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Saturday, July 7, 2012

First Chapter - part four

The fourth and final part of DARK ONES MISTRESS, from Aldrea Alien:

Anger, writhing hot and heavy in her veins, fast overrode her fear. She arched her back, fighting to regain possession of at least one arm. Her foot lashed out. The toe connected, issuing (I think you want a different word here, eliciting, perhaps) a grunt from one of the men. Where was the watch? Her cries should have brought them to her aid. Why weren’t they stopping this?

Clara glared up at the man holding the door, a sliver of fear stabbing her heart at the look in his eyes. So flat and dead, like a week-old fish. Ew, Creepy. Like it!

They halted before the tiny steps. There, the men flanking her finally released their grip, plonking her back onto the street. One of them shoved her closer to the lacquered panels. Not wishing to suffer being forced inside the carriage, she ascended the steps unaided, jumping as the door slammed shut. A faint click spoke of a lock slipping into place.

Clara felt her way to one of the seats, eyes straining to see in the scant light filtering through the heavily curtained windows. The carriage lurched forward as she went to sit, slamming her into the thin suggestion of a cushion.

Resettling herself, she leant leaned against the wall, hoping it would help towards lessening the horrid swaying. Her hand rose to pull back the curtain, hesitating upon hearing the rustle of loose fabric from the other side of what suddenly felt like a far smaller space.

Heart setting up a new pounding rhythm, she peered into the gloom. Naught but a darker shape could be seen against the slate grey of the interior. The other, seeming to know they’d been noticed, silently scrunched further into their seat.

Clara mimicked the action, hoping that whatever was to become of them would not echo the horrors she’d heard about the past Lords. Rumour’s only gossip, she reminded herself. And only a fool acts on gossip. But all rumours had a vein of truth somewhere.

She surely wished she knew what bits to believe.

Excellent end to the chapter.

Ok, so my overall thought is to do some cutting, nail the voice/age (Clara's) and pick up the pace a little (without losing much description, which I mostly liked). Voila: perfect first chapter, yes?

But what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Please add your comments and help Adrea make this chapter shine.


mshatch said...

I'd also like to add that the above is only one person's opinion (mine!) and authors should try to get a number of opinions before taking a single one to heart.

Aldrea Alien said...

And I'd like to give my thanks to everyone who's commented. And especially to Marcy. ^_^ You've all given me much to ponder on.

All in all, I was expecting a far worse outcome from a critique of something that's still in its first draft.

Unknown said...

Sorry my comment's late.
I'd like a mention of her crying out before the question about the watch. It's not clear why they let her loose in front of the steps and then she gets in of her own accord. I'd have bolted away. So maybe they can fling her inside and slam the door shut.
I'm also very surprised she doesn't ask something like: "Who are you? What do you want?" etc. Her fear isn't as palpable as I'd like.
Overall, the premise is excellent and exciting. With tweaks to the voice and a little more suspense and less window-gazing, this could be a great first chapter.
Good luck!

mshatch said...

glad I could be of help. And don't forget to get more opinions than just mine :)

Huntress said...

Okay, this is kind of amazing. Good visuals here.

I would still punctuate the sentences with fragments to give the drama a kick and edit the unnecessary words.

She braced against the horrid swaying.

Heart pounding, she peered into the gloomy interior of the coach. A darker shape scrunched further into the seat opposite her. Silent. As if fearful of discovery.

Huntress said...

It is a darn good first draft:)