues are 1. this is the author telling the reader something, not Leviathan and 2. you already told the reader in the previous sentence. There's no reason use exposition to just hammer a point home. If you're unsure that the reader will get this point, then strengthen the first sentence. Show us he's fatigued.. He walked to the mirror flinching at the grotesque sight Here, the verb walked is too weak for someone that is supposedly exhausted. Stumbled? Also, even though it might be correct in sequence of action, flinching is less active than flinched. It's representing concurrent action and it's difficult for me to visualize some flinching while actively walking. This is something that's probably just me.. There were no black horns, no burning red eyes. Just a pale face with greying hair. Pathetic. As ugly a sight as he had ever seen. His home for the foreseeable future. Personally, I don't think you need the black horns or burning red eyes. First, it's a cliché. Second, I like leaving descriptions minimal. Remember that reading is a shared experience and the reader will already at this point have an image of the demon in their mind's eye. It may not have red eyes or horns, but it will be something horrifying. Throwing this is now forced me to change the image in my mind and made it cartoonish. Also, a negative is hard to visualize. There is also no unicorns or rainbows. I would start with a concrete image--pale face and greying hair. This adds something and helps me get an image of Molly. Then take it down to the demon's reaction. Pathetic. As ugly...isn't needed either. The reader is seeing the demon's thoughts with pathetic, why add the next line? It doesn't add anything you haven't already shown in emotional response.

I'm not sure if this is what you were looking for. In particular, though, I would look at your individual sentences and make sure they are doing some sort of work. If not, cut it.   
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Offline RamblingRose

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 02:37:56 PM »
You've had good advice already. For my part, I like the idea, but I'm not sure you get close enough in the POV to the MC to draw us in. I'd like to hear Leviathan's voice a bit more, rather than the author narrating.

Some parts didn't seem quite 'in-character', or logical for the plot:
For example - He had forgotten that his senses would be attacked like this. It seemed unlikely to me that Leviathan himself would "forget", or was even capable of such a human weakness. Later on you make it more that he knew it wasn't going to be pleasant, but it would be worth it, which makes more sense as a motivation.

The demons from hell had debated for years as to which human to use. Really? Aren't they omnipotent beings, or close to it? All powerful and all-knowing - why would there be such a human conundrum?

Molly worked for Y-Corp, so he busied himself with learning as much about what they did as possible. Leviathan instantly had her memories and knowledge but had to scan through them in his mind to process and assimilate. He learned they were working hard at producing drugs to combat germs and viruses. The antibiotic was about to stop saving human lives. All that knowledge was his. He would create something so horrible and deadly. A new disease. It would be devastating. Like the plague all over again. Only unstoppable this time. His lips lifted upwards in an awkward smile. Demons didn't smile. His heart rate increased at the thought of bringing humanity to its knees.  And this part - I would have thought Leviathan would know all this already - isn't that why Molly has been chosen? Doesn't seem logical that having gone through years of debate as to the right human, he then needs to scroll through her brain to work out what she knows. I get that this is part of the central plot, but I think the reader can live without knowing the actual plan for a while longer. You need to find a more natural way to drip this into the story as it goes along.

So - I'm not sure if you've fully settled on whether these are traditional all powerful demons, or a more human version of them, with very human weaknesses. Neil Gaiman does the latter wonderfully in 'Good Omens', but I'm not sure that's what you're going for here. It felt like you wanted the former, and if so I think you really have to go for it and whole-heartedly make them properly demonic, without being a cliche.

As to the overworking which has been mentioned: I've highlighted all the times that we're told in the first section that Leviathan finds humans disgusting - it's too many - as a reader it's a bit like being hit over the head with the information! There's a difference between weaving an image through a story, and just repeating yourself, and I'm afraid at the moment, this is the latter. Reading out loud is the best way to pick up these repetitions - they become much more obvious.

Final thought - does this start in the right place? Do we need to see Leviathan crash land on the carpet, or could we jump straight in to him possessing Molly? Just a thought.

Good luck!

Leviathan had expended enormous amounts of energy getting through the portal to earth and lay exhausted on the green carpeted floor. Humans went about their business in the office none the wiser. His demonic form unseen to them. Their stench clung to the inside of his large nostrils and forced its way down his throat. Each time one came close he gagged. His stomach twisted and wrenched. He had forgotten that his senses would be attacked like this.

    He tried to stand but didn’t have the strength. His shaking scaly arms flopped back onto the floor. An overweight human stuffing his face with food walked over the top of him oblivious. His body convulsed at the putrid, pungent tastes and smells that assaulted him. How could they eat this stuff? He wanted to unfold his wings and rip the man’s head off with his claws. Instead, it jolted him to his feet. He had to pull it together at least until he had possessed Molly Parkinson.

        The demons from hell had debated for years as to which human to use. It was supposed to be Leviathan’s choice, but in the end, Lucifer stopped the squabbling and selected her himself. Molly's job made her the perfect candidate. Leviathan was very pleased. Having access to germs and diseases at a secret lab couldn’t have been better for him. He had plans. Terrible plans for humanity. Their misuse of the antibiotic would now be their undoing.

        He knew that infusing with this wretch of a human would be unbearable, especially for a demon of his standing, but the downfall of humanity was in his hands now. It was a small price to pay. He stumbled his way to Molly’s office and waited inside.

        With the blinds closed the pokey little room was dark. Leviathan's fiery red eyes could see perfectly, though. A photo lay on her desk. An adult male, Molly and two kids, presumably her husband and offspring. Molly leant over hugging the little creatures. Smiling and happy. He was looking forward to changing that. The room was bare apart from a computer, the photo and a few odds and ends on the desk.



        His time came when Molly returned from lunch. She was anything but predictable. One o’clock precisely. Leviathan circled her as she sat at the desk, gaining strength from her essence. He fought the sickness back. He wanted to see first-hand his new form. Satisfied he opened himself to her soul. It fought back. Repelled him, but he wasn’t a young demon and had done this many times before. He called on all his strength from the darkness. Molly’s soul was larger and brighter than any he had devoured before. As his darkness descended on her, Molly’s soul jutted from her body in a ball of light and grew brighter as it fought its aggressor. All the time the pathetic woman typed obnoxiously on her keyboard. Oblivious. He reached out to her soul. Snakeheads hissed and snapped from his ten foot wings at the glowing white light. The soul's light flickered. The evil grew in strength.  Black tendrils reached out and began to wrap themselves around it. Slowly at first. Then more. Whipping and lashing. Strangling. Crushing.  The light fought to stay alive in vain. The darkness took its opportunity and snapped itself around the weekend soul, and in an instant, it was gone.

       Leviathan’s body jerked and became rigid. His head thrown back staring upwards. The familiar surge of ecstasy tinged with disgust pulled at him from Molly’s human body. He wanted to resist, just for a while. To let the feeling course through his black blood for just a moment longer. History had taught otherwise. The gateway was open for only a short time. Then it would snap shut just as quickly and would be lost to him forever. The feeling surged through his whole body. He drew in a deep breath and let go.   

      When he opened his eyes, he was sitting at the desk. Feeble pink hands in place of his black claws. The light stabbed at him; it was extremely bright through a human's weak eyes. At least the stench wasn’t as bad. His demonic form was superior in every way to this pink sack he now controlled. He stretched out his skinny fingers and lifted a pen from the desk. A world of difference from the flaming sword he usually wielded. It would take him time to get used to the change. It always did.


Offline Oceaxe

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 06:10:57 AM »
You've been exhaustively critted already, which saves me the trouble, though I love weekend for weakened - spell-checkers are like unruly children, they need watching. So here are my considered thoughts:

1. Why do we care? We need someone to like and about whose fate we care. Presumably Molly will in due course fulfil that role but there's not much sign of a friendly face yet. The photo is a move in that direction, I accept, and maybe you have ideas to develop that.

2. I'm not a fan of fantasy and the main reason is I can't sympathise with superhuman creatures, be they wizards or trolls (unless you give them some human frailty I can sympathise with). The alien despises humanity, fair enough, so do I when I see the news some nights, so how are you going to make it either sympathetic or terrifying? If terrifying then you're after stirring up primal fears and insecurities in the reader and all I can say is good luck with that!

3. As has been already mentioned, to carry the reader into your complicated, rather political, plot you need to tidy up a few things. So here's a suggestion; why not have the alien a reluctant protagonist? Given the job because nobody else wanted it? Filled with resentment towards his fellow dark angels as well as disgust for humanity? Bingo, your human angle!

As always, good luck.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

Offline Markopolo

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Re: A new chapter in need of feedback - 1399 words
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 08:43:32 AM »
@RamblingRose - Thank you so much for pointing the repetition out. I see it clearly now. Now i can actually see it I realise that it was nagging at the back of my brain the whole time.

I wanted to go for a more human version of the demon. I may need to revisit this.

The opening I am going to change to the possession. H3K mentioned this also - good advice.

@Oceaxe - The reluctance side of things I hadn't thought about. I also like this. I will give that some thought as it could work better.

Thanks everyone.