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Dominus Daemonium (about 430 words)

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Old 02-15-2015, 02:26 PM
garviel (Offline)
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Default Dominus Daemonium (about 430 words)


Hello everyone

I am looking for feedback on this opening scene from a shortstory I am writing. Does it pique your interest? Do you find it intriguing, boring, strange etc.

All comments welcome !


Working title: Dominus Daemonium

Black exquisitely polished shoes sank into the thick, deep carpet. Lucian Auberon Smythe, impeccably dressed in his Savile Row tailored suit, entered his study precisely as his Patek Phillipe Grandmaster Chime wristwatch indicated six o'clock in the evening. The rich burgundy, plum color-palette of his grand Victorian style study-room invited an extravagant but harmonious quality. Cream white furniture with gold details, a white Italian Fazioli ten-foot grand piano and a wide range of the rarest and choicest collector's items populated the open space around the large centrally placed table where he spent his countless hours of solemn studies of the occult. Wide curtained floor-to-ceiling windows let the mild autumn season into his view, the final rays of sunlight beaming through the emerald colored fabrics as the sun gave way to the Moon. Leaves of orange and yellow draped the two massive and ancient oak trees that had stood watch outside his sixteenth-century estate for as long as he could remember.

Smythe cast a glance towards his antique book collection as he walked over to the windows. Housed in a golden-framed glass table each book was meticulously positioned to accentuate its qualities and display its most valuable traits. Near priceless, a 1605 edition of Don Quixote in its original title El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote De la Mancha lay opened in its cradle, and next to it a 1667 first edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton. His most priced collectable however was a thirteenth century occult book with a, for the time-period, unheard of example of an exorbitantly ornate and detailed fore-edge painting showing demonic scenes from the netherworld. The book was handwritten to perfection and bound by a master craftsman. The cover was a seductive delight of gold letters with ruby-red and silver-black decorations forming the book's title, Dominus Daemonium. According to his extensive research into the origin of this piece of history, the book was original and written by a monk during his two year stay at the Santa Maria della Spina in Pisa, Italy, and who was said to have developed a bizarre fascination with the demonic aspects of Christianity. Purportedly he had allowed himself to be possessed by a demon in order to receive the profound message that was now preserved on its fragile leaves. The book, the only one of its kind, was written in Latin, but Smythe had translated it and become enamored with its opening sentence:

He who read this book shall become the instrument of his own demise.

As he gazed out across the vast lawn excitement arose in his chest. Just six more minutes now and his magnum opus would be complete.

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Old 02-15-2015, 03:21 PM
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Black shoes sank into the carpet. Lucian Auberon Smythe dressed in his suit, entered his study as his Patek Phillipe Grandmaster Chime wristwatch indicated six o'clock PM. The study-room invited an harmonious quality, furniture with gold details, a white grand piano and collector's items populated the open space around the large table where he spent his countless hours of studies of the occult. Curtained windows let the autumn season in, the rays of sunlight beaming through soon giving way to the moonlight. Leaves of the massive oak trees fell outside his sixteenth-century estate for as long as he could remember.

I would edit, but then I would , wouldn't I.


.

Last edited by sdenyer; 02-15-2015 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:45 PM
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I say open the story with the second paragraph- the first is rife with descriptions that just distracts the reader. The flow is nice in the second paragraph though.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by daes13 View Post
I say open the story with the second paragraph- the first is rife with descriptions that just distracts the reader. The flow is nice in the second paragraph though.
This.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:53 AM
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Thank you for your feedback sdenyer, daes13 and kennyc

As you are all essentially commenting on the problematic first paragraph, I will take that into consideration. I must admit that I never thought a few sentences of descriptive information to be excessive and/or distractive, but maybe I have written it the wrong way. I may have tried to force too much information into the story at the wrong place. Some of the information can be moved further into the story. A few of the lines are necessary for the plot to work and the information must be known at the very beginning of the story, but I have an idea of how to do it.

Thanks again for commenting. Much appreciated

Garviel
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:10 PM
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It's not that too much description is bad, but an overload can be boring, and especially at the beginning. The first couple of sentences conveys that he is affluent- no need to paint the lavishness unless it's relevant to the story. The second paragraph has plenty of detail, but it's describing something that is pertinent to the story, so it's nice.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:31 AM
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I think the second paragraph is almost as weighed down with description as the first.

I'm not telling you to write like me -- and this is still rough of course, but for me the idea is to include just enough information, and let readers fill in the rest. I also broke it into paragraphs that each relate to or highlight a separate idea:

Smythe glanced at his antique book collection as he approached the windows. Housed in gold-framed glass tables, each book was positioned to display its most valuable attributes. Among the rarities, a 1605 edition of Don Quixote in its original title, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote De la Mancha. Next to it, a 1667 first edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton.

But his most prized was a thirteenth century occult book with ornate illustrations of demonic scenes from the netherworld. On the cover, a title in gold lettering with ruby-red and silver-black decorations—Dominus Daemonium.

According to his research, the book was scribed by a monk at the Santa Maria della Spina in Pisa who had a bizarre fascination with the demonic aspects of Christianity. Purportedly, he had allowed himself to be possessed by a demon in order to receive the profound message preserved on its fragile leaves. Smythe was most fascinated by the opening sentence:

"He who reads this book shall become the instrument of his own demise."
I think you want to get to that sentence ASAP -- that's what will pique curiosity. Did I go too far? Maybe -- but I'm just trying to make the point.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 02-18-2015 at 05:37 AM..
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