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Author Topic: First Five - Meaghan's Sway - Urban Fantasy  (Read 1049 times)
Falthor
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« on: October 11, 2017, 02:03:03 PM »

OKay, so I'm overhauling this idea that I got about half way done.  I decided that it reads better from third but I don't know how good my grasp of Third person Past tense is since I've been writing in First person for so long.  This is basically a rough draft of a re-write of the opening, and while I am looking for the mechanical issues I'm really interested in people's take on the story,flow, and characters.  Thanks in advance for anything you've got for me.

The green glow of the dashboard lights matched the dirty smell of the air in Johan’s Buick. Johan hulked behind the wheel of his car, eyes glued to the house at the end of the street. The last remnants of dusk had brought a slight drizzle with it and fully pulled the darkness over the sky. It was finally time to move.

“Okay, so the target is 5’8”, blonde male Caucasian named Alex,” Bill said. Johan negligently waived a hand at him. “He’s suspected to be at least a beta so his range is about one hundred immediate feet and two to three hundred indirectly under his sway.”

“Hey Bill, you remember that older woman on the east side that everyone thought might be an alpha?  68 but could have passed for 32, kind of looked like Christy Brinkley?” Johan turned his eyes away from the house. Bill nodded unsure of where Johan was going with this. “Knowing that her average boyfriend was what, twenty to thirty with a couple of Eighteen-year-olds in there, how many guys do you think f**ked her because they wanted to, not because her sway forced them to?”

“What the hell does that have to do with…”

“Seriously, think about it. We went in there, thinking she was going to be super powerful, and when you started to fall under her sway I put a bullet in her head and saved who knows how many other people from whatever she would have wanted them to do.” Johan looked into Marc’s eyes as he finished and tapped the butt of his Dessert Eagle before turning the safety off, and Bill rolled his eyes.

“Shock and awe, brother. You stick with that sickly looking agency issue peashooter if you want.  But I tell you, when I reef this bad boy out and squeeze off a round or two, people pay attention and stop thinking about what they want us to be doing.”

A peel of thunder rolled through the sky for a moment. “Good” Johan commented, “the thunder should cover up any of the ‘louder’ activities we should get up to.”

“Jesus, Johan, can we just do this by the book for once, instead of your ridiculous cowboy antics.”

Johan pulled on the door handle and swung his 6’ frame out of the car in a single fluid motion. “There’s a reason we’re the best team with the highest termination rate in the agency Bill. We’re good at the things that we do.” The door slammed shut as Johan turned and walked up the street, the rubber of his shoes squelching on the wet pavement.

His left hand rested on the butt of his gun, as he approached the dirty windows common to this part of town; this close to the industrial area meant more noise cover if the storm wasn’t enough already.

“Dude has the power to make anything he wants in life happen by thinking it, and this is the house he ends up in?” Johan shook his head as he finished the thought and drew his gun from under his right arm and put his back to the wall on the right side of the door.

“Okay, but seriously, can we play this one by the book for once?” Bill asked in a small voice as he took position on the left side of the door. “This drizzle could make the ground slippery if we have to chase him down.”
Johan Snickered.

“Someone could get hurt!” Seeing that Johan wasn’t paying attention anymore Bill reached a single hand out to test the knob.

Without looking Johan planted both feet in front of the door and then lashed out with his left leg, kicking through Bill’s hand and crashing the door down.

“God Damnit!” yelled Bill pulling his hand back and jamming it into his coat pocket.

At the sound of a loud bang in the back room, Johan turned and charged down the hallway, gun leading. Two shots ripped through the stillness and shattered the plaster to the left of Alex’s head as he ducked out the back door.

“What the hell are you doing Johan?”

“Can you feel his Sway?”

“No. Dude’s probably scared sh**less and thinking about us killing him instead of a better outcome.”

“Exactly.”

Johan ran out the door, across the little backyard, and into the dark alley as the drizzle became a downpour.

“Watch your step man, the streets are still a little slick.” Bill panted. “Why. The hell. Do you have to run so fast?” He got out between big gulps of air.

“Just move your fat ass for once Bill, he’s getting away!”

Johan knew Bill would always be just behind him. The agency had given him Bill to help control him, there was no way Johan was going to let Bill spoil his fun. Smiling, Johan picked up his pace a little more and felt Bill slowly fall behind.

As the alley opened into a loading dock area Johan spotted his target on the far side making for the only exit. Stopping his run he raised his gun again, and the roar of it filled the closed area. As the bullet hit the ground beside Alex’s feet he finally came to a stop and put his hands up.

“I’m unarmed.”

“Yeah, No sh**,” Johan responded with a chuckle keeping his Dessert Eagle trained on Alex’s Head. “Turn around so I don’t have to shoot you in the back.”

“My payment isn’t due until Friday,” Alex whined as he complied.

Bill’s huffing breaths drowned out the rest of what Alex was saying. Johan made eye contact and motioned to the shadows on his left as he started to close in on Alex.

“Stay right where you are.”

Johan walked slowly and deliberately, marveling at the rain and thunder that had picked up in the last couple of seconds. “He’s got a flair for the dramatic, eh Bill?” Johan said.

 “Who’s Bill?” Alex asked, turning his head to the side.

Johan smashed the butt of his gun into Alex’s face, dropping him to his knees on the concrete. When he turned back there was blood running from a cut on his temple mixing with the rain. “Shut up Alex.” Johan paused as a loud peal of Thunder split the night sky. “Can you feel anything?”

“No Johan, quit beating the piss out of him already, we want him on our side at the end of this remember?”

Alex turned his head and looked around. “Who are you talking to?” As he finished the butt of Johan’s gun crashed down on his jaw driving Alex to all fours.

“Christ, I told Sartori he’d have his money on Friday.” Alex spat out a mouthful of blood as he finished. Johan’s laugh mingled with the thunder as the rain went from a mist to a downpour.

“You think you’re bookie sent us?” Johan scoffed. “Jesus man, wake up.  We’ve got much more important business to deal with here.”

Bill felt the very familiar feel of Alex’s sway.  It didn’t seem to matter how different everyone was, the numbing strands of silk falling onto his head tipped him off every time. Reaching into his jacket with his left hand, Bill grabbed the gnarled handle of his agency issued gun.

“Sway, Johan.  Do you feel it?”

As his fingers tightened on the grip Bill concentrated on stopping them from moving, at first they shook and slowed down, then they started moving again.

“He’s at least a Beta, Johan, be careful.”
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“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

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newtothis22
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 02:02:24 AM »

I like the beginning of this one much better than the last one. I am a little confused though, is Bill one of the shadow people or was he just too far away for Alex to see? I don't have an opinion on the tense, sorry. 
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Falthor
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 07:03:41 AM »

no he's not, he is something else though...  I haven't fully settled on the Shadow people and what they are, in my mind they look like angles but with no corporeal presence...  not sure if I'm doing it justice yet or not.
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“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

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Farfadet
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 08:56:15 AM »

Hi!

I really like this. It's really well written with powerful images. There are only some minor issues that a re-read could fix: Some names being used often, minor mistakes like Dessert eagle ;), pacing of some sentences. But i would definitely keep reading. The world building is really well integrated in the scene!

One thing that jumped at me is a change of POV though.

Johan knew Bill would always be just behind him. The agency had given him Bill to help control him, there was no way Johan was going to let Bill spoil his fun. Smiling, Johan picked up his pace a little more and felt Bill slowly fall behind.

As the alley opened into a loading dock area Johan spotted his target on the far side making for the only exit. Stopping his run he raised his gun again, and the roar of it filled the closed area. As the bullet hit the ground beside Alex’s feet he finally came to a stop and put his hands up.



Bill felt the very familiar feel of Alex’s sway.  It didn’t seem to matter how different everyone was, the numbing strands of silk falling onto his head tipped him off every time. Reaching into his jacket with his left hand, Bill grabbed the gnarled handle of his agency issued gun.


There. One from Johan's point of view and the other from Bill's.

It's not that confusing as we get that Bill is behind but still I think it's risky to use it in  a first chapter.

Overall it's definitely good so good job and keep going!
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Falthor
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Picture of Me and one of the Twins (Chloe)


« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 09:22:07 AM »

Thanks, Farfadet.   This is actually a re-write of something I got about half done with before I realized that First person wasn't doing me any favors, hence the third person.

I'll take a closer look at the POV jump, as there will likely be some but I don't want it to be super jarring, and I definitely don't want to end up with any head hopping.

And what?   have you never heard of the massive confectionary cannon the Dessert Eagle?  lol
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“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Kjk
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 10:54:05 AM »

I really like the story. The pacing is great and the setup is very intriguing. There was just something minor near the end that left me a bit confused.   


Bill’s huffing breaths drowned out the rest of what Alex was saying. Johan made eye contact and motioned to the shadows on his left as he started to close in on Alex.

when you refer to the shadows on the left I wasn't sure who they were. When I read that, I expected more people to be in the scene with Johan besides Alex and Bill. Or is he acknowledging bills shadow and it should be singular?


 “Who’s Bill?” Alex asked, turning his head to the side.

is Alex turning his head to look for another person like turning his head from side to side? I just wasn't clear.

[

besides those minor issues I was entertained. Good work.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 11:01:14 AM by Kjk » Logged
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