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outoftheblue
November 9th, 2011, 08:12 PM
Hi everyone,

For the past 5 months I've been writing a Psychological/Supernatural Suspense novel called, 'Intervasion'. I've written a first draft, and I'm currently working on the second draft - in terms of editing/re-writing and general tidying of the overall work. I feel I'm ready to show a snippet of the opening scene of the book, and would be genuinely interested to see what people make of it. Thank you in advance.:razz:

Intervasion
Chapter One


The elderly man’s voice said: ‘It’s not what you expected, is it?’

The question had been directed at no one…or apparently no one. The replying voice was younger; the crackling edges of the previous voice smoothed out and softened:

‘No – no, not at all.’ A cautious pause, then: ‘So, this is –?’

‘Guests will be arriving shortly.’

The younger man cast a disembodied gaze over the stirred scene below, beginning to quiver into focus:

From above, it looked like a polished porcelain sculpture, light licking at its edges, highlighting the vast array of exotic colour that’d been applied with a fine brush. At such a high vantage point, it was only possible to visualise the broad strokes of the piece. The marble chessboard floor, black squares veined by fracture lines of white and white squares by splinters of grey. Yet this particular chessboard was sat outside in the open, perched upon a cliff top of jagged limestone and peering over the sea and, sprouting from a rocky outcrop and tattooed against the salt-scented sky, a bonsai tree. The bonsai, however, had grown beyond its parameters and towered twenty feet tall. Despite this, the bonsai still possessed the intricate structure of its branches and an elongated s-shaped trunk. The leaves of the tree were boat-shaped and appeared rubbery.

Sat in the centre of the chessboard floor and covering most of it, save its two outer most rows, was a long, rectangular table. A white linen tablecloth, hanging off the edges in triangles, covered it. Six bamboo chairs, two each side and one at either end, each accommodating plump cushions of gold silk and tassels. Measured and perfectly formed on the tabletop were selections of different items: Pieces of silver – knives, forks, spoons, teapots and serving platters, engraved with serpent decorations. Champagne glasses were positioned optionally beside each porcelain plate, all of which had gold rims and elaborate insignias in their centres.

Glinting with the same array of colours as a Paua shell, the sea here was not entirely blue. Waves, delicate ripples, as if guitar strings had been plucked deep beneath the sea bed, rode to the land in sequential lines, barely caressing the cliffs with a faint fizz, before sighing graciously in retreat.

Snaking away from the marble chessboard floor, a white seashell path threaded its way through dense gardens of teal green, interspersed by crimsons; lilacs and whites, winking like dim bulbs between taller trees. The seashell path arrived at a pine house: dark, dusty shingles, diamond paned windows illustrating no curtains and featureless interiors. The house consisted of only two floors, three large windows on the upper floor, the middle of which were doors that opened onto a balcony. Beyond the house, a dense carpet of trees, spreading to the very peripheries of sight, and whose impenetrable canopy glowed emerald green.

It was impossible to consider where in the world such a place could’ve been artistically excavated from the earth. The contradictions of inclining hot or cold, was left undetermined, a richly textured schizophrenic set-up. Only a plaque on the oak front door of the empty house teased a possible explanation:

Plateau Maiso.

The younger voice, closely watching the settling scene, remarked, ‘This is not what I’d prepared for –’

‘Of course not.’ The edges of the elderly voice crackled like electricity. ‘There’ll be a distinguished guest.’

‘Which guest?’

‘It’s impossible to tell you at this time. It’ll come to you. When all of the guests are assembled on the plateau, we – you – will know. Then it can begin – ah! Our first guest has arrived…’

The guest was a man, light brown head bowed as if in prayer, seated at one end of the table.

‘Before you greet him, you must take care of the man waiting inside the house…’

‘Who?’

The elderly voice laughed hoarsely. ‘You’ll know who it is,’ he said. ‘More importantly, however, he will tell you who you are. I suggest you wait with him until we have a full compliment at the plateau. He’ll bring you up to speed. Only then will you understand and Intervasion can begin…’

Jon Prosser
November 9th, 2011, 09:18 PM
hey hey. i've read through this extract quite carefully, and there's a few small suggestions you might like to consider:
'The younger man cast a disembodied gaze...' - if he is a physical man then his gaze can't be disembodied, if he is disembodied, wouldn't he have no gaze?
There are a few sentences like this one - 'Yet this particular chessboard was sat outside in the open, perched upon a cliff top of jagged limestone and peering over the sea and, sprouting from a rocky outcrop and tattooed against the salt-scented sky, a bonsai tree.' - that are a bit too long given the density of your description. you don't want to overload your reader otherwise they'll wind up not taking anything in. the description of the bonsai tree could have a sentence all to itself. i'd suggest either shortening the sentences, breaking them up more, or easing off on the description.
i think this is brilliant piece of writing and it is very vivid. you just need to be careful not to pack it too full, given that this is the introduction and you don't want to intimidate a potential reader ;) look forwards to reading the rest!

Robdemanc
November 9th, 2011, 09:48 PM
I agree with Jon Posser, too many and too long descriptive sentences. However, it is curious and the title is good. I take it these are spirtual beings about to be incarnated into the scene...

outoftheblue
November 9th, 2011, 09:58 PM
Thanks for your feedback guys.

"spiritual beings about to be incarnated" - yes, AND no! :lol:

jvars2
November 25th, 2011, 07:23 AM
Wow. I am a huge of fan of ghosts/supernatural phenomena and it feels like that's where your story is going. The entire beginning has that eery feel, that ominous start to what inevitably will blow your mind. I'm really intrigued by it.

Here are a couple suggestions/questions I have for you. Feel free to take them or leave them as you are; I just wanted to let you know the things that stuck out to me.

The question had been directed at no one…or apparently no one.


What did you mean by this? I understand it is to accumulate a feeling of mystery, but I am lost as to why you included the clause after the ellipsis.


The leaves of the tree were boat-shaped and appeared rubbery
The extra verb, "appeared," makes the sentence choppy and it's not needed; I would advise you to just omit it.


Yet this particular chessboard was sat outside in the open, perched upon a cliff top of jagged limestone and peering over the sea and, sprouting from a rocky outcrop and tattooed against the salt-scented sky, a bonsai tree.
Here, the sentence is a run-on because of the two "ands." You could move the description of the tree after the and, like this:

...perched upon a cliff top of jagged limestone and peering over both the sea and a bonsai tree, which had sprouted from a rocky outcrop and tattooed against the salt-scented sky." In my opinion, it's smoother and easier for the reader. However, I agree with the commenter above in that the bonsai tree could have its own descriptive sentence.

There are a couple fragments in this paragraph, namely

Six bamboo chairs, two each side and one at either end, each accommodating plump cushions of gold silk and tassels.
and

Beyond the house, a dense carpet of trees, spreading to the very peripheries of sight, and whose impenetrable canopy glowed emerald green.

I can see how the second one is artistic and could be overlooked, but the first one I can't see working as well. I'm not trying to be too picky, I really like this piece and have a great desire to help you make it even better. I am an editor at my school newspaper, so these things stick out to me. Again, your piece is so interesting and unique and I just wanted to let you know what I see.

Cody
November 25th, 2011, 07:34 AM
When I read this it feels like you have this really cool, vivid scene in your head, but it doesn't all come across. I don't thinks it is because you use too much description, you just use it awkwardly.

For example I feel like this is a nice use of description.


From above, it looked like a polished porcelain sculpture, light licking at its edges, highlighting the vast array of exotic colour that’d been applied with a fine brush.

This isn't


It was impossible to consider where in the world such a place could’ve been artistically excavated from the earth.

I kind of feel like excavation is already an artistic and delicate process already, and anyone who know what the word means will probably feel the same way. You don't need to add the word "artistically" in front of it.

This story is interesting and I can not wait to find out more.

outoftheblue
November 25th, 2011, 09:50 PM
Hey - thanks jvars2, Cody - very useful advice and things to consider. I'm glad that you liked the piece in general though. That's encouraged me.

Jvars - Basically the question before that line is directed at someone that's there, but is invisible. So therefore they're 'there', but can't be seen. They don't have a body, but there is an intelligent entity.

Cody - I think you're right about the 'artistically' not being necessary. But that's for the compliment on the other piece of description.

I'm editing the latter parts of the book at the moment, but I've been talking to a friend about working more on the opening scene (this piece), because things need to be included that are important. Also, I feel because what follows after this scene that some of the description could be cut. BUT, obviously some of it will be left. Just need to tighten up a few things.

Thanks for your help! Glad you enjoyed!:eagerness:

Red-James
November 26th, 2011, 05:18 AM
I adore your description and i fully disagree with the others when they say its too much or that it was awkward, i found it perfect and followed it and visualized it perfectly. I liked this and was left with the feeling of wanting more, which is good.

outoftheblue
November 26th, 2011, 11:32 AM
Red-James - Thanks for your compliments! Very kind of you, and I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. I still think it'll need some work (that's only the 2 version of it), but it's nice to have such a range of opinion/feedback/interpretation off different readers. I always find that when you have such a difference of opinion on one piece, then this is always a positive thing because it suggests that I might have written something with a decent depth. But I take on board everyone's comments - some I agree with, others I don't. But it's all valuable! Thanks again!:star: