Sunday, March 20, 2011

Submission #5

Name: Pippa Jay

Title: KEIR (Scifi Romance)

First 250 words:
In the darkness and the silence, the young man sat with his teeth gritted against the pains that racked his body. With each jagged breath he sought to shift his focus from the aching ribs that he was sure must be broken, making every movement a torture and a struggle. He tried not to feel the sharp stabbing in his head where his hair lay matted with blood against his skull. Knowing that he was running a fever, that he could be dying, he clenched his fists against the shaking in his body.


Wordlessly he raged against the injustice of it all, as though the anger could keep his life burning but knowing that wasting his energy in this way only hastened the end. Even the tears that stung the cuts on his face were pointless, the symptoms of his own fear and resentment, that he should die young and alone in this place. He would have screamed his fury and terror if he had had the strength, if it would not have been such a futile protest.


When the iron door clanged open against the stonework with a harsh sound and off-key echoes, he was slow to register the change. It seemed such a long, pointless way back through the pain to the here and now. By the time he had gathered his senses, the guards had slammed the door shut again to leave nothing but a draft of smoky air and the sounds of movement.

5 comments:

  1. This is intense and dark in all the right ways. More please!

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  2. This is a piece with nice opening tension. "Jagged breath," "every movement a torture," "a draft of smoky air" are particularly descriptive for me. I did find "gritted" a little less successful, in that my first thought was "is that a word?" even though I like seeing words used in unexpected ways. Others might be fine with it. The rest of the narrative moves very well to the final paragraph in the segment.

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  3. This is interesting. You need to watch your excess descriptive words. You can pack a more powerful punch by cleaning it up a little. For example you have: With each jagged breath he sought to shift his focus from the aching ribs that he was sure must be broken, making every movement a torture and a struggle.

    I suggest: With each jagged breath he fought to shift his focus from his aching broken ribs, making movement a self inflicted torture.

    See how I weeded out the sure, must, struggle? You can pack a real punch by taking out the adverbs and the emotion screams on the page. A great way to avoid excess adverbs is to read your writing out loud.

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  4. Thanks for your comments everyone! :)

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