Another first chapter

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by ctg, Apr 11, 2011.

  1.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    The most important question in my mind is does the prose at below hook you enough, or am I again treading down a well worn road?

    I know that I need to shape the narrator's voice before it really strikes the nerve, but as a man, writing female thoughts is something that I haven't done before.

    Does she comes across as a man or as a woman?


    (~1050 words)


    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. The interrogation or as they said it the interview room was one of those standard governmental types that would see in the movies: concrete walls, a one-way mirror, aluminium table and the chairs that were bolted on the floor. But the interviewer was nothing like from the movies, he was one of those balding types with big square classes and bad mouth hygiene.

    I guess it wasn’t his fault as he was just born that way. The God had made him his image. Then again, the world was full of his images … or at least used to be. He gestured with his hand for me to take a chair, while he meticulously pulled folders, pens and whatnots from his leather briefcase and set them all in order at the desk before he said, “Would you state your name, age, and occupation for the record?”


    Of course love
    , I smiled as I composed my thoughts. “My name is Jane McGriffin. I’ve lost the count over the years on how old I really am, but I was sired in the year seventeen thirty six and my current occupation is a vampire.”

    The man checked the information against the thin file that he’d opened at front of him and crossed over the few details before he composed himself again and said, “The record indicate that you were married before the war began—“


    “Yes,” I said nervously. “That’s correct.”


    “Is he…”


    I leaned my head on right, and asked as I watched him curiously, “Do you mind if I smoke?”


    He glanced hastily the one-way mirror as if he were asking a permission from his superiors and then said, “Well, it’s against the regulations—“


    “You don’t want me to step out and go to have one with the Zoe’s, do you?”


    “Zoe’s?” He raised an eyebrow.


    “Zack’s, Z-heads, the walking dead, the freaking Zombie’s…” Then I leaned forward and slapped a hand over his file as I said, “Look Mister, you want to go over my details, fine, but you have to understand that there are things that make this girl nervous, okay?”


    He nodded nervously as he flashed me his stained teeth.


    “Good,” I said as I pushed my fingers between the chain mail shirt and the padded leather to pull out a silver cigarette case. “I knew you would come to your senses.” I opened the case at front of him, took out one of the hand rolled smokes and asked, “Do you have a light mister?”


    As his hands went to his pockets, he gave me a reason to smile. “I did wonder if you were a smoker, but now that we established that fact, would you like to share one with me?”


    As he again flicked his eyes towards the mirror, I snapped my fingers and stated, “I didn’t ask their permission, but offered you a one. So what is it, do you want one or not?”


    “If you don’t mind,” he answered.


    “Of course I don’t,” I said and pushed the case towards him. “Now, you wanted to know if I was still married to Damien, didn’t you?”


    He nodded at the same moment as he took out one of the smokes and scratched a light at the end of it. I took a drag, held the smoke in my lungs and then expelled it through my nostrils. “Yes I am, and have been almost as long as I have been one that Damned ones.”


    “So, he is still alive?”


    “Yes, I believe so.”


    “I see,” the man lifted his gaze from the papers and said, “Look Miss, we understand if you are unsure of his current whereabouts. We estimate that there are a little bit over forty million zombies wandering the landscape, and we only want know, for the record, if you know his location or not.”


    “If that’s the case,” I said and took another drag. “Then the answer is yes.”


    “Thank you,” he said. He went down his list, checking items and turning papers while I tried to peer into his soul and really get down to understand the reason why he were asking these sort of questions. It was obvious that he understood that he, like I, was one of the undeads, one of the enemies, but in husband case, he had been loyal government agent for a very long time. They had always looked away for things that he’d done to the populace, while he’d provided them God knows what sort of information through his activities. So, as a loving woman I couldn’t understand the reason, but as a logical person, I understood exactly their unspoken reasoning behind the questioning.


    They needed something from him. So the question was, would I be his Judas?


    “Thirteen silvers,” I said quietly.


    The man raised his gaze, and said, “Pardon?”


    “Oh nothing…” I shook my head.


    “Right,” he said, “In that case, should we start from the first question then?”


    “Which is?”


    “Where and when did you encounter the plague of death first time?”


    “Well,” I stumped my roll up and lit up another one. “Now, that’s a real question…”


    He raised his brows and crossed his fingers, “But you want something before that?”


    “Yeah, I was wondering if a girl could get a drink, or is that too demanding?”


    “And is there some so—“


    I licked my lips and smiled. “I prefer something red…”



    ***


    “Mmm,” I licked my lips as I laid down the wineglass. “Now, that’s very nice.”


    The old gentleman, at other side of the table smiled slyly as he whisked his hand to send the waiter away. Even though he was old, there was nothing in his physical appearance that would had told to the casual observer that in this table sat nothing more than a very young looking couple. Maybe even a married couple. But to those, who knew us better, knew not bring in the m-word related matter at front of him if they wanted to keep their heads sitting on their shoulders. Especially not the one that was forged at front of the God, or at that time, at front of a sea captain.
  2.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    [/quote]
  3.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Very good Chris. Thank you very much. I'm getting better with the syntax all the time, but there are always room for the improvement (in grammar). A lot in fact.

    You made me chuckle at the point of "technically undead", but the one thing you did forget, was to answer the main question: Does it hook?

    Also note, I'm intrigued to reveal a bit more about what happens next but that can wait a few days, if I get enough of (positive) answers.

    Thank you again on clearing the grammar.

    Another note: nobody isn't born with glasses or with bad oral hygiene, but yet, the genetics do play their role in the equation. In this case, it's not my place to scientifically correct the narrator (the character).
  4.  
    Sapheron

    Sapheron Making no sense.

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    I shan't waste a moment of either of our time on grammar and spelling, as we all know the master has been at work already.

    The one way mirror threw me off, as I thought that was a normal mirror- you only see from one side with those. The sort you describe is a two way mirror. Then I looked it up, and found that both one and two way mirrors are actually the sort you mean, so this little niggle is completely unfounded and comes down to preference.

    The last tiny bit about the old gentleman, although chris has aided with it, I must admit I found very difficult to make head from tail in. As a result, I didn't like that bit much at all.

    On the other hand, I quite liked the first and much larger part of it. I found the situation quite amusing and the only real detraction from it was the grammar. Perhaps that's a good thing; it's comparatively easy to fix.

    Ooh, here's a little one. Why did the plump fellow cross his fingers near the end before the change of scene? That seemed a little out of place.
  5.  
    telford

    telford Member

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    Hello CTG. In my humble opinion:

    ( ) = consider chopping.

    I may be repeating some of Chrispy's comments so bear with me.

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. The interrogation or as they said it the interview room was one of those standard governmental types that would see in the movies:
    Perhaps: I couldn'g believe my eyes when I first saw the interrogation room. They referred to it as the interview room but I was struck by how much it resembled its counterpart from the movies: (okay, that's rough, but you get the idea)
    concrete walls, a one-way mirror, aluminium table and the chairs that were bolted on the floor. (But) the interviewer was nothing like a character from the movies.(,) he was one of those balding types with big square classes and bad mouth hygiene.

    (I guess it wasn’t his fault as he was just born that way. The God had made him his image. Then again, the world was full of his images … or at least used to be. interesting passage but does it progress the story?)He gestured (with his hand) for me to take a chair, while he meticulously pulled folders, pens and whatnots from his leather briefcase and set them (all) in order at the desk before him. (he said,) “Would you state your name, age, and occupation for the record?”


    Of course love
    . , I smiled as I composed my thoughts. “My name is Jane McGriffin. I’ve lost (the) count over the years (on) of how old I really am, but I was sired in the year seventeen thirty six and my current occupation is a vampire.” I like it.

    The man checked the information against the thin file (that he’d opened at) in front of him and crossed over (the) a few details before he composed himself again (and said,) “The record indicates (that) you were married before the war began—“


    “Yes,” I said nervously. “That’s correct.”


    “Is he…”


    I leaned my head on right, and (asked) as I watched him curiously said, “Do you mind if I smoke?”


    He glanced hastily the one-way mirror as if he were asking (a) permission from his superiors and then said, “Well, it’s against the regulations—“


    “You don’t want me to step out and go to have one with the Zoe’s, do you?”


    “Zoe’s?” He raised an eyebrow.


    “Zack’s, Z-heads, the walking dead, the freaking Zombie’s…” (Then) I leaned forward and slapped a hand over his file (as I said,) “Look Mister, you want to go over my details, fine, but you have to understand (that) there are things that make this girl nervous, okay?”


    He nodded nervously as he flashed me his stained teeth.


    “Good,” I said as I pushed my fingers between the chain mail shirt and the padded leather to pull out a silver cigarette case. “I knew you would come to your senses.” I opened the case (at front of him), took out one of the hand rolled smokes and asked, “Do you have a light mister?”


    As his hands went to his pockets, he gave me a reason to smile. “I did wonder if you were a smoker, but now that we established that fact, would you like to share one with me?”


    As he again flicked his eyes towards the mirror, I snapped my fingers and stated, “I didn’t ask their permission, but offered you (a) one. So what is it, do you want one or not?”


    “If you don’t mind,” he answered.


    “Of course I don’t.(,)” I (said and) pushed the case towards him. “Now, you wanted to know if I was still married to Damien, didn’t you?”


    He nodded at the same moment as he took out one of the smokes and scratched a light at the end of it. (ah, sorry, I don't understand 'scratched a light?) I took a drag, held the smoke in my lungs and then expelled it through my nostrils. “Yes I am, and have been almost as long as I have been one that Damned ones.”


    “So, he is still alive?”


    “Yes, I believe so.”


    “I see,” the man lifted his gaze from the papers and said, “Look Miss, we understand if you are unsure of his current whereabouts. We estimate that there are a little bit over forty million zombies wandering the landscape, and we only want to know, for the record, if you know his location or not.”


    “If that’s the case,” I said and took another drag,(.)(Then) the answer is yes.”


    “Thank you,” he said. He went down his list, checking items and turning papers while I tried to peer into his soul and really get down to understand the reason why he were asking these sort of questions. It was obvious that he understood that he, like I, was one of the undeads, one of the enemies, but in my husbands case, he had been a loyal government agent for a very long time. They had always looked away for things that he’d done to the populace, while he’d provided them God knows what sort of information through his activities. So, as a loving woman I couldn’t understand the reason, but as a logical person, I understood exactly their unspoken reasoning behind the questioning.

    (wow, this para needs some work)

    They needed something from him. So the question was, would I be his Judas?


    “Thirteen silvers,” I said quietly.


    The man raised his gaze, and said, “Pardon?”


    “Oh nothing…” I shook my head.


    “Right,” he said, “In that case, should we start from the first question then?”


    “Which is?”


    “Where and when did you encounter the plague of death first time?”


    “Well,” I stumped my roll up and lit up another one. “Now, that’s a real question…”


    He raised his brows and crossed his fingers, “But you want something before that?”


    “Yeah, I was wondering if a girl could get a drink, or is that too demanding?”


    “And is there some so—“


    I licked my lips and smiled. “I prefer something red…”



    ***


    “Mmm,” I licked my lips as I laid down the wineglass. “Now, that’s very nice.”


    The old gentleman, at other side of the table smiled slyly as he whisked his hand to send the waiter away. Even though he was old, there was nothing in his physical appearance that would had/have told (to) the casual observer that in/at this table sat nothing more than a very young (looking) couple. Maybe even a married couple. (But to) those, who knew us better, knew not to mention (bring in) the m-word (related matter) at/in front of him if they wanted to keep their heads sitting on their shoulders. Especially not the one that was forged at front of the God, or at that time, at front of a sea captain.
    (Huh?)

    Well ctg, you have an interesting and intriguing tale here. Vampires, the undead, zombies. You've hit the high notes for me.

    Does the character come across as female? Yes. A tough woman but nonetheless female.

    All comments are meant in a constructive manner so take the good and leave the rest.

    Good luck with your writing.




  6.  
    RoninJedi84

    RoninJedi84 New Member

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    I, too, won't spend anytime on spelling or grammar. Looks like that's been taken care of. To answer your questions, though:

    Yes. I was definitely drawn in by the opening. It answered a few questions to give me a feel of what's going on, but also leaves things open for the reader to ponder. I'm curious to know more about the who, what, why, and how. So to that point, I think you've done a very good job.

    To your question of whether the narrator comes across as a man or woman: Maybe my perspective is biased because I went in asking that question myself, but I thought the voice came across as a woman's. I agree with Sapheron that even the voice came across as very strong, but still that of a woman.

    Hope I was helpful. Good luck!
  7.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    He was getting ready to listen the story, while they would undoubtedly record the whole story at the other room. We will get more of his character later in the book, when he deepens the interview.

    In the regards of the voice I wanted to create a really strong female voice; one that would not take sh*t, no matter how tough the things would become. At the same time I wanted her to shield the fragile things at the inside, and only break them out when and if things allow them.
  8.  
    The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    ctg, in view of the 1500 word limit, and in order to keep the threads from getting too long and unwieldy, we're asking critiquees to put each new piece for critique into a new thread even if it's from the same chapter.** So I've transferred your further extract over and given it a spanking new title. (I've got to get those new thread numbers up somehow...)



    ** unless the pieces together still come to less than the 1500, or the second piece is actually just the first one revamped to take account of the advice/suggestions given.
  9.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    okay, fair enough. You got to get the rules up darling or we'll be in trouble. What I'm saying is that I didn't need to put this up, as I got confident enough, but I thought that I promised to put up a bit more. Didn't need to do that, but did it any way.

    Thank you for moderating.
  10.  
    The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    It keeps me off the streets.
  11.  
    Gary Compton

    Gary Compton King Harvey Basset R.I.P

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    Hmmm...

    Contemp of court your honour?:):):)
  12.  
    Anne Martin

    Anne Martin incorrigible

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    I'll just give some quick thoughts. Firstly, I'd dump the first paragraph. Starting with the second gives a little more punch, then you can describe what is essential of the room and interrogator afterwards.

    Personally, I thought there was too much dialog. It made it seem like an infodump. Give us more characterization before you start unfolding background. I don't mean giving us the character's backstory. Give us her thoughts. Have her muse about her predicament a little before the interrogation begins. What drives her? What does she fear? That would transform subsequent dialog into something more meaningful to me.

    But that is only my opinion, and you can take it or leave it.
  13.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Wonderful. Finally. Thank you.
  14.  
    psychotick

    psychotick Dangerously confused

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    Hi,

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. The interrogation (,) or as they said (called?) it the interview room was one of those standard governmental types (I'm not sure that types is the right word here, especially when later in the same para you go on to use types to describe people.) that (you? one?) would see in the movies: concrete walls, a one-way mirror, aluminium table and the chairs that were bolted on the floor. But the interviewer was nothing like (someone?) from the movies, he was one of those balding types with big square classes and bad mouth (poor oral?) hygiene.

    I guess it wasn’t his fault as he was just born that way. The God had made him his image. Then again, the world was full of his images … or at least (it?) used to be. He gestured with his hand for me to take a chair, while he meticulously pulled folders, pens and whatnots from his leather briefcase and set them all in order at the desk before he said, “Would you state your name, age, and occupation for the record?”


    (") Of course love
    ("), I smiled as I composed my thoughts. “My name is Jane McGriffin. I’ve lost the count over the years on (of?) how old I really am, but I was sired in the year seventeen thirty six and my current occupation is a vampire.”

    (I like that - the idea that vampire can be an occupation - it does hook me a little.)


    The man checked the information against the thin file that he’d opened at (he had open in?) front of him and crossed over the few details before he composed himself again and said, “The record (s) indicate that you were married before the war began—“


    “Yes,” I said nervously. “That’s correct.”


    “Is he…”


    I leaned my head on (to the) right, and asked as I watched him curiously, “Do you mind if I smoke?”


    (I don't understand the significance of her tilting her head.)


    He glanced hastily (at, to?) the one-way mirror as if he were asking a (for?) permission from his superiors and then said, “Well, it’s against the regulations—“


    (This is a little off as if he was actually asking permission he'd surely have to get it somehow and presumably he can't see through the mirror. So presumably he didn't get permission but made a decision on his own.)


    “You don’t want me to step out and go to have one with the Zoe’s, do you?”


    “Zoe’s?” He raised an eyebrow.


    “Zack’s, Z-heads, the walking dead, the freaking Zombie’s…” Then I leaned forward and slapped a hand over his file as I said, “Look Mister, you want to go over my details, fine, but you have to understand that there are things that make this girl nervous, okay?”


    He nodded nervously as he flashed me his stained teeth.


    “Good,” I said as I pushed my fingers between the chain mail shirt and the padded leather to pull out a silver cigarette case. “I knew you would come to your senses.” I opened the case at front of him, took out one of the hand rolled smokes and asked, “Do you have a light mister?”


    (Mister seems wrong here. He's interrogating her, surely he should be an agent or an officer or some such.)


    As his hands went to his pockets, he gave me a reason to smile. “I did wonder if you were a smoker, but now that we established that fact, would you like to share one with me?”


    As he again flicked his eyes towards the mirror, I snapped my fingers and stated, “I didn’t ask their permission, but offered you a one. So what is it, do you want one or not?”


    (This reads wrong. I think it shoul be - "I didn't ask their permission. I offered you one." Also stated seems to me to be the wrong word here.)


    “If you don’t mind,” he answered.


    “Of course I don’t,” I said and pushed the case towards him. “Now, you wanted to know if I was still married to Damien, didn’t you?”


    He nodded at the same moment as he took out one of the smokes and scratched a light at the end of it. I took a drag, held the smoke in my lungs and then expelled it through my nostrils. “Yes I am, and have been almost as long as I have been one that (of the?) Damned ones.”


    “So, he is still alive?”


    “Yes, I believe so.”


    “I see,” the man lifted his gaze from the papers and said, “Look Miss, we understand if you are unsure of his current whereabouts. We estimate that there are a little bit over forty million zombies wandering the landscape, and we only want (to) know, for the record, if you know his location or not.”


    “If that’s the case,” I said and took another drag. “Then the answer is yes.”


    “Thank you,” he said. He went down his list, checking items and turning papers while I tried to peer into his soul and really get down to understand the reason why he were (was) asking these sort of questions. It was obvious that he understood that he, like I, was one of the undeads (undead), one of the enemies (enemy), but in husband (my husband's?) case, he had been loyal government agent for a very long time. They had always looked away for (from) things that he’d done to the populace, while he’d provided them God knows what sort of information through his activities. So, as a loving woman I couldn’t understand the reason, but as a logical person, I understood exactly their unspoken reasoning behind the questioning. (their questions?)


    They needed something from him. So the question was, would I be his Judas?


    “Thirteen silvers,” I said quietly.


    The man raised his gaze, and said, “Pardon?”


    “Oh nothing…” I shook my head.


    “Right,” he said, “In that case, should we start from the first question then?”


    “Which is?”


    “Where and when did you encounter the plague of death (for the?) first time?”


    “Well,” I stumped (out) my roll up and lit up another one. “Now, that’s a real question…”


    He raised his brows and crossed his fingers, “But you want something before that?”


    “Yeah, I was wondering if a girl could get a drink, or is that too demanding?”


    “And is there some so—“


    I licked my lips and smiled. “I prefer something red…”


    (Good line that.)


    ***


    “Mmm,” I licked my lips as I laid down the wineglass. “Now, that’s very nice.”


    (what's happened here? We seem to have jumped somehow and she's not drinking her red with the agent any longer - or is she?)


    The old gentleman, at other side of the table smiled slyly as he whisked his hand to send the waiter away. Even though he was old, there was nothing in his physical appearance that would had told to (have told the) the casual observer that in (at) this table sat nothing (anything) more than a very young looking couple. Maybe even a married couple. But to (of) those, (no comma) who knew us better, (they) knew not (to) bring in the m-word related matter at (in)front of him if they wanted to keep their heads sitting on their shoulders. Especially not the one (what one? I don't understand what this refers to) that was forged at (in) front of the (no the) God, or at that time, at (in) front of a sea captain.


    (I liked the idea of the interrogation, but I think its too sparse as yet to tell me what's going on, so its only got half a hook for me.)

    Cheers.
  15.  
    psychotick

    psychotick Dangerously confused

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    Hi,

    Also, forgot to add, yes I get that she's a woman from the textual clues, pronouns and the fact that she has a husband, but there's not yet enough in her thoughts? to let me think she's feminine if you see what I mean. She feels emotionally genderless, but then there's not enough about her to get a feel for who she really is so far.

    Cheers.
  16.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Hi CTG,

    To answer your question - Not quite.

    The first para is the main barrier to the bait. It has fine points but for me it's not active enough. A quick outline of the interrogator and get the the first question in quickly along the lines of

    He was balding with big square classes and bad mouth hygiene.

    "For the record your name is ...

    Before she answers she could speculate on why she wouldn't bite him - doubting whether her fangs would be able to get through the layers of fat or some such.

    That way you establish the sex immediately (though why you think this is important I'm not sure).

    As for the description of the interrogator he seems normal they come in all shapes and sizes.

    As for the rest.

    Being a vampire isn't an occupation - It's not as though there's career progression. Though she would probably have a job which could be vampire related but it could just as easily be a hairdresser.

    Do vampires crave cigarettes?

    Stepping outside traditionally wouldn't be a good idea - sunlight etc.

    What war? - Given she was > 200 years.

    I thought it was thirty silvers.

    When You describe the old gentleman as such it jars against your later revelation. it would be better to describe him as young looking and then explain how appearances are deceptive.

    Hope I helped

    TEiN
  17.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Why wouldn't they? Look for example Buffy's angel, where he turns to Angelus for second time. The first victim he snatches is a hooker from the street. One that's smoking. So at the moment the woman drops on ground he picks up a ciggie and takes a deep drag from it. Another example is Spike from same series. He seems to be having an alcohol addiction, and you can constantly seem him drinking beer.

    So, as there so much character assassination in this piece, why wouldn't you be able to give your vampire character's human flaws?

    Do you think I'm so stupid that I wouldn't know that? Or do you think she's so stupid that she would actually do that? Of course she isn't, but as she has a brain in her head she can say to the geezer that does he want her to go out to have a smoke, when in fact she's already testing the facility (underground bunker) and it's personnel boundaries.

    We, as humans, do that all the time. We test how far we can go before someone slaps our wrist, but oh dear, if one bloody character does, the hell breaks loose.

    Why do I have to spell everything and then get told off by the people, who say, that I'm telling when I'm not. But fear not, I will take this thing in board will amend the story so that it's absolutely clear why things happen in the way they happen.

    Human versus zombie's, what else?

    It did. Thank you.
  18.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    Right, I removed a lot of details and shortened the bit down to 948 words.




    That’s so typical, I said to myself as I stepped through the foot thick blast door at the end of the corridor. The interrogation, or the ‘Interview Room 3’ as the placard on the wall had said, was so similar to the ones that I had seen in the movies.

    Does the government employ Hollywood prop makers to design these, I questioned myself as I eyed aluminium table and the chairs that had been bolted to the floor. If everything in this facility followed the same protocol, then I betted the geezer who would come through that door would be one of those handsome types that would melt girls heart in an instant.

    In fact, I was so wrong. The moment I was trying to peer through the two-way mirror, the door on the side opened and through it stepped a pear shaped, balding, four-eye type that were carrying a leather briefcase.

    He looked at me for a moment and then gestured with his hand, “Take a seat, please.”

    “Thank you,” I smiled and took the one opposite to the outer door, thinking that I needed at least some sort of way to see if they were coming to get me. The interrogator shrugged his shoulders and took the other seat before he started methodically to pull out stuff from his case. The moment he started lining up the pencils, papers, and other stuff I knew that he was one of those OCD-types that I had not seen since the war started.

    It did bother me a little bit as I guessed that they weren’t going to let this interview to be a brief but if I guessed the Authorities at the other side of that two-way mirror really wanted to the bottom of what happened to their world at the outside.

    Yet I had to test it. Test him when the man started sharpening his already sharp pencil. So I leaned back and asked, “Can we get on with this?”

    “Just a moment,” he said and then continued sharpening them until every little detail was ready. Then he opened carefully the first case folder and picked up a pen to go down the text an item by an item. Finally after he had reviewed the page he returned on the top and popped a question. “Would you state your name, your age, and your formed occupation for the record, please?”

    “Of course love,” I said. “My name is Jane McGriffin and I’m not sure about my current age as I was lost the count over the years…”

    He looked me into eyes and asked, “What you mean you lost the count?”

    “Well,” I sighed. “Let me put it this way. Even though I look like a twenty-something, I’m not, ‘cause I was sired in the Lord’s year seventeen hundred thirty six.”

    “Sired?” he frowned.

    I flashed my slightly pointy teeth and said, “Meaning that I was turned to vampirism, but over the years I wasn’t just a vampire, but quite many other things; starting from being a nun and ending with my former occupation as an AnE nurse.”

    “I see,” he said as he laid his eyes, and the pen back on the paper. “That is correct.”

    “Well, I hope so because I know for the fact that you’ve kept close eye on us.”

    “You know?” He cocked an eyebrow.

    I nodded and watched as he started trembling a bit when I pulled a character assassination on him. The man was not only OCD, but also clearly one of those autistic types that needed everything going by the plan, by the perfect plan.

    But me, I was far from being a perfect and in the current state the world was in I couldn’t but let my ego run rampant and test him in same way as he was planning to test me. So I pulled a silvery cigarette case from between the chain mail shirt and the padded leather top and asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?”

    He hastily glanced the mirror on the wall as if he were asking help. “Well, it’s against the regulations—“

    “Regulations,” I rolled my eyes. “My Lord, are you serious?”

    “Uh huh,” he nodded, but I didn’t let go as I pulled one of roll up from the case and as he saw it sticking out from my mouth, he started sweating and trembling before he said in loud voice, “Miss McGriffin I must protest you doing that in this government facility—“

    I lit up, took a deep drag and then exhaled through my nostrils before I said, “Look mister you can protest as much as you like, because I—“

    “Miss—“

    I threw him a look and said, “Do I looked bothered mister? Does this face look bothered to you?”

    “No,” he said, “But—“

    “Oh mister, don’t be so pathetic, the world as we knew it isn’t anymore, and to be honest, I don’t give a rats ass if the passive smoking going to kill you as there are far wrose things out there, yeah?”

    He again turned his gaze towards the mirror and for first time I heard the intercom crackling alive. “It’s alright Herbert. Get on with it.”

    “Thank you,” I grinned as I continued observing Herbert trying to calm down his panicking nerves. Would I had met him at the ‘Golden Old Days’ and I could have let him go. But now, I couldn’t let this go as this was just a minor victory in the long run. In fact, I did bet that this interview would take rather long time, and it would go over all the details.

    “Right, right,” he finally said.

    “Yes,” I said in return. “What is it?”

    “I think we should start the debriefing you then…”

    “If that is what you wish.”

    “When was the first time you saw the walking dead?”
  19.  
    Tayfax

    Tayfax New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    It hooks. In spite of the egregious lapses in grammar I was still quite interested in the goings on. That says something. I'm normally ready to toss a thing at the first sign of vampires or zombies.

    Somebody mentioned there was too much dialogue, but I disagree. I got a strong feel for the character's . . . character, for lack of better words, very quickly. Steady on with the story, but do work on the grammar!
  20.  
    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,780
    Ok ctg: you helped me lot, so let's see if I can do same for you.
    You don't need the 1st para. Start with:

    Does the government ... I (asked) myself ... chairs bolted to ... protocol,then the geezer who came through that door was going to be ((sorry, I can't help you here -- but 'one of those handsome types' etc. doesn't cut it -- you need something more original here, right in the FIRST paragraph of your book?))

    On to 2nd Para: Start with:

    I was still trying to peer ... mirror, when the thick steel blast-door opened and through it ((try think of a more original word than 'stepped'?)) a pear shaped, balding, (nerdy?) looking guy with bad mouth hygene, who wore thick, square glasses and carried a thin, square briefcase.

    Next para. Start with:

    He looked at me for a moment: "Take a seat, please."
    I sat down opposite the door, thinking ... get me. My interrogator shrugged and sat down before starting methodically to pull stuff out from ...

    Next Para. Start with:

    That bothered me a little bit. I guessed they weren't ... this interview be a brief; the 'authorities' on the other side ... really badly wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened to their world.

    Next Para:

    Yet I had to test it -- to test him (him in italic). I leaned back: "Can we get on with this?"
    "Just a moment," he said.
    He continued to sharpen his pencil to a needle point and then he carefully opened the first case-folder and started to go down the text with his pencil, item by item. Finally, after he had reviewed the page, he looked up and said: "Please state your name, your age and your former occupation?"
    I looked straight back at him.
    "Just for the record," he said.
    "Of course love," I said: "My name, just for the record, is Jane McGriffen ...etc

    That should hook? You can take it from there. Don't mean to interfere. I hope I have not altered the story, or your style, in any way. Thanks again for your valuable help with my own first chapter -- those all important first few pages ...
    Regards
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

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