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Frosty2011
May 10th, 2012, 03:52 PM
This is a excerpt from a novel I've been working on called Silent Night. Feel free to comment and post any critiques- I'm here to learn . The setting of this scene is Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

It was always the same when Knight went to meet the body. A feeling of uneasiness came over her and she and Kazmerski walked though Gullen Mall at Wayne State. She looked up at the green and gold banners beating against the metal poles in the winter wind, encouraging students to enroll for the winter semester starting after the first of the year. She remembered walking this very stretch of concrete years ago when she was a freshman at Wayne, and how walking from the center of campus to her dorm was like being in a wind tunnel. Today was no different. She watched as Kazmerski swayed in the tornado force wind and she was waiting for his feet to slip out from under him. She wasn’t feeling confident either and was in fear that she was going to fall and snap the heel off her shoe. They were able to reach the Under Graduate Library unscathed and saw the small pavilion in the center of the campus roped off with police tape. Campus police were directing the students as they tried to sneak a peek at what was happening. A few of them typed furiously on their cellphones and Knight fought the urge to walk over and break each and every one of their cellular devices. This is a crime scene, she thought, we don’t need to broadcast this to the world.

The two of them made their way towards the pavilion and a uniformed officer raised the yellow tape letting them though. “Detectives,” he said with a nod of the head.

Knight didn’t answer but she returned the gesture as she ducked under the tape feeling her heart rise in her throat. The feeling of uneasiness surfaced as she walked on the uneven stones where a body laid covered by a sheet. It was something that happened at every scene she visited and she believed that the feeling would never truly disappear. It had been with her since she was nineteen living on the very campus she now stood in the center of. The city haunted her, especially at night. It became sinister, malevolent. She had seen that as a patrol cop stuck working the night shift. Drug dealers and robbers were the criminals she mostly dealt with but she knew that worse offenders were out there, lurking in the darkness. The city had been getting better but like anywhere there were areas that you never wanted to venture into alone-especially at night. Detroit just happened to have more of them. Knight had seen firsthand how bad the Motor City had fallen during the last few years. But the city was making a comeback, despite what some people believed. All things considered Knight couldn’t see herself living anywhere else. Yes, there were those demons that haunted her, but they weren’t from the city itself, but a dark memory that had been with her for years, living in her psyche driving her to the brink of her sanity—a struggle between good and evil that was both ancient and eternal. But she managed to hold on.

The scene almost identical to the one they visited a few weeks earlier by the hockey arena and once again the demon that she felt with the first murder resurfaced and she closed her eyes exhaling. When she opened them again she shifted her view over to Kazmerski who was standing there, his fist balled up and pressed against his lips. He had the same sickly look on his face he did at the previous crime scene. His grey-blue eyes widened as they stared at the figure lying under the sheet. It was like a ghost that was going to haunt the campus for years to come.

riverdog
May 11th, 2012, 10:34 PM
I really liked this. A couple issues here and there that I would point out if I wasnt typing on an iPad. Your writing has a beat, or cadence, that you only find when a good storyteller tells a good story, and in fiction, that's what's important. I look forward to buying a book of yours one day- because if you keep telling stories, I have little doubt you'll get published one day.

The caveat being, I have no idea about your dialogue. But as an avid reader of thrillers, I can spot talent.

badboi scene
June 22nd, 2012, 04:30 PM
Very enjoyable and professionally portrayed. Your sentences flowed exquisitely, with divined characters and setting. The mystery you present leaves readers wanting more. A few smidgens of faults here and there, but nothing a thorough check through would not resolve:


A feeling of uneasiness came over her and she and Kazmerski walked though Gullen Mall at Wayne State.

SR Steed
June 29th, 2012, 06:35 PM
Knight didn’t answer but she returned the gesture as she ducked under the tape feeling her heart rise in her throat.

I loved this sentence. You crammed a lot of information into one line without missing a beat, but I think you need a comma after 'tape'.


A feeling of uneasiness came over her

I would replace 'uneasiness' here with 'unease'. It maintains the flow, perhaps even helps it, and I'll argue it intensifies the feeling. 'Unease' just sounds more, well, uneasy than 'uneasiness'.


Overall, very nicely done.

Max22
July 15th, 2012, 10:15 PM
I like it! I like it where you refer to Detroit as the Motor City. I love when people use states nicknames. The only criticism I have is that I felt as if this sentence was too long: "The scene almost identical to the one they visited a few weeks earlier by the hockey arena and once again the demon that she felt with the first murder resurfaced and she closed her eyes exhaling." It needs a comma or to be split into two sentences, in my opinion.

Duncan
July 18th, 2012, 02:05 PM
This reads very nicely. One minor observation: You use the word "winter" twice in the same sentence in your first paragraph. I am having to alight on detail like this as the overall effect is so well rendered.

Best of luck with this project

JayRiggs
July 24th, 2012, 07:42 AM
"It was something that happened at every scene she visited and she believed that the feeling would never truly disappear. It had been with her since she was nineteen living on the very campus she now stood in the center of. The city haunted her, especially at night. It became sinister, malevolent"

That's wonderfully written. I've read countless novels where a detective was the main character, and I watch documentaries about stuff like this a lot. That feeling of uneasiness and it never going away is very accurate. It's easy to write your character as some hardened detective who doesn't get phased after years of service, but that's not the case. That speaks volumes for the realism that's to be expected in this novel. Well done.

As I said about your previous works, the imagery is amazing. Did you go to Wayne? You seem to know a lot about it. (Irrelevant, I know, I'm just curious lol)

My only criticism is about Knight. Her description comes a little late, it's like, by the second paragraph..I don't know. There's something a little off. I find myself still asking "who is this Knight person?' for too long. I wasn't sure if she was a student or not. The comment about her remembering when she was a freshman first struck me as someone close to graduating. I guess if I think about it, it's not a big deal, but I feel like telling you my first reaction to something is better than thinking first.