Emeraldcite bravely sent a first draft of his urban fantasy, Fisher of Beasts. Thank you! *cackles and rubs hands together*
My original plan was to use screen shots, but that didn't work because my laptop screen is too small. Argh. So I resorted to this method where I am shouting in all caps. Anything else would have been lost since all the formatting vanishes when dumped into blogger. I think there's a way around that, but this was probably the quickest and easiest solution.
Fisher of Beasts
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
-- Matthew 4:18-20
NOT SURE IF THIS BIBLE VERSE IS NECESSARY.
Some were called to be fishers of men, but I was called to be a fisher of beasts.
LOVE THIS OPENING LINE, BUT YOU NEED TO EXPAND ON IT. YOU NEED TO GIVE US MORE INFO, MAYBE AS MUCH AS A PARAGRAPH. DON’T BE TOO AFRAID TO TELL RATHER THAN SHOW. ALSO BE SURE TO GROUND US, SHOW US WHERE AND WHAT OF VIEWPOINT CHARACTER.
REMIND READER OF VIEWPOINT. YOU HAVE TO BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL OF THIS IN OPENINGS, BECAUSE WE JUST MET ONE PERSON, NOW WE ARE MEETING ANOTHER. SO YOU NEED TO START SECOND PERSON INTRO WITH SOMETHING LIKE: I SPOTTED AZAZEL STANDING UNDER THE FLICKERING STREET LAMP.
Now, he stood at a corner under a flickering street lamp smoking a cigarette and hawking cheap guns. A cool breeze barely moved the black hair matted against his forehead. His red-ringed eyes watched each passing car as he pulled another drag from his cigarette. The ash glowed red and faded away.
Azazel WAS one of the Grigori, the Watchers of Men, WHO HAD once had fallen (IS HE STILL FALLEN? MIGHT WANT TO ELABORATE EITHER WAY.) and revealed the art of sword making and war to mankind. I MOVED THIS PARAGRAPH FROM BEGINNING. THIS WAY WE GET THE BRIEF DESCRIPTION, THEN YOU TELL US WHO HE IS.
“Men shouldn’t fight I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A BIT STRONGER DIALOGUE HERE. MAYBE SOMETHING ABOUT HOW MEN SEEM TO LIKE TO FIGHT, OR SOMETHING. GIVE US SOMETHING A BIT MORE PROFOUND. AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO FOLLOW UP DIALOGUE WITH THOUGHT. DON’T MISS CHANCE FOR CHARACTERIZATION SINCE WE ARE JUST MEETING BARAQEL. ” I said, stepping out of the dark alley and into the dim circle of light from the lamppost.
“We’re not men, are we Baraqel?” He laughed, dropped his cigarette, and stamped it out. He exhaled the last of the smoke and it hung as a halo around his head.
LET BARAQEL AT LEAST MENTALLY REACT TO THIS STATEMENT OF WHY THEY AREN’T MEN. “It’s never too late,” I said. “I’ve recruited many and they believe this too.”
Azazel laughed REPEATED WORD (SAID)through a deep cough.
I smiled. DOES BARAQEL FIND EXTREME PLEASURE IN THIS? HERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE US MORE CHARACTERIZATION. “Not as well as we used to be?”
He pulled a silver .45 from a holster within BENEATH the vest that clung to his thin frame. “These are not mortal bullets, my friend. These are consecrated with the secrets of our kind.” WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF ONE FINDS ITS TARGET?
I HAD MY OWN WEAPON. I slipped a hand inside my coat and brought out a small piece of chalk. I knelt and drew a circle around my feet, marking symbols in each of the cardinal directions. EXPAND AND EXPLAIN WHAT HE’S DOING. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TELL. I’M GUESSING IT WOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE THE CIRCLE WOULD PROTECT ME ETC. AND IS HE ALARMED? IN A HURRY TO DRAW THE CIRCLE? WE NEED TO SEE EMOTIONAL REACTION TO THE GUN.
Azazel erupted into another coughing fit and squeezed off a shot. When I didn’t react DID BULLET BOUNCE OFF? , he fired twice more.
I tossed a small business card outside the circle.
“Call me when you change your mind.” MORE EXPLANATION NEEDED HERE. CHANGE HIS MIND ABOUT JOINING BARAQEL?
Azazel picked up the card, squinted at it, and tucked it into a pocket on his vest. “Don’t count on it.”
He tore COULD USE ANOTHER WORD. IS HE ON FOOT? JUST NOT SURE. BECAUSE YOU ARE WORLD BUILDING, YOU MIGHT WANT TO GIVE US MORE DESCRIPTION. off down the alleyway.
Some were meant to be fishers of men. But me, I am a fisher of beasts because when I look up at the midnight sky I see home. I LOVE THIS LINE, BUT I’M NOT SURE WHAT IT MEANS. MAYBE A LINE OR TWO BEFOREHAND TO GIVE US A STRONGER CLUE?
I unlocked the apartment door and went inside. The sun peeked its way between the buildings, changing the streets. They no longer appeared so desolate, so dangerous. Now the city was filled with a sense of innocence, even though below that skin LURKED/DWELLED deceit.
Azazel HAD fled, apparently afraid of the truth. I DIDN’T GET SENSE THAT HE WAS FLEEING OR AFRAID. I didn't mind, many of the others ran when I approached them, untrusting of a brother. They've experienced the in-fighting, the unnecessary destruction. Too many were lost before we could get our bearings. Too many now suffer an unmentionable fate. HMM. MAYBE WE SHOULD KNOW THE FATE.
I drew the curtains, shutting out the light. I was tired from my evening of chase. IN PREVIOUS CHAPTER, I DIDN’T GET THE IDEA THAT HE WAS DOING ANY CHASING. I THINK THAT NEEDS EXPLANATION IN CHAPTER 1.
“Hey, what're you doing, B?” MAYBE: “HEY! STOP WITH THE DARKNESS!” Tom SAID from the sofa, bits of cereal falling from his mouth. He tried to catch the little formed oats with his spoon, but missed. They rolled under the couch and joined the rest of what we were too lazy to sweep up.
“You know you're not the only one who lives here.” MY ROOMMATE STOOD AND balanced his bowl on top of a stack of magazines on the coffee table, the milk sloshing over the edges as the contents settled. He came to the window and threw open the blinds. “When I took you in--”
I squeezed my eyes shut, blocking out the light. “You didn't take me in, Tom.” We had this argument before. The outcome would inevitably be the same.
“Well, when I invited you to live here with me I didn't expect you to be off playing vigilante in the dead of night. It's freaking dangerous out there. Don't you watch the news?”
“I need to get some sleep. I work in a few hours.” I shielded my eyes as I walked past the windows.
Tom sighed. “You're going to get killed out there REPEAT. Let the police handle it.”
I slammed the door behind me. “I didn't know you cared so much.”
“How the hell am I supposed to make rent without you?”
# # #
In my sleep, there are no dreams. It is restless and dull, quiet and black. Here there is nothing and in that nothing there is just a little bit of peace, a little less torment.
Penemue once told me that we were the true children of God. I didn't believe him then and I still don't believe it today. We are the orphans, the deserted, the watchers of those who need no watching, who want no oversight.
He said that it's time for us to move on. “Move on where?” I asked. He shrugged. A damn wise answer, I told him. Damn wise.
# # #
When I awoke, I didn't feel refreshed. In fact, I didn't feel much of anything.
Tom parked his body in front of the TV. He poked at another bowl of cereal.
I pulled a white shirt over my head and tightened the belt on my black slacks. Work sucked. WHERE DOES HE WORK?
“Don't you I WONDER WHAT A SLACKER LIKE TOM DOES. work today?” I pulled a jug of milk from the refrigerator, unscrewed the lid, and sniffed the contents.
“Need anything while I'm out? I'm heading to work in a few CUT THIS LAST SENTENCE.”
“Food. I've been eating cereal for three days straight. It's all we got and I don't get paid until Friday. Rent's due and it's your turn. I'll take care of the phone bill.”
I grunted and finished off the milk. It was a little questionable, but didn't taste all that bad.
“Save me some milk. I'll need it for dinner.” TOO MUCH MILK STUFF GOING ON. ;)
“Sure,” I said. I screwed the cap back on the empty jug and put it back in the refrigerator. “Catch you later.” THIS DIALOGUE ISN’T MOVING PLOT FORWARD. NOT SURE THIS SCENE HAS THAT MUCH PURPOSE. YOU COULD EITHER CUT IT, OR MIX THIS SEEMINGLY EVERYDAY SCENE WITH SOME IMPORTANT PIECES OF INFORMATION.
Tom nodded, shoveled more food into his mouth, and turned up the volume on the TV. Guess he was enjoying the set while he could. If I didn't make enough in tips IS HE A WAITER? tonight, the power company would be making a visit.
In the end, it was better than some of my previous living arrangements. CUT THIS LINE UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO INTO PREVIOUS LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, UNLESS THEY WERE REALLY UNUSUAL WHICH COULD BE INTERESTING AND GIVE US MORE INSIGHT. LIKE BETTER THAN PREVIOUS HOME UNDER A BRIDGE OR WHATEVER. DON’T MISS CHANCE TO ELABORATE AND FILL US IN.
I grabbed my coat and tossed it over my arm. It would probably CUT PROBABLY UNLESS THERE’S A REASON FOR THIS WALK TO BE LONGER THAN PREVIOUS NIGHTS. AND IF SO, EXPLAIN. be a long walk home after work.
# # #
“Baraqel.” It was merely a whisper, but someone called my name. Faceless people passed me by, intent on their destinations. They were robotic in their movements, all preprogrammed. MAYBE A LITTLE EXPLANATION HERE ABOUT PREPROGRAMMING.
I followed the sound of the voice, which appeared to be coming from a nearby tree planted into the concrete. A few of its roots broke the surface of the ground cracking the pavement. Uneven slabs jutted from the ground to trip unsuspecting travelers. I ducked under the branches.