View Full Version : another excerpt from horror novel

November 6th, 2010, 08:06 AM

November 8th, 2010, 10:17 PM
For the small segment that it was, I found it to be a good read. I didn't quite get what per se the skateboarders were, but then again, the reader's not supposed to know at that point.
I have to do this tho, I nitpick every little thing I see wrong :( don't get me wrong, I did very much enjoy the story and you have the potential for something great, but I'm a grammar fiend.
You forgot to capitalize "Sprint" and "Facebook", brands like that are supposed to be.

The only person in the office who knew about it was Matt, and he and Al were as chummy as Hittler and Rabbi Cohen. --- I lol'd

"I wasn't worried that she wouldn't be attracted to me--I have a couple pictures posted on facebook that she has seen and approved of--but I was a little nervous our conversations might run out of steam; thanks to a public speaking course I'd taken at UB, I was a generally a confident talker, I just wasn't used to being one on one with a beautiful girl in my house." --- run on sentence, ditch the ; and you should be ok, also one-on-one and breakfast-serving.

sandwich, not sandwhich.

November 9th, 2010, 03:54 AM
Thanks for you input, Razz. Yeah, I always skip over things like that that should be capitilized, I guess capitals mid sentence turn me off haha. I'll correct them.

I understand the segment doesn't unveil much about the story, so I wasn't expecting many comments, but I do appreciate yours. The sentence you pointed out was one I'd struggled on. I have a very short attention span, and as soon as I'm out of the zone it quickly reflects in my writing.

MJ Preston
November 9th, 2010, 04:47 AM
Hey everyone. Just wanted to post another little piece of the novel I'm writing. I basically want feedback on the stuff that his boss says and the thing going on with the subway girl. Obviously something's going on, but does it intrigue you as a reader? Does it make you want to find out what's going on? I had my girlfriend read it and she didn't pick up on the abnormal undertone, she thought they were just weird characters.

Pulling the beige curtains open and exposing the room to the sun's full potential made me realize how much I hated the idea of going to work today. The last thing I wanted was Al to get me in a less than perfect mood for my date tonight. My dad, if nothing else, had instilled in me an excellent work ethic--a good ole blue collar workin mind, as he called it. Today this working mind was in a different place. Today it wanted to take the old honda down to the North Plaza to get some chow while clearing my head and enjoying the beautiful day.

I reached for my old sprint flip phone--I refused to update my phone, I would never use all those fancy apps--and dialed Pagetech's number and then Al's extension.
I find the above sentence a little awkward. The reference to the phone being old feels a bit like filler.

"Yeah, Al here!" Al's callous voice boomed from the handheld.
His callous voice boomed we already know its Al

"Hey Al, it's Jay Berringer--"

"Where the hell're y'at Berringer! Gettin yur beauty sleep on my time??" he yelled through the phone, cutting me off and forcing me to hold the phone several inches from my ear.

"I'm really sorry about not calling in Al, I over slept. I was going to ask you if I could use one of my sick days," I said, holding my breath as I waited for a response.

"Whatever. Do whatchu need to," he said sounding a little disheartened.
he didn't sound right, like something was bothering him.

Had Al McCarthy really just displayed an ounce of compassion for me? I was speechless. Well almost. . .

"Thanks alot Al, I really appreciate it. I'll see you on Monday, have a good weekend," I said, sounding happier than I intended. Sick people didn't sound this good. I waited for a response from Al's end.

"Don't fuck-er too hard, you'll snap-er neck like a chicken."

Followed by the CLICK of the receiver.

I set down my cell phone and thought about what I was sure had just come out of his mouth. There was no mistaking it, he had just told me not to fuck her too hard because I'd snap her neck like a chicken. Wishing I had imagined this didn't change the fact that I hadn't. Clear as day, I heard him say it.

Al was a weird guy, but he wasn't weird in this way. He was a self proclaimed hardass, not a sick bastard. Had he somehow caught wind of my date tonight? There was no way. The only person in the office who knew about it was Matt, and he and Al were as chummy as Hitler and Rabbi Cohen. <---Try and avoid cliches

Whatever his reason for saying it, I wasn't going to lose sleep over it. Maybe a brief spell of tourrets came over him--like Steve Goodwin back in middle school; the poor kid had said scrotum (placing special emphasis on the 'r') like it was his full time job. Tourette's Syndrome seems a bit cliche also. Think about this, your character Al is a loud mouth with a penchant for foul language. Tourrettes sufferers generally don't project sudden outburst of sensitivity. Establishing that his actions our out of character will suffice.

As I showered I thought more about tonight. Still enthralled with the idea of having Jill over my house, I was now experiencing a small bout of cold feet. I wasn't worried that she wouldn't be attracted to me--I have a couple pictures posted on facebook that she has seen and approved of--but I was a little nervous our conversations might run out of steam; thanks to a public speaking course I'd taken at UB, I was a generally a confident talker, I just wasn't used to being one on one with a beautiful girl in my house. I'm sure things would be fine, though, we usually picked up fine where the other left off while talking online. Make up your MC's mind, your either uncertain or not.

I grabbed the towel and dried myself thoroughly before wiping the foggy mirror and examining myself in it.
The shaggy brown hair that grew dangerously close to my eyebrows could go for a trim, but besides that I was in fairly presentable condition. I would just wear it down-- a conservative messy look. I inspected my eyes, the blue in them seemed to grow darker the older I got. Those were the one good thing my father had passed on to me. Most of my genes were passed down to me from my mother, including her tall, slender ones--I was 6'1", just shy of a buck seventy--and her Polish flippy nose, as she had always called it. My age hasn't yet caught up with me, I still appeared to be in my mid-twenties, maybe even early ones on exceptionally forgiving days.

After some deliberation, I decided the messy look wasn't going for me so I brushed it to the side and threw on a pair of jeans and a plain green t-shirt before heading out the door.

* * * *

A bacon and cheese omellete sounded amazing right now, but there were no breakfast serving fast food joints in the mall so I'd have to settle for a submarine sandwhich.
It was now quarter after one and Northgate Plaza was bustling with mostly old timers making their morning rounds; elderly people from all over West Seneca would meet here most mornings and power walk both for their health and for the company. I wondered if Wayne ever thought about doing this, I would hate to see him out of commision from a stroke or some other preventable ailment.

As I entered the food court I saw I was no longer in the company of an older crowd--several neighborhood kids I frequently saw skateboarding down by the local flea market and several I didn't recognize, were taking up a half dozen booths at the far end of the court. Only a couple were eating, with the others just enjoying their summer vacation.
I walked toward the Subway that was positioned in the corner, about ten feet behind the farthest teen. The girl cashing me out looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't say from where.

"Thank you," she said, handing me my change. "It's Jason right?" She said with a curious look on her cute, round face.

"Yeah, that's right. I'm sorry . . ." I looked at her name tag, ". . . Kristin, have we met before?"

She was no more than twenty years old but had a wise--older--look to her, a knowing smile that complimented her small youthful features.

"I believe we have Jason," she said still smiling diligently. "Enjoy your food."

I suddenly felt a little uneasy--a little light headed. I turned to put my change away and saw that the teens, previously absorbed in their chatter, were now looking in my direction and giggling amongst themselves. The middle aged, heavy set guy that had prepared my sub was also looking at me with condemning eyes. Maybe he thought I had something going on with this younger girl.

"Well thank you Kristen. Bye now," I said, turning and walking away.

"You're welcome sir," she said, sounding mildly put off.

As I walked to one of the booths closer to the stores than the food joints, I saw the kids were no longer looking at me. Little punks.

****More goes on between this previous segment and what I'm posting now. I just feel that the part below is more significant

Nearing the exit to the mall, I heard a clamber of skateboards, jumping and then falling. Skateboard punks. I pushed open the door--creating a small vacuum effect that opened, just barely, the doors on the other side of the small waiting area--and then opened the door leading outside. The clanging of the skateboards was fading now--a good number of them must have just left--but there were just as many still here. In fact, all the ones I'd seen in the food court. I looked to to the right to see that most the kids had stopped skateboarding--some were sitting on the bricks, lining the shrubbery, the others were approaching me, boards in hand and malicious smiles lining their pimpled faces.

"Can I help you?" I said to the tallest, closest kid. The ring leader of the bunch, I guessed.

No reply. He was close now, within arms reach and still displaying that eerie grin. He stopped, then took another step so his nose was inches from mine. No smell, that's odd.

"Look bud, I'm not looking for trouble, but if you want trouble then I'm all for defending myself." I said, rolling up my sleeves, hoping to intiminate the little punk enough for him to reconsider whatever it was he intended on doing. Adrenaline pumped through my veins, preparing me for the fight or flight--whichever I chose.

My ears caught wind of skateboard wheels carving gravel in the distance, they seemed to grow more recognizable the more I focused on them. An old couple exited several feet behind me and nodded with a smile, oblivious to what was taking place.

The other kids were now forming a circle around me. They seemed like less of a threat, more of a distraction for their long haired, greasy captain. I listened to the ever diminishing sound of skateboards in the whining breeze--as it went, so to did the threatened awareness I had felt up until now. The fight or flight reaction diminished.

"Get out of my way," I said, pushing the tall one aside with ease; he felt weightless. He only looked into my eyes, as if trying to gauge the discomfort he'd instilled in me. As I approached my car, I turned around only to see that they were gone. Must have gone back inside.

Overall not to bad, as you can see I highlighted some spelling errors. I would recommend that you try and stay consistent as your character reflects on things. He's either uncomfortable about his date or he isn't. If he is trying to reassure himself that's fine, but you must revert to one or the other. Try to avoid cliches. Hitler and Rabbi what'shisname. Finally your character Al needed a bit more explaining. If you are going to reflect on him cutting your MC a break, give us bit more background on Al and tell us why his actions are out of character.

All in all it has some real potential.;


November 9th, 2010, 06:02 AM
Thanks for that, Mark. I agree with most your suggestions and have altered my story to adhere to them. As for my character being unsure of how he feels, I recognized that awhile ago (I think it's a common mistake for new writers) and have been trying to work around it since. It's a result of me thinking in character and reflecting too much of what he'd think onto the paper, in turn compromising the story telling.

Also, as far as Al's character is concerned, I developed him early on in the second chapter of the novel. What you read takes place in the 6th chapter

November 9th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Hi Valo, nice work here. I was interested enough in your character to read it through and I thought you handled the wierd skaters well. I reckon if it's just given a standard tighten-up and edit once you're finished, it'll be good.

Got to agree with Raz on one point though; sometimes your sentences rattle on a bit. But I'm sure they'll be trimmed in the normal course of writing anyway.

Good read, hope I get to find out what's going on!