Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Heroes... Chapter Five - Harbordown by Day

Oh, no! It's that time again! This is the first chapter of Heroes... that doesn't focus solely on one character and/or situation. It's a lengthy chapter - about 20 pages (4700 words), so I've had to break it in two to fit into the space limitations of WritersOwnWords.com - the site that actually hosts all my work.

Please feel free to read and enjoy - or not; that's up to you. But remember that the lowly author putting this together would be delighted to receive your feedback, as much or as little as you'd like to give. Leave a comment here, drop me an email, send me a DM via Twitter, or drop some knowledge on my Facebook wall. It's all good to me.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to link from one page of WritersOwnWords.com to another, so when you finish with Part I, come back here to link to Part II. I apologize for all the clicking, but their site can only handle about 15 pages at a time. But seeing how I've got over 100 different articles and whatnot archived over there, I'm not quite willing to move yet.

Thank you so much, and enjoy!


Chapter 5 - Harbordown by Day

Sitting on the edge of his bed, Sloan looked up as someone banged on the door. He stood to make certain his trousers were buttoned. Grabbing a shirt from the bedpost, he shimmied into it as he shuffled out of the bedroom, through the kitchen, and down the front hall.

“I’m coming!” he yelled, as the pounding began again. He stopped at the front door. The noise continued a moment and stopped.

“Mister Sloan, you have a message.” He knew the heavy Murnochi accent – the authoritarian voice of his landlady, Dorna Grabzhinko, whom he lovingly thought of as the Avatar of the Beast God. He unbarred, unlatched, unlocked, and opened the door. He cast a glance downward. Four and a half feet of Beast God stared up at him.

“This just came,” she said. “Very important, the boy said.”

Sloan glanced at the slip of paper she clutched. Doubtless the boy had brought it with him. Like most Downers, Mrs. Grabzhinko could neither read nor write.

“I seem to recall you told me you would have money for me last week.”

“Yes, I believe I did.”

“You do have money for me, Mister Sloan?”

“Not as such; not in the sense of coin that is, no.”

“But why? You work so hard.”

“Yes, I do, but unfortunately, profits have been a bit low this quarter.”

“Mr. Sloan, I remember when you moved in. You wanted the rooms with the big kitchen and the pantry.” She looked at him through rheumy eyes. “You told me then you would pay me every month. You were never late, you said.”

“I don’t recall saying that. It’s possible that I lied.”

To Continue With Part I (first)

Then To Continue With Part II


  1. First, I'm glad this chapter incorporates the various characters rather than just focusing on one. It's nice to see how the story lines are starting to converge.

    In the Sloan section, the fact that his wife enters the scene as a "throaty voice" seems kind of sexual/seductive, I thought it belonged to some mysterious romantic conquest until reading that it was in fact his wife. Yet it appears to me that there is some contrast between Sloan waking with his wife and Melbourn waking with a presumably younger and more beautiful companion, so I don't know if throaty is quite the right adjective, I think I'd let Melbourn's lady-friend have the sexy voice. But that could just be me, the way I associate the word.

    I like the bit about how the sidhe may live for a really long time, but are unable to remember more than a hundred years back. Makes sense when you think about it, but it's not the sort of thing that one would necessarily think of when contemplating an extremely long life span.

    I think the way you have ended both the Sloan and Melbourn portions make sense. The ending line work well as jumping off points to the next character, so it doesn't feel too abrupt a transition.

    I think this chapter have a good rhythm and voice, it does feel like you have gotten it down at this point.

    Moving into the Dunbar section though, there's a few little things...I like how the view moves in the initial paragraph like a camera. Close shot on Dunbar and the sword, longer shot to the tree, and then a wide panoramic view of the whole scene. As the next paragraph returns to a closer picture of Dunbar, I think that it might help to use the last sentence of the first to situate him within the scene. ie. "It was here" in the wild areas, or "over" in the wild areas. Just to know what his physical relationship to the scene is. Also the sentence in the middle with the semi-colon... it kind of marks a dividing line for the end of the paragraph as it moves back to the scene at-hand and Dunbar...but it's a bit bulky to me. Do you need the comma and the semicolon? Also the bushes growing in clumps and lines is kind of the same as growing orderly and wild in different places. I might cut out one of these so as to not overly linger on the description...There's a lot here- for me when Dunbar is practicing with his sword it reads as descriptive rather than driving the plot, so just be careful you're not getting too bogged down with it and losing the story line. It's well written, I would just suggest cutting any bits that you don't really find that necessary to establishing the scene.

    "Tully snatched the coin from the air with the same amount of skill that Dunbar had caught his sword, and turned away." Doesn't read right-"with which Dunbar had caught" or "that Dunbar had used to catch"-something like that.

    I'm only partially through part one but am going to just post now. My retarded coworker is likely to erase this if I happen to turn my back for five minutes. I'll get to the rest later if I manage to have some uninterrupted time...

  2. Allrighty, I'm back. The second paragraph of the Tzal Rynn portion, the last sentence is a little long. I think it's the "because it was" that's bulking it up too much.

    Next paragraph I would look at the sentences. A couple things that jump out at me- perhaps a comma after he stretched-to allow for the pause of the action, stretching is an action that could use a little room or pause/ "considered himself *to be* well-constructed..."/ Maybe "As usual" instead of "As he usually did, he wore.."/ Last sentence the last part has a tense issue, and needs rephrasing...

    Umm, ignore my last comment re Sloan's wife. Sorry. I guess she is a hottie. Woops.

    The rest I really didn't find much to nitpick. I'm a little curious about how Tzal is going to work into this. I don't know if as a reader I really feel all the way invested in his character yet, I think because he's coming in a little later and I'm already kind of into the story with the more established ones. Definitely intruiged to see what will develop with him though, I just think I need some more information, a little more character-building, backstory what-have-you, maybe at a later reappearance. There is a decent amount of focus on him it feels like, so I'm guessing he will play a somewhat important role in the events to come?

    I think it's getting to a point where I don't really have a ton of comment, just kind watching how the story unfolds...might have more thoughts on the bigger stuff later but for now just want to see what happens...which is a good thing :)

  3. Talia, I know you'll get this, so I'll just put it this way:

    Tzal is my D'artagnan. :-)