A Novel Excerpt - Knight Song

OK here’s an excerpt from a little something I’ve been working on.
The cast; Vampires,Werewolves, and OMG! A brand new kind of evil!

Eve listened to the wind, as her onyx tresses cascaded over her shoulders, while the air around her slid across her tailored black leather catsuit. Her silver eyes, slits in the darkness, flirted with the moon as she stood basking in its radiance so full and bold. All her senses were on high alert or maybe this is how it felt after the transformation. She could see, hear, taste and feel everything around her as if she were the sheer fabric of existence itself. She felt like a glove fitted to the very hand of night. The evening was so full of life, so full of energy, so robust with a symphony of colors emanating from everything alive around her. But they all seemed to move in a sea of slow motion. In fact the longer she stood the slower everything around her appeared to become. Perched high above the ocean of movement around her atop the suspension bridge on which she stood, she scanned the area looking for him. The buzz of colors flickering as life surged through each and everything around her was so enchanting that for a moment she couldn’t stop analyzing it all, even the very air itself seemed to have specs of life drifting endlessly through it. From this vantage point she could see it, the chain of life, it was true, we all are really connected by the same fabric, the same essence, this thing called ‘being alive’ was more than just a reality for mankind and now she could see that. All the different aura’s held a certain harmony.

It was then that she could see them, there were five of them. Their aura’s were pitch black with a tint of red outlining the edge of it’s boarders. They stood out like beacons of death in the circle of life churning beneath her.

‘OK Eve, here’s where all that training comes in’ she thought prepping herself.

She remembered the countless drills and exercises she’d performed in her Supernatural simulations.
The infinite mental tortures, she been exposed to, that hardened her mind against mental attacks. The explosively draining, spiritual collisions, her soul endured to become resistant to the charms, these lethally dangerous entities possessed. The tumultuous hand to hand martial arts, with emphasis on dealing spiritual fatalities she’s acquired. The mastery of the weapons she’d been given by the Light-Guard which were her Trinity buckler she wore on her left shoulder, the trinity gauntlets of slaughtering she wore on both hands and saber batons holstered at her hips. Each divinely tuned to her command and only activated by the presence of the enemy. When their numbers climbed from the initial five or so to about a dozen she could feel the light warmth of their hum as her weapons came alive with a soft amber glow.

‘That’s funny normally these things come to life long before I can detect anything.’ she noticed. She also didn’t feel any anxiety she was perfectly calm and ready for the kill.

Stepping from the top of the bridge in the direction of the dark aura’s nestled in the shadows of the docks near shore, her movements were so fast, she scared herself. The first creature turned in what seemed to be slow motion as she waited to the last minute to sever it’s head with one swift swipe of the gauntlet. It hissed briefly with a protesting snap of electricity. The splatter even moved in slow motion allowing her to escape the bloodied soiling of her victims black blood. Before the other four creatures realized that she was upon them she’d administered the same fate to them all as well. With five down she spotted the other seven.

‘Seven is one of the holy numbers’ she remembered,
'I could use a magic square of sevens…'she thought
‘But I’m not even winded this is almost too easy, they don’t even know I’m here’ she sighed squinting as she saw her next victim. Dispatching it and the next three were even easier than the first seven.

‘Ok then, maybe I’m just that powerful and I shouldn’t question or doubt myself…’ and that’s when all hell broke loose and out of nowhere she was struck.

The blast knocked her off her feet and sent her spiraling into an alley brick wall.
Dazed she stood quickly as the adrenaline slammed her system. Instinctively she ducked, then parleyed the next blow with her buckler. As her system pumped more and more adrenaline she began to match the speeds of her opponent. Moving faster and faster blocking blow after blow she recognized the fighting style of her attacker. This was no vampire, the moves were too elegant for even the likes of them. Hearing what sounded like atomic explosions she continued to deflect as she realized her heart was slamming into her chest like a run away train with each thump. Though alarmed she was still confident that she could counter the cobra style of martial arts being used and with that thought, reversed the next flurries of her attacker dealing an almost lethal blow of her own. Sending her opponent flailing backwards long enough to finally see who, or rather what, had assailed her.

“Die Eve!” she hissed through her reptilian mouth, swaying her head in the hypnotic rhythm of her kind. Vashemet, the ‘Siren’ demon queen with the body of a voluptuous woman and head of an eel, supposedly a myth but apparently not, standing before her in living color.

“Our little war had nothing to do with the forces you serve, the humans we harvest are necessary for our way of life. You have no right, begone or I shall slay you and feast on your dead carcass!”

“Vashemet be damned!” Eve spat back in the demons native tongue hearing her writhe

'I have to remember to thank the professor if I get out of this. He made me learn all ancient evils, and their history, he’s never going to believe this."

“How dare you speak my name in the land of mortals, I’ve killed entire civilizations for lesser crimes!” she raged bouncing faster from side to side as her puke yellow eyes began to glow. It illuminated her silky sea green scales of her face, making for a gruesome facade.

Eve knew she was more than prepared to battle and go toe to toe with the undead but this was something totally beyond her training Sims. Demons had an unfair way of possessing their victims when they were weak from battle and killing them from the inside out. Knowing this Eve spat another forbidding damnation hoping to keep the demon at bay.

“I damn you from my body Vashemet and any other body you may choose to posses in this battle with love!” she said again in the demons native language, watching her scream, writhing as she doubled over. Eve dropped one of her batons as she began to circle her.

“I damn you from using any of your enchantments Vashemet!” she commanded dropping another baton
“With hope!” she continued

“I damn you from escaping to the sea Vashemet with faith!” she finished dropping one of her gauntlets creating a triangle in which the demon was now encircled.

“HaHaHaHaHaaaaa” the demon hissed as she began to be pulled apart by the triangulation of the weapons diminishing her and her abilities.

“I leave you with the double cursed ones that you just slaughtered, as a parting gift. They will carry what little of me that was quick enough to escape the destruction of this incarnation of me. But mark my words, when next we meet, I will have the victory an you shall become my slave.”

More than happy to see her oppressor becoming less of a problem Eve could feel the presence of something new, strong and definitely evil. Rising from the ashes were the vampires she’s previously disposed. Only this time they were more lethal, faster, smarter, hungrier for blood and all sporting the same puke yellow orbs, and ghastly mouth of fangs that Vashmet had.

'Ok I guess that’s what I get for thinking I’m All That

The pyramid began to shrink and upon dispatching the contents of it’s demonic prisoner, imploded with a crackle of electricity that stunned the new evil that presented itself, but only briefly. The light was so brilliant that it cast a shadow of yet another visitor to the battle.

“Gideon!” Eve yelled as the whirlwinds of the demonic disposal began to dissipate and she sidestepped the lunge of the double undead, demon cursed vampire coming from behind her.

“Glad to see you started the party without me!” he yelled body-slamming one of the newly made abominations watching it torch to ash. She loved watching him use the ‘Fist of Fury’ trinity armaments the men of her order seemed to live by.

“Your late!” she said administering several short jabs, two grapple throws, and one roundhouse kick, sending a monster spiraling into the dead end street in which they stood. To their backs were the sea which held a venom it had yet to unleash, or maybe that was just her fearful anticipation of impending doom to come.

Seeing her weapons laying there smoking on the ground from the previous banishment, she quickly summoned them to herself. First the gauntlet, which snugly fit her hand in an instance, and then both the batons, which connected immediately with her next attacker’s jawbone. Hammering it’s head with one, while trying to crack it’s skull with the other, she didn’t see the two fiends approaching from her unprotected right side. Catching her arm before she could deliver the crushing blow it smiled with an acidic fang-filled grin.

“Hello Eve…” it snapped lunging with the neck of an eel barely missing her face.

Spinning out of it’s grasp and right into the spray of the second monster, her eyes burned instantly upon looking directly into it’s gaze.
Venom was obviously airborne as well, as she felt her lungs ignite. Choking she dropped to her knees detecting the two of them hovering close as Vampires always did right before a kill. She knew Gideon probably had his hands full and couldn’t get to her, she thought, gagging so hard she doubled over into the fetal position. The sizzling of her flesh came at no surprise as did the liquid iron substance that filled her throat. The skin on her neck began to peel as the skin gave way. The pain was unbearable, the smell was even worse. She knew she was done, game over, she was sure of it and had almost accepted her fate until the ground beneath her began to cool at an alarming rate. The tingling sensation that ran up her legs, through her toes, connecting with the pain in her lungs, throat and eyes like gas to a flame. The purging of her system felt riveting, so good her back arched as light shot from her eyes nose and mouth. Her flesh began to cool, mending at an alarming rate. She could feel her optical nerves cooling as well as sight returned blurred but functional.
When she was able to see clearly, she discovered she was sitting in a magic square of nines. The ground was still glowing, emanating the magical harvest of its purpose as she grew stronger pulling herself to all fours.

“You always did like the bad boys, see what happens when you kiss on the first date.” Gideon chuckled handing her one of her batons.
“Thanks” responding as she reclaimed her weapon
“Your body was like a magnet for all the rest once they saw you down, they couldn’t resist the act of possessing you”
“It counter their blood lust?”
“I guess so, good thing I happen to know a little something about ‘Purge All, Heal All, magic squares of nine’, banishings myself” he finished with a cool smirk.
At six feet-five inches, his chiseled body straight out of a comic book displayed intensive signs of battle. His corn rolled braids held the left overs of battle as well. Even his deep bronze complexion complained of battle scars as his silver essence (blood) leaked from one of his cheek bones and a cut above his autumn brown eyes.

“Dawn approaches” she said pointing at the sun
“But our current enemy isn’t afflicted by it” he said pointing to the sea as she began to give up her dead.
“You’ve got to be kidding me…Zombies?” she gasped exasperatedly
“No! Demon possessed zombies…” he affirmed, “Try to keep up with me this time,” he said smiling, flexing his fist as his gloves surged with power. Her weapons hummed as well, singing with alarm.

Took a couple of rads through. Remember, I am not critic, just a person who reads.The “yucky stuff” first.

It seemed to me that the prose it trying too hard.

To me the hacked one is a bit easier to read and builds a bit more tension. I had this type of feeling through out.

A bit of continuity

Did she whack 5 or seven in the first bunch?

A small but rubbing problem with some sentences like this one:

Not being the grammar king of these parts, I did notice a bit of a plurality issue (not sure if that is the right word for the problem.

really should be

I think this is also another case where the prose is a bit forced.

seems easier if it is written as

I think that gets the same message across.

Now, on to the not so bad. It sounds like an interesting story even though it is outside my normal reading preference. There is a tension created that keeps you wondering what is next. I think this could be honed a bit, but it is a great start. I like the descriptives and in general I think the “fun” of reading the finished product is already present.

But as many here will tell you, I don’t really know much about writing. Something about needing a head (which would contain a brain which is often deemed necessary to thought and knowledge).

Yes, there are some interesting ideas here, a good novel, but it needs work.

There’s no hook to draw the reader in. Some of the paragraphs are too long, and there is a tendency to tell the reader things rather than show them. I would suggest starting with paragraphs 2 and 3, then reworking paragraph one, making two or three paragraphs of it, maybe even interspersing that with the subsequent para’s that show the building action.

Too much information about Eve too soon. In the first chapter, yes, but not so much on the first page.

The term ‘slow motion’ was used three times in this excerpt. That’s all you get for the entire story. Do you want to burn them all up now? It’s always a challenge to find different ways to say the same thing.

(Hammering it’s head with one, while trying to crack it’s skull with the other,) Should be its’, the possesive not the contraction.

(she didn’t see the two fiends approaching from her unprotected right side. Catching her arm before she could deliver the crushing blow it smiled with an acidic fang-filled grin.) Which fiend caught her arm? This knocked me out of the story.

(complained of battle scars as his silver essence (blood) leaked from one of his cheek bones) The parenthesis knocked me out again. I would suggest ‘as the silver essence that was his blood leaked…’ so that the flow of the sentence is not interrupted. Do you ever read your work out loud? That can help you figure out if prose is properly flowing.

If there is a writer’s group in your area, join it. I have learned so much in the last two years in my group. I’ve been blessed with lots of good advice from published writers.

Oh, yes, and I expect Eve to be a headstrong, independent, butt-kicking kind of protagonist. Don’t let me down. :slight_smile:

Hi there. Your novel sounds very interesting, but I had a lot of trouble getting through it. In fact, I didn’t read the whole thing. I simply couldn’t go on. It seems to me that you have a very clear picture of what’s going on around your character, but not so much how your character is experiencing it.

Here are some specific critiques:

Eve listened…as her onyx…while the air…: The dreaded ‘as’ and ‘while’ These words are every writer’s bane and should be treated like the deadliest evil in the world next to the Monty Python bunny of doom. Why, you ask? It takes away from how the reader picture presents itself to the reader. We are trying to imagine the wind, her hair, and the air slithering around a tailored black suit all at once. Question is, why does your character care about all of that stuff? Second question is, why should the reader? Main suggestions: Break it up into three seperate sentences. If they don’t sound right by themselves, add something more on to them, but only pertaining to whatever the sentence is about. It will be easier to read as well as to picture.

Her silver eyes…full and bold.: Lots of description her. That’s good. Problem is, this doesn’t seem to be happening through your character’s eyes. If they were, she wouldn’t be able to see her silver eyes. Jump into your character’s head, see only what she sees, feel only what she feels, and know only what she knows. Then write through that experience. Secondly, you are using too many flamboyant descriptive words. This is another author’s bane. ‘A giant glowing orb exploded above the far reaches of the world and penetrated the thick strands of white that overshadowed the terra,’ would sound much better if written, 'The sun rose above the horizon and broke through the overhanging clouds." As a rule, try to keep flamboyant words to a minimum of one to paragraph. Or, better yet, one per every page.

Good points: You have a flare of description. Don’t bottle it up, merely use dashes of it instead of entire cups. You want to ‘flavor’ your writing, not overpower it. We want to be able to taste the meat and potatoes of the tale, not have to pick through it with a fork to get to the actual good stuff.

I hope this information is helpful, and please keep on writing. I can tell that once it’s brushed up, it will be a great story, and I look forward to reading it when it’s redrafted.