I'm excited about your numerous submissions and I will do my best to work my way through ^_^
Today we have the beginning of a novel.
Hawks eyes fly open. Hands grasp at his shoulder, shaking him from sleep and he reaches for the knife concealed under his pillow. “Move, boy, we ain't got much time.” The voice rumbles against his ear and Hawk quits struggling, eyes catching the familiar dark shadow of broad shoulders and bald head. Lynx. Hawk sits up and stuffs the knife into his ankle sheath. Pants, shirt and jacket hurtle toward him. He catches the garments and hurries into them.
Lynx kneels and pulls away the false wall panel, muscles bunching and straining in his arms. He grabs Hawk at the biceps and helps him through the small opening before replacing the camouflage cover. Lynx's features are mere shadows as he places his head close to the false grate. “You know what to do, Hawk.” Hawk nods, but Lynx has already turned away.
Lynx spins to meet the threat coming through the bedroom door. The door crashes inward, torn from the hinges and light spills across the warped floor, stretches up Lynx's bare legs, illuminates his face revealing features that Hawk knows well, but an expression he doesn't. Hawk would say on anyone else the expression is fear,
- This is a good start as there’s conflict right away
- I like “the voice rumbles” it’s a good example of choosing verbs carefully to convey descriptions :)
- I love the clothes hurtling toward him :) It has humor and is very descriptive
- The text does not seem to flow well. Most of your sentences are very short. The best reads, as perceived by the majority of readers, have a rhythm to them that results from mixing long and short sentences. Some people have a natural feel for it, but it is something you can work on. Let me show you what I mean. This is a sentence length analysis of your piece (I used my word count, a primitive program available online for $15 or so. I used it for my first novel. Not only it gives you info on rhythm, but also on words you repeat too much and other nifty little things).
- Beware of genitives! Genitives express possession by adding ‘s after the owner.The eyes of Hawk becomes Hawk’s eyes. If the owner ends in “s” you just add ‘. For example, ladies’ clothes. Probably it was just a typo, but if not here are some exercises to clarify :) Keep in mind, that starting your novel with a typo is the fastest way to the trash bin os an agent/publisher. Remember that agents and publishers are not looking for reasons to love your novel, but for reasons to get it out of their sort pile and move on
- If you open quotes after talking about Hawk, the reader assumes it’s Hawk speaking. If it’s someone else you need to change line and, unless it’s obvious, you might want to tell the reader who’s speaking before the uttered words. Remember that you are directing a movie in the reader’s head. If I see Hawk speaking and have to rewind you snap me out of your spell. Check this post about dialogue
- Why “the” voice? Since we’ve never heard about it before would it be better “a” voice?
- Beware of the temporal sequence of events you convey through your stylistic choices. I think his eyes fly open as hands shake him from sleep, otherwise it seems like the hands shake him after he woke
- Pay attention to detail! Hawk just woke up and is undressed. Would he wear an ankle sheath?
- Some of your descriptions seem a bit strained. For example would Lynx’s muscles really bunch to remove a wall panel? That heavy? Look here at tips for descriptions
- Toward the end I was a bit confused. It took me a minute to understand where Lynx was and what was happening
- When you have an action scene you might want to ease up on the details, because you might take the reader out of the frenzy of a fast scene. For example, sentences like “torn from the hinges” add nothing (we already know the door crashed inward) and slow down a scary scene
- Why end with a comma?
MY OVERALL OPINION
I think there are some good ideas here, but I would keep writing and writing to smooth your style a bit :)
As usual, keep whatever you like and ditch the rest. It’s your baby :)
Hawk’s eyes fly open as a hand grasp his shoulder, shaking him from sleep. He lurches for the knife concealed under his pillow, but a low voice rumbles against his ear, “Easy, boy. Come on, we ain't got much time!”
Hawk’s eyes catch the familiar dark shadow of Lynx’s broad shoulders and bald head. He sits up, straps on his ankle sheath and stuffs the knife in it as pants, shirt and jacket hurtle toward him. He catches the garments and hurries into them.
Lynx kneels and pulls away the false wall panel without any effort and Hawk hurries through, crouching and turning toward the false grate his huge friends put back in between them.
“You know what to do, Hawk,” Lynx utters turning toward the door in the room Hawk came from.
Just on time.
Indeed, the door crashes inward. Light spills across the warped floor and Lynx’s face revealing features that Hawk knows well, but an expression he doesn't. Fear.
I hope this helped ^_^
Wanna have feedback on your own work?
1-E-mail me at gaia.b.amman at gmail.com and write as your object “200 words blog”. Then paste in the e-mail the first 200 words of your work. Send it anytime, I will post my edit when I can :) Why only two hundred words? You need to engage your reader within 100!
2-Specify the length of the entire work (either because you have it or an estimate will do, for example you could say this will be a novel or flash fiction)
3-I will share my opinion and editing of your work on the blog. This type of post will be titled “My edit”. I will leave comments open so we can start a conversation :)
4-As a rule, I will leave your work anonymous so you don’t feel on the spot, but if you are brave let me know and I’ll leave your name on it
5-No poetry! I’m in no way qualified to criticize it. I can only enjoy it :)
6-I will ignore messages that don’t comply. Please be nice to me and everyone else :)