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  1. #11
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    The first chapter? Honestly, I'm not a fan of poems starting off chapters. Unless they are really good poems. Yours is standard "dark is evil, light is good" stuff. And your images of crypts and skeletons and vaults and Latin and things- we can already assume you're taking this from a Western perspective where, in general, we can assume that sort of imagery already

    *Shrug* It doesn't add anything.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colors View Post
    The first chapter? Honestly, I'm not a fan of poems starting off chapters. Unless they are really good poems. Yours is standard "dark is evil, light is good" stuff. And your images of crypts and skeletons and vaults and Latin and things- we can already assume you're taking this from a Western perspective where, in general, we can assume that sort of imagery already

    *Shrug* It doesn't add anything.
    Fair enough. I could make it more dark however I really do not wish to go into "very" dark imagery as this is more of a PG-13 book (I am trying to avoid "torture porn")

    I think my main concern is that some people might be taken a back if I go too dark with it. I agree that skeletons are a bit overused so I may very well rewrite it. What is going to be difficult is getting that "balance between the gothic and censorship."

  3. #13
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Oh, I have no problem with the descriptions of things, I just meant judging by the objects you've already described, the western origin can already be assumed. Therefore an explanation that "dark is bad, and light is good" is redundant. (Have you *read* books written for 13-year-olds in mind? I assure you this, so far, is like PG-8.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colors View Post
    Oh, I have no problem with the descriptions of things, I just meant judging by the objects you've already described, the western origin can already be assumed. Therefore an explanation that "dark is bad, and light is good" is redundant.

    Ah, so you feel that I discribed it fine it is just that the suject has been a bit overdone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elementaltale View Post
    That was more my fault as I should have started with the begining of the book. I was wondering if it was discriptive enough. I do appreciate any feedback that anyone can give of the first chapter by the way.

    Thanks for the compliment assuming it was honest
    It was. You've dealt with editors, I presume, so I'm sure you can take whatever criticisms a 19 year-old college student can dish out. Most writers I've met don't really want reassurances of their work, just honest reactions.

    First Chapter: Very fast, which I guess makes sense if you want the reader to understand Evan's mindset. I always enjoy understanding why a certain character feels this way or does this action, so for me, I'd enjoy it more if there were some breaks in the dialogue where you can describe Evan's internal reactions to what his uncle has said. Editing will catch the few spelling and grammatical errors. Personally, I enjoy the duality of light and dark and how it manifests itself in everyone. Definitely an intriguing storyline for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Genesis View Post
    It was. You've dealt with editors, I presume, so I'm sure you can take whatever criticisms a 19 year-old college student can dish out. Most writers I've met don't really want reassurances of their work, just honest reactions.

    First Chapter: Very fast, which I guess makes sense if you want the reader to understand Evan's mindset. I always enjoy understanding why a certain character feels this way or does this action, so for me, I'd enjoy it more if there were some breaks in the dialogue where you can describe Evan's internal reactions to what his uncle has said. Editing will catch the few spelling and grammatical errors. Personally, I enjoy the duality of light and dark and how it manifests itself in everyone. Definitely an intriguing storyline for me.
    Let me go ahead an push some more of the story out if that is okay with everyone...
    Note that it needs HEAVY editing as it is a first draft.


    “This however is something that I must decline at the moment. Perhaps when you are better and have healed some more than I shall comply with the request. For now I will say that I cannot allow you to go. Anywhere else I will permit, but not there.”
    “Uncle…”
    “Please, I know that I could not stop you if you really wanted to go but I beg you. For now stay where you are. After all, have I ever given you bad advice?”
    “No, you never have other than the time that you recommended that I see Romania!”
    “Romania? Ah yes!,” Hebert chuckled as he recalled while the country itself was wonderful, they had traveled there in the winter which was not the best time to go.
    “I nearly froze to death!”
    “I think that you are being a tad melodramatic.,” Hebert laughed.
    “Bother that! I nearly froze my fingers to the bone and would have had it not been for Rebecca…,” Evan said as a smile faded from his lips.
    “Evan, take my advice and take your trip.”
    “I shall consider it.”
    “Then all is well. For now I bid you goodnight and I will see you when I get back.,” Hebert said as he waddled out of the room and into his bedroom.
    But Evan never took that trip as he never got the chance for two days later his uncle Herbert died in the middle of the night from a massive heart attack. To say that Even was devastated would be something of an understatement and it would be unkind for me to share with you the grief that he felt. Indeed how could I express to you in mere words the pain and suffering that he went though over the next two weeks?
    He did not eat or sleep much, of that I can tell you. Nor did he talk to the servants who would whisper behind his back that he had finally cracked and was on the verge of “Riding the coach to Berkshire” the name of the Asylum in London at the time. They would whisper all right. Whisper that their lord would pace back and forth and that one of the maids had cleaned up shattered glass after the young master threw one of the shelves in the west wing against the wall.
    There was talk that he had gone out in the middle of the night and screamed to the top of his lungs yelling at the Almighty for allowing him to go through the pain and anguish that now swam through his heart. Tongues wagged as he would shut the door to his bedroom would curl into a little ball and cry for hours on end the information courtesy of the butler who was peeking through the key hole. This was told to the rest of the staff as he rubbed his right eye after being nearly stabbed by a blunt object though said keyhole.
    Evan’s mood became more morose as the months went on until finally one day there was a knock at the door. One of the butlers opened it and was greeted by one Mister Roger Hartley, the Hollow’s trusted lawyer. Evan met in him his uncle’s former office and sat down at the desk.
    “Mister Hollow, first of all let me say that I am sorry for your loss and what’s more I am dreadfully sorry for what I am about to tell you.”
    “I am listening.,” Evan said as he leaned over the cold desk and folded his hands.
    “I have just been in contact with your accountant and he regrets to inform me that you are currently worth…nothing.”
    Mister Hartley looked concerned as Evan’s hands began to go from pale white to bright red.
    “I am sure that there must be some mistake. It is not possible. You see my uncle was quite wealthy.”
    “I am afraid that he was not a wealthy as you think. He was hiding a line of bad debts behind a good name. However with the…incident involving your father, your name is no longer considered good. In fact, if I may be so bold, you name is considered very low end at the moment.”
    “What is going to happen then?”
    “Well, this house will have to be sold but that will not cover all of the debt.”
    “How much debt is there?”
    “Approximately twenty thousand pounds. Ten of which would be covered by the sale of this house,” Mister Hartley said.
    “Twenty thousand.,” Evan said as his voice failed him.
    “Yes it is a grave situation as the only thing that you have inherited is debt that you will never pay off. Unless…,” Hartley said.
    “Unless?”
    “Well, there is one option. You see I as your lawyer I am privy to all of your assets due to being your uncles closest adviser and friend and am aware that you are currently in possession deed to another building that resides on the outskirts of Warwickshire, England. From what I hear, it is a rather lucrative establishment.
    “I would not know as I have not been there for years. Not since the disappearance of my sister.”
    “Ah yes, I heard of that incident. Tragic. Tell me, did they ever find any trace of her body?,” Mister Hartley asked. Evan’s brow pushed his nose away from his face.
    “Tell me, Mister Hartley, is it always you manner to be so rude as to bring up a painful memory?”
    “I meant no offense Mister Hollow. I am sorry.”
    “It is I who should apologize. No, they never found a body nor any trace of her.”
    “May I ask what happened?,” Mister Hartley asked. Even got up from the chair and walked towards the window.
    “No one knows. According to my father she was with him until seven that evening. I checked on her around eight. The next morning she was gone. My father, the servants, and I looked franticly for her but never found any trace. A year later she was presumed dead. Shortly after that we left the manor and never returned. To be honest, I had thought about making a trip a few months back.”
    “Then I would suggest you make that trip and put your affairs in order as I have a buyer for Vale Hollow Manor.,” Mister Hartley said. Even turned around.
    “Who?”
    “A private investor of mine. I have taken the liberty of explaining your situation not in detail of course but enough to give him an overview. He said that he is willing to purchase the house for fifteen thousand pounds provided you sell to him in the next week. Otherwise he will wait until you are bankrupt and take the house regardless.”
    “So in other words, either I sell or I starve.”
    “Well I would have not put it so bluntly but yes that is as good a way of putting it as any.,” Mister Hartley said.
    The butler escorted Mister Hartley out of the house and then was called in by Evan who sat him in front of his desk.
    “Unlike my uncle I have a tendency to be blunt and I am not in the mood to change now. My situation is dire and as a result you and the rest of the staff are to vacate the premises immediately. I have written letters of recommendation for all of you.”
    “I see sir. Might I inquire as to why you are doing this?”
    “You may inquire but I would rather not answer.”
    “I see. Well sir if that is what you wish, I shall alert the staff. May I ask when we are to leave?”
    “Tomorrow morning at six sharp. Please do not tarry beyond that.”
    “Will you be seeing us off?”
    “No, Mister Hartley will see to that. Please follow his instructions as you would mine.”
    “Very good sir. Will there be anything else,” The butler said as he lifted himself out of the chair.
    “No, this is all.”
    “Yes well. And sir?”
    “Yes. What is it?”
    “The misses and I discussed it and if you need a place to stay, you would be welcome in our home.,” The butler said.
    “Thank you, but I shall not be staying in London.,” Evan said. The butler bowed and left the room.
    The next morning Even made his way though the fog of London and found a carriage driver.
    “Where to young sir?,” The carrage driver asked.
    “Take me to Warwickshire.” Evan said as he entered the carriage.
    Soon the carriage was away and began to pass rolling hills as a light snow fell to the ground. By nightfall they had made their way to one of the inns on the side of the road. Evan got out of the carriage and entered into a warm scene of people talking over supper. In front of him was the innkeeper who greeted himself.
    “Good day young sir and welcome Tamworth Edge in. I will be your host this evening. We have some lovely rooms and soft beds for weary travelers such as yourself. Mister…?,” The innkeeper asked as he pointed his ear towards Evan.
    “The name is not important and I bid you well to keep it that way.,” Evan said as he placed a pound in the innkeepers hand.
    “Ah, Mister Jones is it? Would you be related to any of the Jones clan around these parts?,” The innkeeper asked.
    “I would not. Please forgive me but my business is my own.,” Evan said as he paid three shillings for a room.
    “I meant no offense sir. I take it that you’ll be having dinner in your room tonight. Or would you care to join us down here in the inn with the fine company at hand?,” The innkeeper said.
    “I do not require sustenance or companionship so much as I am in need of information.,” Evan said.
    “And what information would that be?,” the innkeeper asked.
    “I need to get directions to Vale Hollow Manor.,” Evan said.
    The chatter of all of the patrons went dead quiet as they heard the name of the house. Evan turned around to see that they were all staring at him.
    “I am sure that you are mistaken young master! It’s alright everyone! Go back to your drinks! They are one me!,” The innkeeper said. Mugs flew in the air as the patrons went about their business. The innkeeper pulled Evan to the side.
    “Fool of a boy, for the love of God, do NOT ever speak that name around here again unless it be in a whisper!,” The innkeeper said in a hushed tone.
    “You know of the place that I am talking of about?,” Evan asked.
    “Everyone knows about that place although I doubt many have ever seen it except myself nor do many here know it as Vale Hollow Manor!,’ The innkeeper said.
    “What do they call it then?”
    “The name of that damned place be Dark Hollow Manor.,” The innkeeper said in a whisper.
    “Dark Hollow Manor?,” Evan asked but was quieted by the innkeeper.
    “So you are aware of the location just like the carriage driver said?,” Evan asked.
    “Fool James! He’s always opening that dark hole of his he calls a mouth and shooting if off where he should not! Aye. I am aware of it. But the luck o’ the Irish and the smile of the saints would have to be with you to get me to tell you or anyone else where that place of damned souls is at.,” The innkeeper said.
    “Please, this is terribly important! I need to find the location. I will compensate you for your trouble.,” Evan said.
    “Why would you want to go to so gruesome a location as that?,” The innkeeper asked.
    “I have an interest in the place and I shall speak no more on the mater.,” Evan said.
    “Well, for five pounds, I will give you a meal, a bed… and a personal tour of Dark Hollow Manor but be warned. When I say tour I mean the front gate and no more. You would have to drag me kicking a yelling for me to take you any farther.,” The innkeeper said.
    “Five pounds? Isn’t that a tad much?,” Evan asked.
    “You are lucky to be getting off so cheep. Normally I would charge you ten but I like you.,” The innkeeper said. Evan handed him a five pound note.
    “When do we leave?”
    “Tomorrow morning.”
    “Why can we not leave tonight?”
    “You could not pay me enough to take you there at night! You will have to wait until morning.,” The innkeeper said.
    Evan walked up the stairs of the inn and was shown his well received room in all of its warmth. He shut the door behind him and then locked it. He walked over to the window and closed the curtains. Finally he opened his suitcase and pulled out the satchel that was inside. He pulled back the cover and pulled out a deed that was at his uncle’s mansion. The instructions were clear. He was to meet the new owner of the manor along with Mister Hartley to sign over the deed. When Evan asked why they could not meet at his office, he was told that was how the new owner wanted things as it would give him a chance to look the place over.
    “‘Evan, Master of Dark Hollow Manor.’ Has a lovely ring to it.,” Evan said in a sarcastic voice. Yes his life was now over as people in England never forgot the reputation of a person or what they did. He knew that he and his children would never be able to live this down the fact that his father had committed suicide. This was something that would be with him the rest of his life. The life that he was now facing was one that no one would have wanted to. All of his family was gone. He was now destitute and more than likely would never again have any money to his name.
    He then got under the covers and looked out the window after opening the shade. He watched as the snow fell to the ground like tiny stars in the moonlit sky. He was tired but could not find enough peace to bring forth the comfort of sleep. This soon changed as he lay his head down onto the soft pillow and soon darkness fell over him.
    Evan was greeted with a bleak morning as he made his way to the toilet outside. He then dressed himself and picked up his coat. There was a knock at the door and soon Evan was greeted by the Innkeeper.
    “Well, as I said we will be leaving soon and good thing to for…the place is quite far away. I suggest you break fast in a hearty way as it will be a while before we get there.,’ The innkeeper said.
    “And just where is…the place at?,” Evan asked.
    “You catch on quick.,” The innkeeper said impressed that he caught on to the idea of not speaking the name of Dark Hollow again. “It is North of here and as I said a day’s journey.”
    “I suppose I shall eat as you drive the horse and carriage.,” Evan said as he picked up his coat and buttoned it.
    “Aye. That will work.,” the innkeeper said.
    The Innkeeper was not joking to Evan when he said that it would take the entire day as they did not arrive to the location until sometime late that evening. Evan looked out at a white landscape broken by a dark iron gate that had the name “Hollow” etched in gothic lettering. He got out of the carriage but was held back by the driver.
    “And just where do you think that you are going?,” The Innkeeper asked.
    “I am going to go into the house.,” Evan said.
    “Whoa lad! You said nothing about entering this damned location! I said I would take you to SEE it. I cannot allow you to enter it!,” The innkeeper said.
    “Why not?”
    “Well, for one thing the door is locked tight and has been for years. No one has a key as far as I know. And the second reason is that the house is haunted! Aye haunted by ghosts as white as the snow on the ground!”
    Evan was take aback as this was the first time that he had heard that the house was actually haunted. Haunted? There was no such thing as ghost. Superstiscious nonsense that was. Still, it did have his curiosity peaked.
    “I do not believe in ghost stories. I have issues with accepting the cruelty of what I can see let alone of what I cannot.,” Evan said as he started to walk towards the gate.
    “Fool! You are not going to go anywhere! I will not allow you! I cannot!”
    ‘That is not you decision to make, it is mine. If I wish to enter the house, I will do so. You do not have to stay if you do not wish it.,”
    “Aye! That is true enough. But I will not stand here while you place your soul in danger no matter how much you deserve to find out how wrong you are. So boy, get into the carriage before I drag you back into it! It is not worth risking your life!”
    “Sir while I am grateful for your concern, it is not merited. I have business here that needs to be completed and I shall not leave until it is. If you wish to leave, then do so.”
    “Aye that I will for I have warned you. I need to be heading back as it will be a long trip. I implore you for the last time. Please enter into the carriage and be on your way.”
    “That is something that I cannot do.”
    “Then may God and the saints preserve your soul!,” The innkeeper said as he snapped the whip and the horses rode of in the pale light.
    Even walked up to the house and looked at the place as the sun hung over a grey sky. So much had changed since he had been here. Indeed it was not even the same house in most respects. The red paint was chipped revealing wood underneath that gave the effect of long saws down the entire grain. The door was bored up leaving only tiny holes that stared blankly back at him. All of the windows were the same with the exception of one which had a sole occupant that stood motionless with closed eyes.

  7. #17
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    Note also that the book is not "written" as that will come later. I am more curious as to what people think of the storyline itself.

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