Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #6

GENRE: YA Historical Paranormal

MC has been searching for her brother. She finally finds him in a prison camp with a gun to his head.

I ripped myself free of Vukasin and charged. I know I screamed, my throat burned with the force of it, but I couldn't hear anything but the beat of my own heart.

The officer turned to me, his black eyes smiled. Despite my fleeting speed everything around me slowed. Vuk's muffled shouting came from behind. My heart raced, trying to break free from the constricting cage that held it. Pain shot up my legs, but I kept running down the side of the building. "Semka!"

The crack that came before the puff of gray smoke and the taste of spent gunpowder, socked me in the stomach. It stopped me in my tracks and my brother fell to the ground. The blood drained from my face, leaving me nauseous.

"No!" The fire in my chest kick-started. It burned my face and poured from my eyes. I barreled toward him. The officer turned his pistol on me.

A black shadow darted passed—a giant wolf leaping into the air, his teeth sinking into the arm of the gun-toting monster. I ran to Simon, lifting his head onto my lap.

"Semka?" He coughed, blood spattering his face and mine. "Don't die on me, Simon." His eyes rolled back in his head. My tears fell onto his lips, mixing with the blood. "Simon!" I shook his shoulders. "No! Wake up!" I slapped his cheeks.



  1. You have some nicely visceral writing here, but sloppy word choices detract from the mood, ie:
    "Despite my fleeting speed" is awkward; I think fleet would work better.
    "The blood drained from my face" is something others may see, not you.
    "The fire in my chest kick-started" reads to me like a mixed metaphor.
    "A black shadow darted passed", passed should be past.

  2. Great potential, but I agree with DavidSimon4449 that a bit of rewriting will turn this into an amazing piece. I love the setting and characters, but I felt the sentences didn't flow together as smoothly as they should. I wish I could be more specific - I just felt like I was reading the words rather than being sucked into the story. Best wishes because I think you're definitely nearly there.

  3. There's a little too much telling here, I think. But I loved the emotion, it was very real. Good job!

  4. I also think you captured the emotion well, but some of the phrasings were a little awkward. The beginning sentence of the third paragraph could be broken up into segments to show the action better. Just a suggestion.

  5. This has a lot of potential but needs a bit of a rewrite to rethink a few word choices and figures of speech. Forex, the line about the racing heart trying to break free and the fire burning her face and pouring from her eyes. Just didn't work for me as a reader. The tears mixing on his lips seemed a bit melodramatic to me as well - understatement can sometimes be more powerful.

  6. I agree with David about the over used descriptive comments that need to become yours rather than what you might see other places. Also you use the chest and the heart a lot. need to cut down to the best description and pull or replace the others. Also the two characters both beginning with V kind of grated as well.

    However, that being said on the technical end of things, you did get your emotion into 250 words in wonderful fashion and the intervention of the wolf I followed easily, which allowed you to concentrate on the death itself.

    If you cut above, you would have had extra word count to use on the death itself... eyes rolled back again is fairly common, but you could add the complete loss of his muscle control, his head dropping heavily into her hands, the last gasp or sign of breath leaving him. The slap bothered me at the end. I'd rather have had it end with her burying her face in his neck, her hands trying to stem the blood---something to bring the focus back on the MC who survives.

    Just my thoughts. Nice job. Authoress picked a difficult topic within a short word count. You were more than up to the task! Congrats!