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Denise Baer
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All Things Writing & Publishing > Looking for a few Betas to read my first chapter

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14927 comments Denise wrote: "Hey All,

I haven't been on for a while. We've been busy moving. Now that it's done, I was wondering if anyone would have the time to read the first chapter of my book. It's a crime mystery novel, ..."


Hi Denise,

We've been missing you -:)
Apart from betareading the chapter, if you want to share the first line or paragraph on this or dedicated thread, some members might want to provide a feedback..


message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Nik wrote: "Denise wrote: "Hey All,

I haven't been on for a while. We've been busy moving. Now that it's done, I was wondering if anyone would have the time to read the first chapter of my book. It's a crime ..."


Thanks, Nik. Will do! I'll post the first two paragraphs in this thread.


message 3: by Denise (last edited May 23, 2017 02:29AM) (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments I'm open to all comments. Please let me know about the writing, if you like it or don't like it, and if you would want to read on.

I didn’t choose to kill; it chose me. Murder brings a great sense of relief. It entails the power of control while at the same time liberates. A killer’s prey heightens these powers. Their eyes wide as saucers, the rush of blood pounding in their ears and a paralyzing fear, deprives the killer’s mind of emotion. The focus is getting the job done—following through where few have the guts to do. Like animals, a murderer has keen senses, sniffing out weakness; cornering and having the victim succumb. The reward is knowing their life is flashing before them. And in the moment of slaughter, I am the last thing they see in this world. My face. My hands. My motions burned into their soul. I become the one they see before the infamous heaven or hell.

Earlier I stood over a quivering man, pissing on the floor, praying to a God he either never believed in or one he wished he served better. Only the shell of a man left from a few hours prior. Despair glossed his eyes and apologies dripped from his mouth like Hail Marys. Flushed against the far wall unable to put any distance between us, vulnerability weakened his mind. Restrained. Panic juicing the body. Spider fingers clung to the wall looking for a way out. A stiff body failing to hide his small-layered blubber belly, a chin showing signs of a pelican pouch. He wasn’t equipped for such a…shall we call it, situation. He was on the threshold of life and death, and knew it.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14927 comments Very intense and well written paragraphs!
Since it's the beginning, my own preference is to get into action quick. To me: "I didn’t choose to kill; it chose me." And then "I stood over a quivering man..." would probably work even better as a starter and then the rest of the first paragraph - to place just a little later..
But that's just me -:)


message 5: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Thank you so much, Nik. I appreciate you taking the time to read them and I'll definitely take your comments into account. :D I owe you a beer.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14927 comments Denise wrote: "Thank you so much, Nik. I appreciate you taking the time to read them and I'll definitely take your comments into account. :D I owe you a beer."

Welcome! I owed you one for the help with German, so I guess instead of cancelling out, we'd better look for a chance to have 2 -:)


message 7: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments LOL! I'd love it. I've met up with people from online groups and forums I belong to. It always is a wonderful experience.

There are so many places I want to visit in Europe. We're heading to London for our summer vacation.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14927 comments Enjoy, London!
Might pass through Germany in July...


message 9: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Nik wrote: "Enjoy, London!
Might pass through Germany in July..."


If you do, please let me know. We're on the west side of Germany, the NRW area. We're not far from the Netherlands and Belgium.


message 10: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14927 comments Denise wrote: "If you do, please let me know. We're on the west side of Germany, the NRW area. We're not far from the Netherlands and Belgium. "

Sure, would hate to miss a chance for having a beer or two -:)


message 11: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I'll preface my comments by apologising if I'm too blunt, but as a fellow writer, I prefer people being blunt to me, then I know what's working and what's not.

I think there's an excellent beginning there.

A few things that stood out:

Your first sentence - it's great. 'I didn’t choose to kill; it chose me. Murder brings a great sense of relief.' A truly exceptional beginning.

Then I was thrown out of the immediacy of the experience, because you went from referencing 'you,' to referencing 'a killer.' I'd actually ditch the whole paragraph, and go with Nik's suggestion and move directly into the story.

I did wonder if the victim was on the floor or pinned against the wall, or both, or whether it was you or him pissing on the floor... just need to move a couple of commas, or add a word here or there.

Absolutely loved 'Despair glossed his eyes and apologies dripped from his mouth like Hail Marys.' Another fabulous sentence!

Hope that's helpful!


message 12: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer | 593 comments Leonie wrote: "I'll preface my comments by apologising if I'm too blunt, but as a fellow writer, I prefer people being blunt to me, then I know what's working and what's not.

I think there's an excellent beginn..."


Thank you so much, Leonie. I appreciate you taking the time and your input is valuable. Will definitely consider during revisions. It was very helpful. :D

Have a great day!


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