Friday, November 28, 2014

(8) Supernatural Thriller: SEEPS THE DARKNESS

TITLE: Seeps the Darkness
GENRE: Supernatural Thriller

Reticent Jamie is desperate to escape the demonic, reptilian monster that's forcing her to work as Madame of its escort service and torture and kill the clients. To free herself before her soul’s devoured and she actually comes to enjoy her sadistic role, she must enlist the help of a Hunter who has sworn to kill her, too.

Standing at the back door to the men’s club, Jamie said a silent prayer to the God she no longer believed in: please let selling sex be my only crime tonight. She tensed and eased the door open to a fog of voices and the clink of glasses. Stepping through, she rested a hand on the cool leather of the bar and scanned the room.

No sign of him.

With a sigh of relief, Jamie straightened her business skirt and pulled on her manager’s face. She strode across the floor taking stock of her staff as they prepared for the evening’s clientele. The bartender pulled down glasses, expensive crystal sending hard shards of light across the bar’s gleaming wood surface. A gaggle of girls headed back to change, their young faces glowing, ample curves straining against their street clothes.

Nodding hello, Jamie crossed her arms over her own inadequate bosom as they passed. She walked to the table they had vacated. The New York Times lay folded on it, the headline blaring “Brandon Rander Under Investigation for Bribery.” Below it, a picture splashed Brandon’s familiar face and balding head. He had one hand up in a vain attempt to hold the photographer at bay.

Jamie hugged herself tighter. It’s started.

Behind her, the elevator bell dinged. She turned and the doors opened to reveal Sinder, his blond hair looking greasier than usual. Tall and spare, Sinder appeared to be about thirty-five, pale and sharp featured. Seeing her, he advanced. Her stomach squirmed, hope for a normal night fading with his every step.


  1. There is so much I love about this first page. The sense of immediacy, the use of sensory language, the fact your main character has an "inadequate bosom" instead of being a paragon of female perfection. She feels genuine, and that makes the danger creeping up on her feel genuine. Beautifully done.

    The one tweak I would make is the description of Sinder. This is, one would assume, someone she has seen many times. So why is she taking stock of his appearance now, in this moment? It feels like it's for the convenience of the reader, and is further weakened by the phrase "appeared to be." Try using stronger language there, and give her a reason to take note. Maybe he's parting his hair differently. Maybe she formed a less repulsive picture of him in her mind and every time she sees him in real life his grotesqueness shatters it.

    Organic descriptions pull us deeper into your character's POV and make it easier to lose ourselves in the narrative.

    Really though, this the strongest first page I've read today. Absolutely brilliant.

  2. I love your premise--definitely not something I've seen before. There was a lot I liked about the excerpt, but I wanted to get more of what Jamie was feeling. Based on the logline and the "please let selling sex be my only crime tonight" line, I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the torture and killing of clients had already started, and that whoever Jamie was looking for when she went into the club (Sinder?) had something to do with this. So her reaction at seeing that Sinder wasn't there yet seemed a bit weak given the circumstances. Likewise, her reaction when he did show up also seemed a bit weak to me. But maybe I just misinterpreted, and things haven't gotten really bad for Jamie yet. :) I also agree with the Kimberly's comments about Sinder's description.

  3. I do like this opening page a lot, it's quite intriguing, however I, too, had the same issues as Kimberly and Shoshonna. In addition, i found a repetitive cadence in your sentences that became redundant to me. More than half of them sound the same in length and style:

    "Standing at the back door to the men's club, Jamie said..."

    "Stepping through, she rested..."

    "With a sigh of relief, Jamie straightened..."

    "...headed back to change, their young faces glowing..."

    "Nodding hello, Jamie crossed..."

    "...lay folded on it, the headline blaring...

    "Below it, a picture splashed..."

    "Behind her, the elevator bell dinged."

    I'll stop there, but there's a pattern. I may be the only one who noticed and it's a totally subjective observation, but it did jump out at me so I thought I should mention it. :)

    I still really enjoyed it. Best of luck with this!

  4. Nice work. I think this is an intriguing start, and I would read more of this.

    One thing that I did notice is that the action seems a bit too "straight to the point." It's almost like a bullet-point list: she stands at the door, she eases the door open, she steps through the door, etc. After reading this, I know what Jamie was doing in almost minute detail, but I don't feel like I know anything about her, other than she's possibly worried about something and that she's flat-chested. I know it's only the beginning of the story, but I'd like more early clues as to what's going on internally. I think it would be an easy fix to meander (just a little bit!) with your words to let us begin getting to know Jamie right from the start.

    Of course, this is only one opinion. I still enjoyed it tremendously. Good luck to you!

  5. No need to have "too" at the end of your log line.

    I also really liked the sensory language and it was a very well set scene. The writing flowed smoothly for me, and though I agree with the comments about her description of Sinder, I actually didn't notice it on my read through. I'd definitely read on.

    Best of luck!

  6. Very interesting concept. I'm interested in seeing the demonic/fantasy element really take hold.

    I would recommend keeping the scene descriptions short. It's easy to get caught up in the setting but the reader tends to get lost in too much extraneous information. For instance, "The bartender pulled down glasses, expensive crystal sending hard shards of light across the bar’s gleaming wood surface." doesn't add much to the scene.

    Also, what does "pulled on her manager's face mean?" It sounds like she's wearing some sort of mask, which probably isn't what you were going for with that line.

    Lastly, "No sign of him," is clearly an important line but I don't now why. Who are you talking about? IT's fine if you're going to explain it soon, just don't wait too long.

  7. Intriguing first page and concept. I agree wi5th Karen's feedback on the repetitive length and style of some of your sentences. This is something I always notice in books, so my suggestion would be to switch up the style.

    Also, I want to know if she's talking about Sinder or someone else when she says "No sign of him", and I'd want to know quickly. I'd read on to find out, so good work!

    Good luck to you!

  8. I've read the above comments and agree with most of it. However, here is what you've got going for you,"please let selling sex be my only crime tonight."

    This reads like a second or third draft. It needs more work, but you are on the right track! A little work is needed on the pitch, but this is original and I like it.