Thursday, November 13, 2008

10 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: The Faithful
GENRE: Science Fiction


Water.

As Raine opened his eyes, he could feel it creeping in.

*

Dodging to the left, Raine pushed off the table, ignoring the shattering glass to his left. A shout rang out from his right. He spun on his heels, slipping on the freshly spilled whiskey, narrowly avoiding a hard blow to his jaw. The breeze nicked at his skin, setting the nerves afire. Planting his foot, Raine came to a full stop and prepared for the next blow.

The curved lamps along the walls spilled golden light along the hunter green paint. The scent of stale smoke hung in the air, coating everything like the taste of a lover’s lips long after they’re gone. Somewhere off in the distance, laughter and conversation had once filled the building but had fallen away in light of the fight. Now hushed whispers flooded the air, silently dictating the brawl - issuing forth condemnations for their actions while envying their lack of inhibition.

Covered in darkness, Turrell raised himself from the floor. His face appeared for a mere second, wincing visibly from pain. His hair covered his forehead in a messy tangle of light brown. A single ray of light ran along his face as he moved past it. His suit, stained with liquor and newly shattered glass, shed the shards as he rose to his feet. Droplets of blood formed on his palms. He clenched his fists, causing the blood to rush from the wounds all the quicker.

11 comments:

sraasch said...

I'm not sure. There's a lot of description of liquor and lights. I'm much more curious as to why Raine felt water creeping in, and not at all concerned about the fight. Cutting some of the description to speed things up might help.

Sponge said...

Ah... there's a pov shift here (Raine to Turrell), which left me a little confused. Unless of course Turrell is his last name...

I like your descriptions though. :)

Marilynn Byerly said...

Where Raine is needs to be clearer from the first. The bar room doesn't need to be described fully, just let the reader know he's in a bar.

The emotion is also unclear. Is this a friendly bar fight? Is he fighting for his life against some horrible enemy?

Since this is sf, is the enemy human? Is he on Earth?

Sarah Erber said...

I'm a bit confused but intrigued.

I would at least read the second page.

Windsong said...

Not sure. I liked the beginning, but I'd suggest adding just a smidgen more detail before going back in time. I don't really care for fight scenes, but would be willing to read a little more.

Karen Duvall said...

Not hooked, sorry. For an action scene, there's a lot of slow motion going on. Smells and sights that would typically go unnoticed if someone were fighting for survival. Also the metaphors are mixed and create strange impressions. Breezes don't nick. Stale smoke that's like the lingering taste of a lover's lips? Eww... And then to describe sounds that aren't even there anymore. I like your effort at using all the senses, its just that they're misplaced.

Lori said...

It's well written, but the influx of descriptions take away from the action, so that the fight seems more of an afterthought than the main attraction. I;d recommend short, punchy sentences, and trimming the descriptions back for a later point in the story where they're not taking away from the main tension/conflict.

sally apokedak said...

Action but no conflict. A fight but we don't know what it's about so why care?

The descriptions have a lot of promise. Can you start two paragraphs earlier, maybe, to tell us who this guy is and why he's fighting?

Secret Agent said...

The line about the water seems to have nothing to do with the rest of the excerpt.

The rest of it is really an exercise in confusion, evoking more style than real mastery craft and substance.

He's covered in darkness but the room is full of curved lamps spilling golden light?

And this: "Somewhere off in the distance, laughter and conversation had once filled the building but had fallen away in light of the fight. Now hushed whispers flooded the air, silently dictating the brawl - issuing forth condemnations for their actions while envying their lack of inhibition." is about as purple as purple prose gets.

Ultimately, the reader really has no idea what's going on other than punches being thrown.

shelli said...

Not hooked. After Raine stopped and prepared for the next blow, I fully expected the next paragraph to describe the next punch in what I figured to be a fight scene, but all I get is a description of the bar and the lamps. This does not flow well at all.

And the sentence with the suit ... did the suit shed the shards of glass? or did Turrell shed it with his hands causing him to bleed?

Scribess said...

I also liked a lot of the descriptions, but the opening line and then the break confused me, as did the POV shift. I think whether I'd keep reading would depend on my mood--if I'm willing to puzzle things out or not.