Saturday, May 06, 2017

New Beginning 1066

A small pair of black feathered wings sprouted from Kumo's back. He stepped in front of the sobbing boy who saw him as a guardian angel descending from heaven.

Crimson eyes accompanied by a series of huffs drew their attention to the hallway. Lurking on the other side of the wingless child's home was a beast whose indistinguishable silhouette watched them. Rather than to say it hid in the shadows, it instead was a living epitome of unilluminated space. Every spot of darkness was its to control. It was a blanket growing larger as it grasped at anything light couldn't reach.

More broken whimpers escaped the boy's mouth. The angel looked back, giving a warm smile. "Don't worry," he said to calm the young one's thoughts, "I'll protect you."

"B-But, it's scary!" the other one protested, referring to the beast in front of them. He didn't like scary things. In fact, he detested them.

Its claws scraped the hardwood floor as thick, black goo oozed down the walls. It enveloped the hallway in darkness until nothing but its eyes flashed.

"Harry," the Angel said to the beast, "You're scaring the boy. Can you knock it off, please?" The boy looked at the Angel, confused.

"Sorry," Harry said in a surprisingly soft, high-pitched voice, reminiscent of Mike Tyson.

The boy's fear turned to wonder, and he looked up at the Angel, still holding his hand. "You know him?"

"He's my brother."

"Isn't he a... demon?"

"We're all children of God."

"Oh," the boy said. "I thought that only applied to people. The Bible says--"

"Oh, that. That was an uncorrected proof. The final version never caught on."

Opening: Natanne Norman.....Continuation: Audra Coldiron


Evil Editor said...

P2: There's no need to call a child wingless. We assume he's wingless unless you say otherwise.

"Indistinguishable" doesn't sound right as a description of something they're looking at and are about to describe. Perhaps "amorphous" or "hazy."

It sounds like all they can see is blackness except there are crimson eyes. How do they know it's a beast?

"Rather than to say it hid in the shadows, it instead" No one suggested it hid in the shadows.

Everything after that is a pretty vivid description of darkness. How can they know anything about what's lurking down the hall? I would expect this creature of darkness to grasp at anything light reaches. If it grasps at what light can't reach, how would anyone know?

P4: No need to say "He didn't like scary things. In fact, he detested them." You've already made that clear.

P5: "until nothing but its eyes flashed." I thought its eyes were already the only thing they could see. Can they see the claws, or just hear a noise that sounds like claws scraping a hardwood floor?

Anonymous said...

Too much repetition. That's fine while you're writing, but when you edit you need to decide which words best convey what you're trying to express and get rid of the others.

Even unusually colored eyes don't generally draw attention unless you've already seen them. Are these ones glowing with enough light for it to be projecting into the room? I would guess that it's the sound (huffs) that draw their attention to the eyes. You might want to reorder that.

Is there a light at the other end of the hallway that the creature is being silhouetted against? Are the eyes glowing? If they aren't you wouldn't see them in a complete silhouette situation. If the eyes are glowing, you probably need to say so.

Envelope means to surround. Do you mean filled the hallway?

This has a very unrealistic anime sort of feel to it. I don't know if that's what you're going for.

St0n3henge said...

I agree that we just assume a child is wingless. Maybe it's odd to Kumo, but not to the reader.
"B-But, it's scary!" the other one protested, referring to the beast in front of them. He didn't like scary things. In fact, he detested them.

You really don't need this whole sentence. Obviously a darkness beast with red eyes is scary. Obviously a small child wouldn't like being scared by a darkness beast. Don't waste time telling us stuff we already know.

Kumo knows the creature has claws, probably. I assume he knows what this thing is. Still, you could just use the sound of the claws, since Kumo can't see what you've described happening. Neither can the reader.

Keep in mind the reader is not privy to things you already know. Think of your reader as an audience watching a scene. What do they see? What do they not see? What do they hear?
Also, consider what you want the reader to feel.
The angel looked back, giving a warm smile. "Don't worry," he said to calm the young one's thoughts, "I'll protect you."

This might calm the reader a little too much. If you want the scene to be scary, keep it scary. I'd suggest having the beast first, scaring the child, then Kumo shows up. Tension, resolution. Don't bring the resolution of the tension early.

Unknown said...

Thank you for all of the tips! I'll keep them in mind when editing. The book is somewhat anime-inspired, which I'm kinda glad came across.

Question: When requesting an opening critique for a book, should it only be the first chapter's opening or any one's?

Evil Editor said...

Other chapters are okay, as long as they don't require us to know stuff we'd know if we'd read the earlier chapters.