Thursday, March 3, 2011

Drop the Needle: REVELATION #9

TITLE: Circling
GENRE: Spec. Fic. Thriller

Keigh just watched a video of Emmaline, her biological mother whom she never knew. In the tape, Emmaline says she is being followed, and seems to physically transform as the tape goes to static.

The question nagging at her now was, who had been following Emmaline? And why hadn't she just gone to the police? Keigh still wasn't sure what she had seen on the tape; had Emmaline actually changed shape? Were her biological parents some kind of monsters? And if so, was she one, too?

Keigh pulled over, straddling the crossbar as one foot sank into the soft earth outside the hard-packed trail. Her throat was hot and tight. Sunlight spiked off the bike's chrome fender, its edges blurred by tears she refused to shed.

She bent forward, resting her forearms on the handlebars as she gave a name to the new emotion burgeoning inside: anger. Her parents death hadn't been an accident. They'd been murdered. Keigh looked behind her at the empty path and nodded, making up her mind. She would go it alone from this point forward. Just being around those she loved put them in jeopardy. They could get hurt, perhaps by someone -- or something -- far worse than Elliott.

Keigh hitched in a breath. Green and Pete were safe for now. And she was not going to pull Owen into this any further.

She pushed off, peddling hard until the scenic, tree-lined path ended abruptly in a concrete curb fronting the bike rental kiosk. She dismounted, walking toward the counter as she pulled a pen and paper from her purse. As she wrote, she ignored both the waiting, pimply-faced kid, and the warm tears that finally spilled over.


  1. I'm curious about why she seems to so easily believe that her parents might have been monsters (despite the visual evidence, the human mind can come up with a lot of excuses for things that don't make sense), but otherwise, I liked this a lot. I'm curious about what she is, what killed her parents, and where she's going from here. Great job.

  2. I'm assuming there were other clues to the revelation that her parents were murdered, not just that they had been followed.

    Very interested in the shape changing. I really get Keigh's determination to investigate and distance herself from anyone who might be in danger by association.

    Good, clear writing. Once I knew she was on a bike, I could picture the scene. Her emotion came through clear.

  3. You did a thorough job of describing her revelation. The imagery was well-written as well.

  4. Interesting concept. IMHO, if you looked for stronger verbs in place of passive, it would improve it but overall, I liked this very much and would read more.

    Some punctuation problems such as the first line (no comma needed there) and some rough lines ‘Just being around those she loved put’. But, dang, I loved ‘sunlight spiked off the bike’s chrome fender’. THAT is great stuff. I could feel her anxiety and confusion. Very good.

    I believe with a little editing, a good beta partner, and a little time you will have nailed it. Great promise.

  5. Interesting premise. I think this part of the 3rd paragraph could be divided off and made its own:

    Keigh looked behind her at the empty path and nodded, making up her mind. She would go it alone from this point forward. Just being around those she loved put them in jeopardy. They could get hurt, perhaps by someone -- or something -- far worse than Elliott.

    Also, there's just something about that paragraph that isn't working for me. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's the last sentence. It seems so passive, so nonchalant and she's talking about something hurting her loved ones. Maybe try breaking up that sentence into shorter ones so it packs more of a punch. Just a thought. I'm definitely intrigued here.

  6. I think you have a really interesting premise here, and this was a great revelation scene.

    My own big crit would be that I don't believe her main emotion would be anger. It seems like she would also be feeling a healthy dose of fear, especially if she believes that the people closest to her are in danger.

  7. I thought the reveal could have been bigger. Perhaps add a bit of hesitation on her part, of not wanting to believe what she saw. And then announce her mother had changed shape, that she might be a monster.

    The excerpt itself was interesting, but it lacks feeling and emotion. For example, you say she's angry, but she doesn't do a single thing that an angry person might do, so I don't feel her anger. Saying she's angry isn't enough. You have to show it.

    When she learns she might be a monster, it's just stated as a fact. What's her emotional reaction? Show it.

    Getting a bit of that kind of thing into the excerpt could make it a lot stronger.

  8. I think we're entering just *after* the reveal here, and this is perhaps the MC's reaction to it? I like the premise, though.

    Without the benefit of the reveal, the first paragraph full of questions felt, questiony. Consider changing it up a bit to get the same ideas across without all the ?s. And, how does she feel about these questions running through her mind? If she's a monster, is she afraid? Disgusted? Happy to be like her bio parents? :)

    Good luck with your WiP!