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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Suspense #5

Okay, I have three more entries. I decided to post all three and then come back and critique them in the comments. Feel free to jump in even if I haven't yet. :)

Title: Of Oak and Dragons
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Set up: Leah discovers an ancient burial mound on the land she inherited from an unknown benefactor and unearths an unusual object.

I set it on the ground, untied strips of thin, sinewy bindings and then unwound the surprisingly supple dark leather from the object. The leather caught then released suddenly and the artifact tumbled from my hands, landing soundlessly in the grass.

I could barely breathe. A rapier glimmered dully in the sunless day; the blade of deepest black, shot with a tracing of gold. The foil was an intricate design of black and gold wires, an ancient artifact of inestimable value and quality.

The gold emitted a dim glow as if covered with a dingy film but the blade seemed to be of the blackest shadow, a dark well of ebony. It appeared as if my hand could pass straight through if I touched it, as if it had depth, a three-dimensional effect. A vibration filled the air about me, a humming that seemed to get louder.

Reaching for the hilt, I grasped the handle and lifted it into the suddenly brilliant sunshine. There was a great flash, the gold rose up to meet the radiance of the sun. It glowed as if the sun was in it and behind it and there was the dull boom of hollow, basso thunder.

The thrumming, deep-earth hum filled my body, chattering my teeth and confusing my mind into blank inaction. The glitter of brilliant golden light covered me, filled and encapsulated me like a halo of pure energy.

And then I fainted.

#

Far away, in another continent, a sudden, fierce blow struck the Dragon in his chest, and his legs buckled and he fell to his knees. A fading deep roar of earth-deep thunder vibrated his body and mind as iron hoops clutched at him and pulled him to the east, incontrovertible and inescapable. The Call held him in its grip as chaos filled his mind. One thought only came to him:

The Rapier has found a new Master.

5 comments:

Tara Tyler said...

I feel her awe at finding the impressive blade - how cool! And lots of excellent descriptive, sensory words.

For a suspense scene, less wordiness = more intensity. So it depends on what you are going for. Less about the bindings, not sure what "the leather caught and released" means? "Inestimable" is a stumble word, could probably take out that whole line. I like the description of the sword as it builds suspense - how she wants to touch it and it could be magical, but you might condense it (remove some repeated blacks and deeps)

I love the culmination of the scene and how a dragon feels it on the other side of the world! I love dragons!

Brooke R. Busse said...

You have a lot of -ly words starting with s in your first paragraph and they really stick out (plus you have the word 'suddenly', which should be used sparingly, twice in just four paragraphs). The same problem can be seen with 'dim' and 'dingy' in third paragraph.

but the blade seemed to be of the blackest shadow, a dark well of ebony This reads strange, especially since you already said the blade was black. Really, the whole first sentence of the third paragraph is redundant. I would suggest cutting it and making paragraph two and three one paragraph.

in his chest, and his legs buckled Right here, I would cut out 'and', making it into two sentences.

The Dragon is a new twist. As I get more and more pieces of your story, I want to know more and more how they all connect.

Huntress said...

A Big Thank You to the crits!

I wrote this section over two years ago, one of my first attempts at writing just for myself.

The storyline came about from watching The Highlander with hunky Adrian Paul. After I saw him whip that sword out and do battle, I wondered, "Where the heck was he keeping that sharp blade? Down his back? In his pants?"

Really, that was all it took for me to come up with a story that explained it.

mshatch said...

I set it on the ground, untied strips of thin, sinewy bindings and then unwound the surprisingly supple dark leather from the object. The leather caught then released suddenly and the artifact tumbled from my hands, landing soundlessly in the grass. *Long sentences and too many adjectives slow this down.*

I could barely breathe. A rapier glimmered dully; the blade of deepest black. The foil was an intricate design of black and gold wires, an ancient artifact of inestimable value and quality.

The gold emitted a dim glow as if covered with a dingy film but the blade seemed to be of the blackest shadow, a dark well of ebony. It appeared as if my hand could pass straight through if I touched it, as if it had depth, a three-dimensional effect. A vibration filled the air about me, a humming that seemed to get louder. *I agree with Brooke about this paragraph and I want to know how she got italics. I tried to add them but "my html code was not encapsulated or something".*

I reached for the hilt and lifted the rapier into the suddenly brilliant sunshine. There was a great flash, the gold rose up to meet the radiance of the sun. It glowed as if the sun was in it and behind it and there was the dull boom of hollow, basso thunder. *I might shorten these sentences up, too.*

The thrumming, deep-earth hum filled my body, chattering my teeth and confusing my mind into blank inaction. The glitter of brilliant golden light covered me, filled and encapsulated me like a halo of pure energy.

And then I fainted. *You might be able to get rid of this and just skip ahead top the next. When you come back to this character you can have him/her wake and realize they fainted, maybe wonder if they were dreaming – tho I imagine that thought won’t last long : )*

#

Far away, a fierce blow struck the Dragon in his chest. His legs buckled and he fell to his knees. A fading deep roar of earth-deep thunder vibrated his body and mind as iron hoops *iron hoops? Thye must be pretty big and strong to pull a dragon. Or are they unseen iron hoops? Just asking since this is a little confusing to me.* clutched at him and pulled him to the east, incontrovertible and inescapable. The Call held him in its grip as chaos filled his mind. One thought only came to him:

The Rapier has found a new Master.

mshatch said...

ps I forgot to say that I changed it a bit, eliminated some words, shortened some sentences. Of course, just my opinion on how it might work better.