Jun 10 2009

Black Cat’s Second Review Forum

Published by at 4:33 pm under Review Forums

I’m writing a fantasy novel, DemonSlayer Kai. Please see the comments below.  Thanks!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Black Cat’s Second Review Forum”

  1. black caton 18 Jun 2009 at 5:11 pm

    This is my very first story that I wrote about a year ago. I’d love to get it published one day. I’ve been working on the dialogue and I would like to get some feedback on that.

    So here’s the first chapter of DemonSlayer Kai.


    CHAPTER 1: Uninvited Guest


    In a small downtown bar, Kai was sitting next to him his trusty black sword. ‘Another boring day, ever since the war supposedly ended there has been nothing to do. What I wouldn’t do for a little action.’ He thought slowly opening his eyes.

    “Hey! Either buy something or get the hell out of my bar!” the bartender shouted to a man as he was cleaning out a beer glass, his dark oval skinned face turned red as he continued to yell at a man.
    Turning his head lightly Kai could see the heavyset bald bartender yelling at a man, in a large black cloak that covered ever inch of his body. A strange yet familiar feeling passed through Kai making his skin crawl, placing his right hand gently on his sword he waited and watched to see what would happen next.

    “Stupid… stupid… human…” The cloaked man repeated keeping his head low, so no one could see his face.

    Putting the glass down the bartender was getting angry at the cloaked man. “Wh-What did you say you loser punk!” Losing his temper the bartender shouted while grabbing the man by his shirt collar, his eyes grew wide with terror. “What?! What the hell are you?!” The bartender gasped as the cloaked man’s hood fell off revealing his hideous inhuman face.

    “He..he..he…flesh, I’m hungry, so hungry.”

    “What the hell are you!!?” He shrieked as the cloaked man slowly looked up. The man’s face was grotesque, pieces of skin had a blackish blue death tint, and the smell of rotting flesh emitted from his decaying body. The freaked bartender took a step back hitting the glasses behind him, as they fell the shattered into pieces.
    “Ha ha, st-stupid human…” The cloaked man said raising his eyes slightly to look at the frightened bartender.

    Reaching under the bar counter the bartender pulled out a loaded shotgun. “Go to hell, you monster!!!” Before he could pull the trigger, the cloaked man’s arm changed into something hideous as he reached across the bar and grabbed the bartender’s bald head. “Gahh…Ahhhh!!!” He screamed dropping his shotgun and wrapping his hands around his head, trying to free himself.

    Slowly the cloaked man started to crush the bartenders head, blood began to ooze from the bartender’s nose and mouth, slowly dripping to the ground. Letting out a horrific scream, the sound was cut short by the sound of bones being crushed and a popping noise underneath the cloaked man’s hand. Unsheathing his sword, Kai leapt over the counter and ran towards the cloaked man and the now dead bartender, with a quick upwards slash Kai cut the cloaked man’s right arm off. Screaming in pain the man dropped the dead bartender, looking at Kai the cloaked man’s eyes flashed a different color freezing Kai where he stood for a moment. Seeing his chance the cloaked man hurled over the counter and pushed other people out of the way before jumping out of a nearby window.

    “Tch, you’re not getting away that easily.” Kai said jumping out of the window. Following the trail of blood that was no longer red but a dark black which had a foul smell to it like rotting fish. Turning around a corner Kai found himself behind the bar in an empty alleyway. “I know you’re here, come out and fight me.”

    “Grr…” The cloaked man groaned in pain clutching his bleeding stub of an arm. “Pain, I feel so much pain.”

    Standing in the alley the air grew cold and the stench of death grew stronger. Taking a step forward, the cloaked man turned and started to snarl. “Ready to die?” Kai said smugly his sword held lightly between his fingers.

    “Arrr…Ahhhh!!!” Leaning back and howling in pain the man’s body began to transform. His eyes changed from light green to an unearthly yellow, sharp dog like teeth jutted from his mouth replacing his old human teeth, his skin started to peel from his body and black reptilian like skin emerged. Turning to face Kai the demon let out a loud ferocious roar.

    “Huh? That’s a Krustniek but I thought…hmph so they lied about that too, figures.” Tightening his grip Kai took another half step forward trying to show he wasn’t afraid.

    “Grr…Argahh!!!” Staring Kai down the Krustneik took a step forward and howled.

    “Bring it, you ugly bastard.” He shouted running at the Krustniek jabbing his sword forward, Kai was hoping to finish the fight in one swift blow, but at the last moment the demon jumped high into the air avoiding Kai’s sword and dug his sharp claws deep into the wall. Jumping back Kai looked up at the waiting demon, Kai’s black sword was held tightly in his hand ready to strike at a moment’s notice.

    “Come on you monster!” Kai shouted at the top of his lungs. “Or are you afraid!”

    Angered by Kai’s taunt the demon released the wall and fell like a heavy rock, with blinding speed Kai cut the demon in half. Blood sprayed from the fresh wound as the demon fell to the ground, as blood continued to ooze from the wound, the demon howled in pain. The sound of the Krustniek’s cat like cries echoed throughout the alley and into the dying night. Wiping the blood from his face, Kai watched the demon in silence as his body began to turn to stone. Slowly dying the demon’s dark yellow eyes glared at Kai sending a cold shiver down his spine, giving out one last howl the Krustneik turned completely to stone and crumbled into ashes.

    Kai was silent but his mind was whirling with questions. Looking at his blood covered sword, horrible images raced through Kai’s mind images of smoke and fire burning and a child cries ringing in the dead night made him fall to his knees in agony. “Gahh… What were those?!” Holding his head in pain. “Were those real or just some kind of trick?” Standing up Kai staggered out of the alley still thinking of what had just happened.

    Atop a nearby roof, a lone figure stood. “So he was able to kill a Krustniek, interesting I wonder what else this boy can do.” Jumping off the roof the mysterious man landed lightly, brushing his black hair from his nearly perfect face he looked at the dead Krustniek. “Hm nothing left but ashes, the boss will be pleased to hear this.” Walking out of the alley the figure vanished into vapors.

    Back at home Kai threw his blood stained black jacket onto a chair, dropped his sword against the wall and fell on his bed with a soft thud. Laying on the bed Kai’s mind whirled with unanswered question, soon after much thought but no answers sleep finally overcame him and Kai drifted off into deep slumber. Sleeping Kai found himself once again dreaming of the days when he fought in the terrible, bloody war that took hundreds of thousands human lives.

    “Listen up solider! I gave you an order, now do it or else I will!” The commanding officer shouted at a young Kai.

    In front of him a young woman, sitting on her knees, the side of her face was covered in warm wet blood and she was holding a lifeless child in her arms, who was no older than two. Half of the child’s face was missing as the woman pleaded with Kai not to shot. “N-No sir I… I can’t she just a…” He said his hands trembling.

    “A what solider? A poor innocent woman? Well that’s not good enough! This is war its kill or be killed solider now shoot her!” He shouted his voice loud with no emotion for the woman or Kai.
    With the click of the trigger, the woman fell to her side still clutching the child in her arms. Kai’s body began to shake and he felt sick to his stomach as he looked at the woman he had just killed. To his left, the commanding officer placed his hand on his shoulder. “Good job, solider. Now let’s get out of this hell hole.” The officer said with an evil smile painted on his scarred face.

    “But…but…I… killed her.” Kai said he could feel his stomach doing flips making him want to puke.

    In the distance a strange, faint roar made the officer’s body tense up. “Enough! Let’s get out of here before those damn monsters come and kill us all.”

    Kai looked at the officer with wide, puzzled eyes “M-Monsters…? What do you mean, sir?” Kai stammered.

    Griting his teeth the commanding officer squeezed Kai’s shoulder making him wince in pain. “You are not in position to ask questions, solider. Now pack up and move out!”

    A loud thud made Kai jerk out of his bed. ‘”Dammit…!” Looking at the door Kai heard someone knocking. “Who’s there?!” Kai shouted but no one answered. “Grr…I said who’s there!”

    “It’s me…Don’t tell me you forgot.” A cheerful voice said behind the door.

    Getting out of bed Kai made his way slowly towards the door. “Your name?” Kai said bluntly.

    “Gahh… you did forget. It’s me-Hagi.” Hagi sadly said.

    “H-Hagi…? I don’t know a Hagi.” Opening the door a little, a young boy with light chestnut brown hair just above his shoulders stood. He had a small frame like a young boy no older than eighteen with light gray eyes filled with life and gentleness. He was wearing dark brown baggy jeans and a fitted gray graphic shirt covered by a waist length brown jacket. He stared at Kai with a huge boyish grin. “Remember me now?”

    The air around him was calm and still like a dying storm but it had a strange unnatural warmth to it. Kai could also feel that there was something about this Hagi, something dark and mysterious hidden behind his gentle smile.

    “I can’t believe you forgot me, Kai. Don’t you remember I saved you way back when during the war. Geesh I can’t believe you forgot you really need to work on your memory hahaha.” Hagi laughed. “Anyway I’ve been looking for you, you’re really hard to track down you know that, it took me forever and you don’t want to know how many favors I owe.”

    “You’ve been looking for me? Why?” Kai asked puzzled.

    “Oh well. I came to tell you we were lied to and everything we were told was crap.” He said fidgeting with his fingers.

    “Yeah, I knew that. Tell me something I don’t know.” Kai said, placing his hand on his hip.

    “Hmm. Well, I bet you didn’t know that strange things have been happening like people mysteriously disappearing and then reappearing with no memory and weird monster-like creatures turning up all over the place haha sounds like fun.” Hagi gave Kai a weird look. “Hey are you even listening to me?!” Hagi said with a pout.

    “Those bastards don’t they know when to quit!!” clenching his hand into a tight fist. “Damn them!” Kai shouted as he punched the wall near the door, making a fist size hole.

    “I see you’re as hot tempered as always aha ha.” Hagi said taking a step back not wanting to get hit. “But is it really necessary to take it out on the wall?”

    Giving Hagi and evil look. “So then why me? I quit that life two years ago. As far as I’m concerned this has nothing to do with me.” Kai said rubbing his sore hand.

    “Yeah…well…you see, I wanted to see if you would come with me to Canada and check out an abandoned facility.” Hagi said smiling.

    “Let me think…No!” Kai yelled slamming the door in Hagi’s face, walking back to his bed Kai sat.

    “Why not? It’ll be fun.” Hagi said behind the door, his hair blowing in the warm wind.

    “No, I’m not going, and that’s final.” Kai said laying back down.

    Hagi started to knock on the door again. “Come on, please. Pretty please.”

    “Grrr… I said no.” After a moment of silence, the knocking stopped and Kai closed his eyes hoping to go back to sleep.

    “Well, why not? I mean aren’t you curious to see what the military was trying to hide?” Hagi asked looking down at Kai with a grin. “You look so funny when you’re trying to sleep.”

    “H-How did you get in here?!” Kai said sitting up.

    “Oh that’s easy. I used the window. You should really lock those things.” Hagi said with a small laugh.

    “You used the windows?” Kai said slowly while shifting his gaze over and saw that his window was indeed open. Looking back at Hagi a small crease formed on his forehead. “I said no and that’s that, now get out!” Kai said pointing towards the door.

    “Come on. It’ll be fun: me, you, a dangerous place what more could you ask for.” Hagi said placing his hands behind his head and laughing.

    Standing up and placing his hands on his hip. “Fine. If I go, will you leave me alone?”

    “Yep!” Hagi smiled.

    “Good, now leave.” Kai said pointing to the door but he couldn’t help but feel sorry for this Hagi because all he wanted was his help.

    “Sheesh. I’m leaving you don’t have to yell.” Walking towards the door he replied. “Oh one more thing, the train leaves at noon. And also wear something warm. It is really cold up there.” Hagi said his cheerful smile never leaving his handsome young face.

    “Maybe I should lock my window just in case he tries to come in again.” Kai said shaking his head.

  2. B. Macon 18 Jun 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Here are a few thoughts and suggestions.

    I don’t think the title is effective.

    The chapter name is ok.

    I’d recommend giving Kai something more interesting to do in the first sentence than sitting. Also, the word “him” is unnecessary.

    “ever inch” should be every inch.

    “passed through Kai” should end with a comma.

    I’d recommend replacing the phrase “…making his skin crawl, placing his right hand gently on his sword he waited and watched to see what would happen next” with something like “making his skin crawl. He gently placed a hand on his sword, waiting.”

    Does anyone think of it as weird that he has a sword in this bar? Or is this like a magical bar where this sort of stuff is commonplace? Or is he hiding his sword? (The first sentence made it feel to me like the sword was in plain sight).

    “Either buy something or get out of my bar!” I’d recommend getting rid of the word “either” here. It’s unnecessary and takes away from the rhythm, I think.

    “…the cloaked man’s hood fell off revealing…” — comma after off.

    “What the hell are you!!?” I’d recommend getting rid of one of the exclamation marks.

    “…the smell of rotting flesh emitted from his decaying body…” First, I think emitted is not quite the right word here. Emanated would probably be smoother. Second, didn’t anyone notice the smell before?

    “changed into something hideous”– I think it would be best to elaborate more on this.

    “Gahh…Ahhhh!!!” I’d recommend cutting this to “Ahh!” It’s still a bit cheesy to put words in his mouth rather than say something like “he screamed” or whatever.

    “crush the bartenders head” should have an apostrophe in bartender’s.

    What’s Kai doing as the bartender gets murdered? He was specifically waiting and watching, so presumably he wasn’t surprised.

    “Slowly the cloaked man started to crush the bartenders head, blood began to ooze from the bartender’s nose and mouth, slowly dripping to the ground.” Tensing issues. This is a run-on sentence.

    “and the now dead bartender” can be removed.

    “Screaming in pain” should end with a comma.

    “Seeing his chance” should end with a comma.

    “‘…away that easily.’ Kai said.” The period after easily should be replaced with a comma.

    “which had a foul smell to it like rotting fish” could be “smelled like rotting fish.”

    I’d recommend changing the comma after “I know you’re here” to a period.

    “Kai said smugly his sword held lightly between his fingers.” This is a run-on sentence. Also, I’m not a swordsman or anything, but I can’t quite picture a swordsman carrying a sword lightly. I’m sort of envisioning a tight grip around the sword.

    ““Arrr…Ahhhh!!!”” One exclamation point.

    “Standing in the alley the air grew cold…” This is a dangling modifier. It makes it sound like the cold air is standing in the alley. I would recommend just removing “standing in the alley” or making it part of its own sentence.

    “sharp dog like teeth” could be something like “canine fangs”

    “Turning to face Kai the demon let out a ferocious roar.” You could probably get rid of “turning to face Kai” here. If you’d like to keep it, please give it a comma at the end.

    “Grr…Argahh!!!” Please see the previous two instances. One exclamation point.

    “Bring it, you ugly bastard.” I’m not sure if “bring it” feels appropriate for this character. It strikes me as more of a valley girl kind of expression?

    “at a moment’s notice” can be removed.

    “Come on you monster!” Comma after on.

    “Angered by Kai’s taunt the demon released the wall and fell like a heavy rock, with blinding speed Kai cut the demon in half. Blood sprayed from the fresh wound as the demon fell to the ground, as blood continued to ooze from the wound, the demon howled in pain.” These are long sentences. Also, is blood spraying or oozing from the wound? It seems to me that the two images here are kind of clashing with each other… spraying is obviously an intense flow of blood, but oozing strikes me as manageable.

    In action sequences, I’d recommend using shorter and simpler sentences with fewer dependent clauses.

    “Kai was silent but his mind was whirling with questions.” Awkward. I’d prefer if you could show this through dialogue or action rather than narratorial exposition.

    “…child cries…” I think this should be “child’s cries”

    “Atop a nearby roof, a lone figure stood.” I recommend against changing point-of-view midchapter. It’s kind of disorienting.

    “Jumping off the roof”– comma after roof.

    “Hm nothing left but ashes” — I’d recommend losing Hm.

    I’d recommend showing us what the guy on the roof looks like.

    “Back at home Kai threw his blood stained black jacket onto a chair, dropped his sword against the wall and fell on his bed with a soft thud.” Is this all necessary? It seems to me that the only thing that’s really important is him falling asleep. The other details (taking off the coat and dropping his sword) can probably be assumed by the readers. Also, blood stained should be blood-stained, I think.

    “Laying on the bed Kai’s mind whirled with unanswered question…” More narratorial exposition. I’d recommend using some combination of dialogue/action instead.

    “Sleeping Kai found himself once again dreaming of the days when he fought in the terrible, bloody war that took hundreds of thousands human lives.” I’d recommend changing “sleeping Kai found himself once again dreaming” to “Kai dreamed once again…”

    “hundreds of thousands human lives” should have an “of” after thousands, I think.

    “Kai not to shot. “N-No sir I… I can’t she just a…” Umm, this has some typos in it. I think the first sentence is missing a verb and please add a comma after no and a comma after can’t and I think that she should be she’s.

    “A what solider” should be “A what, soldier?” Spelling and comma.

    “Well that’s not good enough! This is war its kill or be killed solider now shoot her!” I’d recommend losing “well,” a period after war, an apostrophe in it’s, spelling soldier correctly, and adding some sort of punctuation after soldier.

    “He shouted his voice loud with no emotion for the woman or Kai.” More run-ons.

    I think hellhole is one word.

    Gritting should have two t’s.

    comma after shoulder.

    “not in position to ask questions” should be “not in a position…”, I think.

    “He had a small frame like a young boy no older than eighteen with light gray eyes filled with life and gentleness.” Run-on.

    Comma after Geesh.

    “weird monster-like creatures turning up all over the place haha sounds like fun.” Run-on.

    Comma after hey.

    “Those bastards don’t they know when to quit!!” clenching his hand into a tight fist. Run-on. One exclamation mark. I’d recommend replacing “clenching his hand” with “Kai clenched his hand.”

    “‘hot tempered as always aha ha.’ Hagi said…” could be “hot-tempered as always,” Hagi said. I’d recommend cutting aha ha because it messes with the rhythm.

    comma after step back.

    “Giving Hagi and evil look.” This needs to be revised.

    Comma after concerned.

    Replace the period after me with a comma.

    Period after facility should be a comma. Comma after said.

    OK cliffhanger at the end of the chapter. Could be sharpened.

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