WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction

Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.


WAR - 2062 Words (Horror)

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-09-2013, 02:54 AM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default WAR - 2062 Words (Horror)


Hello WB Community.

I am looking for feedback, big or small; content or SPaG; opinions or musings. I appreciate honest and open feedback and welcome all critique. Thanks.


WAR

Light streamed through the large gap between the slanted wooden blinds, illuminating motes of dust and creating a fine golden mist. The smell of age was thick on every surface of the small office, as were signs of neglect: a dented and disused filing cupboard lay on its side; a calendar from eight years ago showed the shapely curves of Miss September draped provocatively over a yellow Ferrari; beside her hung a mirror with a sliver of the bottom left corner missing.

The large wooden desk, riddled with the scars of a hundred pens, sat to one corner of the room. Atop was the man with long, wiry red hair and grey eyes, looking like a cat eying a bird. There was no doubting who the bird was. Tyler’s hands were bound behind the backrest of the office chair; his feet tied locking his knees together. Through the watery, throbbing, fist-swollen eye he could make out a blurred silhouette, swishing his gun in mock target practice, sights aimed at Tyler’s head. The motion disturbed the mist, making it eddy and dance in a graceful randomness.

The second man Tyler could not see. He had entered the room only a few minutes ago with heavy footsteps that stressed the creaking wooden floor. Though he was masked by a wall of duct tape when he arrived, there was no mistaking the two flights of metal stairs he had had to climb. He was on the second floor of what must be a storage unit or warehouse, given the echoes and sense of open space when he arrived. And the man who had just walked in risked falling through the floor, if his footsteps belied his frame.

Tyler cracked his jaw painfully, an unmistakeable metallic taste made him spit; he had lost some teeth during the last brutal encounter with the man on the table. A small dagger of anger pricked him at the sight of his blood speckled Armani shirt, but lasted just a moment as fear gripped his throat and stomach with surgical precision.

Low voices hushed and swirled nonsense as the two men talked three feet from his wheely-chair prison. The man with the gun had earlier rung out a shot next to Tyler’s left ear, rendering him all but deaf on that side. Even turning his head, which split his skull, did little to enhance his comprehension of the conversation.

Tyler shifted his attention instead on the crack that ran from the back corner of the office right to the top of the door frame. Its bony fingers reached for the door, reminding him of how much he wished to leave; make a break for it – but how far would he get? There was no way of knowing what part of town he was in, even if he made it as far as the front door, which was unlikely. He watched the frozen skeletal hand; doomed to be so tantalizingly close to freedom; a picture of his own grim reality. There was no way he was leaving this office alive.

The two men finished their conversation. The fat man took out an already soaked handkerchief from the breast pocket of his silver suit jacket and began furiously mopping in a futile attempt to dry a brow that seemed to produce more sweat with every wipe. His red cheeks ballooned as he huffed and shook his head. Replacing the sopping rag back into his pocket he approached Tyler. He could smell the fat man - it stung his nose. If his eyes were not already watered, he was sure they would have welled up at the stench.

The fat man squatted down so his head was in line with Tyler’s, placing marshmallow hands on his knees. His greased hair was dripping, and his hot breath added to the assault on Tyler’s senses. A glum expression filled the podgy, ageless face. Aquamarine eyes tightened on Tyler’s bumpy, busted features while time appeared to crawl in a haze of fear and blood. The fat man shook his head softly, depositing more beads of sweat on the floor and Tyler’s legs.

“So he won’t talk, eh, Joey?” The fat man produced a surprisingly deep rumble, though Tyler was not sure what sort of tone he was expecting from him. He heard the man with the gun jump off the table and in seconds he had swooped into Tyler’s vision, grabbing a lock of his blonde hair and yanking his head so far back his neck creaked.

“He did it.” Joey pressed his gun barrel hard into Tyler’s throat, making him splutter. “I saw him.”

“That may be, but this guy ain’t talking. And you know Angelo ain’t gonna move if he isn’t damn sure this is the guy.” He looked almost sorry for Tyler. “God, look at him.”

The fat man rose to his full height, though this was not much taller, and walked over to the table. He once again reached into his breast pocket, but this time produced an ornate silver case and carefully extracted a fine white cigarette. After patting down his breast pockets and jamming his hands into his pants so hard Tyler thought he might force his them to his ankles, the fat man let out an exasperated grunt.

“Shit. It’s in the car.” He made a start for the door, the floorboards creaking ominously with each step. He stopped mid-stride, “Don’t do anythin’ stupid.” The fat man left, with the door slamming hard behind him.

Joey let go of Tyler’s hair - his neck slumped so his chin dug into his chest. Tyler released a choked, relief-filled gurgle. That was it, he thought. I was sure that was it. Joey rounded on Tyler, crouching down to meet his eyes. Once again the barrel of the gun was pressed up against Tyler, this time screwing into his forehead.

Joey spoke in an unnervingly calm whisper “You killed him.”

Dread welled up again. Joey was losing his grip.

“No. I told you…” It felt as if he had a mouthful of broken glass. It didn’t matter anyway – Joey had already found him guilty and Tyler’s sentencing was imminent. He looked into those cold grey eyes, more distant and chilling than before. Joey’s face wrinkled with a smile that almost touched those eyes. The smile grew into a small chuckle, his shoulders bouncing up and down in time with each stifled snicker.

As Joey rocked on his haunches psychotically snickering to himself, Tyler knew. His battered eyes began leaking and his body lurched against groans of frustration. He violently battled against his bonds, ripping the skin from his wrists and ankles, pulling hard this way and that and stamping his feet on the floor. All the while Joey kept looking straight at him. The maniacal laughter ricocheted off every surface and filled Tyler’s head.

If there was any mercy, it was the speed at which it happened. A blue-brown blur, a whiteness that enveloped everything, and a crack as if he were falling through a thundercloud. Then black.

Tyler was surrounded by an infinite blackness: a void with no horizons; no floors or ceilings; no walls or doors or windows. Nothingness beyond emptiness.

He could not see his feet, but he could ‘feel’ them. He stretched out his arm and spread his fingers wide, and though he could tell he was doing this through the sensations running up and down his arm, his eyes rendered all but useless. It’s too dark. That has to be it. He drew his arm closer to his face, or where he felt his face should be, but still nothing.

Anxious, he began walking – no particular direction, just the way he happened to be facing – and found it even more disconcerting when he could not see his feet beneath him.

He called out, his voice barely seeming to carry beyond his lips, dulling around him almost immediately. This timeless, featureless and ultimately infuriating environment defeated him. With no visible progress he slumped, or at least he felt he slumped, to the ground shivering and weeping.

“Is this it?” he choked on his tears, but he knew the answer. Tyler had been no Saint; he hadn’t even been a good human being, and it would not have been stretching credulity to imagine someone with his less than laudable past would end up in a place like this for eternity. For eternity, he thought. With that, he planted his ‘head’ between his ‘knees’ and sobbed anew.

He stopped as he felt a hand on his shoulder, to find that when he looked at it he could see both his shoulder and the slender bony fingers that gripped him. The hand grasped him in a familiar way. The man’s gaunt face, framed by a black bowtie smiled down at him. He could not tell how old the man was, but he seemed old; really old.

“What’s wrong, brother?” It was a grandfatherly tone and one that seemed to melt the despair from Tyler’s bones.

Even as Tyler rose to his feet the old man towered over him, deep-set black eyes squinting through wrinkled flaps of flesh. His ghostly skin was stretched, as if his skull was about to burst through. Despite this, Tyler felt a soothing familiarity.

“What is this place?” he quizzed the old man.

Puzzled concern dominated the old man’s face. “I feared the imprint had failed.”

“What imprint? What do you mean?” A tinge of frustration had crept into Tyler’s tone to which the old man seemed to take exception.

“He was careless. I warned him of as much. And now I must send you back.” He cast a cold glare at Tyler.

Tyler’s stomach began to lurch; suddenly he was not so sure about the old man, who cleared his throat and pulled a small, tattered brown ledger from his pocket and proceeded to thumb through the first dozen pages.

Send me back? Back where? He tried to recount where he could have seen this man before. Tyler recognised him, and the old man knew him for sure. But his memories were jumbled, thoughts fluttering through time, like a leaf caught in the grip of storm winds. Focus dammit.

Finally, the old man settled on a page, nodding to himself. With lightning speed that belied his apparent years, the man thrust an arm at Tyler’s head. Like a grappling hook, fingers dug into Tyler’s skull. He was vaguely aware of some mumbled incantation before his vision blurred and other voices, like whispers in the distance, crept into his head. Memories crashed like waves on rocks, splintered, then receded only to be replaced by others.

Joey spoke in an unnervingly calm whisper “You killed him.”

Tyler cracked his jaw painfully, an unmistakeable metallic taste made him spit; he had lost some teeth during the last brutal encounter with the man on the table.

“So he won’t talk, eh, Joey?” The fat man produced surprisingly deep rumble, though Tyler was not sure what sort of tone he was expecting from him.

“Shit. It’s in the car.” He made a start for the door, the floor boards creaking ominously with each step. He stopped mid-stride, “Don’t do anythin’ stupid.”

A blue-brown blur, a whiteness that enveloped everything, and a crack as if he were sitting on a thundercloud.

Joey spoke in an unnervingly whisper “You killed him.”

He looked almost sorry for Tyler. “God, look at him.”
As Joey rocked on his hunches psychotically snickering to himself, Tyler knew. His battered eyes began leaking and his body lurched against groans of frustration.

It’s too dark. That has to be it.

“You killed him.”

The fat man lay on his side, a silver shard protruding from his neck and lifeless eyes staring at Joey’s twisted and broken body. Tyler straightened out his shirt as fresh red tracks striped an all-knowing grin. Angelo Retucci’s car had pulled up just a few minutes ago, followed by hurried footsteps that brought them ever closer to Tyler’s final seconds.

The skeletal hand over the doorway was no longer an omen of doom, but a harbinger of retribution. Angelo’s death would surely be the match to the gunpowder relationship between the two families. And this was Tyler’s Opus Magnum. And as Angelo fell to the bullet that tore through his left eye, War smiled.

If you made it this far, congrats and thank you.

TAKE THE RISK

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to risk10 For This Useful Post:
  #2  
Old 10-09-2013, 02:04 PM
garviel (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Norway
Posts: 142
Thanks: 11
Thanks 43
Default

Hi(gh) risk

There are a lot of interesting and quite original words and phrases in this story which I like. Some work better than others though. The story improves as it moves along. And it improves dramatically from about half-way and towards the end The out-of-body-ish experience was a very interesting and surprising element, as was the ending. Made me wonder what on earth (or not on earth ) happened. For some reason the old man reminded me slightly about the Giant from the Twin Peaks series


There are a few things I'd like to comment on. Of course, feel free to disregard it if you don't agree
Light streamed through the large gap between the slanted wooden blinds, illuminating motes of dust and creating a fine golden mist. The smell of age was thick on every surface of the small office, as were signs of neglect: a dented and disused filing cupboard lay on its side; a calendar from eight years ago showed the shapely curves of Miss September draped provocatively over a yellow Ferrari; beside her hung a mirror with a sliver of the bottom left corner missing.
In my opinion, this paragraph is a bit too passive. You describe the scene by telling the reader how it looks and smells, rather than showing it, for example by way of character interaction/experience. It's a personal thing of course, how you decide to write a scene, but if it is one thing I've learned here at WritersBeat, it is that showing a scene is often better than telling the reader how it is.


The second man Tyler could not see. He had entered the room only a few minutes ago with heavy footsteps that stressed the creaking wooden floor. Though he was masked by a wall of duct tape when he arrived, there was no mistaking the two flights of metal stairs he had had to climb. He was on the second floor of what must be a storage unit or warehouse, given the echoes and sense of open space when he arrived. And the man who had just walked in risked falling through the floor, if his footsteps belied his frame.
The multiple use of He in this paragraph actually made it somewhat difficult to understand if you are talking about Tyler or the other man. I had to read it twice before I was sure of who's who.


A small dagger of anger pricked him at the sight of his blood speckled Armani shirt, but lasted just a moment as fear gripped his throat and stomach with surgical precision.
Interesting description, but it seems slightly too detailed, leaving little to the readers imagination.


but how far would he get? There was no way of knowing what part of town he was in, even if he made it as far as the front door, which was unlikely.
This is more or less exposition, and in my personal opinion removes the reader from the action. I would try to incorporate this information in a more active way.

This is just a suggestion, but you could have one of the men mock him. Kind of like: "So you're thinking of escape huh? You don't even know where you are. How far d'you think you'd get with those injuries anyway. Feel to try of course, I'd love to set my dogs on you."


The fat man rose to his full height, though this was not much taller, and walked over to the table.
I am not sure about the middle part here. I think I know what you want to say here, but at least to me, it does not quite work.


I am not quite sure how well the italic part near the end works. This would work well as a movie scene I think, but it is a lot of repetition from earlier dialogues. Perhaps making this part just a tad shorter would do the trick.

There is room for some improvement in regards to the horror element, but parts of the story is quite disturbing and creepy. Very interesting read and quite captivating towards the end

Garviel
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to garviel For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-09-2013)
  #3  
Old 10-09-2013, 02:07 PM
AnyaKimlun's Avatar
AnyaKimlun (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North East Scotland
Posts: 6,942
Thanks: 2,739
Thanks 1,456
Default

i'm going to bed but if I forget please send me a PM - I have ME so sometimes my memory is rubbish.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-09-2013, 02:59 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

Garviel, thank you for the wonderful feedback. You have given me much to think about and really appreciate your kind comments and time providing this critique.

Originally Posted by garviel View Post
Hi(gh) risk
Nice pun


Originally Posted by garviel View Post
In my opinion, this paragraph is a bit too passive. You describe the scene by telling the reader how it looks and smells, rather than showing it, for example by way of character interaction/experience.
This is a tough one - I have used the opening as a "scene setter" and other feedback has suggested this has been good. But, I do think more could be done to make it a livelier opening. I will have a re-think.

Originally Posted by garviel View Post
The multiple use of He in this paragraph actually made it somewhat difficult to understand if you are talking about Tyler or the other man. I had to read it twice before I was sure of who's who.
Totally agree - nice pick up and I will ammend forthwith. Cheers.


Originally Posted by garviel View Post
Interesting description, but it seems slightly too detailed, leaving little to the readers imagination.
Yep - see what you're getting at here. Definately could be re-worked. Thanks again


Originally Posted by garviel View Post
This is more or less exposition, and in my personal opinion removes the reader from the action. I would try to incorporate this information in a more active way.

This is just a suggestion, but you could have one of the men mock him. Kind of like: "So you're thinking of escape huh? You don't even know where you are. How far d'you think you'd get with those injuries anyway. Feel to try of course, I'd love to set my dogs on you."
Terrific suggestion. I want to keep it internal to Tyler - but could make it more a thought than an omnipotent narrator's musings. Great! Thanks.

Originally Posted by garviel View Post
I am not sure about the middle part here. I think I know what you want to say here, but at least to me, it does not quite work.
Gotchya. I think this could read better as well. I will ponder this one.

Originally Posted by garviel View Post
I am not quite sure how well the italic part near the end works. This would work well as a movie scene I think, but it is a lot of repetition from earlier dialogues. Perhaps making this part just a tad shorter would do the trick.
Tough one - I think I have overdone it here and will shorten this significantly. Thanks.

Originally Posted by garviel View Post
There is room for some improvement in regards to the horror element, but parts of the story is quite disturbing and creepy. Very interesting read and quite captivating towards the end
Thank you for your kind feedback. If I could be so bold as to push for a little more - what elements (other than the above) do you think could be improved? Not necessarily how, but just what maybe didn't work for you. I find my writing, whilst technically proficient, seems to lack that "wow" or really suck people in. This is one of the reasons I have joined this forum.

Cheers.

TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-09-2013, 04:44 PM
garviel (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Norway
Posts: 142
Thanks: 11
Thanks 43
Default

This is a tough one - I have used the opening as a "scene setter" and other feedback has suggested this has been good. But, I do think more could be done to make it a livelier opening. I will have a re-think.
I get your point about setting up the scene. And considering that this is just a few lines, it is really a very minor issue in regards to the passive way of describing the scene. However, one need also consider the fact that too passive a paragraph, decreases the chance of the reader creating/forming mental images as he/she reads.

Terrific suggestion. I want to keep it internal to Tyler - but could make it more a thought than an omnipotent narrator's musings. Great! Thanks.
I think this is the issue here. Once the omnipotent narrator as you call it takes control of the story it can quickly decline into a boring stream of information, rather than a scene that plays with the reader's emotions.

As I understand it, you want the story to be told from Tyler's point of view, and that clinches with the idea of going for an external view. There is the dilemma of what choice makes for the best portrait of Tyler's situation


It is not so much what did not work for me, but rather that perhaps the creation of horror could be improved.

One thing that generally works well for horror is to have the reader connect emotionally with the character (give him a background, likeable personality etc). That way when something happens (or the reader believes that something will happen) to the character, the reader will grow anxious, nervous, tense because we don't want the character to die or get hurt.

Also, quite often keeping the reader at a distance from the horror will have the reader's imagination work by itself. And it is often easier to imagine that something horrible will happen than the opposite. If the reader hear screams from a nearby room, and knows that the villain has gone into that room with a surgeon's scalpel, well... the reader's imagination can create more horrors than we could ever put on the page with words

Oh, and I just notice another little thing:
The two men finished their conversation. The fat man took out an already soaked handkerchief from the breast pocket of his silver suit jacket and began furiously mopping in a futile attempt to dry a brow that seemed to produce more sweat with every wipe. His red cheeks ballooned as he huffed and shook his head. Replacing the sopping rag back into his pocket he approached Tyler. He could smell the fat man - it stung his nose. If his eyes were not already watered, he was sure they would have welled up at the stench.

The fat man squatted down so his head was in line with Tyler’s, placing marshmallow hands on his knees. His greased hair was dripping, and his hot breath added to the assault on Tyler’s senses. A glum expression filled the podgy, ageless face. Aquamarine eyes tightened on Tyler’s bumpy, busted features while time appeared to crawl in a haze of fear and blood. The fat man shook his head softly, depositing more beads of sweat on the floor and Tyler’s legs.

“So he won’t talk, eh, Joey?” The fat man produced a surprisingly deep rumble, though Tyler was not sure what sort of tone he was expecting from him. He heard the man with the gun jump off the table and in seconds he had swooped into Tyler’s vision, grabbing a lock of his blonde hair and yanking his head so far back his neck creaked.

“He did it.” Joey pressed his gun barrel hard into Tyler’s throat, making him splutter. “I saw him.”

“That may be, but this guy ain’t talking. And you know Angelo ain’t gonna move if he isn’t damn sure this is the guy.” He looked almost sorry for Tyler. “God, look at him.”

The fat man rose to his full height,
I recommend varying the identifier of this person


I hope this may give you some ideas

Garviel


Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to garviel For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-09-2013)
  #6  
Old 10-09-2013, 04:53 PM
Zev (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Somewhere between here and there.
Posts: 3
Thanks: 5
Thanks 2
Default

I enjoyed reading this, I would've like it a lot more if you made it a little darker or gruesome.
Also if you want to draw the reader in add a torture scene or a moment when the character broke down and gave up. I know it would work on me, not sure if it would work on others though. By the way are you adding more to this because I'd like to read more.

-Zev
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Zev For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-09-2013)
  #7  
Old 10-09-2013, 05:30 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

@garviel - more insightful feedback, thank you. I will look at that descriptor. As for the horror element, it truly is in the eye of the reader is it not, as Zev's comments illustrate perfectly.

@Zev - I understand the allure of a torture scene, and earlier drafts had quite a bit more of the gruesome in it. However, feedback I received told me to tone it down a bit - as garviel suggested, let the reader do the work. But I like the gruesome myself

This is the first of a four part anthology I am working on involving the four horsemen of the apocalypse. This was, obviously, War's theme. There will be Famine, Pestilence and Death to come. The stories will interlink, but will be stand alone pieces.

Thanks for reading.

TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-10-2013, 07:44 AM
AnyaKimlun's Avatar
AnyaKimlun (Offline)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North East Scotland
Posts: 6,942
Thanks: 2,739
Thanks 1,456
Default

Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
Light streamed through the large gap between the slanted wooden blinds, illuminating motes of dust and creating a fine golden mist. The smell of age was thick on every surface of the small office, as were signs of neglect: a dented and disused filing cupboard lay on its side; a calendar from eight years ago showed the shapely curves of Miss September draped provocatively over a yellow Ferrari; beside her hung a mirror with a sliver of the bottom left corner missing.[/SIZE][/FONT]
I love the way you have the description sweeping and moving. That is a talent not many people have. When editing I'd suggest removing the was. The smell of age, thick on every surface - says the same thing and doesn't halt the sweep.



The large wooden desk, riddled with the scars of a hundred pens, sat to one corner of the room. Atop was the man with long, wiry red hair and grey eyes, looking like a cat eying a bird. There was no doubting who the bird was. Tyler’s hands were bound behind the backrest of the office chair; his feet tied locking his knees together. Through the watery, throbbing, fist-swollen eye he could make out a blurred silhouette, swishing his gun in mock target practice, sights aimed at Tyler’s head. The motion disturbed the mist, making it eddy and dance in a graceful randomness.
This image isn't terribly clear. Atop the desk but tied to the chair? I would suggest making it a bit less fussy as well. I like description but this is a very tense scene. There is a place for flowery but this is one for being a bit more brutal.


Watch the paragraphs try not to have two close together begin with the same thing. In a piece this short try not to have any be the same.

Last edited by AnyaKimlun; 10-10-2013 at 12:34 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to AnyaKimlun For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-10-2013)
  #9  
Old 10-10-2013, 01:58 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

Thank you Anya,

Describing scenes tends to be a love of mine throughout my writing.

Certainly take your point about the slight ambiguity and over-description in the second paragraph - an unfortunate by-product of the love described above.

TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to risk10 For This Useful Post:
AnyaKimlun (10-11-2013)
  #10  
Old 10-11-2013, 10:00 AM
Rincewind (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 471
Thanks: 49
Thanks 141
Default

Firstly, dont do yourself down risk. Very few writers have the wow factor as you call it. Certainly only a very few on this forum. To me it's just about creating a good story that people want to read. And i like this on the whole, so you succeeded, to a degree.

Secondly. I know you love you're first two paragraphs, but personally i'd get rid of most of them. They just dont seem to sit right with the story. Although like Anya i did enjoy the description. It's just maybe not best served here, perhaps.

If it we're me, i'd start at

Tyler’s hands were bound behind the backrest of the office chair; his feet tied locking his knees together. Through the watery, throbbing, fist-swollen eye he could make out a blurred silhouette, swishing his gun around in mock target practice with sights aimed at Tyler’s head.
A second man Tyler could not see. He had entered the room only a few minutes ago with heavy footsteps that stressed the creaking wooden floor
Or some such thing. I've edited it slightly because parts were connected to the first paragraph. But as i say, it's just a suggestion. It's your baby at the end of the day
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Rincewind For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-11-2013)
  #11  
Old 10-11-2013, 02:06 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

Thanks Rincewind,
I will definately rewrite with a more active voice in mind. The fantasy story I have been working on is at fault here, as I have slippped into passive description. I might even look through that and try and make it more active - it may be the difference between a good story, well written and a fantastic story that leaps off the page.

I am hard on myself so that I know what to expect. I know very few writers can do this, otherwise we would all be millionaires with great book deals. I am learning this very difficult craft, and appreciate all feedback that comes my way.

You have all given me great feedback and I will put this to use over the weekend and see how the story transmogrifies.

TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-15-2013, 12:42 PM
Loz's Avatar
Loz (Offline)
Captain Unicorn Biscuits
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,065
Thanks: 2,218
Thanks 999
Default

Yes, Risk. Smooth, sleek writing style. I like it. It reads so poetically, and some fab images too -- I do have a happy mind right now.

It would help to up the stakes here. What's on the line for the character? -- sure, I get that they are about to die, but what is a reason for them to live? I couldn't sense a strong desire or drive on the character's behalf to give me enough conflict and tension to really draw me into the story and make me route for your MC. Add this and you'll have a corker! I recommend reading up on some story structure -- Vogler's 'The Writer's Journey', or Robert McKee 'Story' might help.
__________________
[FONT=Century Gothic][SIZE=3][COLOR=SeaGreen][FONT=Lucida Sans Unicode][COLOR=Purple]
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
[/COLOR][/FONT]
[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Loz For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-15-2013)
  #13  
Old 10-15-2013, 01:52 PM
Andy Mitchell (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 495
Thanks: 268
Thanks 119
Default

Risk, this is a great bit of writing. As I am a fan of a bit of horror, this is up my street in terms of reading. However, I don't know what is at stake here for your main character; I don't feel scared in a way.

I feel the pace is pretty slow and I understand the need for a build up but for me, it dragged for a while.

But overall, I like it. Good work and keep it up.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Andy Mitchell For This Useful Post:
risk10 (10-15-2013)
  #14  
Old 10-15-2013, 04:37 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

@Loz - Thank you for your wonderful feedback. I am glad you appreciate my style - it is one of those things that, as a writer, I fear I have trouble connecting to my audience. I certainly know what you are talking about re: the stakes. It is an excellent point. I have Vogler's "Hero's Journey" - it must be time for me to dust it off and have re-read . I will also look into McKee's book.

@Andy - Thank you also for your feedback. You have echoed the need for stakes and this is something I am working on (giving Tyler more of a backstory so the reader can connect with him more). As for the 'dragging' in some parts, I think this may be down to my descriptive nature. I am working on removing some of the passivity in the text to make it more action oriented. Hopefully that helps pick the pace up.

Thank you both for taking the time to read and comment

TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-30-2013, 07:37 AM
AircraftmanRoss
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thank you Risk10

I will read this as soon as I can. We are a little occupied today but I want to get past my quick scan and into the meat. This is the first actual full story I have seen here. Thank you also for referring me to the produce of Owen and Non Serviam. I will look them up soon.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-30-2013, 08:27 PM
AircraftmanRoss
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Suggestions about the first few paragraphs

WAR

Light streamed through the large gap between the slanted wooden blinds, illuminating motes of dust and creating a fine golden mist. The smell of age was thick on every surface of the small office, as were signs of neglect: a dented and disused filing cupboard lay on its side; a calendar from eight years ago showed the shapely curves of Miss September draped provocatively over a yellow Ferrari; beside her hung a mirror with a sliver of the bottom left corner missing.


{There is nothing at all wrong with this first paragraph. There may be ways it could be "more right". I suggest less inventory, less modification of the inventoried nouns and in general fewer words that separate the reader from the action to follow. "Dust motes danced in the light of.. Miss September looked down from an eight year old calendar... a stink of age and dust..." That sort of thing.}


The large wooden desk, riddled with the scars of a hundred pens, sat to one corner of the room. Atop was the man with long, wiry red hair and grey eyes, looking like a cat eying a bird. There was no doubting who the bird was. Tyler’s hands were bound behind the backrest of the office chair; his feet tied locking his knees together. Through the watery, throbbing, fist-swollen eye he could make out a blurred silhouette, swishing his gun in mock target practice, sights aimed at Tyler’s head. The motion disturbed the mist, making it eddy and dance in a graceful randomness.

{Suggest "trussed" in lieu of "bound" to keep the bird image current to preceeding simile. Tied feet do not lock knees. Suggest omission of "watery, throbbing" as "fist swollen" says it all. Suggest "mist" be changed to dust. They are two different things.}

The second man Tyler could not see. He had entered the room only a few minutes ago with heavy footsteps that stressed the creaking wooden floor. Though he was masked by a wall of duct tape when he arrived, there was no mistaking the two flights of metal stairs he had had to climb. He was on the second floor of what must be a storage unit or warehouse, given the echoes and sense of open space when he arrived. And the man who had just walked in risked falling through the floor, if his footsteps belied his frame.

{Suggest omitting "had and "had had" They are absolutely correct to convey past tense, but they also feel passive in an active situation. Suggest "He entered the room minutes before..." The "wall of duct tape" stopped my eye. Is "if his footsteps belied his frame " correct? It insinuates size, and later he is fat, but right now he could be a weight lifter or a circus giant. I don't think "belied" is the correct word here. }



Tyler cracked his jaw painfully, an unmistakeable metallic taste made him spit; he had lost some teeth during the last brutal encounter with the man on the table. A small dagger of anger pricked him at the sight of his blood speckled Armani shirt, but lasted just a moment as fear gripped his throat and stomach with surgical precision.

{Perhaps the jaw might crack painfully when Tyler flexes it. "Lost teeth" implies brutality enough with out telling. Suggest omitting "had" and "some." Is fear "surgically precise?"}

Low voices hushed and swirled nonsense as the two men talked three feet from his wheely-chair prison. The man with the gun had earlier rung out a shot next to Tyler’s left ear, rendering him all but deaf on that side. Even turning his head, which split his skull, did little to enhance his comprehension of the conversation.

{This paragraph feels like an information dump.}

Tyler shifted his attention instead on the crack that ran from the back corner of the office right to the top of the door frame. Its bony fingers reached for the door, reminding him of how much he wished to leave; make a break for it – but how far would he get? There was no way of knowing what part of town he was in, even if he made it as far as the front door, which was unlikely. He watched the frozen skeletal hand; doomed to be so tantalizingly close to freedom; a picture of his own grim reality. There was no way he was leaving this office alive.

{More connection between the crack and its resemblence to a bony hand is needed- perhaps more proximity in the paragraph. As a reader I want to be more in the moment, more in Tylers point of view. There is a feeling of being instructed about his situation rather than the situation revealing itself. Discovery is a pleasure to this reader. The information in this paragraph is relevant but disjointed and hard to parse."

The two men finished their conversation. The fat man took out an already soaked handkerchief from the breast pocket of his silver suit jacket and began furiously mopping in a futile attempt to dry a brow that seemed to produce more sweat with every wipe. His red cheeks ballooned as he huffed and shook his head. Replacing the sopping rag back into his pocket he approached Tyler. He could smell the fat man - it stung his nose. If his eyes were not already watered, he was sure they would have welled up at the stench.

{"fat man" is abrupt. "already soaked" means wet, limp, damp. "produce more sweat" Maybe "every wipe caused him to sweat even more." It seems the man stank. Yes?"}


The fat man squatted down so his head was in line with Tyler’s, placing marshmallow hands on his knees. His greased hair was dripping, and his hot breath added to the assault on Tyler’s senses. A glum expression filled the podgy, ageless face. Aquamarine eyes tightened on Tyler’s bumpy, busted features while time appeared to crawl in a haze of fear and blood. The fat man shook his head softly, depositing more beads of sweat on the floor and Tyler’s legs.

{Suggest you write this paragraph and use only nouns and verbs, then compare it to the paragraph above to see how many modifiers are really needed.}

Thanks for letting me read this. I have hit a wall and bed calls. Everything is a suggestion that may not be worth the paper and ink. I like the characterizations.

Ross
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to For This Useful Post:
risk10 (12-01-2013)
  #17  
Old 12-01-2013, 02:42 PM
risk10 (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 781
Thanks: 163
Thanks 280
Default

Cheers Aircraftman,

You have picked up on many of the issues others have, which is great. It confirms the areas I need to work on. Thanks for spending your time reading through and providing excellent critique.
__________________
TAKE THE RISK
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-01-2013, 05:44 PM
Jelani (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Thanks: 5
Thanks 5
Default

I liked it good job!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jelani For This Useful Post:
risk10 (12-04-2013)
  #19  
Old 12-04-2013, 02:35 PM
Hopscotch (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Abersock
Posts: 30
Thanks: 8
Thanks 4
Default

Yeah man Im glad u got some good crit I didnt read all of it but I thought your desriptions were mint marshmallow hands ect and the storry was nicley paced like my fav stories are plenty of action or good story telling im into it!

And one crit

The fat man rose to his full height, though this was not much taller, and walked over to the table. - the though bit sounds like a narrator - no-one wants to hear that - can you put it in with it sounding like its meant to be there because ur guy has a cool voice - or chuck it!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Hopscotch For This Useful Post:
risk10 (12-04-2013)
  #20  
Old 12-05-2013, 02:43 AM
DeDanann (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 28
Thanks: 5
Thanks 6
Default

I like how it takes me out of my comfort zone, though it was a close one. I nearly didn't make it through the dense descriptions at the start. Descriptions to slow things down, shorter punchier sentences for action scenes where the adrenalin is pumping. I agree it gets a lot better from the mid-point. Joey might keep me from my sleep tonight.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-06-2013, 11:27 AM
joseph8962 (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default nice

wow very nice, good grammar too, i'm horrible at grammar V____V
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Write Here > Fiction


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Creep World (WIP) MalReynolds Fiction 21 09-07-2017 06:06 AM
The carrion halls, 844 words (an attempt at writing horror) garviel Fiction 10 06-07-2012 12:09 PM
Contest Results l Poetry l Building on Three Words (August 2007) aprilrain Previous Contests 5 09-04-2007 01:31 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:53 PM.

vBulletin, Copyright © 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.