12.17.2006

HH Com 110

She froze as a metal object pressed against the hollow of her skull.
"Get up," the man said.
"I can't."
"Why?"
"I have to finish this."
"What? Murdering those men?"
She didn't answer. Leaning into the scope, a bead of sweat trickled down her neck while she sighted for the tell tale sign of body heat.
"Just let me get this done then we'll do our thing, okay?"
"Pull that trigger and I'll do the same."
"Fine. But I really don't think you want to."
"Why?"
"Because if you wanted to kill me, I'd already be dead." A gamble, but in her position, risk was all she had. She heard the imperceptible sigh. The corner of her mouth curled in victory. With the trigger stiff under her finger, she kept her mind trained on the target and waited for a clear shot. It was the remaining slaver's impatience that did him in for while searching for his attacker, he was met neatly between the eyes by her bullet.
"Happy now?" he asked.
"What do you think?"

A soldier wanted for killing her partner thinks she's just out testing her protégés talents but the solid sensation of a gun to the back of her head tells her otherwise. Now in the hands of an old comrade, as she learns of another unexpected arrest, will she sacrifice everything--love, friendship, and even her own life--to save her innocent sister?

I hope not. I hope she throws her sister to the wolves. Innocent sisters are vastly overrated.

Aside from the obvious problems you've got cliches (If you wanted to kill me I'd be dead already) leaping over impossibilities (hearing something that is imperceptible).

The obvious problem of course is that you've got no specifics, no focal point.

And really saving the sister is so miserable and overused. What if her sister is Miss Snark? You'd drown her in a malmsey bucket and laugh while you did it.

Look past usual for something I haven't seen a thousand times this week.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Richard III reference! I love Miss Snark. :)

At least until she gets to my entry.

Anonymous said...

Avoid phrases like "she felt", "she heard", unless necessary. This could open with "Cold metal pressed against the base of her skull" and it's more active, see?

It was the remaining slaver's impatience that did him in for while searching for his attacker, he was met neatly between the eyes by her bullet.


This didn't work for me. It's clunky and unclear. Do they know she's there shooting, then? I thought she was an assassin waiting for one person. Plus it's a little overwrought and long.

Anonymous said...

"Get up," the man said.
"I can't."
"Why?"
"I have to finish this."
"What? Murdering those men?"


This reads as As you Know Bob dialogue, i.e. dialogue as exposition. The man obviously knows what she's doing so why would he be asking her those questions.

Try someting like this:
"Get up."
"Not until they're all dead."

Anonymous said...

If a sigh's "imperceptible," nobody can hear it.

Anonymous said...

"It was the remaining slaver's impatience that did him in for while searching for his attacker,..."

POV leak.


j.c.

HawkOwl said...

Exactly. Also, you're like the guy with the fart story. Your gerunds are in the wrong place. "Leaning into the scope, a bead of sweat trickled down her neck" means the bead of sweat is leaning into the scope as it trickles down her neck. I also hate pronouns without antecedents.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd throw it out there for the slashing and sincerely thank everyone for the input, including Miss Snark.

thraesja said...

It was the remaining slaver's impatience that did him in for while searching for his attacker, he was met neatly between the eyes by her bullet.
It is a POV problem, as mentioned by j.c. above. Unless she has some reason to know he's impatient and that if he wasn't she wouldn't have been able to target him. It also needs some different wording or punctuation. I had to read it three times before I got what you were trying to say.

She heard the imperceptible sigh.
The word "almost" might help here, though changing it to "reluctant" (possibly a POV leak) or "quiet" would be better.

A soldier wanted for killing her partner thinks she's just out testing her protégés talents but the solid sensation of a gun to the back of her head tells her otherwise.
Does she have one protege, or multiple ones? Either way, you need an apostophe to signal the possessive. You could trim this to "but the gun to the back of her head tells her otherwise".

I see Hawkowl already caught the gerund issue. I hate those, especially when I find them in my own work. Or worse, someone else finds them.

And please be more specific. I have no idea why I should care about whoever you are talking about.