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RachelHannah08
December 23rd, 2010, 04:39 PM
(This excerpt is 418 words)
Firstly thank you for taking the time to read this! I've kept it quite short for my first post so fingers crossed! Comments will be greatly appreciated- I want to improve!


I hear her piercing scream of pain as I fling her to the ground again. She shrieks my name over and over and then, when she realises there are streaks of scarlet covering her cheek and lips, she tells me how she could never love me. And my fist strikes her face for the last time

I rip myself away from the recent memory into which I had fallen once again. My final image of my love was one tainted and stained with a moment of my bloody hatred.
There was a soft breeze slipping over the surface of the lake in front of me, tousling my hair in different directions. I knew my senses were returning when I heard my footsteps awaken the crunch of shingle below. The water greeted me with small waves rippling over the cold stones as sunlight bounced from each swell in the water. It revealed what I didnt want to see- my reflection stared back with an expression of loathing and revulsion twisted onto my face.
I had no idea where I was. There was nothing here, but I still felt that I needed to get away, to run away. You dont get another chance in life and I had just destroyed my only chance at happiness Desperation suddenly seized my soul. If she was dead, I would soon be dead too.

I was grabbing at my jeans, delving deep into the pockets knowing exactly what I wanted to find. My hand closed around cool metal. Wrenching it from my pocket, I wrestled with the sleeves of my jumper, pulling them up to my elbows. A cry escaped my lips as my despair overflowed and determination replaced it. I flicked open the pen knife. My outstretched arm awaited its fate, the fate that I deserved. Without thinking I drew the blade straight across my wrist. Again. And again. Five, six, seven times. I could no longer see the slashes for the blood which splashed onto the stones below. Relief overwhelmed me as I felt a smile break over my lips and then my cry became a laugh, a fit of laughter as I slumped to the ground because my head wouldnt allow me to continue standing any longer. But I didnt stop. Passing the knife to my other hand I continued the process, hacking at my wrists until my energy had dissolved, until my eyes refused to see and until my ears could no longer hear any noise apart from the slowing beat of my dying heart

Bilston Blue
December 23rd, 2010, 05:12 PM
Hello there

You say this is an extract, but to be more precise is it the beginning? The reason I ask is the final line, the main character is dying? If he does die, and only you know whether he does or not, but if he does then how does he tell the story? Unless it is being told by a ghost. It certainly leves me wanting to find out whether or not he did survive.

There is a discrepancy with tense at the start, starting in present and moving to past, even discounting the flashback in the first paragraph, you still start the second paragraph in present tense (I rip myself away from...)and move on to past.

'...footsteps awaken the crunch of the shingle below.' I feel this would read better as either 'footsteps awaken the shingle below,' or 'footsteps crunch the shingle below.' I'm not sure if the crunch of the shingle can be woken, it's either there or it isn't.

Hope this helps.

Scott

RachelHannah08
December 23rd, 2010, 11:32 PM
Thank you very much for your comments. I hope that this kind of feedback will help me work on my weaker areas in the future like the use of those tenses and also I appreciate your point on the shingle which I will now change!

Regarding the storyline, my idea was that this will form an opening and then go on to reveal the events leading up to this moment before describing the character's journey of vindication and redemption. So hopefully, in its context, it would be more of a success :)

Thanks again for the advice.

Rachel

shadows
December 23rd, 2010, 11:54 PM
Hi Rachel

Interesting set up. A few thoughts but they are purely from my perspective. Only change what makes sense to you.

If this is a sort of prologue then I would suggest starting not with the memory of the murder but at this point:


The water greeted me with small waves rippling over the cold stones as sunlight bounced from each swell in the water

Keep it on the scene with him/her at the water's edge slashing their wrists with the only hint being - she is dead and then reveal in the rest of the story what happened. It also eliminates the wavering tenses.

A few suggestions for this paragraph


The water greeted me with Small waves rippled over the cold stones as sunlight bounced from each swell in the water. It revealed what I didnt want to see- my reflection stared back with an expression of loathing and revulsion twisted onto my face.
I had no idea where I was. There was nothing here, but I still felt that I needed to get away, to run away. You dont get another chance in life and I had just destroyed my only chance at happiness Desperation suddenly seized my soul. If she was dead, I would soon be dead too.

what the MC sees is the reflection, rather than the reflection stared back.

Suddenly is one of those words that often works against itself. You want to show immediacy but it slows down the action


I was grabbing grabbed at my jeans, delving deep into the pockets knowing exactly what I wanted to find. My hand closed around cool metal. Wrenching it from my pocket, I wrestled with the sleeves of my jumper, pulling them up to my elbows. A cry escaped my lips as my despair overflowed and determination replaced it. I flicked open the pen knife. My outstretched arm awaited its fate, the fate that I deserved. Without thinking I drew the blade straight across my wrist. Again. And again. Five, six, seven times. I could no longer see the slashes for the blood which splashed onto the stones below. Relief overwhelmed me. as I felt A smile break broke over my lips and then my cry became a laugh, a fit of laughter as I slumped to the ground because my head wouldnt allow me to continue standing any longer. But I didnt stop. Passing the knife to my other hand I continued the process, hacking at my wrists until my energy had dissolved, until my eyes refused to see and until my ears could no longer hear any noise apart from the slowing beat of my dying heart

It is usually better to use active words - I grabbed rather than I was grabbing.

If you say five, six, seven times then again and again is redundant as it is implied in the numbers.

I wasn't keen on - because my head wouldn't allow..... - it reads a little oddly and you don't need to tell why you slumped to the ground.

Good luck with the rest of the story. I hope something helps.