View Full Version : would like advice on start on novel-vamp/were/detective story

September 4th, 2010, 07:07 PM
Violence and some profanity

Id like some honest critique/advice/whatever youd like to give in regards to a new novel I am starting, with hopes of getting it published. Honest critiques are essential and if Im doing some annoying things Id like to know now, early on, so I can correct them right away and not have massive rewrites later :) Heres the basic summary to which this is an opening: A team of 7 humans/vampires/werewolves form and then work together to enforce the peace between the three races. The opening is introducing the character from whoms perspective the first part of the novel is being told, a human detective. Please note that there is violence and profanity in the story. My intention is to make it gritty for maximum impact. I am trying to write the scene that turns this main character into the founder of sorts of the team so that it is understandably horrific. If someone can think of different way to perhaps write the scene I would be interested in hearing it, if you do not approve of the violent/gorey version. I m also trying to be original, laughble when writing about werewolves and vampires and detectives? Yes indeed, but Im trying. Thanks in advance for the imput, and here is what Ive written so far:

These days, I know that when your heart dies, it does not always mean your life is over. Contrary, for some, life’s last throbs of warmth will be replaced with numb and cold and this change will mark the start of something new, strange, and dangerous. There are many different ways to die, and just as many ways to reclaim a place among the breathing. Some will manage to find warmth again after death, while others new existences will be wholly dangerous. Forgive me if I believe that my new life, the one given to me by the silver haired stranger with the one gold eye, is the most dangerous of them all.
I’m a cop. Always wanted to be a cop, and I’m damn good at it. No, I’m not just saying that, I know I am. I was head of the Narcotics division, and in the city of Delworth, there wasn’t a street corner you could find to buy a bag of weed. I was honored pretty much everywhere across the nation, even traveled around to help other teams in other cities out. I had a unique approach, you see. I knew how to get down into the roots of the problems. Delworth was the biggest little city in the nation, and for the first decade of my career, I honestly believed it was the cleanest and most content.
My wife’s name was Lucy Lamport when I met her, and I liked her name so much that for a time after the engagement I tried to convince her that it should be my last name to change upon our coupling. Lamport just suited her so well. I’d looked it up on a surname site early on in our relationship, already smitten, and I found out that it meant something along the lines of harbor or port, a safe haven for ships-a place where they settled down after their dangerous voyages at sea, a place that sailors left revived and on high horses, and on the way home came to weary but always so ever glad to see. If I where a vessel-and after I had made that alluration I always after pictured myself as one- she was my harbor, my home, the thing that drew me in at the end of a long day and sent me back out refreshed. When I proposed, I had as part of my speech that I, too, wished to be a harbor for her-for all the time she stood by me as I prepared for my career, for all her help and support through the tough times, and the gift of the elation upon my success that could only have been so intense for the pride radiating from her glistening eyes, it was now time we could focus more completely on her. She was a traditionalist though, and insisted on taking my name, and so she came to be Mrs. Lucy Bolster. Not long after our marriage, she had our son, Colin. Lucy stayed home with him, and for a time we tried to have another child, but it was not to be. When Colin was five and began to go to Kindergarden Lucy began to finally focus a little more on herself and started classes in nursing. Initially I had been shocked by this, Lucy had always told me about her dreams of opening her own business selling crafts and supplies, but when asked she and I sat down and she told me about the nursing shortages and the horrible conditions that sometimes resulted-packed waiting rooms, substandard care. People didn’t need crafts, they needed good care first. Lucy had chosen the field where she felt she could do the most good, and since I had done the exact some thing (although I must admit that when I had first chosen to be cop it was as a pistol-twirling semi-cowboy boy of 6 who thought being a cop was “awesome sauce“) there was nothing I could rightly say to deter her. I was proud, to be sure- here we where-a family of heroes. I was just a bit worried- about dirty needles, disillusion, and long hours on her feet and the like, but it was ok. If anything happened the Mr. Lamport inside of me was always scratching to come out. I had always fancied myself as good a husband as I was a cop.
The night is always darkest when the day has recently died. Spring had come through strong that year, pushing winter out the door with but a day or two of hesitation. Delworth winters are four months long and can be very cold, but our springs are usually nice and gentle, as this one was. A gentle rain had fallen while Lucy, 16 year old Colin and I had been in the theater. We had just finished seeing the latest teenage craze movie about robots on its opening night. Colin was thrilled to silence. I suppose he was saving his exclamations for his friends the next day at school. It as late, but the deal was he could not call off if we took him. None of his other friends had been able to go, so even though he had been stuck with us, I was sure he would be the subject of peer jealousy, and the joy of making my boy happy and eager to go to school the next day had cemented an even bigger smile than usual on my lips throughout the entire evening. A gentle breeze caressed us, and my wife and I, distanced by the entirety of the seats in the theater from Colin, had flirted like teenaged lovers throughout the flick. Colin would be shuffled hastily to bed, undoubtedly. It was a night designed by divinity exclusively for us. The wetness of the ground and the fine mist still lingering in the air glistened warmly with the glow of the streetlights as we walked home. The theater was close enough to our house where we could walk to and from, but far enough away that it took some time and brought us through a long enough strip of residential side street to set inside us the smooth still ambience of a city sitting back to rest its eyes. I took a deep breath.
Footsteps behind us. I look over my shoulder, feign a casual glance. A group of kids, older. Where did they come from? We where alone until just now, everything was quiet save the noise we made ourselves. Must have been from one of the apartments-came out of a car, maybe. I might have heard the doors slam, I’d droned out the background noise to enjoy the peace. Faster. Just us, or them? Lucy knows now. Her grip on my hand has tightened. I look, her eyes have grown unsteady and shes staring at Colin. Hes in front of us, good. We can always block them if they come. Clop,clop,clop,clop,clop,clopclop. The still begins to echo. Our steps reverberate around us three. Their steps do not, those and their voices, though indistinguishable, are clear. Colin looks at them now, and his smile is gone.
A tigers roar is silenced by the screams of tires being skinned alive during a turn, and their shreaks still stab at the air when it roars again, completely unbridled with a rage driven by a rough and heavy master. Blindingly bright oval orbs pounce down the road as poor suspension on big wheels meets with bumps best taken at much lesser speed. Six saucers meet the orbs in unison, and we duck off the road and onto someones wet lawn as we hope the crazies zoom away, but they don’t. The car abruptly jumps the curb right into us. Lucys hit, she was closest to the street. It tries to hammer me but I skirt it, and my hand parts with my wives as shes taken over the hood and as I slide by the drivers side of the car I look right at my assailant. Hes looking at me, and the whites of his eyes are egg whites laced with lines of silver. His face is ashen grey and though hes young, early twenties, hes dry and wrinkled and looking more like an unwrapped mummy than a man. The only thing alive are his eyes, dusty beige and wide as any hardcore addict on a rage. I had pictured this happening, a thousand times. I had been trained to deal with all the violence that could come to the unsuspecting, told people a thousand times to never allow themselves to be caught unaware. I even had plans, lain out inside my head-yet, now the time was here, and I myself was unprepared. No weapons had been brought. No cell phones-we where walking to the theater, after all. It was just the three of us, bags of sand set out against a flood.
Their getting out of the car, four of them. The men behind us have run up, they all must be together. Lucy must have screamed, there are two of them holding her and shes struggling, trying to rip her face out from beneath a hand.
Oh, God, please help us. Their going to rape her.
I don’t think I got a sure count of how many where there, it’s like they keep coming, creeping in and out of the nooks and crannies of the shadows. The lights go off on the car. I force myself to concentrate and not be distracted by what they are doing to my wife. I look around for Colin and I don’t see him. I’d thanked The Lord at that time.

“What do you want?” I shout. “My name is Ron Bolster. I have people that will be looking for me, very quickly. We are expected home any minuite, and any deviation from that will be viewed as highly unusual.”
I set my face in a way that was practiced and professional, as if none of that whole mess was happening, and I am merely dealing with a simple suspect surrender. Convincing guy with a warrant to turn himself in, for instance. No sir, it wont be that bad. Just come on in, it will be better for you in the end. You want me to be your friend don’t you? You have to obey if you want me to take it easy on you.
The difference is, by that time, the guy is done for and theres not a whole lot I can do for him even if I wanted to, and still stay within the confines of the law. Its all a game played by the cat to get the mouse out of the hole. It’s a hell of a lot different when a cat jumps into a yard full of dogs. A cat can only hope the dogs are skittish or friendly.
The man driving the car steps forward, and he smiles. His teeth look strange, as does the whole of him and everyone else in the crowd-almost like he is wearing a Halloween costume, complete with fangs.
“You arnt going to try and fight are you?” He asks, almost boredly. Who the hell is this guy? I’d never seen a gang like this in my life. Was I na´ve?
“Let my wife go. If you let us leave, right now, there won’t be any fighting. This dosnt have to get worse than it is.” I try to calm him. Maybe hitting us was an accident and it sent him over the edge, if we could be so lucky. I try not to break eye contact with him, but my wife lets out a muffled scream of agony and I shoot my eyes towards her. Blood is dripping from her arms and a cut on her face, and the guys are licking it up like its ambrosia. One of them takes her arm and wrenches the flesh around a gash and kneads the blood from a ruptured vein, his mouth wide over it, stained and gulping like a parasitic fish. The men around her seem to lose control, diving for the openings of her body leaking blood, targeting her veins, and she manages to free her mouth and let out the most heart wrenching scream of agony and fear I will ever hear in my life. My blood turns to lava and I charge to defend her. I’m stopped just as I start, and I struggle like a wild thing, but it’s the most hopeless battle I’ve ever experienced in my life. The men that hold me are as strong as if they where built from steel, and just as cold. I kick and bite and thrash and try every trick I’ve ever been trained but they stand as still and unmoved as members of the British Royal Guard. There is nothing worse than being held helpless as a loved one is tortured before your eyes. What a phoney I am, thinking I could protect her. The time had come for me to come through, and I was no less these souless sons of bitches meat than she was.
I beg them. “Let her go! Oh, God, please. Why are you attacking us?”
I choke and wheeze on my own breath, and Im screaming the words as I continue to thrash against my captors. They don’t care, they don’t care. I regret every damn junkie I ever let off easy-but these arnt junkies. The guy driving the car, where did he go? There’s a young man standing stagefront now, he cant be much older than my own boy. His hair is grey like an old ladies, long enough to dust his budding shoulders, and it glistens like dirty light in an attic beneath the glow of the streetlamps. It’s the kid from ClockWork Orange. That’s the look in his eye. He’s running this show, and there’s not a shred of humanity in him. His eye, his eye. What’s wrong with it? I’ve never seen anything like it, even on that Ripley’s show.
“You like my eye?”
His voice is pressing on the old wood stair you always thought to fix. He comes up close to me, as if we where lovers divulging sex charged secrets.
“I’ll tell you about it, I ‘ain’t shy.”
He grabs the collar of my shirt and brings that ugly gold eye right up close to my face, and I spit right square into it. I don’t even get blink. I watch as my saliva slips down the eyes smooth, hard surface. He laughs heartily and then his tongue darts out of his mouth and laps away what’s made it’s way down.
“Well if you don’t like it, quit staring. Human etiquette, really now! Usually I can justify extending the patience of my comrades here in the interest of providing some degree of intellectual satisfaction to one of such sorry fate, but here you’ve put a glare in my most favorite part of myself. What do you think, gentlemen? He should be a good one, regardless of his manners. I think I’ll take care of him myself-but first, lets chill him down a bit, shall we? I’m afraid he may have grown too warm…”
I did not watch as they devoured my wife. I stared at the eye and let it become me.

September 4th, 2010, 09:02 PM
well, my good sir. in all honesty, and this has nothing to do with the quality of writing at all. But do not write a vampire and werewolf detective story. For me, everything that can and will be done with vampires and werewolves should just stop now.

haha, it had to be said, I think. try coming up with a better idea without vampires and werewolves. the world honestly doesn't need anymore. Thanks.

September 4th, 2010, 11:20 PM
I disagree. There is no problem per se in writing a book about vampires and werewolves--even though editors have admitted to being tired of reading them, the public has not. Therefore, sales are still robust and houses are still acquiring paranormal.

Asrial, I think you may need to work a bit on your writing--grammar, sentence structure--in this chapter. I'll focus on the opening paragraph(s) here:


"These days, I know that when your heart dies, it does not always mean your life is over."

This sentence reads awkwardly to me. Why these days? I would change it to read, "When your heart dies, it does not always mean your life is over."


"Contrary, for some, those last throbs of warmth all too quickly dissolving into sharp, stinging needle pricks of numb and cold mark the start of something new, and strange, and most of all, dangerous."

Some grammar errors and awk phrases here. This could be tightened up. I would rewrite as:

"On the contrary, for some those last throbs of warmth dissolving into sharp, stinging pricks of numbness mark the start of something new. Strange. Most of all, dangerous."


"There are different ways of dying, of course, and some are more dangerous than others, and most are dangerous in different ways."

Feels like a sentence run-on, at least to me, and the first and last phrases are repetitive. I would rewrite as:

"There are different ways of dying, of course, and some are more dangerous than others."


"Forgive me if I believe that my new life, the one given to me by the silver haired stranger with the one gold eye, is the most dangerous one of them all."

I think this is the best sentence in the opening paragraphs. It has tension, action, and concludes the build-up that the previous sentences were working up to.

Go through your chapter and see where you can tighten up your sentences to help focus each sentence's main points. Take out phrases that you don't really need. I hope this was of some help.

- Steve

September 5th, 2010, 09:13 AM
I appreciate the opinion Tomas, but I think Im going to work on this a bit more. My other ideas arnt made of much originality either, and I think if enough character development can be done without making things drag or coming off as cliche (sweatbead) the story could work. I have to admit that aside from blood and chocolate and twilight I havnt been exposed to any other vampire/werewolf writing. Perhaps I should investigate but I think at this point I should refrain and stay as uneffected as possible from other peoples work in the genre.

Steve-thanks very much for the help. I rewrote a bit of my story considering some of your suggestions and finished up the chapter but Ill go at it again in a few days after Ive had a little time to distance myself from what Ive wrote. Things that seem great the day of writing can come off as downright embarrassing after a bit of abstinence!

I look forward to more reviews so that when Im ready to go at things and clean them up good I have a plethora of suggestions to consider!

September 9th, 2010, 05:24 AM
Every story has already been told, the trick is to make the story your own.
A piece of advise when ever you take on a story.

You did try to flesh out the character a little too much and too soon.
The details should flow out as the story goes along OK enough of that!

I am currently working on a story in fact a series which is some what the same.
It deal with Were wolves, Vampires and the hunter of both.
But the twist is that the hunter has more in common with his prey then with the humans he is there to protect.