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Joined: 14 November 2010
Joined: 04 January 2012
My dear Fatima,
These 3 chapters form a
very good opening for a crime novel. Even if it is your first in this genre, it is evident that you are no novice when it comes to writing fiction.
I really dunno what to say to this I'm grateful you felt this way coz this is my first ever experimentation in this genre and I hope I improve in my further chapters.
like the best, so far, is the introductory prologue, suitably italicized to
differentiate it from the rest of the regular narrative. It is obviously meant
to describe the last thoughts of the dying Avantika (it has to be her as there
is only her dead body on the premises), and it is really chilling in what it
shows of the grey depths of her innermost being. It is awful to think of
someone in such despair that life has no colour and no meaning, and death ' self-inflicted or not, something you
have, cleverly, left open ' seems a
I have often seen in crime shows that they begin with what has happened and then the investigation dept is bought into picture. Though I've hardly read any crime novel, this was my primary help and I'm glad the readers could understand it was Avantika. I agree it is awful for someone to think this negatively but then again the human mind is elusive and complicated for one to fathom it can have the brightest of thoughts or the exact opposite. And it is true to both, the victim and even the attacker.
of the narrative is crisp and professional, and my compliments on that. In
terms of descriptions that hint at hidden meanings, I would mention the sharp
contrast between the vivid brightness of the living room and the 'eerie melancholy'
of the bedroom. The bedroom is an intensely personal place, which almost always
reflects the true personality of the inhabitant, whereas the living room is for
public display, meant to project the desired image, which might be far removed
from reality. Another telling point is the complete absence of family or other
personal photos, which hints at Avantika's alienation from her past, something
that is confirmed elsewhere in the narrative.
Thank you. I had similar thoughts in my mind while penning down the description of her home as it is a well known fact that people are an amalgam of public and private and hence their decor changes considerably. But, this might not usually be the case with all as some people are direct about themselves their entire home reflects them in just one tone or shade unlike Avantika's where there is a distinction.
is only the beginning, I cannot say much about the plot, which is as yet
like a tightly furled umbrella. I shall
look out for the next chapter, to see
how many of your cards you open up there. But I already have a number of questions.
I hope I can answer as many I can at the moment.
1) Is the
'sofa' on which Avantika is found the same as the 'chair' into which she falls
back, according to the second para in
the prologue? If not, it means that she
was moved after her death ' whether by suicide or murder ' by another person.
Well it is the same sofa, it is just a typo error of using the word chair which now that you've pointed out I've corrected. So, it clearly is a suicide till now.
2) As no
one in the neighbouring houses heard the shot, and there was no silencer on the
pistol found on the scene, it means that the TV was on at full volume,
something that is also confirmed in the prologue. It follows that after
Avantika's death ' whether she shot herself or the other person shot her, something on which the prologue is silent '
this other person muted the TV set. He/she obviously did this so as not to
attract the attention of the neighbours, who might have investigated if it had gone on
blaring all thru the night. It seems reasonable to conclude that this was meant
to delay the discovery of the body till the next morning. The significance of
this is as yet unknown.
I cannot comment much on this aspect at this point but you will get the motive of muting the television but whom and why in the coming chapters.
a .32 is fairly large caliber pistol. If
Avantika was shot/ shot herself thru the head with it, or indeed with any gun, she would have died instantly.
There would have been no time for her to feel the blood streaming down the side
of her face and to realize that her
consciousness was slipping away, as described in the prologue. What does this mean as regards the nature of the shot
and the location of the wound? The narrative is silent on these points, as also
about the number of shots fired.
This is a good point made by you, but then again it's not necessary that if one is shot in the head there might be immediate death. Whether she was shot directly at the vital position or other can only be revealed in the complete postmortem report that is yet to arrive.
time did she return to the house the previous night? The driver is said to have
confirmed that he did bring her back there, but when?
The questions will again we only confirmed by the pending reports alone.
is meant by 'wearing a dinner dress'? In India, we do not 'dress for dinner'
unless we are going out for the meal. What then does this mean ' that she had
dressed up to receive a visitor(s) in
the evening? There seems to have been only one plate on the centre table,
showing that the visitor, if any, did not join her in the meal. Does this
indicate that he/she came after Avantika had finished her dinner? That would
place the time of the visit fairly late.
No comments as of now :)
is no mention so far of any indications of the presence of another person,
other than the muting of the TV. I presume they would be testing the remote
control of the TV for fingerprints other than Avantika's Even if the other person wore gloves, he/she
would have smudged Avantika's earlier prints while handling the remote, and
this could be detected.
7) Lastly, I could not understand why, in Chapter 2, you say "the terrified Riya'? What is she terrified about?
You might get this answer in the upcoming chapter.
This is as much as I can say at this point, and I would conclude by reiterating that it is a very good start. However, you have to update frequently if you are not to lose the momentum, which is vital in a crime story. I am sure Sookie will keep you on your toes!
I agree to this 100% but I'm down with so many assignments and more than Sookie they are what are keeping me on my toes
All the very best for the rest of your story, and this is as much in my interest, as a reader, as in yours as the author!
Thank You so much, for taking out time and reading the story and also analyzing each and every aspect. This also gave me an insight as to what I should keep in mind for further chapters.
Joined: 04 January 2012
My dear Fatima,
You are coming along nicely, very nicely indeed. The note found near the TV is eerie, hinting at half-seen terror and despair, and in that sense , the sense of despair, it meshes perfectly with Avantika's feelings as you had described them in the prologue.
I do not intend to speculate about the poem, for that would be fruitless, but tell me one thing: in the penultimate line, is it "Brings me the tale, why the black moon rising" or is it as spelt here, "the tail"? I can make even less sense of the present version than of "tale", but of course it would all be clear to you! At least I can now glimpse, even if not really understand, why Riya was 'terrified' in Chapter 2.
I was pleased and impressed by the reference to the paraffin test. That is a neat professional touch! I hope all your readers know what that is, but if any of you do not, it is a test for detecting the minute particles of gunpowder that adhere to the skin on the hand of a person firing a gun. It is proof positive that the individual has actually fired the gun. In this case, a positive paraffin test for Avantika's hand would strengthen the case for a suicide. One can of course wear long gloves and beat the paraffin test.
Fatima, you have managed to retain the correct note of mystery so far, and I am sure it will get only better as you (and we) move ahead.
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