Monday, May 27, 2019

Drop the Needle: ANGER #1

TITLE: Kites in the Storm
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Context- Dev's brother has just been consumed by his gods. Dev hid in a corner while they did it, afraid, ignoring his brother's cries for help. Now he's angry and ashamed. The gods prey on fear, so his anger is the only thing keeping them away.

He kicked and screamed into the void, anger burning through his veins. He wanted to destroy something, hurt someone. But there was no one in the cell besides himself.

So be it.

Dev began banging his head against the door, punching its cold, hard metal with fists bunched up tight. Screaming in frustration, he kicked at the walls, again, and again, with as much force as he could, until he felt slick, sticky blood between his toes.

But the rage was dimming now. Its flame was leaving him, and without it was only darkness. He tried to grab hold of the anger, slamming his fists half-heartedly against the wall, but it slipped his grasp, and after a long, dreadful moment, it winked out.

Awareness flooded into his body, and with it, overwhelming fear.

No. Not this.

He had to fill the emptiness with something, something to stave away the darkness, to keep the fear at bay. For in the fear they waited, beckoning, and in the fear waited a truth that could not possibly be true. He couldn't let it be true. In the darkness waited madness.

But the anger was nowhere to be found. It had all leaked out of him, leaving him cold and clammy and shivering.

What else?

Dev became aware of a dull throbbing in his left foot, where his big toe was. He knelt down in the darkness, probing at the toe with eager fingers.

6 comments:

  1. I think the writing is really good here. I easily picked up on the character's emotions, so nice job there. Just a couple of nit-picky things: I stumbled over this sentence and had to re-read several times: "For in the fear they waited, beckoning, and in the fear waited a truth that could not possibly be true." It makes sense, but something about it reads a little awkwardly.

    Also, could you just say the throbbing is in his big toe?

    And finally: I'm curious about the descriptor "eager" in the last sentence. I'm not sure why he'd be eager to probe at his toes. Maybe this is revealed in the next part, but it just stuck out to me.

    Overall, great job!

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  2. I agree with the other review. I think the writing is really good here, the anger of the mc coming through. The only thing I would change is to drop the line 'What else' and the last paragraph about his toe, unless it leads to something else that is important to the story. Nice job.

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  3. Intriguing scenario, where anger and pain is preferable to the dangers of fear. I agree that the phrase "where is big toe was" is a little clunky. Otherwise it's solid writing, with nice imagery. Good luck!

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  4. Wow! Very descriptive piece. Very angry with a disturbing ending. Nice.

    He kicked and screamed into the void, anger burning through his veins. He wanted to destroy something, hurt someone. But there was no one in the cell besides himself.

    (Although grammar is not my specialty, I believe it should be “besides him” or “other than him” not the reflexive pronoun “himself.”)

    So be it.

    Dev began banging his head against the door, punching its cold, hard metal with fists bunched up tight. Screaming in frustration, he kicked at the walls, again, and again, with as much force as he could, until he felt slick, sticky blood between his toes.

    (Great visual action. Consider the following:
    -Unless the words “begin” or “start” are absolutely necessary for accuracy, delete. It seems to me that it can be deleted here: Dev banged his head against the door.
    -Delete “at” since Dev is intentionally kicking the walls. It makes a harder impact.
    -Delete “felt” whenever possible to get a deep POV. Consider: . . . as much force as he could, until a warm, sticky substance oozed/ran between his toes.)

    But the rage was dimming now. Its flame was leaving him, and without it was only darkness. He tried to grab hold of the anger, slamming his fists half-heartedly against the wall, but it slipped his grasp, and after a long, dreadful moment, it winked out.

    (Instead of “tried to grab hold of” which takes four words and slows the intensity of the narrative, consider “grasped” as in, “He grasped at the anger . . .” Also, I’m not sure “half-heartedly” is what you mean to say At least, that’s not how I read the piece. If Dev is truly trying to get that anger back, he’s whole-hearted in his attempt, even if the energy of the anger has left him. Having him slam his fists against the wall, but the anger slipping out of reach gives the reader the impression I think you want.)

    Awareness flooded into his body, and with it, overwhelming fear.
    (IMO, I don’t think the above line is necessary. You’re telling what you end up showing.)

    No. Not this.
    (This line has much more impact without the preceding "tell."

    He had to fill the emptiness with something, something to stave away the darkness, to keep the fear at bay. For in the fear they waited, beckoning, and in the fear waited a truth that could not possibly be true. He couldn't let it be true. In the darkness waited madness.

    But the anger was nowhere to be found. It had all leaked out of him, leaving him cold and clammy and shivering.
    What else?

    Dev became aware of a dull throbbing in his left foot, where his big toe was. He knelt down in the darkness, probing at the toe with eager fingers.

    (Again, to get that deeper POV with the above, simply state what’s happening. You already have us deep inside the characters head. Consider changing the preceding question:

    What else was left to do?

    A dull ache throbbed in Dev’s big toe. It wasn’t enough pain to fill anything, but it was a beginning. He knelt in the darkness and probed at the toe with eager fingers.)

    This is such an emotionally haunting excerpt, I can’t imagine the impact the entire story would have on me. Your writing is wonderful. Best of luck with this project!

    ReplyDelete
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