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Twilight_Lotus
June 1st, 2007, 06:37 PM
This is something I wrote awhile ago, but haven't completely went from start to finish. I plan on working on sometime this month. Let me know what you all think of this excerpt.


PLACE: City of Savoira

LOCATION: Vrolei, Espanis

DATE: Mayrid 13, 370 N.E. (NEBULAN ERA CALENDER)

The storm raged on for what seemed like hours. Sometimes it slowed down, only to speed up again.

However, the Stranger who, clad in black, was walking through the streets of Pioneer District did not seem to care for the weather. The figure walked slowly, not because of exhaustion, but in order to avoid any harm to a bundle wrapped up in a blanket, which was a young boy being carried in leather-covered arms. The Stranger moved with patience, the rain soaking the black cloak almost constantly. Many people were staring with mixed emotions; some were shocked and appalled by the sight, some did not seem to care. Regardless, the Stranger did not seem to care as matters that are more important were at hand, such as getting the boy some place warm and safe.

Where was the Stranger going to find that some place? Who could be trusted to keep look after the child? Right now, many buildings surrounded the Stranger but it was tough to choose one without worrying about the child's welfare.

Pausing for a moment, the Stranger looked down to check on the child who was shivering from the rain. At this rate, he might catch a cold.

I must get him out of the storm very soon. The child will not last much longer out here.

With no other choice, the Stranger had already made way to a single building at random. Though the rest of the lights were blazing out of the apartment windows, this one only had a dimmed light coming from the living room. Coming up the small stairway, the Stranger pushed the doorbell button.



The dream felt so real to her.

Somewhere at the top of a very gray building, a young man whose face she could not see laughed and called over to her. "Hurry up, mama! The fireworks are about to start any minute now!"

Even though she could not see her son's face clearly, the smile was there. Moreover, from it shone an invisible celestial aura of some kind.

She struggled to catch up, but something was keeping her from moving. "I'm coming," she gasped.

When she finally caught up to his side, her vision suddenly became a blur. The sounds of thunder roared in her ears.

What just happened?Before she knew it, the young man known as her son had disappeared out of her sight. Worry crept up to her face as she scanned the area, searching for him. Not even his voice was there anymore. Her throat felt very dry, making it hard for her to breath. When she returned her gaze to where the fireworks were, another person was now standing in the place of where her son was.

This time, it was an old man with wrinkles. The man stared at her, curling his lips into a sad smile. Then his eyes glowed red of blood as he let out a nocturnal scream of anguish and misery that was enough to scare a woman like her shitless.

Just as she clutched at her ears to block out the screams, the old man transformed into a hideous creature of pale white and lunged at her...

In a matter of minutes, Garnella Vincel awoke with a startling gasp from her nightmare on her sofa. Sweat covered her entire face. Dazed, she could not figure out the dream she just had. Nevertheless, something told her that she did not want to know either.

Just as she was struggled to sit up, her doorbell rang.

Who could be at the door at this time of night, especially when it's still storming outside?

Though she was still recovering from her current nightmare, Garnella got up and walked over to the door, ignoring the nagging thoughts in her mind not to open it. Unlocking the front door, she opened it halfway just in case it was someone she did not know. Only a few people knew where she lived. However, they did not live in this part of Savoira City, the Pioneer District. This place resembled the slums although there were not many homeless people around. The economy here was low, so those who could not afford a job that pays better chose or forced themselves to live here.

Garnella, however, was a different story.

"Hello?" The woman who answered the doorbell was a tall, ebony-skinned woman with reddish copper hair tied into a basic braid, wearing a simple white tank top and dark blue pajama bottoms. She had deep-set light brown eyes that looked like two pieces of amber. The Stranger fought back nagging thoughts of making the wrong choice. Right now, the young boy needed a place to stay. The woman's deep brown eyes examined the stranger, from the booted feet, past the soaked bundle in the figure's arms, and up to a pair of eyes, the only thing that revealed under the cape.

"Oh my goddess, are you both all right? Come in and get dry!" The ebony woman's voice sounded urgent. She helped the Stranger in and aided to lay the wet burden down on a nearby sofa. "Wait here. I'll get some towels." She quickly walked into the bathroom down the hall, grabbed a few towels and came back with them. The Stranger was still standing up like a tree during the raging weather.

"Is he your son?" the ebony woman known as Garnella asked.

A soft voice spoke from under the hood, revealing it female. "No. But he is important."

Garnella went over to the young boy who was still unconscious. She wiped most of the wetness from his face and arms and removed the wet long cloth, exchanging it for a dry blanket she had used to sleep on the sofa. She did not care about it getting wet, as she was more concerned about the young boy getting warm. Garnella went over to turn on the heat and raised it to 80 degrees, at least.

"How did you both end up in the rain? Did something happen?" Her tone was deep with concern and sympathy. It was not like her to care for strangers. Hell, most of the people here were not too friendly with her ever since she moved to Pioneer District. However, every now and then, she was most likely to help a person in need, regardless of how ill she was treated.

The Stranger did not respond as she thought deeply on the choice she made. Her eyes were still on the boy until Garnella appeared in front of her again. "Shouldn't you take off that cape? You'll catch a cold."

The Stranger removed the hood of the cape, revealing a pale-skinned woman with shoulder-length black hair worn in an exotic style and large green eyes that are like two emeralds. On the lower part of her face, she had a small mouth and a wide chin. The Stranger looked at Garnella, searching into her eyes for something. When she did find it, she realized now that she had made the right choice. She knew this woman could be trusted.

Her hand dug into what looked like a pocket inside of her cape and pulled out a white envelope. "Please, take this. It will explain the situation at hand. Though you might not believe it, it carries the truth."

Garnella gave her a funny look. "What are you talking about?"

"He must stay here until he has at least grown old enough to take care of himself. When the time comes, I will return."

Before Garnella could say anything, the Stranger turned with her back to her and started walking towards the door. "Look after him for me."

"Hey, wait!"

It was too late. As she called out to her, the cloaked woman had already left the building after putting back on her hood and re-entered the storm. Garnella followed out the door, but she did not see her. It was as if that woman had not appeared at all.

Looking at the envelope placed in her hand by the Stranger, Garnella thought about what just happened. Whether it was a strange coincidence, something did not feel right. Going back inside, she closed and locked the door and approached the sleeping child. His short brown hair almost covered his face. After brushing a couple of strands off, the ebony woman went into the kitchen, filled a small kettle with cold water, and placed it on a hot plate she bought awhile ago, in order to lower her usage of gas. It automatically turned on once the kettle touched down on it.

Garnella then sat at a wooden table and examined closely at the white envelope in her hands, wondering if she should open it. The Stranger told her that inside was something that would reveal to her about the child she had just rescued from the freezing rain.

Knowing herself, Garnella always had a knack to get curious about things. When it finally nerved her, she opened the envelope and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Unfolding it, she looked at the letter. However, it was in a language beyond her knowledge.

Great, now how can I find out what I'm getting into if I don't know the language?

Suddenly, without warning, the foreign letters changed into a different language she knew too well. Having witnessed this, she let the letter fall on the table. It took her a minute to register what happened.

Slowly, after regaining her courage, she picked up the letter, took a deep breath, and started to read.



My name is Miriam. I come from a world beyond your own. However, that is something I cannot reveal to you right now. By reading this letter, you have chosen to take full responsibility of the child within your care. I will tell you what I know so far, so that you can understand the situation better. The young boy holds a secret that connects your reality to mine. I am sure you are aware of the magic your people perform daily. The one you call symbolic magic. That is also something he holds within his form of flesh. There was a time when he became aware of his ability to conjure magic. That was the day when a grave tragedy struck. The result ended with many lives taken in the process. Do not fear the boy; I have sealed his magic away so he can do no harm to you or anyone else. I have also sealed away his memories so he will not remember what he has done. That is one of the reasons why I brought him to you. However, please remember, that although he is in your care, I will someday return to him. Once he has matured at a certain age, I will have to reveal myself to him. I may also unseal his magic, memories, or both. Therefore, I suggest not revealing to him what you know. I shall take the responsibility of doing that myself. That way, you shall avoid his wrath of insecurities, whether they are part of his life or not. It will not be anytime soon, so you have time to raise him. I advise that you do not try anything funny. It will not matter once I have returned. His destiny must be undone and nothing you can do or say will stop it from happening. I tell you this in a good way, because the child has an important part in the upcoming events that will change the course of time and history. You will understand this soon enough. For now, I leave him in your care. His old name is not important, so you can decide a new name for him. I am counting on you, whoever you are.

Miriam




Once done reading, she just sat there looking at the letter in her hand, with a look of confusion and shock on her face. Was this some sort of joke? How was she going to understand all that in one night?

This was not something Garnella was used to, and the first thing that came into her mind was taking the child someplace else, far away from her where she'd have no involvement with him any longer. However, at the same time, she reminded herself that she was responsible for saving his life.

Honestly, was she capable of turning down a request, especially when it concerned a living human being?

Garnella was distant of people, but this person known as Miriam entrusted her with a responsibility that needed her full attention, a responsibility that seemed impossible unless she did something about it. There was no way she could let it be.

She thought carefully about what to do. If she was to look after the boy, then that meant she had to be careful on how to raise him. Most of all, she would have to find another place to live. Garnella only lived in Pioneer District for ten months and she was already used to this area. It was too bad though, as she remembered her experience of living here for the first three months, the neighborhood was not exactly friendly. For one thing, too many outlaws hung around, especially during the night. If the child ever exposed himself to that, there would be problems.

If she had not thought of aiming for a higher purpose before, she was at this moment. Raising a child would be challenging, but Garnella was willing to take that chance if it meant providing a better place for her now adopted son.

As she got up from the table and entered the living room again, Garnella sat in a chair across from where the boy was sleeping. She stared at him with content and resolve, thinking of her fate that took an unexpected turn, as she took a deep breath.

"Garnella Vincel, what have you gotten yourself into?" she asked herself. Looking at the child cuddling up against the blanket, Garnella remembered the letter. By then, she had already known the truth.

The answer was simple: a lot.

END OF PROLOGUE

ZellieBerraine
June 2nd, 2007, 10:03 PM
I think the events are interesting, it's just the language that needs some smoothing out.



For the first sentence, you might want something stronger, something that isn't vague with "seemed like" and "sometimes." Be confident, decisive. There's a huge moody storm out there, write it!

The next sentence is awkward. You've got a lot of commas, a 'however' that is kind of confusing (usually it's something like.... everyone likes cheese. however, so and so didn't. here, we're getting... there's a storm. however, there's this guy in black walking around. It doesn't logically follow until the end of the sentence where we find out that thhe stranger doesn't care for the weather). And 'doesn't care for' makes me think 'doesn't like' but I think you mean 'doesn't mind/it doesn't bother him.'

I would just write "Clad in black, the stranger walked through the streets of Pioneer District without regard for the weather"

"The figure walked slowly" - This can be turned into two sentences.

Great visuals. I can see exactly what is going on.

soaking constantly - I dunno... that doesn't make sense to me. There is only so much soaking that can happen before the cloak is saturated.

'did not seem to care' - mentioned twice in the paragraph...there are enough words in the english language that you can avoid that ;)

The child not lasting much longer seems rather dramatic for them just being in the rain. I dunno, I don't have nor want kids so I don't really know how sensative they'd be to weather :P

With no other choice, the Stranger had already made way to a single building at random. - awkward sentence. If he has no other choice, it's not a random building. Do you mean that he made his way to the first building he found? Also "with no other choice" makes me expect that he's picking a direction so don't expect to read "had already" done anything. More like "Without any other choice, the stranger made his way..."

If all the other buildings have more lights, why is he picking this one? Especially if he's worried about a child.

In the italics--comes off as odd that we are in the perpsective of the woman and she thinks about her son as "a young man whose face she could not see"

"shone an invisible" - if it's invisible, how can it shine?

caught up/catch up - repetative

What happened?Before - space! and the question confuses me. Who is asking what why?

young man known as her son - just sounds really weird. He's not really "known as" her son, he IS her son

glowed red of blood - something feels grammatically off here -- maybe glowed the red of blood, glowed red with blood, glowed red like blood, etc

current nightmare - current? Makes it sound like it is still happening

There needs to be some indication when the perspective changes. Going into italics wsa okay, although first I thought the stranger was having a flashback but going from the woman thinking about her nightmare to "the woman who answered the door" being the same person--kinda confusing.

Lots of physical description there. I'd keep one oustanding feature and then work the rest into the story. Like eye color doesn't need to be "and she had amber eyes" because it's really easy to work in as "after she spoke, she looked at him with wide eyes like two pieces of amber" or something. And instead of "she was wearing X Y Z" it could be "she brushed offf her pajama bottoms" or whatever.

"past the soaked bundle" makes me think she's looking at his chest, or looking behind him. Like, if she was "looking past the stranger"...she would be looking at whatever is behind him

the only thing that revealed under the cape. - "only thing that was revealed from under the cape" although, you mention his feet and bundle too so his eyes aren't really the only thing that can be see despite the cape.

"aided to lay the wet burden" - sounds off. "aided him/her by laying the wet burden" makes more sense

standing like a tree during the raging weather - I'm not sure what I should be seeing. That he's standing straight like one of those big redwoods, unbending despite the wind...or that he's like a tree that whips back and forth with branches flailing--I see those trees most often so that's my first thought but I don't think that is what you intended.

"No, but he is important" -- Makes it sound like, if he wasn't someone's son....he wouldn't be important. And maybe it's nit picky but I think most people don't ask if a baby being held is someone's son, they would assume it and then the other person would have to correct them. Ugh, people have assumed my brother was my son before :P I'm only 5 years older than him too!

I don't think you need to keep mention that she's "ebony" ;) we get it after the first time.

"revealing it female" - revealing it to be / revealing it as

wet/wet/wet - repetition... yes, everything is wet with rain but 'wiped the wetness' and then 'did not care about getting it wet' is enough

end up in the rain - makes it sound like they just appeared there. Would make more sense to ask why they were out in the rain

'most of the people here were not too friendly with her ever since she moved' - makes it sound like they were friendly with her before she moved


Since she's had such issues with people, it would make sense to give a reason why she has decided to help the stranger.

Again with the description... I have a habit of doing that with science stuff in my science fiction, one of my feedback people called it an "info dump" ;) - although, I hear the description is one of the big things that defines chick lit so people do get paid to write that way.

What did the stranger look into her eyes to find?

'what looked like a pocket' - IS it a pocket? or does it look like a pocket and is actually something else?

"As she called out to her, the cloaked woman had already left the building after putting back on her hood and re-entered the storm." - awkward, too much going on at the same time

hot plate she bought awhile ago - we don't really need to know when she bought it, especially since the sentence is already quite long with more important information. If you want to mention her need to lower her usage of gas, I'd make it into seperate sentences.

Knowing herself, Garnella always had a knack to get curious about things - a knack for getting curious doens't make sense to me... I think of a knack as related to an ability... a knack for getting into trouble not for having a curious streak in personality. Also doesn't make sense that she needs to be curious in order to open the letter. Even the least curious person is going to open a letter if someone says "take this child, he's the letter that explains everything"

When it finally nerved her - nerved her??

language beyond her knowledge - sounds odd, that makes me think that it is in the same language but in words she doesn't have the ability to understand yet-- like I would say calculus is beyond my knowledge ;) I know math, but I don't know that aspect of math.

changed into a different language she knew too well. - sounds awkward... if the letters are changing into a language I don't think you need to specify that it's a "different" language"... and it sounds odd to say "she knew too well" that makes it sound like a person "I know all too well" and don't like. But how would you dislike a language? Unless it's something like she knew all too well that it was the language of evvvil goblins or something.

she comes from a world beyond but can't reveal that...but..she just did?

'the one you call symbolic magic' - makes me think there are different types of magic (symbolic magic, food magic, song magic, etc), I don't know if this is your intention or not so just letting you know that's what I'm getting from it

He became aware of his ability to do magic? How old is this kid? I was thinking an infant--small enough to not comprehend anything more than 'food-go-in-mouth' let alone magic... and he has enough memories to seal away too?

"matured at" - "matured to a certain age"

reveal - repeated

his wrathh of insecurities, whether they are a part of his life or not - I have no idea what the meaning of this is

try anything funny? o_o eh? And if it doesn't matter once she returns, why is she bothering to give caution?

Garnella was distant of people - distant from people

careful on how to raise him - careful about

Garnella only lived in Pioneer District for ten months and she was already used to this area - had only lived....but she was already used to

This sounds like an unpleasent place, why is it "too bad"?

If she had not thought of aiming for a higher purpose before, she was at this moment. - confusing sentence

By then, she had already known the truth. - truth?

James Carmack
June 3rd, 2007, 05:10 AM
I'm not quite up to going in depth at the moment. Zellie's gone all-out for you, so I'll let you stew on that for the time being.

I'll give you the general impression. You've got a good premise, but the piece itself is still pretty rough. Try reading it out loud and it should help you catch some of the more troublesome bits. If you can say it easily enough, the reader should be able to process it without much trouble.

Power to the J
June 3rd, 2007, 02:42 PM
I’d like to quote Stephen King and words of wisdom from his excellent memoir, On Writing: “2nd Draft= 1st Draft-10%.” I think that that advice would really help your story out a lot.

My suggestions are just that, so you can throw them out the window or use them; whatever you want.

Now, you made some mistakes, but they were the same mistakes and are very fixable. I see that there have been other reviews, but I am a lazy bum and did not read them going into this, just so you know.

PARAGRAPH 1

PLACE: City of Savoira

LOCATION: Vrolei, Espanis

DATE: Mayrid 13, 370 N.E. (NEBULAN ERA CALENDER) This is way too similar to how the Halo novels begin chapter by chapter if you ask me. Also, ‘place’ and ‘location’ seem to be synonyms. (PS: you misspelled calendar.)

PARAGRAPH 2

The storm raged on for what seemed like hours. Did the storm go on for hours or not? How can something seem to go on for hours? If you want to use ‘seem,’ maybe use ‘seemed to rage on for ever,’ ‘for ages,’ etc.


Sometimes it slowed down, only to speed up again. This just sounds odd to me. I think ‘at moments’ would be more apt.

PARAGRAPH 3

However, the Stranger who, clad in black, was walking through the streets of Pioneer District did not seem to care for the weather. Too many commas. Here’s a different way to put it that might sound better: “However, the Stranger who was clad in black and was walking through the streets of Pioneer District did not seem to care about the weather.” With ‘who’ and ‘and’ the sentence is easier on the eyes (which does matter) and ‘about’ is what I think yo were aiming for when you said ‘for.’


The figure walked slowly, not because of exhaustion, but in order to avoid any harm to a bundle wrapped up in a blanket, which was a young boy being carried in leather-covered arms. You can cut out ‘a bundle wrapped up in a blanket, which was a’ and put ‘the’ before young. If you are going to explain what the bundle is in the same sentence that you introduced it as a bundle, why not just call it a young boy the entire time?


The Stranger moved with patience, the rain soaking the black cloak almost constantly. You can cut ‘almost constantly,’ but that might turn it into a fragment.


Many people were staring with mixed emotions; some were shocked and appalled by the sight, some did not seem to care. Why would people be ‘shocked and appalled’ over a young boy in the rain? If rain is truly that bad in your world tell me beforehand. Also, where are those people looking from? It must be inside if they are shocked and appalled that the young boy is outside.


Regardless, the Stranger did not seem to care as matters that are more important were at hand, such as getting the boy some place warm and safe. ‘Are’ should be ‘were,’ and I think a ‘—’would be more appropriate than a coma here: “...at hand, such as...”

PARAGRAPH 4

Where was the Stranger going to find that some place? Who could be trusted to keep look after the child? Who’s asking the questions? The Stranger, right? So internalize them: “Where am I going to find someplace for the child?”

PARAGRAPH 5&6

Pausing for a moment, the Stranger looked down to check on the child who was shivering from the rain. I think you can cut out ‘who was.’


At this rate, he might catch a cold.

I must get him out of the storm very soon. The child will not last much longer out here. This almost made me laugh. He won’t last much longer because of a... cold? Way over dramatic (don’t feel bad though; it happens).

PARAGRAPH 7

With no other choice, the Stranger had already made way to a single building at random. Cut ‘had already.’


Though the rest of the lights were blazing out of the apartment windows, this one only had a dimmed light coming from the living room. This sentence confused me at first, and then I understood what you meant. Then, I asked this: The living room of an apartment building? Or am I misunderstanding that? If not, you might have a misunderstanding as to what an apartment building is, which is okay.

PARAGRAPH 8
The scene transition shouldn’t be put into italics, even if it is a dream. Put a “*” or “#” in your ms.

PARAGRAPH 10

Moreover, from it shone an invisible celestial aura of some kind. That just seems weird to me (lol I don’t know how else to put it). How can she see an invisible aura? How can an aura be invisible?

PARAGRAPH 11

When she finally caught up to his side, her vision suddenly became a blur. The sounds of thunder roared in her ears. ‘Caught up.’ When you say that it makes me think that they are both moving, which in this case is untrue. I’d say ‘reached him.’ It also applies to the next paragraph.

PARAGRAPH 13

What just happened Once again, put questions like that into the 1st person.


Before she knew it, the young man known as her son had disappeared out of her sight. Is the young man known as her son or is he her son?


Worry crept up to her face as she scanned the area, searching for him. I think ‘worry crept onto her face’ would be better instead of ‘crept up,’ because where is the worry creeping up from? Are her shins worried?

PARAGRAPH 14

This time, it was an old man with wrinkles. You can cut ‘this time’ and ‘with wrinkles.’ All old people have wrinkles, and this time insinuates that it has happened more than once, which is untrue.


Then his eyes glowed red of blood This is weird. I think you were going for ‘red with blood’ or ‘red from blood’ or maybe even ‘the red of blood.’

QUOTE=Twilight_Lotus;393019] that was enough to scare a woman like her shitless. [/QUOTE] I don’t know what she is like, so she could be a big sissy. Replace ‘woman like her’ with ‘anyone.’

PARAGRAPH 15

Just as she clutched at her ears to block out the screams, the old man transformed into a hideous creature of pale white and lunged at her... Again with the ‘of’s.’ In this case, use ‘that was’ instead.

PARAGRAPH 16

In a matter of minutes, Garnella Vincel awoke with a startling gasp from her nightmare on her sofa. I think it would take far less time to wake from a nightmare. Cut: ‘in a matter of minutes,’ ‘on her sofa.’ You explain the sofa later on, so I’d say you can discard it for now, because the sentence sounds funky as it is.


Dazed, she could not figure out the dream she just had. To me, this seems to say that she had been trying to figure out the dream for a while. If you want to keep the sentence (for the most part), I’d try this: She was dazed, and sweat covered her face.”


Nevertheless, something told her that she did not want to know either. Cut out “nevertheless’ and ‘know.’

PARAGRAPH 17

Just as she was struggled to sit up, her doorbell rang. Cut ‘was.’ It is grammatically incorrect.

PARAGRAPH 18

Who could be at the door at this time of night, especially when it's still storming outside? Once again, internalize the questions. Also, I think the severity of the storm needs to be explained.

PARAGRAPH 19

Though she was still recovering from her current nightmare, Garnella got up and walked over to the door, ignoring the nagging thoughts in her mind not to open it. current doesn’t make sense. Cut it!

Unlocking the front door, she opened it halfway just in case it was someone she did not know. Doesn’t she have a peephole?

However, they did not live in this part of Savoira City, the Pioneer District. Either cut this or keep it. If you cut, then hooray for you, but if you keep it you can cut the very top of the chapter and explain locations in the same manner for the rest of the book.

PARAGRAPH 21
The change in POV’s threw me off a bit.

"Hello?" The woman who answered the doorbell was a tall, ebony-skinned woman with reddish copper hair tied into a basic braid, wearing a simple white tank top and dark blue pajama bottoms. She had deep-set light brown eyes that looked like two pieces of amber. Great descriptions!

The Stranger fought back nagging thoughts of making the wrong choice. Be careful of overusing the word ‘nagging.’

The woman's deep brown eyes examined the stranger, from the booted feet, past the soaked bundle in the figure's arms, and up to a pair of eyes, the only thing that revealed under the cape. Cut ‘deep brown eyes’ and change ‘woman’s’ to ‘woman.’

PARAGRAPH 22

The woman's deep brown eyes examined the stranger, from the booted feet, past the soaked bundle in the figure's arms, and up to a pair of eyes, the only thing that revealed under the cape. Again with the extremely horrific storm. That needs more explaining.
PARAGRAPH 23
Another choppy POV change. And another person ‘known as’ someone. (see what I mean with the same mistakes?)

PARAGRAPH 25

Garnella went over to the young boy who was still unconscious. I don’t think you ever established that the boy was unconscious in the first place.

She wiped most of the wetness from his face and arms and removed the wet long cloth, exchanging it for a dry blanket she had used to sleep on the sofa. I was just proving my point that you can cut the beginning where you said she was sleeping on the sofa.

Garnella went over to turn on the heat and raised it to 80 degrees, at least. I think an exact temperature should be used in this instance.

PARAGRAPH 27
You changed POV twice in the same paragraph.

PARAGRAPH 34
This seems like a half-assed attempt. Also, earlier she walked up a ‘small staircase’ to get to the apartment. Now she’s out the door in a flash. Odd.

PARAGRAPH 35

Whether it was a strange coincidence, something did not feel right. Add in ‘or not’ between ‘strange coincidence’ and the comma after it.

After brushing a couple of strands off, the ebony woman went into the kitchen, You repeat yourself a lot which might not be that bad, but since its in a description that you keep using, I find it somewhat annoying.

Garnella then sat at a wooden table and examined closely at the white envelope in her hands, wondering if she should open it. ‘examined closely’ should be ‘closely examined.’

The Stranger told her that inside was something that would reveal to her about the child she had just rescued from the freezing rain. I don’t need you to tell me what the Stranger said just a few paragraphs ago; I was there.

Knowing herself, Garnella always had a knack to get curious about things. Don’t we all have that knack? Also, cut ‘knowing herself.’

PARAGRAPH 41
Why couldn’t the Stranger just talk to her?


All in all, you have a good premise here, but you need to improve on the mechanics. Now, I should say, that the story is compelling up until Stranger goes away. From there it gets a little bit unbelievable to me, but it can be fixed.

Good job though, when it is all said and done.

Now, can you just take a quick look at my story (http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16917)and review it? It would be greatly appreciated.