View Full Version : Beneath the Willow Tree (chapter 2)

May 16th, 2012, 04:00 AM
Chapter 2

I had to get back home and see if father and Annabelle were okay; maybe she went to see if he was still there. I grabbed my knife and climbed down the ladder out of the tree house. I planted my feet firmly onto the silky cool grass. I cursed myself for running out of the house without shoes to protect myself from the cold earth. It was September and the sun didn't warm the ground like recent months.

I took off toward the house, leaping over fallen trees and broken branches. I was running as fast and hard as my lungs would allow, a sense of foreboding raised the hairs on the back of my neck. As I cautiously stepped out into the clearing, I froze in utter shock. My father was hung before me, dead. Terrified and repulsed, I dropped to my knees crying out in anguish. His face was battered beyond recognition; the only evidence that is was my father were his clothes. The burning house was in between us. I stumbled toward his limp body trying to gain control over my emotions and avoid getting too close to the flames. I had to get him down from there. I climbed up and cut the rope with one swift motion; his body fell with a loud thump. I dropped down beside him, his form now just a shell without a soul, and held him while I cried rocking back and forth. The sound of mourning filled the forest. I didn't care if the men heard me; I welcomed death.

Too engulfed in my pain, I didn't notice someone coming up from behind me. Strong tan arms quickly grabbed and wrapped themselves around me and an equally strong and rough hand clamped tightly over my mouth. I struggled and tried to wiggle free with all my might, but to no avail. I was dragged away from my father's corpse and back into the darkness of the woods. I began to panic, thinking the worst, and bit down on my assailant's hand as hard as I could. The sharp metallic taste of blood filled my mouth as he grunted in pain, but his grip remained as tight as ever. Now angered, he jerked my body around to face him and my eyes rounded in shock as I realized who had had me in his arms.

May 16th, 2012, 07:05 AM
Great cliff hanger! This story is interesting so far.

I think this sentence should be broken up by a comma though. "Terrified and repulsed by what I saw, I dropped to my knees crying out in anguish. " or it could be written, "Terrified and repulsed by what I saw, I could not help but drop to my knees crying out in anguish." You're the writer though. :)

May 16th, 2012, 10:16 AM
First chapter caught me enough to read this one but it did not grab me fully. This one? I'm now annoyed I can't read the third chapter stright away! I love that cliff hanger! Don't answer this because it's just me thinking out load and I hate knowing the anwers before I can read them in the "book". Is it his father and teh dead person was just in his clothes? Was it someone else he knew? Was it his ... uncle? great great grandpa who he thought was dead? *shurgs*

Like I said, the first chapter was intreasting enough because it was wll written but it did make me think it's just another story where: house is burned down, family dies, MC goes off and hunts down the baddies. I have nothing against that as I often write things along those lines myself. I would have still read it but that cliff hanger in the second chapter...I hate "text talk" but: O.M.G! Hurry up and post the next bit!

I would have said what raw said about the terrified sentance, but I don't like repointing things out to people. Your not silly, you can read what he said so there's no need for one more person to say it. As he said, you're the writer, it's up to you to listen. :thumbl:

May 16th, 2012, 05:54 PM
Agreed, and thank you both! I like this second part better myself. But, I had to set the scene for the reader to understand what was happening. Maybe I'll combine the first two sections to make a more complete first chapter... hmmm and I'll work on the third section tonight!

May 16th, 2012, 06:11 PM
"alright" is not standard English.

I find myself wanting to be presented with just as much of a surprise and shock (as as much as possible) as the protagonist, rather than being eased into it or forwarned.

"Terrified and repulsed by what I saw I dropped to my knees crying out in anguish. My father was directly across the field from me hanging from a rope," deadens the surprise and shock, by telling (not showing) the protagonist's feelings before the reader is shown why.

Therefore, I think something like this would be better:

As I cautiously stepped out into the clearing, I froze in utter shock.

My father hung before me, dead.

Terrified and repulsed by what I saw I dropped to my knees crying out in anguish. My father was directly across the field from me hanging from a rope, his neck broken and His face was battered beyond recognition.

"Their" is not standard English as a neutral pronoun. "someone coming up from behind me. Their strong tan arms" makes it appear as if there are more than one assailant. Then we find out it is only one. Then the reader has to figure out that "their" is improperly used. Because English has no neutral pronoun, only "he" and "she", if you want to hide a gender you have to resort to neutral articles (e.g., "the"). Better yet, leave the pronoun understood. For example:

"...someone coming up from behind me. Strong tan arms..."

"Now pissed off," - isn't this an otherworldly fantasy? Sword and sorcery or something? If so, avoid purely modern slang. Just use standard English. "Now angered,"

May 16th, 2012, 09:56 PM
Awesome, that you posted a second part of this! Awesome!

May 16th, 2012, 10:15 PM

I like the tone of the story, overall. The second chapter, as the first, was very engrossing and interesting to read. I don't get two things though, this struck me as a modern-day thriller suspense more than a fantasy, is this the case here?

If so, then some of the language in the first and second chapter take you off the modern-day tone.

Take 'Constructed' in the first chapter as an example, the whole story was in a self, modern day, monologue then this word just took me out of it completely. If this is a 'new take' on the fantasy genre please ignore this comment, but it is better to stay consistent in how modern the language use is.

The "more than one assailant" thing was a bit confusing. I assume you were going for -more than one person around then the focus shifts to the person who is holding her. If this is the case, then you might want to rework it in there to slowly shift the focus from 3 or 4 people around her to the person behind her.

Please take the above as comments from a reader not a critique from a writer. =)

Great story and looking forward to chapter 3.


May 17th, 2012, 02:33 AM
As always you give me such sound advice which I always take under serious consideration. Thank you for taking more time to edit my seceond chapter. I really do look forward to your critiques! As you can see, I have made the changes. Keep an eye out for chapter 3

I'm glad you are so excited! That definitely gives me the warm fuzzies. LOL Stay hooked

I am going for the middle or beginning of the 19th century. I'm not sure, I really wanted to do more research on that era. So I do need to probably go over words I have used, as some have stated. As for the multiple assailants I don't really know what you are referring to...nonetheless I have reviewed the last paragraph and tried to clean it up a bit. Maybe quote some things that don't make sense so I can better understand your point. And, of course, thank you for reading!

May 24th, 2012, 09:31 PM
I enjoyed reading this more than the first chapter. Here I had a better sense of the character's emotions and the horror and grief he or she felt over their father's death. You described how his face was pretty much destroyed, but when you mentioned how the only way to tell it was the father was by his clothes, I wish you'd said what it was that he was wearing in the first place. May I ask why you use such short chapters? Not that I have a problem with it - I mean, there are times when James Patterson has a chapter with two freakin' sentences. But like I said before - I still don't know if this character is a boy or a girl. I'm sensing girl, but it'd be nice to know for sure. Looking forward to chapter three!

May 26th, 2012, 04:23 PM
The knife part was weird. Who lets a child carry a knife? Especially a girl child in those days. Also when the capter grabbed her, where did the knife go? I still feel myself trying to connect to something in the story, but can't. I don't know who the family is, I can't feel her pain of her fathers death because I know nothing about their relationship.I know nothing about the character, her age, her thoughts. The story is moving so fast without telling much.