(Just putting the first five paragraphs of my novel's second draft out there to gauge interest)
“The fog surrounds me, blocking off what little of the already fading light is left in the sky. I run across the pavement, scrambling down the steep slope that I see stretch out in front of me. It seemed endless. Though, there is no way I could stop. I have to keep going. I can feel her eyes, the strange woman in white I keep telling you about, just bearing into me from somewhere in the wisps of gray. My heart is racing and I feel the wind whipping across my skin, blowing from behind me. It stings. The temperature… it keeps dropping and snowflakes begin to melt on my skin. Even though I can’t see the source, I can smell fire with each new gust. Not anything like a campfire, though. It’s stronger than that. That scent spurs me onwards down the mountain path, which now that I look down appears to be some sort of road or driveway. I glance behind me but I only find the bare patches where I had placed my feet just moments before. My legs start to turn numb and I stumble, finding myself sprawled in the newly forming snow.
“Panic grips me as I pull myself back upright. I can’t feel my legs anymore. Not even a little. Before there was at least that familiar, tingling sensation but by this point I am lucky to even be moving them at all. Come to think of it, I don’t think I feel much of anything. Not anymore. Everything’s just so,” Kara took a breath and opened her deep green eyes, “cold.” She lingers on that final word, blankly staring out her living room window into the depths of a far off night.
I wait a moment or two, unsure if Kara will continue the tale of her recurring dreams that seem to have been plaguing her without mercy the past few weeks. When she doesn’t snap out of whatever trance she seems to have lapsed into, I clear my throat and tap my pen against the notepad I have resting on my lap before leaning back into the leather chair that is beginning to stick to my back. Kara, slowly looking back in my direction, shrinks away from me.
“This woman in white,” I begin and Kara stills her body in its entirety, “Can you describe her for me? Or do you never fully see her?”
“Oh, I see her,” Kara nods with vigor, her medium-length hair bobbing back and forth, “I always see her. Right at the end. See, when I fall and just completely lose myself, I’m compelled to look up. It’s like I don’t have a choice, you know? And no matter how much I resist, I find myself looking down at this rusted gate that seems to have been forgotten decades ago. That’s where she is. She stands there in her white gown, billowing in the piercing wind, with her arms outstretched towards me. I feel her icy warmth even from the ground where I lay. When the fog encases her image from me, I realize just how alone I am. Just... lost in that unforgiving blizzard.”
This is a pretty interesting hook. How close is this novel to completion?
Ive finished one complete draft. This is the second draft (so I'm basically starting from the beginning and editing as I go). I'm about a quarter of the way through this part of the editing process, but the story is already completed.
pretty cool bruh
Thanks Corgi lol
Thanks for the feedback! I'll definitely take this into consideration and will probably be providing updates on progress when I find more time to sink into the project.
That’s a pretty interesting start to your novel. I’m in the reviewing mood today, so I’ll write a few things I noticed about the first five paragraphs here. The usual disclaimer: I’m not a professional writer or a seasoned reviewer (yet), so bear in mind that not everything here may be correct. As for potential readers, beware of spoilers galore.
The use of first person and present tense conveys a sense of urgency, and right away, I’m quite immersed in the story. However, the sudden shift to past tense in the line ‘it seemed endless’ was a bit jarring. I’m not always the best at ensuring the tenses are consistent either so I usually do a quick proofread to check for that.
It’s really great how you’re keeping the reader in suspense by bringing up a lot of unanswered questions (like who the woman in white is and why the narrator is running). Everything is also very well written and vividly described. Minor nitpick: maybe include a comma after ‘before’, because the absence of it implies that the next clause would be about what happened before there was the tingling sensation, rather than the tingling sensation being there prior to the current situation. Another suggestion is to add an ellipsis after Kara says “Everything’s just so” since it would indicate a pause, making the last word even more impactful. Of course, feel free to disregard these suggestions; you know best what kind of effect you’re going for.
The transition from the dream sequence to the scene where both characters are talking is done rather smoothly. Both scenes maintain the same atmosphere of lingering unanswered questions and a slightly unsettling sense of uncertainty. I just have one very minor note: the sentence beginning with ‘When she doesn’t snap out” may be a bit of a run-on sentence. I’m not sure if adding all those details necessarily add to the story without detracting the reader from the important things. Is it really important to know that the chair sticks to the narrator’s back, or that the notepad is resting on their lap? This is probably subjective and you may have had a specific effect you were going for, so I’ll leave it up to you.
Lastly, you can add a full stop after dialogue if it’ll be separated by actions, rather than by dialogue tags (for instance, when Kara nods with vigor). I like the ending where you remind the reader of the woman in white. There seems to be a snow/ winter motif throughout the extract and the recurring ominous tone really captures my attention as a reader. Overall, it’s a good read and eloquently written!
Thanks for your feedback, Mystic! Just popping on really quick at the moment but I'll give a proper response later!