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rdpulfer Scholomancer 39,40,41 20151130 3533 (V,S, L)


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Robert Renfield betrayed his Master Dracula and left him at the bottom of the ocean. One year later, the hunters of Westenra continue the search for Dracula, unaware of their development. Their lead agent, Stephanie Van Helsing, is suffering from mysterious visions and soon finds herself on the run after being framed for the death of a colleague. Tracking down Renfield, she is eventually brought before the Council, a group of monsters who opposed Dracula. Alongside the werewolf Bannister, the Bride of Frankenstein Evelyn and the mummy Rewer, Stephanie and Renfield find the Wisdom of Solomon responsible for triggering Stephanie's visions. After finding the scroll, they are attacked by rogue hunters sent by Stephanie's treacherous mentor Irving. Stephanie is forced to kill one of them to protect her allies.


(The middle chapter has the harshest content of the book. Most of the elements probably won't make it to the 2nd draft, but I'm curious what you think of the conclusion.) 

Edited by rdpulfer
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pg 1: "As a the servant of Dracula, Renfield was a pretty good shot"

--extra word here, and why does one follow the other?  I would think a servant of Dracula would be good at hiding bodies and sneaking around, but not shooting a gun.


pg 1: "It’s a great time to wipe away all those dead skin cells,” Rewer raised his hand. “And the dead . . . are mine.”

--How does controlling dead skin cells translate to shriveling a head to a husk?


pg 3: "Stephanie watched as Bannister flicked him off."

--micro editing, but you could take out the first three words to make this sentence stronger.


pg 6: "but so far his eyes continues to fight up,"



pg 7: "holding strands of yellow brown in the other"

--yellow brown hair?


pg 8: "Renfield’s mouth nearly dropped open"

--The first reaction from Renfield seemed like too comic a gesture to me, especially considering what he's about to do.


pg 12: "He let it go to voicemail. He could call them back later. Right now, he couldn’t be distracted – not when he was this close."

--Sometimes Irving puts everything aside to answer a call from the hospital, and sometimes he does the opposite.


pg 13: "Solomonari"

--you throw this word in for the first time, and I'm not sure what it means.  Then you use it three times in two pages.  Why has no one used it before?


pg 16: "Irving patted an invisible dog, gesturing Jason to lower his voice. "

--haven't heard that one before...


Pg 17: is that the end of the chapter?  It cuts off abruptly, almost mid-conversation.


Overall, I didnt think the middle section was harsh.  I thought Renfield's reaction was actually the strongest part of this section.  There was a little problem in building up to it, but I think that's word choice.  This is a bit prescriptive, but accentuating Renfield's repressed fear of Dracula earlier on in the story might make this section even stronger.  There's a reason he braved a sinking submarine to get rid of him.

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Thanks Mandamon. I really appreciate all the suggestions. I'm glad the middle section seemed to work aside from a few word choice problems and logistics. As for everything else, it looks like I need to do a little more editing. Also, I think I decided Stephanie was the Solomonari (a term often used in conjunction with the Scholomance) . . . without explaining actually what a Solomonari is.


Thanks again! 

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Like Mand, I also liked the scene with Renfield attacking the predator. One problem I had with its setup though is that I think the predator would either have ensured all the monsters were dead, or ran farther away before assaulting Stephanie.


The reasons the hunters were fired makes Irving calling them for help seem like not such a bad idea. The predator was the exception, but the scene where Irving called him did a nice job in pointing out how Irving regretted calling him immediately after hanging up.


The fire-fight seemed to be too one sided. The monsters weren't really hurt at all until the flashbang. 


I'm excited to see how Irving will use Jason to try to capture Stephanie. I have a feeling Irving won't be very concerned about Jason's safety when they try to capture her. I'm also curious as to whether or not Dracula will make an appearance. I won't feel cheated if he doesn't show up; it is just a small mystery that makes me want to keep reading.

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Thanks rohyu - on re-reading the passage, I did think it was odd the predator attacked so close to her allies. I'll have to re-arrange it to make more sense. It also goes hand-in-hand with putting the monsters in more jeopardy during the firefight, since the rogue hunters were pretty easily dispatched. Thanks for the feedback! 

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I enjoyed the action, and Renfield’s loss of control when confronted by the vision of his former(?) master was a good idea, but the submission, to me, felt disjointed and not as urgent as it could be. I’ve got to admit that some of the grammar really distracted me from the story this ‘week’. I know I shouldn’t fixate on it, but I do feel that the writing should be invisible, whether it’s for reasons of over-complication or just being off.


The scene between Irving and Jason sitting at the fountain was good, a scene-sequel in WE parlance. A nice change of pace, although I was confused by how Jason knows Steph’s at the Air Base Hanger. I still don’t get that. There were some grammar bombs in that scene, as commented below.


Despite my language issues, I am still enjoying the story. Jason is a wet blanket in my eyes. I feel nothing for him and desperately hope that Stephanie doesn’t end up with him. He has strong feelings, I get that, but also seems a bit thick.


Irving remains one of the strongest characters, but Evelyn is shining through since her reappearance. For me, she hardly seems like the same person as appeared in earlier scenes, something about the description of her.


Detailed comments below – I'm catching up!!!




A single pale face starred motionlessly back at her” – how many faces was she expecting?


He knew what this man intended to do.” Please, I implore you, drop this line. Everybody knows what the man intends to do. You don’t need to draw anyone’s attention to it, it’s really obvious.


Blood drenched from his Master’s mouth


distinguish Dracula’s blood-laden face with from the gaping...


looking up to see the man retrieving his sidearm from deep within his pants” – I'm confused, hasn’t Renfield been pummelling this guy for the last few minutes?


Renfield saw his opportunity. He leapt to his feet” – I commented before about urgency. I know I'm not supposed to comment about this stuff, but I think it’s worth considering wording that slows the action down.


I’m here there now” – If Jason say he’s ‘here’ it doesn’t actually convey where he is.


I think this is the first instance of “Solomonari” appearing – do we know what that means? I don’t really.


central cooper copper sprinklers had long since rusted” – copper doesn’t rust. Iron rusts.


There aren’t too many hunters who can pull off that shot” – Why would he think that it was a hunter who had shot the other hunter between the eyes?


Jason continued to remained silent.


...even if though it was only a few inches deep” – Also, not keen of repetition of ‘deep’.


This is the spot I was going to marry here at” – Really awkward phrasing.


For me “He didn’t want Jason suspecting anything.” comes under the heading of stating the obvious. I think it’s important to let the reader notice these things, otherwise it sounds like you’re talking down to them.

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Thanks Robinksi.


I'm glad you liked Irving and Evelyn - those were two characters I was worried about during the writing. I know Jason needs re-working - he came off, as you said, as a wet blanket, and I definitely need to make him more likeable in the next drafts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I liked chapter 39. Some action, some display of power (Rewer has some great power there, very dangerous), and a quick aftermath and escalation. A little one sided though, the gunmen might as well have been dummies for all they did.


Chapter 40 worked for me too, to show more of what’s going on with Renfield and how much what he did for Dracula actually upsets him. Not sure where the delusions came from though, that came a bit out of left field. The thing I didn’t care for was the attempted rape scene, but not because of rape, but because the bad guy is being an idiot.


The last chapter was another Irving chapter and I still can’t stand those I’m afraid, though this was better than the last one. The last part cut off abruptly, I was expecting a more gentle stop.


And some other points:


Rewer’s power: This has the potential to be truly overpowered, if he can shrivel heads because of a few dead skin cells, he could wipe out vampires and other undead in a flash. If he knew hunters were coming he could do the same as well, because there is no way there aren’t always a few dead skin cells on a person.


Idiot rapist: This ex-hunter, I forgot his name, is an idiot. He’s still in the enemy stronghold, his teammates are all dead, the council is incapacitated but not dead (why didn’t he take the time to do that?) and he has no idea if there are reinforcements lurking around. So instead of hightailing it out of there with Stephanie he tries to rape her right there instead of taking her to a safe house where he can do it safely. That is truly stupid. And yet another example of an incompetent bad guy – I think I’ve called attention to that before.


Irving: The other incompetent bad guy. On the phone again, performing damage control for his own mistakes. I feel he should know it’s too soon to call Harker his trump card. At best he’s a wild card right now, whom he might use to get Stephanie without the rest of Westenra becoming aware of it, since Harker’s afraid he’ll lose Stephanie if the company finds out she’s crazy. But if Harker and Stephanie talk it’s over for Irving, and that’s a huge risk.


Headshot: Stephanie is the only one in Westenra who can make a headshot, with a bullet between the eyes, at close range? This does not bode well for the organization. Also, big assumption there on Harker’s part to assume it’s Stephanie who did it – she’s not the only one who can use a gun in the world after all. And what is ballistics going to show? I think it was pretty clear that Stephanie was running around without her own weapons.


Hangar: Harker is too sure that she’s going to be at the hangar, even though they had no communication and she’s been gone for a while now. For all he knows she already used the place as a hideout and is now on the move again. And for Stephanie it would not be a good idea to use places anyone on her team might know about.

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Thanks for the notes, Asmosdemon.


- Maybe Stephanie can trip some sort of silent alarm Harker placed at the hanger? 


- I'm definitely going to make the washouts more straight up mercs and thus a lot more competent, so the danger level is a lot higher. 


- Yeah, in hindsight, Stephanie being the only one in hindsight able to make that a headshot makes Westenra sound pretty incompetent. 

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