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When the Blizzard Came (Urban Fantasy)


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#1 TheNewOne

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:44 AM

Kurt Livingston stood above frowning Ralph Mandic in utter shock. His sweat soaked uniform stuck to his chilled to the bone body, while the pungent, acrid smell penetrate his nostrils.

Twenty-two bodies lay scattered around the wooden benches and floor, blood and organs everywhere. Kurt had been sheriff of Seeder County for seventeen years and he had never seen anything like this. Few vicious murders had been committed during his career, but none were as bloody and savage as these. One body was missing a hand, a few were missing ears, some noses, and all were missing hearts. He couldn’t comprehend who could do something like this. Their first thought was that a wild animal had attacked, but he’d never heard of a wild animal that would carve someone’s heart out, nor one that wielded a knife or a gun, as next to the bites, the bodies were full of slashes and gunshot wounds.

Kurt closed his eyes, sending a silent prayer to the Lord. He prayed that all of the victims had died from the first wound. He prayed they all had died before the maniacs had eaten them. He prayed that the whole day was just a nightmare. When he opened his eyes, no miracle had happened.

He was still standing in a hundred-and-fifty-year-old church, on an early late-summer afternoon, looking at massacred corpses and Ralph’s bald head.

Crouched next to the bodies, balancing on his feet, Ralph looked much smaller than Kurt.



#2 smoskale

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:54 AM

The suggested changes below are matter of opinion, of course. I try to lighten the read. For example, this clause "His sweat soaked uniform stuck to his chilled to the bone body," to me seems hard to read, so I would try to make it easier on the eyes. Writing is an art, and tastes differ. Still, perhaps you'll find some of this helpful.

 

Kurt Livingston's stood above frowning Ralph Mandic in utter shock. His sweat-soaked uniform clung stuck to his chilled to the bone body, while as the pungent, acrid smell penetrate his nostrils.

Twenty-two bodies lay scattered around the wooden benches and floor, blood and organs everywhere. Kurt had been sheriff of Seeder County for seventeen years, and he had never seen anything like this. Few vicious murders had been committed during his career, but none were as bloody and savage as these. One body was missing a hand, a few were missing ears, some noses, and all were missing hearts ​hearts were carved out of every one of them (The feeling of this sentence is a laundry list, I feel changing the last clause a bit would read less account-ey). He couldn’t comprehend ​imagine (you don't comprehend--who; you can imagine or guess) who could do something like this. Their last sentence was about Kurt, now suddenly it's plural pronoun...first thought was that a wild animal had attacked, but he’d and now it's singular again never heard of a wild animal that would carve someone’s heart out, nor one that wielded a knife or a gun, as next to the bites, the bodies were full of ​(a body cannot be "full of slashes" nor "full of gunshot wounds." It can be covered in them) were slashes and gunshot wounds.

Kurt closed his eyes, sending a silent prayer to the Lord. He prayed that all of the victims had died from the first wound quickly (the first wound sounds like they all had the same wound, and it's messy writing). He prayed they all had died before the maniacs had eaten them wait: they are not eaten, but killed??? . He prayed that the whole day was just a nightmare. When he opened his eyes, no miracle had happened.

He was still standing in a hundred-and-fifty-year-old church, on an early late-summer afternoon, looking at massacred corpses and Ralph’s bald head.

Crouched next to the bodies, balancing on his feet, Ralph Mandic looked much smaller than Kurt.

 

May I ask: is English your first language? Some of the turns of phrases you use are not acceptable in English, though they would be in other languages (Russian is one). I would suggest getting someone whose native language is English to do a line by line edit for your novel. The story may be great, but agent won't be bothered with something that requires extensive editing--it's a buyers' market for them, so it's on writers to make their work as close to impeccable as possible. 

 

Thanks for your critique of my query. 



#3 BadgerFox

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 03:07 PM



Kurt Livingston stood above frowning Ralph Mandic in utter shock. His sweat soaked uniform stuck to his chilled to the bone body, while the pungent, acrid smell penetrate his nostrils. [I think these sentences are a little heavy on the adjectives. Can you find any points to put the description in the verb instead of an adjective (you know the usual thing: 'whispered' instead of 'said quietly'.)? It isn't always possible but if you can see any opportunities, it would be good. A few adjectives could be dropped altogether, because they make this dramatic action scene feel a bit slow. Not every noun needs a word or phrase to precede it.]

Twenty-two bodies lay scattered around the wooden benches and floor, blood and organs everywhere. Kurt had been sheriff of Seeder County for seventeen years and he had never seen anything like this. Few vicious murders had been committed during his career, but none were as bloody and savage as these. One body was missing a hand, a few were missing ears, some noses [maybe try rephrasing this; it made me accidentally think that one corpse was missing multiple noses, and then I wondered how one man had had several noses], and all were missing hearts. He couldn’t comprehend who could do something like this. Their first thought was that a wild animal had attacked, but he’d never heard of a wild animal that would carve someone’s heart out, nor one that wielded a knife or a gun, as next to the bites, the bodies were full of slashes and gunshot wounds.

Kurt closed his eyes, sending a silent prayer to the Lord. He prayed that all of the victims had died from the first wound. He prayed they all had died before the maniacs had eaten them. He prayed that the whole day was just a nightmare. When he opened his eyes, no miracle had happened.

He was still standing in a hundred-and-fifty-year-old church, on an early late-summer afternoon, looking at massacred corpses and Ralph’s bald head.

Crouched next to the bodies, balancing on his feet, Ralph looked much smaller than Kurt. [Whose point of view is this? Is someone watching these guys? Or is this kurt? Maybe if it's Kurt he'd say 'Ralph seems smaller than me' or something, rather than taking the long-distance view as if he's looking at both of them from far away]

 

Wow, so this is pretty dramatic stuff. It's brutal but it's emphatic. I think you do a pretty good job of slipping in backstory without infodumping. Double-check your adjectives throughout to see that you haven't put in too many, or there aren't any spots that could be replaced with a dynamic verb instead - the one at the beginning is a must-do. I would read on. Good job!


Spare a shiny scrap of feedback for newbie?

250 words of my AU novel: http://agentquerycon...native-history/





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