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Topper88
March 11th, 2013, 08:56 AM
This is toward the beginning of my story. I really want it to feel tense, but I don't think something is clicking.
---

“Hey, I’m looking for some nails, do you—“

Inside the warehouse, standing around a large metal container on the ground, stood half a dozen Cogmen and one very frightened-looking merchant. The Cogs all turned to look at me. I froze, and time stood still. One of them, an older man with steel-colored hair, smiled at me and put his hand on the merchant’s shoulder.

“Well, Mr. Lorry, what are you waiting for? Sell the boy some nails,” said Steel, with a sort of grandfatherly warmth.

Mr. Lorry quickly nodded his head and strode over to some shelves. All of the Cogs except for Steel followed the merchant with their eyes like hawks. Steel’s gaze stayed squarely on me. It was about that time I started feeling butterflies in my stomach. There’s a very good reason people keep their heads down around these guys. I felt it best to look at the floor and keep my mouth shut. Lorry grabbed a small wooden box and hurried back over to us.

“H-here you go,” said the poor guy, right before he tripped over a metal grate in the floor and slammed into the Cogs’ container, knocking its latch open.

Inside was a girl. Her hands and feet were bound and a leather strap covered her mouth. She was beautiful, but the sight was grotesque. On top of being bound and gagged there were rubber tubes running from pumps of clear liquid into her veins. A golden collar was wrapped tightly around her neck, and on the collar was a glowing silver crystal. Despite all of that, what drew my attention were her eyes. She stared up at me from behind her bright unkempt hair. Her cheeks were blotchy and her eyelashes were damp. She’d been crying for a long time.

When time started moving again, I looked up to see the Cogs had surrounded me. Steel was standing right beside me.

“Official business. You understand, right, boy?” Steel’s kind and calm voice only made the butterflies bigger.

“We don’t need any… attention. What do you say you take your nails and be on your way?”

Steel handed me the box of nails and a heavy pouch that jingled as he shoved it into my chest. I looked back down at the girl. Even though I could only see half her face, I could tell she was terrified.

“Now, boy.”

Slowly I backed away from the Cogs and the sheet-white merchant. On my way out the door I half expected a bullet in my back, but I made it outside the warehouse alive. My pace sped up until I broke out into a run. All I wanted to do was get away from that place. I was in full-sprint when the image of the girl flashed in my mind, and I came to a stop.

Damnit.

Tiberius
March 11th, 2013, 09:47 AM
Add emotion.

For example...


“Hey, I’m looking for some nails, do you—“

I stopped short.

Inside the warehouse, standing around a large metal container on the ground, stood half a dozen Cogmen, glaring at me in the darkness. Just behind them was merchant, his eyes darting between each of them, as though preparing to run the instant they so much as twitched. The Cogs all turned to look at me, and I froze. Time stood still as their eyes seemed to bore into my mind. Geez, could they read my thoughts? There had been rumours, and I had dismissed them as laughable, but now, under their intense gaze, I wouldn't have been surprised one bit if everything I had ever heard of them was true.

One of them, an older man with steel-colored hair, hard narrow eyes and a scowl that seemed carved into his deeply lined face, smiled at me. It was not a comforting smile.

He put his hand on the merchant’s shoulder, and the merchant looked like his legs were about to give way. I saw him mumbling something, his eyes closed with fear. Praying, probably.

Put in lots of threatening words, and words describing fear. Look at the way prey animals behave when they catch the scent of a predator, and include descriptions like that for the helpless people; words like jumpy, darted, cautious, etc. For the big tough guys, use lots of predator words; circling, hard, advancing, etc.

Also, remember your sentence length. If you have several longer sentences and then a short sentence, then it will give a lot of punch to the short one.

For example, using a similar scene to what you've got there:


I walked between the shelves, checking each one carefully for the nails I needed. They had some, but they weren't the right ones. Either too short, or too long. Bullet head, not flathead. There were screws, but after snapping the drill bit that morning, I wouldn't be able to use them unless I spent another twenty dollars on a new one. It seemed I wasn't going to have any luck by myself. I realised I'd have to ask.

I went back to the counter, where the big man was working the till. He looked up at me as I approached, but I wasn't going to let his bad attitude stand in my way.

"I'm looking for a pack of two inch flathead nails," I told him. "Do you have any in stock?"

The man glared at me and gave a very concise answer.

"No," he said. He raised a gun.

"Okay," I said, backing away. "I'll look somewhere else."

I turned and ran.

I intentionally used longer sentences, many with commas separating the clauses. it creates a rhythm, which I break with the short sentences, "No," he said. He raised a gun. This contrast helps the important sentences to jump out.

Arcwood
March 11th, 2013, 09:36 PM
you should post the prologue and epilogue to this scene. I thought it all went smootly. I'm hooked.

Topper88
March 12th, 2013, 10:11 AM
Add emotion.

For example...



Put in lots of threatening words, and words describing fear. Look at the way prey animals behave when they catch the scent of a predator, and include descriptions like that for the helpless people; words like jumpy, darted, cautious, etc. For the big tough guys, use lots of predator words; circling, hard, advancing, etc.

Also, remember your sentence length. If you have several longer sentences and then a short sentence, then it will give a lot of punch to the short one.

For example, using a similar scene to what you've got there:



I intentionally used longer sentences, many with commas separating the clauses. it creates a rhythm, which I break with the short sentences, "No," he said. He raised a gun. This contrast helps the important sentences to jump out.
Interesting, I guess I could expand the description of the lead's reaction. The reason I kept it short is because I wanted to elaborate on the girl in the container, and I thought going into lengthy detail the whole way through would be tedious to read. I'll definitely consider mixing up longer and shorter sentences like you said.


you should post the prologue and epilogue to this scene. I thought it all went smootly. I'm hooked.
I'm glad you like it :) though the reason I posted this was so that I could get help on it; if I posted stuff I like I would just be looking for compliments. I'm not sure that's the point of critique threads, lol.

pdwalke4
March 22nd, 2013, 06:55 PM
I'dd add to the above comments about motion with some about visible emotion on the 'bad guys' There is a lot about the girl but not the guys and how they are reacting to your character's (eventual 'hero'?) presence in how they appear, gestures, facial expressions ect. Are they nervous, condescending, dismissive of him.

Dictarium
March 25th, 2013, 06:45 AM
You make note that the narrator is captivated by "her" eyes, and yet you focus on them hardly at all after you mention this. Considering you're saying that "time started moving again" after noticing her, it can be assumed that, if anything, he got lost looking at her eyes. I'd go into more detail about that. If you get the reader focused on reading about what exactly the narrator notices about her eyes, it's even more jarring when "time start[s] moving again". I know that may not necessarily make it more tense, but I feel it'd certainly help with that section.

tabasco5
March 25th, 2013, 10:32 PM
I would recommend expanding the explanation of the girl's situation (how big is the box, how long has she been in there, when did she eat last, what does it appear they are doing to her?) and make the reader feel it more--if that is your intent. For example, the leather strap could be eating into her skin, the tubes could be old leftover parts inserted through infected jagged razorblade cuts, her body could be bruised and beaten and abused, etc. Then go into the description of her eyes as completely opposite--the only living part left on her body, etc. You want your reader to be attracted to her and want to save her--especially if she is going to be a main character in the story.

Morkonan
March 26th, 2013, 06:18 AM
This is toward the beginning of my story. I really want it to feel tense, but I don't think something is clicking.
---

“Hey, I’m looking for some nails, do you—“

Buildup.

I assume there's a passage where the character goes to the store, right? Have this one start with him entering the store, not "acting" by speaking dialogue as the first thing in the scene that, by its nature, requires all others to "react" to it. You want him "reacting" and being "acted upon", not opening the scene with action, himself, placing everything and everyone as "reacting" to his entrance. That will help set the right tone.

Think of the effect that a gunslinger has in every spaghetti western when they enter the saloon. Everyone looks at them, right? Their entrance causes the onlookers to be reacting to them. If they ask a question, like "Who here wants to die?", it puts them in a truly commanding position. But, if instead, the character walked into the saloon and reacted to what they saw, which example would put the character you're portraying in the best light light for the scene? Have the character knocked on their heels by what they see when they first enter the store. Then, have them speak in "reaction" to something/someone else.


Inside the warehouse, standing around a large metal container on the ground, stood half a dozen Cogmen and one very frightened-looking merchant. The Cogs all turned to look at me. I froze, and time stood still. One of them, an older man with steel-colored hair, smiled at me and put his hand on the merchant’s shoulder.


“Well, Mr. Lorry, what are you waiting for? Sell the boy some nails,” said Steel, with a sort of grandfatherly warmth.

Have the storekeeper ask what the boy wants. But, obviously, do it in a way that suggests the storekeeper is nervous and just trying to diffuse the possibility for more confrontations. This mundane interaction with the storekeeper will help to associate the boy as being in a similar predicament, with the Cogs being a menacing backdrop. Here's where the say's he's "Uh, just looking for some nails. Do you -" Then, perhaps, you can have "Steel" tell the shopkeeper to "Well, Mr. Lorry, what are... etc." That puts Steel in command of the entire scene and in control of what happens. Suspense has a lot to do with loss of control. As a matter of fact, because of that, you may want Steel to initiate the dialogue, showing that from the beginning of the scene, he is the one in charge. Or, at least thinks he is.


Mr. Lorry quickly nodded his head and strode over to some shelves. All of the Cogs except for Steel followed the merchant with their eyes like hawks. Steel’s gaze stayed squarely on me. It was about that time I started feeling butterflies in my stomach. There’s a very good reason people keep their heads down around these guys. I felt it best to look at the floor and keep my mouth shut. Lorry grabbed a small wooden box and hurried back over to us.


“H-here you go,” said the poor guy, right before he tripped over a metal grate in the floor and slammed into the Cogs’ container, knocking its latch open.

Awkward, but I don't know your setting. This "sudden revelation" seems contrived and, because of that, it's shocking and discordant. The reader might want a bit more, here, to justify the revelation of the Cogs container's innards.

(Edit - Important Note: I originally misread this piece, thinking that you were describing what was inside a Cog. Actually, that made it a lot more interesting, as I'm sure you'll agree! :D But, it demonstrates that I think you need to add some description to that "container," otherwise it's an "also ran" in the scene. Just a word or two, not much more, would do it and set the focus of the reader on that "container" at the critical moment it is needed. ie: Don't have the Cogmen standing around a generic "container." Instead, make it a large chest, a dingy metal crate, a large plastic pink wheelbarrow with Star Wars stickers plastered all over it.. or something, anything, other than "generic setting container #34. ;) In other words, something that is not as neutral and forgettable as "container." If you wish to ramp the suspense up a notch, add something unusual to it, but not so unusual that it steals the scene.)

Suspense needs time to build and introducing pacing problems like a speedbump before you're reading to slam the reader might cause things to fall apart. Perhaps it may be a bit more believable and natural if you have the shopkeeper stumble off a steplader (dunno why nails are that high on the shelf, but it might work :D ) and then instinctively grab a Cog for support, resulting in his fumbling hands popping open a hatch. Tripping and falling is a pretty quick act. But, stumbling off a ladder, waving around for support, nails flying everywhere and then grabbing at the nearest Cog (Edit - Or container!) to steady yourself is pretty believable and also takes much more time... Building suspense over time is what it's all about and not releasing that suspense until you're ready will make it even that much better. A simple "stumble and trip" is a bit too quick, in my opinion. Climb ladder, fumble for boxes, apprehension increases, shopkeeper stammers and sweats, legs shake, uncertain feet fail to find purchase on steplader, Newton takes over. Of course, you don't have to describe all that, but it'd be nice to imply that bit in the mind of the reader. Or, you could imbue the scene with a sense of urgency, as if there's a reason the shopkeeper wants the boy out of his shop. (I don't know if that's true or not.) Then, his haste will cause the calamity of events.

Another Edit/Add, boy, thinks just aren't working well between my ears today..Sorry. - A stepladder isn't necessary, but something a little more dramatic being described than a simple "stumble" would be called for, I think. At least a little bit of tragic slapstick, with the shopkeeper bouncing off a Cog, stumbling, nails spilling out of the box, and finally scrabbling for a solid hold on the container, which causes its lid to pop open, would be enough.

(Edit - Important Note: I'm leaving the above passage, even though I misinterpreted the scene. The examples are sufficient that you can apply them to the container, instead of a Cogman.)


Inside was a girl. Her hands and feet were bound and a leather strap covered her mouth. She was beautiful, but the sight was grotesque. On top of being bound and gagged there were rubber tubes running from pumps of clear liquid into her veins. A golden collar was wrapped tightly around her neck, and on the collar was a glowing silver crystal.
Despite all of that, what drew my attention were her eyes. She stared up at me from behind her bright unkempt hair. Her cheeks were blotchy and her eyelashes were damp. She’d been crying for a long time.

When time started moving again, I looked up to see the Cogs had surrounded me. Steel was standing right beside me.

“Official business. You understand, right, boy?” Steel’s kind and calm voice only made the butterflies bigger.

I don't know your setting, but this seems a bit strange. :D It's not what's in the Cog (Edit- "Container"), but in the reaction of the other Cogs. Should the boy have seen that? I would think not. But, the description is fairly complete and detailed. This doesn't sound like a quick glimpse, but it's as if he grabbed a flashlight and went poking around inside the Cog (Edit- "Container") while its hatch was opened. The effect is that here is where the suspense ends, as many questions have been answered about what was inside the Cog (Edit- "Container") and it's time to move on. In my opinion, I wouldn't give such a full description. Instead, the boy should only "glimpse" something. A tangle of hoses and metal with a pair of wide, frightened eyes nested within would be much better imagery. I'd save further details until later, if you want to create the right feeling of suspense. Otherwise, this detailed description sort of turns things on its ear, forcing the scene to be ultimately about revelation, which may be a bit too early in your story, especially for this particular scene. The reader will be thinking hard on what the imagery, without having to be presented with the complicated task of making sense of all the details. Include "girl's eyes/face/hair" or some other such description if it's important that the character realize that this is a girl. If he's going back to rescue her, this will play very nicely.


“We don’t need any… attention. What do you say you take your nails and be on your way?”

Steel handed me the box of nails and a heavy pouch that jingled as he shoved it into my chest. I looked back down at the girl. Even though I could only see half her face, I could tell she was terrified.

“Now, boy.”

Slowly I backed away from the Cogs and the sheet-white merchant. On my way out the door I half expected a bullet in my back, but I made it outside the warehouse alive. My pace sped up until I broke out into a run. All I wanted to do was get away from that place. I was in full-sprint when the image of the girl flashed in my mind, and I came to a stop.

Damnit.

The physicality of the scene is strange, here. He's "looking down" at the girl. She's still visible? If she's closed up in this container and the idea is that the culmination of suspense is due to this revelation, why doesn't anyone else in the shop react to it? At the very least, one of the Cogs should close the container so that the implication is that the boy shouldn't haven't seen what was inside. In other words, if you dropped a box full of naked pictures of yourself in compromising positions and they fell all over the floor... in the middle of paying for a pizza delivery at your front door, wouldn't you scrabble around, madly stuffing the pictures back into the box while throwing money at the delivery guy in order to get rid of him before he saw that exactly what he thought he saw was, in fact, exactly what he thought he saw? :D Let one of the Cogs close the container and have the rest crowd around him, with suitably imposing and threatening postures. If you wish, you can have Steel make a few implications. ie: "There's nothing to see here, is there boy? "We don't need any... attention, do we? Take your nails and be on your way."

Interesting scene and story hooks, here.

PS - Couldn't get quote tags to "stick" appropriately. The post seems to have developed a mind of its own in regards to what it wants to put in quotes...

Topper88
March 30th, 2013, 06:30 AM
I'dd add to the above comments about motion with some about visible emotion on the 'bad guys' There is a lot about the girl but not the guys and how they are reacting to your character's (eventual 'hero'?) presence in how they appear, gestures, facial expressions ect. Are they nervous, condescending, dismissive of him.

Good point. I'll be sure to add in their demeanor.


You make note that the narrator is captivated by "her" eyes, and yet you focus on them hardly at all after you mention this. Considering you're saying that "time started moving again" after noticing her, it can be assumed that, if anything, he got lost looking at her eyes. I'd go into more detail about that. If you get the reader focused on reading about what exactly the narrator notices about her eyes, it's even more jarring when "time start[s] moving again". I know that may not necessarily make it more tense, but I feel it'd certainly help with that section.

I would recommend expanding the explanation of the girl's situation (how big is the box, how long has she been in there, when did she eat last, what does it appear they are doing to her?) and make the reader feel it more--if that is your intent. For example, the leather strap could be eating into her skin, the tubes could be old leftover parts inserted through infected jagged razorblade cuts, her body could be bruised and beaten and abused, etc. Then go into the description of her eyes as completely opposite--the only living part left on her body, etc. You want your reader to be attracted to her and want to save her--especially if she is going to be a main character in the story.

Yes, I didn't want to dwell too much on her because I didn't want it to seem like time slowed down that much. Rereading it for the bazillionth time, yes, she needs a better description. Especially the eyes.


Buildup.

I assume there's a passage where the character goes to the store, right? Have this one start with him entering the store, not "acting" by speaking dialogue as the first thing in the scene that, by its nature, requires all others to "react" to it. You want him "reacting" and being "acted upon", not opening the scene with action, himself, placing everything and everyone as "reacting" to his entrance. That will help set the right tone.

Think of the effect that a gunslinger has in every spaghetti western when they enter the saloon. Everyone looks at them, right? Their entrance causes the onlookers to be reacting to them. If they ask a question, like "Who here wants to die?", it puts them in a truly commanding position. But, if instead, the character walked into the saloon and reacted to what they saw, which example would put the character you're portraying in the best light light for the scene? Have the character knocked on their heels by what they see when they first enter the store. Then, have them speak in "reaction" to something/someone else.
The image in my mind is that this scene comes like a slap in the face. He narrowly avoided an encounter with them a few scenes prior, so he's in "all clear" mode when suddenly faced with a much worse situation. Since the narration is first-person and he has no reason to suspect there being any danger in a storehouse, giving some buildup before entering the building would probably tip the reader off. Kinda like how you can tell in a movie when someone's going to betray the main character when the music turns to a minor key and you get a wide-angle shot from above the characters.


Have the storekeeper ask what the boy wants. But, obviously, do it in a way that suggests the storekeeper is nervous and just trying to diffuse the possibility for more confrontations. This mundane interaction with the storekeeper will help to associate the boy as being in a similar predicament, with the Cogs being a menacing backdrop. Here's where the say's he's "Uh, just looking for some nails. Do you -" Then, perhaps, you can have "Steel" tell the shopkeeper to "Well, Mr. Lorry, what are... etc." That puts Steel in command of the entire scene and in control of what happens. Suspense has a lot to do with loss of control. As a matter of fact, because of that, you may want Steel to initiate the dialogue, showing that from the beginning of the scene, he is the one in charge. Or, at least thinks he is.

Not a bad idea. I'll play around with it.


Awkward, but I don't know your setting. This "sudden revelation" seems contrived and, because of that, it's shocking and discordant. The reader might want a bit more, here, to justify the revelation of the Cogs container's innards.

(Edit - Important Note: I originally misread this piece, thinking that you were describing what was inside a Cog. Actually, that made it a lot more interesting, as I'm sure you'll agree! :D But, it demonstrates that I think you need to add some description to that "container," otherwise it's an "also ran" in the scene. Just a word or two, not much more, would do it and set the focus of the reader on that "container" at the critical moment it is needed. ie: Don't have the Cogmen standing around a generic "container." Instead, make it a large chest, a dingy metal crate, a large plastic pink wheelbarrow with Star Wars stickers plastered all over it.. or something, anything, other than "generic setting container #34. ;) In other words, something that is not as neutral and forgettable as "container." If you wish to ramp the suspense up a notch, add something unusual to it, but not so unusual that it steals the scene.)

Suspense needs time to build and introducing pacing problems like a speedbump before you're reading to slam the reader might cause things to fall apart. Perhaps it may be a bit more believable and natural if you have the shopkeeper stumble off a steplader (dunno why nails are that high on the shelf, but it might work :D ) and then instinctively grab a Cog for support, resulting in his fumbling hands popping open a hatch. Tripping and falling is a pretty quick act. But, stumbling off a ladder, waving around for support, nails flying everywhere and then grabbing at the nearest Cog (Edit - Or container!) to steady yourself is pretty believable and also takes much more time... Building suspense over time is what it's all about and not releasing that suspense until you're ready will make it even that much better. A simple "stumble and trip" is a bit too quick, in my opinion. Climb ladder, fumble for boxes, apprehension increases, shopkeeper stammers and sweats, legs shake, uncertain feet fail to find purchase on steplader, Newton takes over. Of course, you don't have to describe all that, but it'd be nice to imply that bit in the mind of the reader. Or, you could imbue the scene with a sense of urgency, as if there's a reason the shopkeeper wants the boy out of his shop. (I don't know if that's true or not.) Then, his haste will cause the calamity of events.

Another Edit/Add, boy, thinks just aren't working well between my ears today..Sorry. - A stepladder isn't necessary, but something a little more dramatic being described than a simple "stumble" would be called for, I think. At least a little bit of tragic slapstick, with the shopkeeper bouncing off a Cog, stumbling, nails spilling out of the box, and finally scrabbling for a solid hold on the container, which causes its lid to pop open, would be enough.

(Edit - Important Note: I'm leaving the above passage, even though I misinterpreted the scene. The examples are sufficient that you can apply them to the container, instead of a Cogman.)

Ah, I didn't even think of that disconnect. I'll be more descriptive about the container.

Also, the grate is actually a plot point. having Lorry trip over it seems like the most fluid way to make Gil the lead and the readers take note of it.


I don't know your setting, but this seems a bit strange. :D It's not what's in the Cog (Edit- "Container"), but in the reaction of the other Cogs. Should the boy have seen that? I would think not. But, the description is fairly complete and detailed. This doesn't sound like a quick glimpse, but it's as if he grabbed a flashlight and went poking around inside the Cog (Edit- "Container") while its hatch was opened. The effect is that here is where the suspense ends, as many questions have been answered about what was inside the Cog (Edit- "Container") and it's time to move on. In my opinion, I wouldn't give such a full description. Instead, the boy should only "glimpse" something. A tangle of hoses and metal with a pair of wide, frightened eyes nested within would be much better imagery. I'd save further details until later, if you want to create the right feeling of suspense. Otherwise, this detailed description sort of turns things on its ear, forcing the scene to be ultimately about revelation, which may be a bit too early in your story, especially for this particular scene. The reader will be thinking hard on what the imagery, without having to be presented with the complicated task of making sense of all the details. Include "girl's eyes/face/hair" or some other such description if it's important that the character realize that this is a girl. If he's going back to rescue her, this will play very nicely.

The physicality of the scene is strange, here. He's "looking down" at the girl. She's still visible? If she's closed up in this container and the idea is that the culmination of suspense is due to this revelation, why doesn't anyone else in the shop react to it? At the very least, one of the Cogs should close the container so that the implication is that the boy shouldn't haven't seen what was inside. In other words, if you dropped a box full of naked pictures of yourself in compromising positions and they fell all over the floor... in the middle of paying for a pizza delivery at your front door, wouldn't you scrabble around, madly stuffing the pictures back into the box while throwing money at the delivery guy in order to get rid of him before he saw that exactly what he thought he saw was, in fact, exactly what he thought he saw? :D Let one of the Cogs close the container and have the rest crowd around him, with suitably imposing and threatening postures. If you wish, you can have Steel make a few implications. ie: "There's nothing to see here, is there boy? "We don't need any... attention, do we? Take your nails and be on your way."

Good advice. As for the look taking so long, the cogs realize the cat is out of the bag, and shutting it real quickly wouldn't erase the knowledge from the lead's mind.

Tyvm!

Bakslashjack
April 3rd, 2013, 02:30 AM
Hmm. I think that this is in need of a rewrite.
give your main char a very overt reason to be nervy, early. detail it with at least 2 sentences. don't try to accomplish it with back story tho. this scene feels, in the moment, and that is good. keep it there with speedy short sentences.

belthagor
April 8th, 2013, 08:53 PM
rewrite!

Also i am so angry, how many posts do you need before you can post new topics..........100 posts ??? =(
Sorry about ranting here but i could not find another place

twentysix26
April 12th, 2013, 06:23 AM
Alright, this is my first real post on here, besides my introduction, and I'm going to try my best to give some good advice. (and I'm sorry if this stuff was already written by someone else, I didn't exactly read all of the replies)

Okay here goes nothing. First, when he enters the store it should say that he is entering a store so the reader knows, and he shouldn't simply stop speaking, it should say something like: I walked into a warehouse belonging to Mr. Lorry, a local merchant. I pushed the heavy door open with a grunt and said "Hey, I'm looking for some nails, do you--"

I stopped cold.

I added the beginning so people know at least where your character is right away and then I added "I stopped cold." as its own sentence to add some tension to the situation before the reader go to their next paragraph.

the next bit is good up until:

Mr. Lorry quickly nodded his head and strode over to some shelves. All of the Cogs except for Steel followed the merchant with their eyes like hawks.

Here, I think, you should put that Mr. Lorry nods his head quickly and rushes off instead of simply nodding and striding, I think it adds a sense of fear to Mr. Lorry's actions. and then the cogs shouldn't "follow the merchant with their eyes like hawks" they should "watch the old merchant like hawks, none of them taking their eyes off of him for a moment" or something along those lines.


Lorry grabbed a small wooden box and hurried back over to us.
I think should be "Mr. Lorry grabbed a small wooden box and hurried over to me"


“H-here you go,” said the poor guy
Would sound better as "H-here you go," the poor guy said

And lastly, I think damnit is spelled dammit.

Doc_Thom
April 29th, 2013, 09:56 PM
I liked your through-thought metaphor of steel coloured hair in relation to the cogs and nails.

fanatastic_journey
April 30th, 2013, 02:57 AM
She was beautiful, but the sight was grotesque. On top of being bound and gagged there were rubber tubes running from pumps of clear liquid into her veins. A golden collar was wrapped tightly around her neck, and on the collar was a glowing silver crystal. Despite all of that, what drew my attention were her eyes. She stared up at me from behind her bright unkempt hair. Her cheeks were blotchy and her eyelashes were damp. She’d been crying for a long time.

write her name and howe she wa sbeauritful whats the color of her hair.? how long a tim eshe been crying?

Skodt
April 30th, 2013, 03:21 AM
I don't think you need to add detail to her foray. What she does need is detail on condition and looks, but not overly drawn out. The reason I like what you have is it hits fast and leaves the reader no time to think of anything else. What this scene needs though is a sense of the danger, if this place is dangerous then why go there at all? If these men are just there by surprise then show that surprise and build upon it. The beginning dialogue works for me; when going into a store you ask your questions, rarely do I survey a whole scene before attending to my needs in the store. I walk into wal-mart glance once, and then move on to my shopping. I do not think about the scenery, nor do I scope the people. Neither should this character, until he realizes the danger, and then he should start to panic scope the scene. His eyes should dart, his heart should flutter, his palms should sweat, and his stomach more than butterflies should become rumbling and upset. Show the quick onset of fear, how do you feel when you see a spider on your arm? Quick build up of fear, and no quick pay off, even when fear is gone it tends to linger on for awhile. After you swat the spider away, you feel the phantom spider on your back, then your leg, and such and such, but mainly you just still feel the fear. That's to my opinion on what is missing most. The dramatic feeling, and the whirlwind the woman creates. He does not shutter at the pulses she feels him with, he does not moan his displeasure even inwardly, and he does not make a step forward out of instinct to procure a better look. Make him alive in the sense of what would you do in this situation? Then adapt it for his personality and traits.