Wednesday, May 13, 2009

42 Secret Agent

TITLE: "Vampire, The Unwilling"
GENRE Fiction

"Was it just the icy mist of the cold September air, breezing off of the nearby

graveyard, a stench enticing only to those of the Hemo-sapien type, as I call, what I

disdain to associate with, our kind?" Echo the words of a staunch, dark-haired man,

standing solitary, a shadow hovering over his face, his chilling stare piercing through

the walls of the old musty, decrepit house he stands in front of. Staring as if in a

trance, he doesn’t waver as the cold wind flaps the bottom of his black trench coat

violently against his shins, as if in an effort to rip the coat away from him. His skin,

apparently once bronzed, is now pale and streaked with veins which show through

the transparency. Chaz, more properly, Chazarus Montebarone III, a man hardened

outwardly, fights against a choice, or is it his fate he faces now. He’s now a man

pulled in many directions by love, tugged as if by wild horses, straining as he fights

against his own heart.

"Crazy though I may be to even call it love, or is it raw lust disguised?" He

reflects, envisioning a captivating young woman, slight of build, graceful, her lips

moist and supple, pink-red like the roses that still bloom in the yard as if some

mysterious caretaker has nurtured them for years. His eyes refocus, blinking as he

touches a rose next to him. Rose bushes array the entrance to the old house. He

continues to envision her


  1. Not hooked.

    Your sentences are a mouthful. The first one is 18 words long - 52 words long if you include the "Echo...." part which reads as if it's part of the sentence.

    That's 1/5 of your first page.

  2. Too many details. Leave out some of the unnecessary words and let us know sooner what is going on with the story.

  3. Whoa, there is way too much going on here. It's impossible to get into because the reader is constantly tripped up by things like 'icy mist of the cold September' and 'skin, apparently once bronzed, is now pale...'

    First of all, how do you know it used to be 'bronzed' before they became pale? Generally pale people don't have 'hints' of their former tan; they're either tan or not. There are varying degrees of a tan, dark, light, medium, everything in between, but it's things like that that stop the reader from getting into it.

    And I must register a complaint with the name Chazarus Montebarone III just for general purposes.

  4. What's with the quotes? Is this being told to someone? If this is how they talk, I already don't like them.

    I agree, wayyyyyy too much detail and not enough action. Try taking out every word that ends in -ing and -ly and every "as if" phrases.

  5. I'm afraid I have to agree with everyone. I hate to repeat the same things but the length of the sentences tripped me up every time. A little variety in the length would help a great deal.

    Is there supposed to be an "or" somewhere in the first line. Or it's missing a verb.

    "a stench enticing only to those of the Hemo-sapien type, as I call, what I"--Is there supposed to something after the word "call"? Did you mean "call them".

  6. No.... I'm sorry. I think I spotted a couple typos, and there is telling / tense problems.

  7. Not hooked. It's too wordy and over the top. Plus, something told in present tense needs to be really good otherwise to pull me in. This didn't feel intense enough to justify present tense. Sorry.

  8. I feel like you are telling me a lot of information but not showing me anything in regards to the plot or the character. Your sentences are too long. You have a lot of adjectives that you need to cut out. I also have no idea what is happening. There isn't any action to speak of.

  9. Some of the imagery is interesting and I can appreciate the term "Hemo-sapien" but, sorry, this is a "no" for me, as well.

    Is this a matter of format problems or inexperience? I see a lot of problems with missing words, tense, sentence structure, punctuation...

  10. Wow. This is very unique. I'm not sure it's good unique or not.

    A lot of your sentences are inverted, with the subject at the end. Makes the reader work harder to figure out what you're telling us.

    And telling is the operative word here. Instead of showing us, you're telling us about this guy.

    The style reminds me of writing from an earlier era, like the late 1800s (although I'm no literary scholar).

    You might want to rethink how you present this.

  11. For some reason, I think of Hamlet, and one of his introspective monologues when I read this. Mainly because the main character seems to be talking to himself and the narrative is self indulgent.

    It has a very literary whimsical style, but it's a bit heavy on the prose. It sounds more like an old style love letter this man may write to a lover.

    I'm assuming you were trying to capture the vampire's way of thinking and how he speaks, but this is hurting your opening. You may want to try and convey his age a different way, like in his mannerisms and actions instead of in the prose itself.

    Hope this helps!

  12. This has basic mechanics issues that pull me out immediately (comma placement, capitalization). Beyond that, the overlong sentences and flowery language make the prose unwieldy. I get the impression that you're writing in the style of a prose-poem, which is nice for the soulful vampire character, but you're going to need more than that to hook readers on the first page.

  13. I would reconsider opening with dialogue in this instance. It actually doesn't sound like dialogue and it totally pulled me out of the story. That's not to say this isn't a good novel, I just wasn't able to get into it personally with its current beginning. Good luck with it.

  14. Wow! I was so tempted to count all the prepositional phrases here but I made myself stop.

    The length of the first sentence immediately turned me off, first, because it was so long, second because I don't believe anyone ever spoke that way in the history of mankind, and third, because that sentence could never echo. You might catch parts of it, but the entire sentence - never.

    I will say the last paragraph was much better than the rest, but sorry, not hooked.

  15. Unfortunately my main comment is that this is overwritten ... and confusing. I don't have any idea who this guy is. There are a lot of words, but they don't tell me much. I get the feeling of a very old man who speaks in a weird way, but beyond that, I'm lost. Part of it may be the extremely long sentences?

    I hope this helps and good luck!

  16. I had a hard time reading this, whether it came from simple formatting problems, or you deliberately chose it. I had to read it twice and I still stumbled over way too many things to want to keep going.

    The quotes seem old world, but the narration is almost too casual and it jarred me.

    I'm not hooked. Reminded me too much of "It was a dark and stormy night..."

  17. Quote from the sample: "...Chaz, more properly, Chazarus Montebarone III, a man hardened
    outwardly, fights against a choice, or is it his fate he faces now. He’s now a man pulled in many directions by love, tugged as if by wild horses, straining as he fights against his own heart...."

    You've written a ton of pretty words but they don't really say anything. To me, this almost reads like poetry.

    What does a "man pulled in many directions by love, tugged by wild horses, and fighting his heart," MEAN?

    I have no sense of the character. In simple, plain language, what does he want, and how can you show that?

    I suggest forgetting reading literary books for a while and start reading straight up commercial fiction, to discover examples of how to make your writing clear.

    Good luck!

  18. I'm not hooked by this at all.

    It's almost unreadable due to the formatting issues.

    Besides that, your sentences are complete run-ons, and you have a serious comma abuse problem. I would suggest starting from the basics and really refining your writing craft.

  19. Unfortunately, I submitted this with double spacing in my email. When it got copied and pasted into this blog, it really threw apart my paragraph formatting.

    Thank you to all of you that gave constructive advice. And thank you, Secret Agent Jenny, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your expertise.