Tuesday, December 15, 2009

7 Drop the Needle


Let's see, Balicia is a Shuue'uae, a vaguely elf-like creature, the protagonist is a human named Evernow, Draembauriel is a bow, Brother is a raven, humans and Shuuen'uae are generally enemies, Balicia is very pregnant. The first sentence is talking about Balicia.

Deep crimson blossoms like a morbid flower between her full breasts. Her expression is the one of vexed consideration that I will never see again on her face. But I understand. A rifle. That was the sound.

I lunge. I throw myself at Balicia. But I’m not Shuuen’uae. I’m not fast enough. She spins as if performing a strange dance in slow motion. Then she falls, disappearing over the edge of the cliff. I nearly follow in my desperate failing attempt to catch her. Hanging precariously, I feel a faint upsweep of air from below. A charmed wind.

Balicia is still alive. It’s all I need to know. She is alive. She used wind to slow her descent. I secure Draembauriel and begin running along the cliffs edge. I can hear the trees now that I’m paying attention. They scream in whistling rattles, wailing of intruders. Of bloodshed. Brother swoops in from one side crying angrily.

I follow him when he veers right. He’ll already know how to get to the base of the cliff. Once I’m down there though, I still have to get back to where Balicia fell. I listen intently to the trees now, trusting them to tell me where my enemies are.

It takes so long. It doesn’t matter how quickly I move. It takes too long. I find blood just a few yards out from where the rock face joins the ground. But Balicia isn’t there. They’ve taken her.


  1. I'm not sure...

    I think this is well-written, but I don't know enough of the actual danger (the one who shot Balicia and pursues her) to feel any actual danger as I read. The pov character is in pursuit but not in danger.

  2. I think this is well-written. Very descriptive. I don't think you need the first "it takes so long"-just my opinion though. I liked it!

  3. I'm not feeling any sense of danger or suspense here, and I think it's because your MC doesn't seem to be feeling any.

    A friend (it seems. Possibly the mother of his child?) has just been shot. He has no reaction.

    When she falls off the cliff, you tell us he knows she is still alive, so there's nothing to worry about there. Perhaps add a sentence or two that says she may not be plunging to her death, but that doesn't mean she can't die from the rifle wound.

    He runs down to find her and you mention there are intruders, but there's no sense of them following him or even being anywhere around,(You tell us they're there, but I don't feel their presence.) there's no sense of what might happen to him if they catch him. It doesn't seem as though he's being chased at all. Perhaps give us some hints of who and where these intruders are?

    The ending sentence does create tension and suspense. "They've taken her,' makes me wonder who took her and where, and what might they do to her.

    The MC's language and tone may also contribute to the lack of suspense just because of the way he talks. It's very precise and lacks emotion. Maybe find a way to put more life into his words?

  4. Fan-freakin'-tastic.
    You had me riveted the entire time. I loved your diction, loved the way I saw it in my head. You're a great writer!

    I just wish it wasn't in present tense. But that's just a personal opinion, present tense wearies me.
    This seems like a really cool story.

  5. I think it's well done and I do sense the danger. Balicia is still alive. The MC makes it clear this is important to his cause and I believe him. There is blood on the ground. The trees are wailing. A rifle has sounded. Creatures are falling from cliffs and being stalked. The pacing is very good. Perhaps a sliver of feeling could enhance it but I wouldn't change it much.

  6. The first line threw me. I kept wondering if a flower could be morbid? And I think the simile slows down what is a truly frightening observance- a pregnant woman bleeding from her chest!

    I think "Deep crimson blossoms between her full breast" will give more immediacy and still gives us the flower image with blossom.

    And then there's the line "that I will never see again." How does the thinker know this? Is this implying that the speaker believes Balicia dead?

    Overall, I liked this. I am interested, but I didn't always feel I knew what was happening-maybe you mean to have a sense of confusion here, an almost battle scene, everything happening so fast feel. I don't get a sense of the surroundings. Maybe its just the dropping in. (The word Brother confused me for example.)Or it could be that like the above poster, I'm not a fan of first person.

  7. nicely done. Action is tense, keeps me physically in the scene. It paces well with a nice mix of action, description, character interplay. Placed me with logic into your sci fi world, which is super.

    Well done.

  8. I'm a bit confused. He knows she's dead, but then she isn't. But she's been shot in the chest and fell over a cliff. She's going to survive all of that?

    I think one of my biggest problems is trying to pronounce some of the names - they're too complicated for my feeble brain.

    But rather than danger here, I think I'm feeling suspense. Something is after them, but I don't know what it is yet.

    I might keep reading, just not quite sure with this small amount to go on.

  9. I was a little confused by this but I feel like if I had a bit more before and a bit more after, I'd be hooked. I didn't feel so much danger, but like I said, something tells me a bit more after would've taken me there. Good luck with this! :-)