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JFSurvivor
July 6th, 2015, 09:47 PM
So just an f.y.i this is not a continuation from my last excerpt.

I woke up in the middle of the night not able to breathe because someone’s hand was wrapped around my windpipe, squeezing the air from my lungs. I tried to see who it was but they had put something over my face. I tried to claw at my assailant to get them off of me but the weight of their body had my arms pinned.

I opened the floodgates for every negative thought I could think to come in.

You are weak!

You are useless!

You will never amount to anything!

You will never be good for anything!

As the thoughts ravaged me I became a shadow and slipped out of my attackers embrace. I raced out of my room not looking backand darted in and out of castle doors until I found where Thantos was sleeping.

I quickly returned to human form. Thantos was sleeping in his bed like nothing had happened.

What can I do to improve this?

ShadowEyes
July 7th, 2015, 03:37 AM
It's pure action. When we don't know the purpose of the fight, we can't relate to the character fighting or flighting. It reveals slight character (cowardice), but we can't be sure of the situation; therefore, it's hard to relate.

You could make the assailant known or suspected prior to the attack thus provoking unwanted (but revealing) habits such as paranoia or insomnia.

JFSurvivor
July 7th, 2015, 03:45 AM
It's pure action. When we don't know the purpose of the fight, we can't relate to the character fighting or flighting. It reveals slight character (cowardice), but we can't be sure of the situation; therefore, it's hard to relate.

You could make the assailant known or suspected prior to the attack thus provoking unwanted (but revealing) habits such as paranoia or insomnia.

hmm...Well this is part of a bigger work where it is later revealed who her attacker is and why he is trying to kill her.

Also she gets away by turning into a shadow. Is that not made clear?

ShadowEyes
July 7th, 2015, 04:09 AM
hmm...Well this is part of a bigger work where it is later revealed who her attacker is and why he is trying to kill her.

Also she gets away by turning into a shadow. Is that not made clear?

The revelation later is all fine and dandy. The scene, as it stands, however, is pure action. Someone attacks someone else for an unclear (to me) reason. The latter tries to escape and does. She could have gotten away by hitting the attacker with a crowbar and it would've been just as effective.

What isn't effective, though, is that the escapee doesn't think through the action: it's simply something anyone would want to do. Therefore, it doesn't reveal character. "Actions alone, that is, objective, 'camera-eye' views of action, sometimes reveal to us a great deal about people but only after we have been informed about the situation the man faces. More than mere action is necessary to portray character with any certainty. ... A man is what he does when we know he has a chance to do something else." -- Uzzell, "The Technique of the Novel," pg. 112

So if you gave the woman a chance to stay up all night or whatever, that would reveal character. But since she's attacked out of the blue, it's not her fault, and conversely, not her gain.