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View Full Version : The Dark Passage Part 1/3, 1240 words



CraniumInsanium
January 21st, 2014, 04:21 AM
Thanks for everyone's feedback :)

Lytharicus
January 21st, 2014, 06:17 AM
Overall I liked the story, especially your description of the actual encounter. In the last paragraph you suddenly go to a summary of what is happening, but I think it would be more interesting to actually describe other encounters specifically (and what happens in between) as they happen to the character instead of just stating that events happen. I was little confused about this description:
The door looked like someone had splashed black paint across the left side of it. More specifically, an almost triangular section of the door from top to bottom was missing. The paint looked foggy, gray around the plain white paint. Is part of the door actually gone or does the paint just make it look that way?

CraniumInsanium
January 24th, 2014, 03:04 AM
Thanks Lytharicus. Well I've broken it up into three sections I'll proably post. They each break down each "encounter". Its funny you memtion the in between stuff. I have another thread "all action, no dialogue. Good or bad?" Describing exactly that dilema. Keeping to the action sticking mostly to the MC and whats happening, or filling in the story with more...."substance" I guess lol. To answer your question I rewrote that part a little bit. Basically I was trying to get the reader to get that a chunk of the door ha been replaced, was missing and kind if thought a shimmering liquid like shadowy appearance might be the best way to initially describe the door being repaced with a darkness that led somewhere else. Does that make sense?

Ninjabobdude
February 8th, 2014, 08:51 PM
Is part of the door actually gone or does the paint just make it look that way?
I agree with you here, I wasn't sure if it was actually gone either. Maybe something more like "The door appeared as if a blackness had consumed it" Or something along those lines would help to make it clearer.

thepancreas11
February 14th, 2014, 04:08 PM
There's a lot of potential here. The idea that it's all in his head is very Poe-esque; believing you're crazy is far more terrifying than someone hiding in the closet or Godzilla. Psychological warfare is an under-utilized tool in horror, I think, and you've done well to employ it. I want to commend you on upholding an air of mystery, too. Often, young writers are in the data-dumping mode, getting as much information out there as they can, but you've really held back. Tension plays an enormous part in the success of thrillers, and you don't get suspense by giving it all away in the first chapter. Again, well done to avoid that misstep.

There's another piece to tension that's lacking though: focus. In great horrors and great thrillers, there is alway an air of something amiss, always something strange that doesn't add up, or at least the shadow of the thing that perpetrates the evil. From the first paragraph, if not the first sentence, we should know something feels off about the character or the situation that he or she is in. By the time he breaks out the black and tan, it reads more like a Yuengling commercial. Why mention the brand of the bear or the car or the address? What's all this about? Does any of this come back to be important in the end? You say Black and Tan about six times in the story. How does this convey anything about the black hole that lives in his bathroom? It's like missing a spot when you shave. It doesn't matter how nice the rest of the piece is, all I can think about are the few hairs you forgot to trim. My advice is spend more time describing the thing he see's and less time describing his surroundings. That first paragraph needs something fishy.

It's a little convoluted too. I'm not really sure what's going on. You need to pick better descriptors. You call the paint black, then you call it gray and fuzzy... Be careful not to contradict yourself.

Overall, good job. I have the feeling that this will only get better the more that you write. Most stories go that way. Streamline your piece, and you'll find that it gets more exciting for you.

W. Dallas
February 20th, 2014, 04:05 AM
I would be careful with the passive voice, ie had, too much. In a horror story you want it to be very direct. Also, I don't mind it, but some frown on ending sentences too often in prepositions. As for the story itself, well done, but as others have mentioned make sure to show more than you tell.

stormageddon
February 20th, 2014, 05:20 AM
I would attempt to be more eloquent, but it's four in the morning and I am feeling more than a little queasy from an excess of hot chocolate and cupcakes so I am afraid this is the best I can manage :p
There are a few minor grammatical errors, for example "swore" should be "sworn".
"there being a triangular section of his door just gone" would make more sense as "there was a triangular section of his door just gone" or "a triangular section of his door was just gone"
Perhaps I'm being a little anal here but "Maybe its was his imagination" - its should be it, presumably that was only a typo :p
"Not the usual sounds which should be coming from the town-house he shares with his roommates" - shares should be shared, which again is probably only a typo but if not you need to make sure to keep your tenses consistent. Also the phrasing is a little iffy, for want of a better word. Saying the sounds should be coming sounds odd, perhaps "not the usual sounds which came" would be more fitting (or something more creative than that, I here refer you to my opening excuse) but that's more of a stylistic point than anything, not a suggestion you necessarily need to follow.
"Holy shit, the whole door has been consumed now!" - this sounded a little unnatural to me, not much like an organic thought. I'd suggest a rephrase or a removal, though the rest of this paragraph was excellent. Apologies for the italics, they won't go away v.v
"rubbing against them like a cheese grater on raw skin" is a nice image, fits with the horror theme and is disgustingly original, and last point, I promise!
"That was Harry's first encounter with the anomaly in his bathroom. Nor was it the last. " - "nor" doesn't fit here, because there is no negative in the prior sentence. "And it was not the last" or something along those lines would work better.
Besides these points, most of which are fairly insignificant, you have penned an intriguing story and I look forward to reading the rest. Nice one ;)

Zeynith
February 20th, 2014, 07:05 AM
Hey Cranium,

I am going to try not to repeat comments that were already said since most of my views have already been expressed by others. To expand on thepancreas11 (http://www.writingforums.com/members/54795-thepancreas11) suggestion I would probably cut the beginning and just start with:
Harry used one hand to hold the Chinese take-out bag he had picked up from Jade China, and used the other to open the door with the key from his lanyard on his neck.
Nothing that happened before that is relevant to the rest of the story so far and if it does become important later it would probably be better to include it then. I really didn't mind including the kind of beer, just gives you another way to address it so you don't have to say beer every time.
I don't mind the last paragraph but I was curious about:
That was Harry's first encounter with the anomaly in his bathroom. Are all the anomalies in his bathroom? Even if they are I would suggest changing it to: That was Harry's first encounter with the anomaly. Something about the 'in his bathroom' part just makes it sound silly and kind of comical to me :P
Anyway good job :)

SonneLore
March 8th, 2014, 07:49 AM
Watch your grammar, you tend to use it either too much or too little. Some of your shorter sentences could be added to the ones before it, making them flow a bit better. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to read the whole lot aloud, sometimes just reading things isn't enough and hearing the pauses and intonations helps us spot mistakes we wouldn't otherwise.

Romana Drew
March 11th, 2014, 09:17 AM
I enjoyed reading this chapter. I hope my comments are helpful.

For the most part the writing is quite clean, pacing is good and the character is starting to develop. The tension could be a little more intense. Don't take the reader out of Harry's mind.

For example: "he groped for his Yuengling, but something made him pause. At first he couldn't tell what had grabbed his attention. Then he saw through the transparent curtain what was out of place. The door was cracked open." Starting at 'but' this makes the reader look at Harry rather than through Harry. Maybe something like "Parting the curtain to grab the beer, his eyes caught a flicker in the mirror. Not a flicker, a shadow, a reflection of the door. He backed up against the wall and stared into the room. Water cascaded over his face. The steam and translucent curtain obscured the dark shape slithering around the door. Easing the curtain aside he . . ." or something like that. Keep showing the reader what Harry see, hears, smells. There shouldn't be any need to say he is frightened if what he experiences is frightening and if his reactions are fear reactions - his heart beat faster, sweat drenched his shirt, his legs trembled, etc.

Show what made him pause, and what got his attention. Keep the reader inside his fear not looking at it from the outside. It takes a lot more words.

'Harry told himself he was letting his imagination get away from him, that's all.' This can be done in italics as him talking to himself. I must be seeing things. Maybe I should lay off the beer. or something like that. The reader stays inside Harry's head.

This sounds like a good story. I want to know what is on the other side to the anomaly. Good luck

cosmictide
March 15th, 2014, 12:45 AM
At the beginning of this story you may want to change around the way you have described the character. He looks in a mirror and it seems like a messy way for you to tell the reader what the MC looks like. Instead, if you started the paragraph with how he barely recognises himself etc, it would flow more seemlessly into his own description of himself, admiring (or disliking) the changes in his appearance that doesn't make it seem like you are going out of your way too much. Other than that, I found it an interesting and exciting read. Nice.