Night Quirks - First Part - Sample - Looking for Feedback

Night Quirks: An Anthology of Scary Stories

By: David Serra

Part 1: A Walk at Night

​I needed to go for a walk that night; I didn’t care how late it was. My friend was in one of her moods and needed a chance to relax. I try to steer clear of her whenever she gets temperamental or overly emotional. Tonight was both. I was so lost in concerning thoughts I didn’t realize how far I walked.

​The woods around our house were eerie but beautiful. The night was filled with the noises of forest critters and a full moon shined brightly in the sky. I strolled along the woodland road thinking of a good thing I could do for my friend when I got back. I figured I could prepare her breakfast tomorrow or help her out with her chores. The past two years have been hard on her and I tried not to think of the reason why.

​Nothing exciting ever happened in the town we lived in. Ever since my younger brother enlisted in the army I went on to become a grocery store clerk. In my spare time I would either draw doodles or go for long walks in the woods. On my days off I would run errands in town or hang out with my friend. Despite her temper she was great company, especially on good days. I started to think, since I had off tomorrow, that I could spend time with her. Hopefully she would be better by then and I could do something nice for her.

​A pair of headlights approached me from behind; I hoped it wasn’t a mugger. I got to the side of the road when the taxicab passed by me and came to a halt. It backed up to where I was and the driver’s window rolled down. A stout and bearded man was behind the wheel, he leaned over and asked, “Hey, you lost buddy?”

​“Oh no, just walking.” I replied.

​“At 9:00 at night?”

​“I like to walk.”

He stared at me for a moment. I could tell he was assessing my situation.

​“Do you live around here?”

​“Sort of, I live in the next town up.”

He gave me a stunned look.

​“That’s miles back. You walked all the way from there?”

​“I like to walk. Besides, I was giving my friend some space.”

​“Your friend some space?”

​“She’s in one of her moods again.”

​“She,” he stifled a chuckle, “Let me guess, your new girlfriend moved in with you right?”

​“Oh no, were just friends. I’ve known her since childhood.”

​“Huh, I see.”

I could tell by his tone that he probably thought that she was my girlfriend. He tapped his thumb on the steering wheel, deep in thought. A moment of awkward silence befell us; it got so quiet I could hear the night life of the woods. I wasn’t sure if I should start walking back or continue forward.

He reached over and opened the passenger’s door; I cautiously took a step back.

​“Hop in.” he said. “I’ll take you home.”

​“I don’t have any money.”

​“Just for tonight it’s on me.”

I stared at him debating in my mind what I should do. I wasn’t sure if he was being generous or if something else going down. With no other choice I slid into the front seat beside him, closing the door behind me. He turned the taxicab around and headed for my hometown.

​“Thank you.” I said.

​“No problem, name’s Marcus.”

​“I’m Adam.”

​“Nice to meet you Adam, usually I would play some music but the speakers are broken.”

​“That’s okay.”

I told him my address and we proceeded to head for home. We drove in silence for what seemed like an eternity. It got more and more uncomfortably quiet while we drove on, I didn’t like when it got this quiet. The silence got on my nerves; I went through my mind of things to talk about. When nothing came I decided to ask a question.

​“Do you like scary stories, Marcus?”

​“It depends on my mood. Sometimes I want something lighthearted and other times I want something more edgy.”

​“That’s cool; I’ve heard so many spooky stories throughout my life.”

​“Oh,” he raised a bushy eyebrow with a wry grin, “How spooky are we talking?”

​“It ranges from a sadistic serial killer who gets reincarnated as each one of his victims after he dies to a man who longs to be a fish but when he gets his wish he seems to hit it off with another female fish who in turn devours him alive in the end.”

​“Wow, talk about cautionary tales.”

We both chuckled.

​“Yeah, would you like to hear a few?” I asked.

He thought for a moment, his right eye twitched and he kept fingering his armrest. He glanced at me with a smile.

​“Go ahead, scare me.” He replied.

I cleared my throat and began.

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Do you want feedback on this too?

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Yes please.

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I love the opening. It made me intrigued on why he needed to go on a walk.

Forgive me, but don’t those both mean the same thing?

Please describe.

I feel this is a bit out of place. I believe this background information is good but just wrongly placed. Perhaps the 2nd paragraph or so?

You could lead in to what would be the 3rd saying “The only thing I ever cared for was the woods…

This should be another paragraphs.

The semicolons are a bit much. Perhaps transition words or suboordinating conjunctions?

It seems everyone’s stout and bearded XD.

9/nine would suffice instead of 9:00.

I would think this was intrusive. Show the MC growing colder to the stout man. What is the MC thinking?

I think italics make it sound better in my head.

Get rid of semicolon and rephrase.

They both sound the same. Give the stout man n’ accent er somethin.

I feel this is an Arabian Nights-esque sort of thing with the collection of stories.

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Thank you again. :slight_smile:

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Hi David. I think your third paragraph breaks the mood and the tension of the scene. There is a time and place for back story, but not here when you have nicely build up tension and suspense. I recommend you move it to later in your story. Or perhaps you don’t need it at all? Those few facts could be woven in here and there.

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My question is WHY WOULD YOU HOP IN A STRANGER’S CAR?!

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Hi David,

You seem to have posted quite a few introductions / first scenes and asked for feedback, but do you complete any of the stories?

You see, I find some of these introductions quite interesting and intriguing and would like to read more, but I’m curious if you finish anything once you have feedback?

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Yes I do complete them. I am trying to improve as a storyteller.

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Hello David. IMHO you could afford to trim a lot of words. It would make your writing much stronger. You have an interesting set up but we don’t need very gesture and action described as in: “He followed my eyes over to the box, then walked over to it himself, hesitated, read its label, nudged it with is foot, grabbed a scalpel then finally bent over and ripped the top open.” These are not your words but an example of how as I see it. If you cut to the chase a lot faster you will hold the reader’s attention more easily.

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