Monday, June 05, 2017

Feedback Request

The author of the opening featured in New Beginning 1067 and more recently appearing here, requests feedback on the following attempt to hook you:

Victor jammed the bone china dolls into the freshly dug grave, determined to bury them properly. He sucked in chilly night air and willed himself to breathe—in, out, in, out. Rain stung his skin and weeds brushed against the headstones, making the Old Jewish Cemetery look like a scene from Victor’s horror movie collection. Hopefully, he wouldn’t end up being one of the characters that died.

Sometimes two evil souls possessed toys, creating strzygas—spirit-demons who were hungry for blood and insides. The dolls had attacked Victor on his trip through Prague, probably thinking he was an easy target since he was twelve and short. But getting eaten wasn’t on his to-do list. 

The boy strzyga screamed and swung his arms like a tantrum-throwing baby. Scrambling to hold him down, Victor wanted to scream, too. Dolls creeped him out even when they weren’t possessed. The girl strzyga lurched and sank two sets of teeth into Victor’s wrist. He jerked, pain shooting up his arm. His knees slid through the mud; he almost tumbled into the grave.

For a moment, Victor wasn’t so determined anymore.


I like the first paragraph. I would add the word "two" in front of "bone china dolls."

I would make the third paragraph the second paragraph, changing the word "strzyga" to "doll."

I would hold off on the second paragraph until the excitement is over and the dolls have been neutralized. And remove the word "two," as it just makes me wonder why one evil soul or three evil souls can't possess toys, and you don't want to get into that here.


Claudia_Witter said...

Thank you. This helped a lot, especially holding off on that third paragraph until the excitement is over.

khazar-khum said...

Aren't strzygas a kind of Polish vampire? Why not call them that?

Claudia_Witter said...

Yeah, they are--people with two souls, two sets of teeth, and two hearts that eat blood and insides. But my take on them was a little different. Instead of people, these are toys possessed by two evil spirits, so calling them vampires would probably confuse people.