Feedback request – An excerpt from my latest finished story.

Hello

 

As mentioned in my last post yesterday, here is the first half of the first chapter of my demon vs hunters (searchers) tale the Searcher’s Want.  I would appreciate some feedback on it and as always if you choose to please keep it constructive. Thank You.

 

No one in the bar tonight is paying much attention to the demon except for the barman who is making good tips off him, a few women hanging off his every well-groomed and disguised word, and the searcher Aaron Watch looking to kill him without causing alarms to ring in the process.

The Catcher demon has a talent for blending in, which has been perfected over the past four hundred years or so, and hiding in plain sight using their superior disguising and survival techniques that put humans off their scent and to attempt to, which has failed so far, to repel the searchers. The makeup and strategic use of clothes covered their true, green, scaly form and to cover their talons. The Catcher was dressed well but not so much as to stick out of the crowd.

“Can I buy you a drink?” A woman said, sitting next to the demon at the bar. The Mox bar is very busy for a Tuesday night and a place well known to be an easy pick up spot for anyone looking for something that didn’t mean anything.

“I would say you can. Whiskey, please. On the rocks.” The Catcher replied, in a perfected mancunian accent. Catcher’s had become very good at sounding charming, sophisticated, and most importantly, human. Aaron sipped his water as he watched intently.

“Coming right up. Oh barman, two whiskeys please.” She said, adjusting her top ever so slightly. Aaron watched the his eyes flash yellow for an instant before returning to the human blue it had adopted. Aaron knew from looking at her that she is prime meat for this monster. She’s tall, pretty, and has a curvy figure, which is all just about held in by a tight, ill-fitting dress. She was the type of woman that frequented this bar every night of the week. The type that had a look in their eye that said they were destined for something greater but had gotten very lost along the way.

“You shouldn’t stare, you know.” a woman said, leaning against the bar and blocking Aaron’s view. The bar curved round so he could sit at the end of it and watch discreetly. He had always been good at spotting women who fancied the look of him and moving away from them whilst fulfilling a search and kill order. He was not a great looking man but he was nice enough and a lot of women thought so too. Every so often he would take advantage of this but not tonight.

“You shouldn’t talk to strangers.” he replied, before taking a big gulp of water so he could see what the demon was up to.

“I could change that for you if you like?” she said, leaning in a little more. Aaron hadn’t taken a proper look at her yet as he was trying to keep as much of his eyes as possible on his target. The woman was still flirting with the Catcher and they had just started to drink their newly acquired whiskeys.

“And how could you do that?” Aaron said, giving her as much attention as he could spare. She is very elegant, he thought, and she has nice, almost clear, light brown skin and high cheek bones. She was has a toned physique which only just fitted into her dress but she is in proportion, unlike the catcher’s whiskey drinking prey. These kinds of women could either be prostitutes or actual women. It was difficult to tell in a place like The Mox Bar.

“By flirting with you a little bit and getting to know you.” She is an actual woman. She has bright, searching eyes and seemed to be putting on a false longing just for him. He’d taught himself, through many confrontations with demons and deceiving humans, to spot falseness in an expression and body language.

“You’re a cheeky one, aren’t you?” He said with a smile. Aaron had a slightly chiselled jaw and nice hazel eyes and teeth. His brown hair touched his ears in a by design scruffy way and she took her time eyeing this and the rest of him up, which he liked. If she kept smiling, he was in. If she became serious, she would be polite until she got her drink and then she would make an excuse to leave.

“Do you like that?” she purred, leaning in a little bit more. Aaron suddenly realised where he’d seen this before. He glanced over at his target, still entertaining his ample and potential meal, and glanced back at his. She followed his eyes across the bar.

“That’s Sarah. She had her eye on you as soon you walked in. We’ve both been without men for a while so we figured we’d help each other out. I however, when asked to chat you up for her, decided I wanted you instead. She then spotted the hunch back at the bar and went straight over. He’s cute, but you’re sexy.” Her eyes changed as she finished talking. In truth, he wasn’t really listening. He was making sure his demon was occupied and quickly surmised that he couldn’t kill him until he did something. If the catcher walked out with Sarah he’d have to follow. This would mean that he had to walk out with his woman and when all four of them met for the first time, the demon would run having immediately identified that he was a searcher. Searchers can identify demons from a long distance whereas demons can only identify searchers from a short one. It’s something Aaron wanted to avoid.

“You keep looking over there. What can I do to keep you looking over here?” She said, brushing her hands against her chest nonchalantly. Aaron was interested and to find a woman who looked like she did and wasn’t a prostitute didn’t happen every day.

“Could I have your number?” he said, hoping to get the number and leave. He would wait outside for the demon and complete the order there.

“You can, but under one condition. You kiss me in such a way that would make me want to give it to you.”

“Kiss you in such a way? You don’t usually come here, do you? Or dress…in such a way.” She immediately got the sarcasm, which he was secretly thankful for. At this, her face changed and she noticeably calmed down. He glanced over and he could see that the demon was starting to charm Sarah now.

“No I don’t. I’m a secretary at a law firm in town. I usually wear suits or just casual jeans and such. I only came here because Sarah wanted to and she’s in the mood for sex.”

“That’s fair enough but you don’t have to dress like that. You could come in wearing your pyjamas and still be the prettiest woman in the room.” A more natural looking smile crossed her face and she leaned back taking something out of her handbag from over her shoulder.

“Here. It’s my business card. Call me and we’ll have a proper date.”

“Yes we will.” He’d been told enough times that he’s a ‘smooth operator’ but never really understood it. She stood up and straightened her long brown hair before moving some behind her ear. She walked off towards Sarah and the demon. Aaron looked at the card. ‘Isabella Woodley – Williams Kim & Associates Barristers and Solicitors.’ “Isabella.” He put the card in his pocket and looked back at the demon. Isabella walked over and put a hand gently on Sarah’s shoulder and whispered in her ear. Sarah nodded and as Isabella turned to walk away she stopped dead and looked at the demons neck. Aaron knew what it was immediately. Some of its make-up had smudged to reveal the green scaly skin underneath.

“What is that?” Isabella said, looking frightened. She looked over at Aaron and frowned. Did she know this was why he was there? Instinctively, Aaron got up and started to walk over to them. The demon turned and spotted him, downed his drink, and quickly walked out of the bar ahead of him. As Aaron passed, trying to look casual before a full on pursuit began, Isabella continued to frown as she watched him leave.

 

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Short stories for the win?

Hello

Last time I said I was starting to write my second short story of 2014. So far it is going really well and I’m thinking I might just have cracked my own particular preparation and execution methods for short stories. Or maybe I spoke to soon. I’ll let time sort that one out.

So, this story concerns two random people, a woman and a man, who are getting ready for a night out at the same time across manchester. I’m enjoying writing the two different stories next to each other and making sure they are going down the same time line. I’m using TV and alcohol consumption to help me do this and it looks to be working well enough so far.

I’ve done this kind of thing once before for another story and it does keep you on your toes. That story had a battle scene, and so far one of the most important happenings of that novel up to now, which I decided to tell from the four different view points of the main characters. It didn’t get that confusing thankfully but it was a close run thing. With such questions constantly running through my head as….

What did he say?
What did she say?
Where was he or she standing when he or she said or did that?
What could they see?
How would they react?
How did the react and what impact did it have on those around them?

And so on. ALL THE TIME!

For any of you who are going to try this, I’d suggest having a blank piece of paper ready just for making extra notes. And a notepad open on your laptop or PC (if you are using one) to copy and paste what people have said or done in a previous chapter or paragraph. It helped me to make sure I got each view point right and in sync. If you have already done this before, well done. It is taxing isn’t it?

I have also found time to join a new writing website, http://www.scribophile.com. It is primarily focused around allowing writers to get feedback. I have decided to concentrate on websites that offer this service. As in, critque a story so you can get one back. I posted an extract of one of my stories last week to no response. It isn’t always a guarantee I’ll get feedback so I’m not fussed. It was worth a try. I have since posted it on critiquecircle.com and look forward to a response.

Right, I’m going to write some more of my short story. I hope you all have a good writing week or just a good week in general.

Cheers

The glory of the laptop.

Hello

I would like to start off by saying that I ticked off something from my bucket list this weekend. I completed a 10k run in under an hour ( 54 minutes 50 seconds ). I’m hoping to do next year’s run and try and keep it up for the next few years at least. Wish me luck.

Ok. As you may or may not know I’ve recently embarked on a quest to write two stories at once without getting confused. I’m happy to say that this quest is going very well. Writing two stories side by side (ish) is keeping my mind fresh and I haven’t found myself struggling to write any of them at any time. By that I mean I’m not just writing to get my word count up I’m writing what I feel to be good stuff. Obviously this may be all completely binned come the editing stage but I’m quietly confident.

As for the title of this post, I recently acquired a laptop which is going a long way to helping me to try and get a writing schedule that I can realistically keep to. Since the New Year I have wanted to keep some kind of schedule for my writing. This would (or should) allow me to write on a regular basis and to read other authors stories on a more regular basis as well. I have always enjoyed reading other stories and having the people who frequent the websites I use (http://www.protagonize.com being the main one amongst them) give me feedback. It’s mostly useful feedback I have received so far as most of them are in the same position I am.

My laptop looks is looking like the perfect tool to help get this done.

Just the other day, I found myself waiting for my food to cook and wondering what I could do. I felt like writing but knew that I only had a certain amount of time in which to do so before my food was ready. Then I remembered my laptop. Just sat there on top of my printer waiting to be used. I managed to write a full page for one of my stories which, though it could turn out to be completely useless, has got me a lot closer to being able to make that decision.

So, officially following on from my last post I have prepared a rough schedule for my writing. This currently amounts to whenever I post on this very blog I will look to participate more in the online writing groups I’m part of and the websites I’m a member of. On any other week day I will try to write something towards my two current stories. This all leads me to a question…

What is your current writing plan?

Good pie