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First Page: Unnamed Paranormal

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A field mouse. She had a field mouse painted on her gas tank. The gas  tank of her old green beetle. It wasn’t the best or stealthiest  getaway car but she didn’t have anything else and no one seemed to be  offering her any assistance here. Keeping her speed to exactly three   miles over the limit, because going the speed limit could look  suspicious, Toni drove through Diablos City’s back streets. Maybe she  should be staying on the main strips. Hell, maybe she shouldn’t have  moved to a place called Diablos City. Hindsight was twenty twenty but  there was nothing she could do about it now. At this point she had a  feeling she’d be followed wherever she went so she minus well stick  with the devil she knew. Heh, the devil she knew…she was a clever  one.

Toni drove, scanning doors for the mark. She didn’t know she’d been  holding her breath until she spotted the white circle on a door that  otherwise looked like all the other doors. She parked in the alley a  block down. Praying no one would steal her car or set it on fire, she  walked up the block to her destination. Hopefully the hippie guy at  the head shop hadn’t told her a bullshit story. Apparently, sorcerers  didn’t work with cauldrons anymore. They owned stores where you could  buy bongs and vibrating silicone penises. Knocking once, Toni was  caught off guard when the door swung open. She’d been expecting one of  those peephole panels that slide open at eye level, then she had a  “Duh” moment. These people could probably read minds or see through  doors and walls. The big guy in the doorway, body wrapped in black  leather, stared at her. No smile. No expression at all. She stared  back because the hippie sorcerer hadn’t given her a password or a  secret handshake or a gang sign to throw up. He’d just told her to  knock once. So, Toni knocked and now she focused on winning the  staring contest. She’d been in the third grade, she knew how to throw  down.

“You plan on coming in?” The big dude asked. Wow. He sounded like a  chipmunk which was beyond non threatening.

“Uh, yeah, if you move. I can’t teleport and you take up the whole  doorway.” Toni choked on a laugh because, chipmunk or not, the guy  could rip off her arms and beat her to death with them.

Big And Scary smiled suddenly and stepped to the side. “I like you,”  he said as she walked by. “Be careful in there. We don’t get too many  like you.”

Toni looked up at him. “What? Short people? People who don’t wear  leather underwear? People who don’t specialize in the Kama Sutra of  the mind?”

“If you say so.”

And what the hell kind of answer was that? Whatever. Toni couldn’t  stand around mocking a man who could possibly melt her brain and make  it drip out of her nose. She had someone to find. Someone whose name  sounded like the name of a village in the middle of the jungle.  Someone who could tell her why she was running from people who, as far  as she knew, were chasing her for no reason. Chasing was the wrong  word. Tracking. They were tracking her the way indigenous tribes’  people tracked big game. Too bad she didn’t have animal instincts and  couldn’t run like a cheetah. The fact that she sucked at running was  why she’d come close to failing gym more than once.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Laura Vivanco
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 05:14:26

    I read on because of the field mouse. However, you’ve got two typos in the first paragraph. In

    Keeping her speed to exactly three miles over the limit, because going the speed limit could look suspicious

    I think there’s a missing “over”: “going OVER the speed limit could look suspicious.” However, since you’ve just written that she’s going at “exactly three miles over the limit,” doesn’t that mean that she’s going to look suspicious? Maybe there’s another word missing too?

    The phrase “so she minus well stick with the devil she knew” should read “so she might as well stick with the devil she knew.”

  2. Ros
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 05:21:33

    @Laura Vivanco: I think it’s meant to be ‘going at the speed limit could look suspicious’.

  3. Laura Vivanco
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 05:29:10

    I see what you mean Ros. I suppose I’d assumed that when making a getaway, one’s instinct would be to drive at well over the speed limit, and that would look suspicious.

  4. Marcella
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 05:31:02

    Where’s the rest? ;-)

  5. Sao
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 07:09:02

    Nice page, nice place to start the book. Interesting premise. For the most part, I like your writing, however, I think you’d get more punch with a little trimming of what seems like extraneous detail.

    Since she’s not literally running, who cares if she failed gym class? The field mouse also threw me because I assume gas tanks are on the inside and not visible from the outside of the car. The city name isnt important.

    Lastly, if she’s running for her life and being tracked, you should put more of that tension in. We are told she’s being chased, we don’t feel it in her actions. Add in some tense glances in the rear view mirror, etc. Show us.

  6. DS
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 07:13:42

    I think I like this one. Except the heroine being a smart ass when faced with a potentially dangerous situation is an urban fantasy/paranormal cliche these days. I’d like to see it kept to a minimum.

    The Kama Sutra comment also seemed to came out of left field.

  7. T
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 07:29:56

    The first paraphraph is very offputting. The first lines are meant to grab the reader but they do not seem to meld well with the rest. I don´t get who is thinking

    “A field mouse. She had a field mouse painted on her gas tank.”

    These lines make me think that to be something new or somebody seeing it for the first time. I expect the narrator to not be the “she” who chose to put a field mice on the gas tank. But then apparently you have it all being from the point of view, so I do not understand why she is thinking of the field mouse in her gas tank at that precise moment.

    And this I do not understand as well

    “minus well” – Might as well?

    The writing is not working for me, sorry, it looks a bit overcooked.
    “The gas tank of her old green beetle.”

    so nothing new. But the progression of sentences made me expect something new or interesting to the mouse situation, but there is nothing.

  8. Maili
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 07:45:04

    “The big dude asked. Wow. He sounded like a chipmunk which was beyond non threatening.”

    As soon as I saw a mention of his big build, I knew there would be a reference to his squeaky or high-pitched voice. And there is it. It’s one of the most common clichés in fiction and film. How about proving predictions wrong by changing his squeaky voice to cold-infected voice? Any but the overused “big man with a girly voice” trope.

    Toni and Big&Scary’s exchange doesn’t work for me. It seems rather false. I really can’t imagine a bouncer would be impressed by a smart aleck response. A friend, who worked as a nightclub bouncer during his uni years, said he loathe smart alecks the most. His usual question: “Where’s your ID?” A smart aleck’s reply: “What, you expect me to carry the magazine?” (There’s a national magazine called I.D.) Bouncers are generally treated as thickos and they really don’t like it. So they tend to be supersensitive about the smark aleck-y responses. This is probably why I didn’t find the exchange plausible.

    The pacing is a bit off. There’s action but she’s rambling, throwing the pace a bit off. Other than these, it seems fun. I’d read it, especially if Toni were made less smug (e.g. her self-proclaimed cleverness at the start and the exchange with the bouncer). Thank you and good luck!

  9. joanne
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 07:55:49

    I don’t have anything constructive to say except to repeat that spelling and grammar errors in a writing submission of any sort shows a carelessness that might bite a new author in the ass.

    Other than that: LOVE IT!

    It’s different, it takes some chances, it leads the reader along rather like a cozy mystery but it has a mouthy heroine and a paranormal twist. I’d absolutely keep reading.

    Good luck and thank you for putting your work here.

  10. query1
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 08:55:03

    Apologies in advance if this ends up being a dup post.

    First two paragraphs take up the entire first page. No white space.

    I’d quit right there if this was supposed to be an urban fantasy/paranormal romance. It’s a rather big info dump where nothing really happens. The last one should be woven into other paragraphs, not as a mental response to ‘if you say so’.

    And someone has a lot of someone darlings. They should be killed.

    I don’t care for the getaway car reference at the beginning. The way it’s written makes me think that she’s knowingly committed a crime instead of being on the run. I almost feel tricked even though I’m told on the very next page what’s really going on. It’s a tiny thing but I’m left wondering if this author will be playing fair.

    Parking in an alley might get one noticed more than parking on a street or in a parking lot. Depends on the alley I suppose. If I were being chased, the first thing I’d do is make my car like any other car. If the field mouse is that noticeable that she would mention it in the opening sentence then it would be removed. (I’m assuming that the car tank opening is on the driver’s side although I suppose it could be on the trunk or the passenger side. Don’t have a beetle although Harry Dresden did but his was blue.)

    I’ve lived in big cities and small town, does anyone care about speed limits? No one would know the difference between actual and three miles over without having a radar display.

    Finally, what is this woman? Is she human, witch, vamp, etc.? I know nothing about her (not even a tiny hint) except that she’s on the run and seeking out sorcerers.

    And those are my nitpicks.

    There’s a decent voice here but the story needs more honing. If the author were a sculptor, I’d say to take the chisel out and take more of the marble away.

    Perhaps starting inside the store or at the door and then weaving the details into the opening might work better.

    If she’s really on the run and actively fearing for her life then we should feel a bit more of that, not be told about it. I can get into the sarcastic commentary in dangerous situations as long as it’s used sparingly and appropriately. I’m lost as to how the bouncer/greeter is a dangerous situation and how she isn’t simply a jerk.

    One final thing: If this is a store that sells bongs and vibrating penises, why is she knocking on the door in the first place? It’s not like those things are illegal. Well, not in my city they aren’t. In my city, these type of stores have large plate glass window displays so your world would need to counteract my reality.

  11. okbut
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 09:36:06

    Funny, I read the comments after reading the first two lines…

    Went back to the rest of the page, and was totally turned off. Comments are right on. The tense and point of view are wrong, this work would have a much better punch in the first person and present tense, with some editing, for example: “A field mouse, my alter-ego, is painted on the gas tank side of my old green beetle. It isnt the best or stealthiest getaway car but I don’t have anything else and no one seems to be offering any assistance. I keep my speed to exactly three miles over the limit, no need to look suspicious through Diablos City's back streets.”

    This “maybe I should be on the main strips” doesnt make sense since she is heading towards a specific address in those back streets?

  12. Willa
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 09:46:04

    After reading the opening lines of this, I wouldn’t go any farther. It reminded me of the old grade school primers. See Spot. See Spot run.

  13. Pat
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 10:39:14

    I like the field mouse, but I’m not certain about the opening. If it’s her car, why is she commenting on it? She knows it’s there. It might make more sense if she had borrowed the car. Or if someone else was noticing it and thinking she is a complete ditz. Or maybe she should be thinking somewhere along the lines of “I am the kind of person who has a field mouse painted on my gas tank. I am not the kind of person who should be running for her life. How did I get into this mess?”

    As for going the speed limit, that’s exactly the way it is said in my neck of the woods. Going AT the speed limit sounds odd to me.

    I don’t generally read paranormals, but the field mouse intrigued me.

  14. Tamara Hogan
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 10:43:56

    The thing that struck me most about this page is the heroine’s apparent lack of self-preservation instincts. She’s going alone into a strange neighborhood, apparently to meet a sorcerer whom she suspects can read minds. She describes herself as being followed, and feeling tracked like big game. At the door, she meets a huge, leather-clad bad-ass, mentally referring to this stranger as “Big and Scary”, and…she talks to him about the Kama Sutra, and leather underwear? The conversation is edgy, but I feel it undermines your heroine’s credibility. A man of this size doesn’t need supernatural powers to do some serious damage; he could take her out, permanently, with a casual swipe of his hand. She’s walking into what we’ve been led to believe is a potentially dangerous situation. Without having a better sense of the heroine’s own abilities, or what’s driving her to take such extreme chances with her physical safety, right now she doesn’t strike me as being a kick-ass heroine. She strikes me as having really poor judgment – and perhaps a death wish.

    Being that we’re so deeply in the heroine’s POV, on revision you might consider revealing more of her internal questioning, fear and doubt – giving the reader a better sense that she knows she’s in danger – then juxtoposing those private thoughts against her outward (seemingly foolhardy) behavior.

    Good luck, and thanks for putting this out there.

  15. hapax
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 11:44:24

    I liked it a lot.

    I loved the field mouse, loved the smart-mouth lack of self-preservation, loved the sex shop sorcerors…

    …and I’m so darn grateful to read a paranormal that ISN’T in the freaking first person! (Tight third is my favorite p.o.v.)

    The staccato rhythm is part of this tight third, so I wouldn’t lose it completely, but you might want to tone it down a bit. E.g.:
    “A field mouse. She had a field mouse painted on her gas tank. The gas tank of her old green beetle. It wasn't the best or stealthiest getaway car but she didn't have anything else and no one seemed to be offering her any assistance here”

    could be tweaked to:

    “A field mouse. She had a field mouse painted on the gas tank of her old green Beetle. Not the stealthiest getaway car, but she didn’t have anything else. No one seemed to be offering her any assistance here, anyways.”

    Or something like that.

    And watch those typos!

  16. Suze
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 11:49:21

    The story has potential, but it reads as train-of-thought from someone with ADHD. There are a lot of very short, choppy, not-quite-sentences. It really doesn’t flow well, and that makes it work for me to follow. I don’t want to work when I’m reading for pleasure.

    The field mouse kind of turned me off. It’s a non-sequitur, except that it doesn’t follow anything since you opened with it. Also, you normally can’t see a car’s gas tank, so I had to revise my image from a motorcycle, which threw me out of the story before I even got into it.

    I love the idea of a sex shop as a cover for sorcerers. Potential for some serious comedy.

  17. theo
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 13:33:40

    Some of the ideas here are good, others not so much.

    But I spent so much time mentally correcting the spelling and grammar errors that I had to read it a second time and even then, I’m not sure I’d continue. I do like the sex shop/sorcerer’s den thing, but beyond that, much of it seemed cliche to me. Smart-ass heroine who feels a bit sorry for herself because she doesn’t drive a great car, shouldn’t have moved to this city, didn’t get all the information, walks into danger with a semi-TSTL attitude (meaning unarmed, unprepared, wisecracks will get her anything idea)…substitute a few names, it’s been done. So unless it’s done really well or with a great twist, I don’t want to read the same thing again.

    And beyond the spelling/grammar things already mentioned, it’s twenty-twenty, with a hyphen.

    I’m not the best grammarian, but when I find myself correcting it to something I’m reading, I know it’s not going to be the story for me.

    Kudos for putting it out there and good luck.

  18. Tasha
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 13:39:59

    I would not have minded the grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues as much were they not accompanied by at least five cliches.

    Some interesting ideas, but I wouldn’t keep reading. Sorry :-(

  19. query1
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 13:43:53

    My previous comments appears to have been eaten. So if they show up, please excuse the duplicates.

    The first two paragraphs are much too long. There’s not enough white space and too much info dump. There’s no sense of urgency in the tell either. Smart-a$$ commentary is okay but here she comes off as either a jerk or stupid with a death wish.

    In my city, selling vibrators and bongs are done via large plate glass windows in a storefront so I’m not convinced that they’d have a bouncer at the door and that the establishment would be so non-descript. Or if it some secret powerful place then it wouldn’t have a visible mark on the door. Either you’d know what it was or you wouldn’t.

    In a lot of town/cities, parking in an alley would draw more attention than parking on the street or in a parking lot. And if her car is that recognizable why is she still driving it?

    Speed limit stuff should be cut. I can’t tell the difference between 30 and 35 without a radar device. And does anyone go the speed limit even on back roads unless the cops are actively ticketing the street or speed bumps?

    Field mouse stuff is cute but if she’s desperate and on the run anything that could be used an identifying mark should be removed. Harry Dresden drives a beetle but his is/was blue. Why not something that’s not so noticeable? I definitely notice beetle old or new whenever they pass by.

    There’s a nice voice in this story but the story needs to be pared/honed down further.

    Might consider first-person pov and starting the story in a different place. Perhaps at the door or inside the establishment. Let me see her tension and discover what’s going on.

    Finally, at the beginning I thought she was on the run for committing a crime, on the second page I discovered that wasn’t the case. It’s a small thing but in my head I wondered if the author was going ‘pulling the rug out from under me’ with something more major.

  20. JenD
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 14:14:20

    I really enjoyed this. I like her sarcasm, devil may care attitude and spunk. The squeaky voice didn’t bother me, it didn’t kill the humor for me to know what was going to happen.

    I like the quick pace of the writing as well. I would probably tone it down a bit. If everything is fast then nothing stands out and you lose a very important tool for speeding up action or creating tension.

    One thing about comedic delivery- it doesn’t always have to come in threes. Making a gag take up three lines of space, or dialogue, isn’t always the best way to convey humor. Mix it up a bit- instead of having her say three things to BS (heh), have her say one. That way she can be witty and sarcastic without seeming overly caustic.

    There’s a series from PBS called Make ‘Em Laugh that features many different comedy styles and eras. I think it could really broaden your already great sense of humor and perhaps give you ideas to work in different types of delivery. That’s assuming you haven’t watched it already- if you have seen it then I apologize for assuming you haven’t.

    I would keep reading. I’m excited to see where it goes once it’s been refined a bit. Very enjoyable addition to my Saturday! Thank you for putting it out for me to read.

  21. Author On Vacation
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 15:02:30

    I have mixed feelings about this page.

    I love the language and the style of writing. I think the author has a beautiful, poetic command of language and uses it to advantage in the prose.

    Also good is the variation in structure. Short sentences, lengthier sentences, not repetitive or “even” in how they read. Variation keeps the reading experience stimulating, this is very good.

    Less to my taste was the use of sarcasm/snark in the heroine’s POV. I didn’t sense genuine urgency in the narrative’s emotional content. The heroine is allegedly fleeing for her life, but I didn’t sense any urgency behind that.

    The narrative was a bit repetitious in places. I would recommend editing out some of the wise cracks and snarky thoughts in favor of working in action, emotion, and maybe some additional dialogue.

    I realize snarky, “ballsy” female heroines are very much a flavor of the month in paranormal fiction these days. Too much snark in the wrong places can convey a stupid or silly/immature personality when the goal (I think) is to portray confidence and wit. Every comment and thought does not have to be snarky. Sometimes less is more.

  22. Jage
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 17:14:07

    I really liked this page. It seems like a fun read and I don’t mind a smart ass heroine if she can back it up, which, so far, your heroine doesn’t seem capable of doing.

    Even if there was just a comment about wishing she had even a pencil so she had something pointy to jab him with if need be, something to show she knows it wasn’t that smart to place herself in a position without any type of escape/self defence plan.

    I loved the voice and tone, one thing that really threw me [excluding the minus well bit] was her exchange with the bouncer. It didn’t feel realistic especially him telling her that he liked her.

    It does make me wonder if she’s only human though since he makes a comment about not getting many like her in there, so it could be they don’t get non-magicals in there or her type of supernatural being.

    One thing I was wondering is if the supernatural world is known by all. At first I thought it was but then she makes a point to say she got the information from some hippie while if it was out in the open, wouldn’t she have been able to find a sorcerer using a more reputable source?

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  24. Maura
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 19:13:15

    I prefer this in third person, but that may just be because I’m tired of first-person paranormals. I also don’t mind if an author uses a little omniscient narrative when writing in third person, and the field mouse detail caught my attention. Unfortunately, it didn’t really go anywhere, and I also didn’t like Squeaky Voiced Big Guy. Also, I’ve never been into a sex shop that had bouncers, even in big cities– this made me go “huh?”

  25. Anon
    Oct 16, 2010 @ 21:32:57

    I read this out loud and the family thought I was telling them a joke. They were all laughing because it seemed so incredulous. The heroine sounds TSTL. The writing doesn’t help.

    You wrote: She didn't know she'd been holding her breath until she spotted the white circle on a door that otherwise looked like all the other doors.

    What does that mean? It sounds silly. You could chop off ‘that otherwise looked like all the other doors’ and be better for it. Don’t you know that you’re holding your breath when you release it in a woosh? But apparently, a door with a circle does this.

    Why the heck would someone set her car on fire? It sounds like she’s mentally unstable or paranoid for no good reason. You haven’t given us a reason to think this could happen. How many people park their cars outside a shop, even if they think they’re being followed, and think their car might be set on fire?

    The minus well stick – was just too painful.

    She’d been in the third grade. She knew how to throw down – sounds like she is in the third grade with this opening. Go back and read all your fav paranormals. Do they mention grade school if the novel is for adults?

    You wrote: Someone whose name sounded like the name of a village in the middle of the jungle. Someone who could tell her why she was running from people who, as far as she knew, were chasing her for no reason.

    This is terrible writing. Tell us the name of the village so we can see it sounds like a jungle. If people are chasing her for no reason, then she’s running for no reason and the reader doesn’t care. She sounds mentally unstable and too stupid to live.

    You wrote: melt her brain and make it drip out of her nose.

    You wrote: Chasing was the wrong word. Tracking.

    If chasing is the wrong word, then use tracking the first time around.

    Sounds childish and stupid. Even the Egyptians used a hot poker. It’s all too ridiculous.

    Ripping her arms off and beating her to death with them is another case of childishness.

    Overall, I thought this passage was a joke, that it wasn’t a serious beginning. But from the comments from others, I see that it is. I wasn’t going to comment, but honestly, you need to see that your writing isn’t getting your story across.

  26. Gennita Low
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 04:45:47

    Except for spelling and typos, don’t change a thing. I love this beginning. It reads more like an urban fantasy than a paranormal, with the heroine with special undefined powers looking for answers.

    The rhythm is sharp and staccatoed, like someone on the round, with no time to look for details; I like that. The heroine sounds young, unless you reveal that she’s in her late 20s and early 30s later on, I’m perfectly fine with the smart-assed voice and the walking-into-danger-without-thought attitude. I laughed at the bravado of someone young on the run–the “ripping her arms off and heating her to death” line was funny.

    Good luck with this! I think this is a great beginning and hopefully, the rest of the story delivers the promise of sorcerers (with silicone penises and yes, a younger character who can’t remember exotic sounding names and saying “a name that sounds like a village in the middle of a jungle” is perfectly fine because it conveys the heroine’s current state of mind and her personality) and tracking enemies.

  27. Gennita Low
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 04:51:30

    oops. I think my comment is caught in the spam thingie because I wrote smart-a**.

  28. Funny Girl
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 16:26:52

    You are funny. It’s difficult to write funny because so many folks just don’t get it, but those who do will love you. I love you. You’ve got an awesome voice and I loved the third grade line. Yes, you have a couple cliches, and some spelling issues. I recommend printing out your manuscript and reading it OUT LOUD, in its entirety. You’ll catch a lot of this mess that way – reading on the computer isn’t enough.

    Unfortunately, the romance community seems to like a little funny, but get too funny and all of a sudden you’ll get a lot of weird side-eyes. God forbid you not be maudlin. Maybe try for paranormal chick lit? Is there such an animal? Check out Marta Acosta – she’s funny as hell and not schmaltzy. Good luck! Stick to your voice – it’s unique.

  29. Miss Moppet
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 20:13:07

    I would cut the first paragraph entirely.

    I’d also put in a paragraph break after p*nises and after ‘no expression at all’ and cut the rest of that paragraph.

    Exchange with the bouncer: I agree with those who think it’s not realistic. Also him sounding squeaky defuses the tension, which isn’t great on the first page.

    Also agree that it would be great to show Toni’s anxiety about being tracked, put us in the moment more.

    I love ‘Chasing is the wrong word. Tracking.’ And I’d actually put a paragraph break after that as well to give it more emphasis.

    I have no problem with the POV or the tense, and I’m intrigued by the sorcerer/sex shop combo.

    This sounds like it could be a great book – thanks for putting it out there.

  30. Eve Paludan
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 20:56:26

    I’d start the story here just before the action:

    Apparently, sorcerers didn't work with cauldrons anymore. In Diablos City, sorcerers owned shops where one could buy…

    Save the other bits from the beginning and work them into the story during action sequences or work them in as dialogue. Backstory and description is valuable but it has to be 1) not a set up for the first page and 2) disguised.

    Otherwise, this looks like my kind of story! Keep working on this!

  31. Marie Wolf
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 13:49:02

    I like it, it made me want to know more.
    Most people commenting didn’t seem to get that Tony had been already to the sorcerer’s shop, where she had got the address of the door with the circle on it.
    Some of those comments I agree with, though. For example, it needs more of Tony’s anxiety. I’m guessing she’s being silly (when talking to the big scary guy) because she’s worried? Some people do that.
    As for the green field mouse, not the best way to go unnoticed.

  32. Valerie
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 15:09:29

    Nothing major to add, I agree with a lot of what’s already been said (minus well had me cringing. I’ll ignore a lot of little grammar errors, but minus well, no.) Field mouse on the gas tank had me thinking steampunk (like a jet-pack or something?) or motorcycle, not car. And I’ll add my voice to the flood of those tired of snarky heroines. You can still give me snark, but I want it to either be appropriate, or justified. Does she know she’s being an idiot? Is her mouth running away from her? I almost wished her snark had been inner monologue, with his responses being proof of B&S’s ability to mind-read. If she had been trying to have a reasonable, safe convo with B&S, while he was responding to her snarky INTERNAL thoughts, I would’ve gone along with it.

    I think a lot of people had a hard time tracking the fact that the sex-shop sorceror was in the past, so you probably need to clarify that. I loved that idea, btw.

    Don’t you dare get rid of the third grade staring contest bit. That was the only audible laugh I got out of this piece. Keep it, I beg of you.

    My final thought: I hate the name Diablos City. That kind of transparent place name is akin, for me, to naming rakes Lucien, The Devil, etc. in regency. Obvious, obnoxious, and unrealistic. I don’t want to work on making up a justification for the silly, too on-the-nose character and place names. I’m not saying places don’t have names like that, but having crazy dark paranormal stuff happen in a place that happens to have a diabolical name is a bit too precious and convenient for my tastes.

    All that being said, I would read this. It was funny, and has a lot of really interesting ideas in it. Just tighten it up a bit. Good luck!

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