Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First 250 Word Smash! #26

Most Courageous Author: Dr. Snakes 
Moustachioed and Villainous Editor: Victoria
Working Title: Life Sucks and then You Die

Death was sitting on his chest, popping bubble-gum noisily and that was, quite frankly, rude. Great, he thought, even death blows. He blinked up at the girl crushing his lungs, seemingly oblivious to his plight as she fixed her hair in her scythe’s reflective blade.

“Hey, you’re awake! Finally, I thought you were gonna be snoozing forever.” She clambered off of him quickly, almost tripping on her over-sized jumper in her hurry. Her scythe clattered to the ground which she hastily snatched up; she had the good sense to look embarrassed.

He sat up slowly, his chest aching awfully as he went, he let out a grunt of pain.
“Oh, sorry about that, I really had to hack at you,”  she sounded amused rather than apologetic. “You OK?” She looked too cheerful for someone that had just used the word ‘hack’ in a sentence.
“I’m dead,” he mumbled, “I’m dead and you’re the Grim Reaper.”

“Yep,” she wasn’t paying him any attention and was instead rubbing a blemish off of the chine, “Well your Reaper anyway.”

He looked down at his hands in awe but they looked the same as they had in life right down to the chewed nails and IV scar. He’d seen enough TV to know that something wasn’t right here, wasn’t transparency and levitation part of the deal? Casper had given him false expectations of death apparently.
“This is really anti-climactic,” he blurted out without much thought.

Strong Points -
I love  the reaper! She's cute and she's not at all what's expected. She also completely sets the mood, and starts to raise questions about what other reapers might be like, because she's awkward and has moments of embarrassment and yet she hacks the MC from his body. She is without a doubt my most favorite part.

You've also included some very nice minor details in there, like the IV scar and the chewed nails, because those slip little questions into our brains, like why an IV? Is that how he died?

Some Tips -
Well, you put some nice cincher details in, as I mentioned, but what about where they are? He's on the ground, right? Is it cold and hard beneath his back? Is it soft and comfortable? I am literally picturing them in the middle of white space, because I haven't a single clue to go by.

Also, I say this a lot, but I must let you know this is a personal preference of mine. I don't like dialogue tags, such as 'blurted'. I would much rather you show us this instead of telling me what he did. Showing can reveal even more of those little details I liked so much, and can give us a better glimpse into our MC and his thoughts and the kind of person he is. Telling us through dialogue tags doesn't have the same power or impact that this would.

I do love the reaper so, and as I said, she is my favorite part because she is so not what is expected. But consider that her comedic relief may kill some of the tension. If that's okay with you, then it's perfectly okay with me.

One last tip, this one regarding your title. A clever twist on a cliche is always appreciated, but in the end, it's just that: a cliche. We've heard this saying a lot, and unfortunately it's so worn out that it just does not catch the eye. Having a working title that you don't intend on keeping is no problem at all. It's not a bad thing to use a placeholder and it's really good that you didn't just leave it blank. You may want to check out this post on titles if you're in need of help there.

Would I keep reading?
Unfortunately, not quite yet. It's just not there, but that's okay! I hope you revise and revise and send this back to me, because I freaking love that reaper! Hope to hear from you soon! <3 <3

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