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Old 11-22-2010, 04:55 AM
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24/11/2010 - Please scroll down a few posts to the updated version! Its much more entertaining :P (I hope).

I've written alot of little short stories, but I've never had any strong enough ideas to turn around into a work-able novel, but I think I may have finally cracked that!
I started writing a bit of an intro tonight and thought I'd post it up to see if it grabs anyone (very remote possibility). Keep in mind its a draft , comments and thoughts are very welcome!

__________________________________________________ __________________

9th June 2115, Earth Time


The small cargo ship
Ishikara blasted through space, followed closely by a flurry of vivid blue energy-like streams. The freighter desperately manoeuvred to avoid the trail of hostile streaks behind it, its chassis shaking violently under the sheer force of its engine’s output. The freighter was painted a conservative light-grey, a symbol on its starboard side bearing the insignia of the United Nations of the Americas. The freighters viewports were as dark as the blackness surrounding it, with all its energy diverted to powering their engines for their desperate escape.

And it was most certainly desperate.

Kurt Nolan stood on the bridge of the
Ishikara, his knuckles white as he fiercely gripped the railing in-front of him. Knowing full well the bulky un-ergonomic freighter was being pushed to its limits; he turned to the man in the pilot’s chair in front of him.

”Felix, talk to me kiddo!” Nolan yelled, struggling to make himself heard over the roaring engines.


“We’ve got about 30 seconds before we’re a floating cockpit!” Felix yelled back, his arms on the verge of dislocating under the weight of the flight sticks. “We’ve got to power down or our sub-lights will rip us apart!” Felix frantically tried to manoeuvre the ship whilst pressing buttons on his console, diverting more energy away from the sub-light engines.


Nolan watched through the forward view-screen as streaks of blue energy narrowly missed the freighter. “What the
hell are those?” Nolan yelled, struggling to maintain his balance.

The woman sitting at the console next to him busily typed at her console, the glow of energy read-outs illuminating her striking features. “It’s some sort of ion beam” Marla Pierce shouted at him, bracing herself on her desk as the ship violently lurched forward.


“We’re hit!” Felix screamed, his face contorted in pain as he desperately clung to the flight sticks. “We’re losing power” He yelled, his teeth viciously clenched. The ship began drifting onto its back as pulses of energy streaks flailed out along its chassis. The glow of the engines shut down and sputtered to life every few seconds, struggling to maintain power.


“We’ve lost RCS thrusters!” Said Marla, as the entire bridge was plunged into darkness.
"Wait a second, someone is trying to key our frequency", she said, staring confusedly at the monitor.

Nolan stared at her, equally confused, his heart racing. ”Patch them through,” He said, stepping down off his observation platform. “I’m going to find out what the
f*** just happened.”

He walked over to the pilot console where Felix sat slumped in his chair, breathing heavily, defeated. Nolan gave him a pat on the shoulder and leant over the console, looking back as Marla gave him a reassuring nod.


He opened the communications channel. “This is Captain Kurt Nolan of the
UNS Ishikara, identify yourself at once.” He said confidently, the deep-set fear in his eyes revealing the contrary.


Last edited by AJBC; 11-24-2010 at 03:05 AM..
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:13 AM
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I like it. It's a good start. Would want to read more. Here's just a few things I thought I personally would change as I read through.

The small cargo ship
Ishikara blasted through space, followed closely by a flurry of vivid blue energy-like streams. I would simply write "energy streams" here. The freighter desperately manoeuvred to avoid the trail of hostile streaks behind it, its chassis shaking violently under the sheer force of its engine’s excessive? output. The freighter was painted a conservative light-grey, with a? a symbol on its starboard side bearing the insignia of the United Nations of the Americas. The freighters viewports were as dark as the blackness surrounding it, with all its energy diverted to powering their engines for their desperate escape. Instead of "for their desperate escape." perhaps "in their desperate attempt to escape."

And it was most certainly desperate.

Kurt Nolan stood on the bridge of the
Ishikara, his knuckles white as he fiercely gripped the railing in-front of him. Knowing full well the bulky un-ergonomic freighter was being pushed to its limits; he turned to the man in the pilot’s chair in front of him. Why would he turn if the man is in front of him?

”Felix, talk to me kiddo!” Nolan yelled, struggling to make himself heard over the roaring engines.


“We’ve got about 30 seconds before we’re a floating cockpit!” Felix yelled back, his arms on the verge of dislocating under the weight of the flight sticks. “We’ve got to power down or our sub-lights will rip us apart!” Felix frantically tried to manoeuvre the ship whilst pressing buttons on his console, diverting more energy away from the sub-light engines.


Nolan watched through the forward view-screen as streaks of blue energy narrowly missed the freighter. “What the
hell are those?” Nolan yelled, struggling to maintain his balance.

The woman sitting at the console next to him busily typed at "on" instead of "at"? her console, the glow of energy read-outs illuminating her striking features. “It’s some sort of ion beam” Marla Pierce shouted at him, bracing herself on her desk as the ship violently lurched forward.


“We’re hit!” Felix screamed, his face contorted in pain as he desperately clung to the flight sticks. “We’re losing power” He yelled, his teeth viciously clenched. The ship began drifting onto its back "drifting onto it's back" doesn't quite make sense in space I don't think as pulses of energy streaks flailed I think flailed is the wrong word to use here out along its chassis. The glow of the engines shut down "the glow of the engines faded as it shut down" because a glow itself doesn't exactly shut down and sputtered to life every few seconds, struggling to maintain power.


“We’ve lost RCS thrusters!” Said Marla, yelled rather than said, seeing as you're using an exclamation mark? as the entire bridge was plunged into darkness.
"Wait a second, someone is trying to key our frequency", she said, staring confusedly at the monitor.

Nolan stared at her, equally confused, his heart racing. ”Patch them through,” He said, stepping down off his observation platform. “I’m going to find out what the
f*** just happened.”

He walked over to the pilot console where Felix sat slumped in his chair, breathing heavily, defeated. Nolan gave him a pat on the shoulder and leant over the console, looking back as Marla gave him a reassuring nod.


He opened the communications channel. “This is Captain Kurt Nolan of the
UNS Ishikara, identify yourself at once.” He said confidently, the deep-set fear in his eyes revealing the contrary.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AJBC View Post
I've written alot of little short stories, but I've never had any strong enough ideas to turn around into a work-able novel, but I think I may have finally cracked that!
I started writing a bit of an intro tonight and thought I'd post it up to see if it grabs anyone (very remote possibility). Keep in mind its a draft , comments and thoughts are very welcome!

__________________________________________________ __________________

9th June 2115, Earth Time


The small cargo ship Ishikara blasted through space, followed closely by a flurry of vivid blue energy-like streams (I'm trying to understand what energy looks like? Energy is actually a very vague concept. I wouldn't use it like this.) The freighter desperately manoeuvred to avoid the trail of hostile streaks behind it, (I don't understand this line either. It's being propelled forward by the energy it's sending out. So... what exactly is it avoiding? I wouldn't use this line.) its chassis shaking violently under the sheer force of its engine’s output. The freighter was painted a conservative light-grey, a symbol on its starboard side bearing the insignia of the United Nations of the Americas. (United nations of the Americas?) The freighters viewports were as dark as the blackness surrounding it, with all its energy diverted to powering their engines for their desperate escape.

And it was most certainly desperate. (<- This line is a bit too casual? I'm not saying it cannot be used, but it depends on the narrative. If the entire narrative is going to be formal, it can't abruptly shift to casual like this.)

Kurt Nolan stood on the bridge of the Ishikara, his knuckles white as he fiercely gripped the railing in-front of him. Knowing full well the bulky un-ergonomic freighter was being pushed to its limits; he turned to the man in the pilot’s chair in front of him.

”Felix, talk to me kiddo!” Nolan yelled, struggling to make himself heard over the roaring engines. (I'm not so sure about this. You're in space. The ship is not going to make any sound on the outside because of the lack of air. But of course, it could make sounds inside where there's air, but then again... I dunno... I doubt it would be that noisy.)

“We’ve got about 30 seconds before we’re a floating cockpit!” Felix yelled back, his arms on the verge of dislocating under the weight (you mean force. You can't use force instead of weight. Atleast not in this context) of the flight sticks. “We’ve got to power down or our sub-lights will rip us apart!” Felix frantically tried to manoeuvre the ship whilst pressing buttons on his console, diverting more energy away from the sub-light engines.

Nolan watched through the forward view-screen as streaks of blue energy narrowly missed the freighter. “What the hell are those?” Nolan yelled, struggling to maintain his balance.

The woman sitting at the console next to him busily typed at her console, the glow of energy read-outs illuminating her striking features. “It’s some sort of ion beam” Marla Pierce shouted at him, bracing herself on her desk as the ship violently lurched forward.

“We’re hit!” Felix screamed, his face contorted in pain as he desperately clung to the flight sticks. “We’re losing power” He yelled, his teeth viciously clenched. The ship began drifting onto its back as pulses of energy streaks flailed out along its chassis. The glow of the engines shut down and sputtered to life every few seconds, struggling to maintain power.

“We’ve lost RCS thrusters!” Said Marla, as the entire bridge was plunged into darkness.(I thought it was already dark. You had mentioned that the lights were switched off to route power.)"Wait a second, someone is trying to key our frequency", (key our frequency? What does that mean?) she said, staring confusedly at the monitor.

Nolan stared at her, equally confused, his heart racing. ”Patch them through,” He said, stepping down off his observation platform. “I’m going to find out what the f*** just happened.”

He walked over to the pilot console where Felix sat slumped in his chair, breathing heavily, defeated. Nolan gave him a pat on the shoulder and leant over the console, looking back as Marla gave him a reassuring nod.

He opened the communications channel. “This is Captain Kurt Nolan of the UNS Ishikara, (Funny name. The name sounds japanese. But the people are from America, and the ship is supposedly from the united nations of Americas) identify yourself at once.” He said confidently, the deep-set fear in his eyes revealing the contrary.

I think your imagination is great. But you need to reel it in a bit. The use of the language is great, and there are some spags, but nothing too serious.

I think the main problem I had with this piece is that there are times in which the things you have said, and the things you meant, are a bit different. I think if you corrected those, it would be a really nice start to an interesting story.

Kudos.

Keep writing.

Cheers.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by urntme View Post
I think your imagination is great. But you need to reel it in a bit. The use of the language is great, and there are some spags, but nothing too serious.

I think the main problem I had with this piece is that there are times in which the things you have said, and the things you meant, are a bit different. I think if you corrected those, it would be a really nice start to an interesting story.

Kudos.

Keep writing.

Cheers.
Thanks mate, I'm going to respond to a couple of your critiques just to see if you think it makes more sense now. Some things I didn't want to explain too much because it would ruin the pacing a bit. I once wrote a story before and alot of the comments I got were "I want to read a story not a technical manual" etc etc, so I tried to minimize explanation just for now to keep it interesting if that makes sense.

__________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
followed closely by a flurry of vivid blue energy-like streams (I'm trying to understand what energy looks like? Energy is actually a very vague concept. I wouldn't use it like this.)
I'm kinda trying to avoid making it too "scifi-ish", its set in the 2115, but alot of things are still the same for humanity (they'll still use bullets, similar systems of governments, they haven't travelled much past Mars etc). So I didn't want to use sci-fi terms like "lasers" haha, but I guess "energy" is very vague, its a bit of a placeholder for now.

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
The freighter desperately manoeuvred to avoid the trail of hostile streaks behind it, (I don't understand this line either. It's being propelled forward by the energy it's sending out. So... what exactly is it avoiding? I wouldn't use this line.)
The energy is meant to be like "laser beams" shooting behind it, so its trying to escape. Tried to illustrate that by saying they were 'hostile' but you are right, it doesn't make much sense.

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
(United nations of the Americas?)
Its something I was going to explain a bit later, but basically, instead of the United States, they sort of absorbed Mexico, Cuba and some other nations to form that title instead. I thought it would ruin the pacing if I explained it in that line though. Does that make sense? Or should I explain it anyway to avoid confusion?

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
And it was most certainly desperate. (<- This line is a bit too casual? I'm not saying it cannot be used, but it depends on the narrative. If the entire narrative is going to be formal, it can't abruptly shift to casual like this.)
Bit confused here, I didn't think I was being too formal? This is just my inexperience showing though. It will probably be more casual than formal though, but a bit of both. The line was just intended to build a bit of suspense up, should I take it out?

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
”Felix, talk to me kiddo!” Nolan yelled, struggling to make himself heard over the roaring engines. (I'm not so sure about this. You're in space. The ship is not going to make any sound on the outside because of the lack of air. But of course, it could make sounds inside where there's air, but then again... I dunno... I doubt it would be that noisy.)
I think I meant that you would hear the noise from the inside directly from the engine room, not the outside, since they were working so hard. Its hard to say if they would be noisy but if I start going that deep into it I think it would make a boring story, I don't want to stick to traditional sci-fi values either.

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
“We’ve lost RCS thrusters!” Said Marla, as the entire bridge was plunged into darkness.(I thought it was already dark. You had mentioned that the lights were switched off to route power.)
Should have made that more clear, I meant all the lights on the consoles and such.

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
"Wait a second, someone is trying to key our frequency", (key our frequency? What does that mean?)
It means they are trying to contact them. Its a term I've read in alot of books, usually when someone is using short-wave radio etc. Is that a big bother that the reader might not know exactly what it means? Alot of sci-fi I've read I didn't understand certain things, and others where it was things that were new to me, but I was able to figure it out based on the circumstances etc. I'm not saying I'll make up things that don't make sense :P, but since its not based in any known created universe I'm kinda making the lore etc up as I go. Although that isn't really a sci-fi term, just a generally confusing term.

Originally Posted by urntme View Post
“This is Captain Kurt Nolan of the UNS Ishikara, (Funny name. The name sounds japanese. But the people are from America, and the ship is supposedly from the united nations of Americas)
Yeah it is Japanese. I suppose it doesn't make sense, but where my story is set humanity is alot more culturally blurred on Earth. Still it might be a bit confusing, I'll choose something else.

Cheers for the input, the reason I;m responding to your comments is I'm new to this so I want to make sure I won't be repeating the same mistakes.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:13 AM
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No problemo.

Originally Posted by AJBC View Post
Thanks mate, I'm going to respond to a couple of your critiques just to see if you think it makes more sense now. Some things I didn't want to explain too much because it would ruin the pacing a bit. I once wrote a story before and alot of the comments I got were "I want to read a story not a technical manual" etc etc, so I tried to minimize explanation just for now to keep it interesting if that makes sense.

__________________________________________________ ________________________________________________



I'm kinda trying to avoid making it too "scifi-ish", its set in the 2115, but alot of things are still the same for humanity (they'll still use bullets, similar systems of governments, they haven't travelled much past Mars etc). So I didn't want to use sci-fi terms like "lasers" haha, but I guess "energy" is very vague, its a bit of a placeholder for now. I don't think lasers constitute a Sci-Fi term. Pretty much everyone knows what a laser is. And those who don't, aren't the ones who're going to read your novel anyway.


The energy is meant to be like "laser beams" shooting behind it, so its trying to escape. Tried to illustrate that by saying they were 'hostile' but you are right, it doesn't make much sense. Sorry, I still don't agree. The line makes no sense.



Its something I was going to explain a bit later, but basically, instead of the United States, they sort of absorbed Mexico, Cuba and some other nations to form that title instead. I thought it would ruin the pacing if I explained it in that line though. Does that make sense? Or should I explain it anyway to avoid confusion? I think it's fine. If you explained it later, it's okay. No need to change that I think. It's fine. I was just surprised is all. It's fine, I think.



Bit confused here, I didn't think I was being too formal? This is just my inexperience showing though. It will probably be more casual than formal though, but a bit of both. The line was just intended to build a bit of suspense up, should I take it out? Yup. You should take it out. Saying that something is desperate, doesn't incite the feeling of desperation in the reader. It's a poor line. I would say: Remove it.


I think I meant that you would hear the noise from the inside directly from the engine room, not the outside, since they were working so hard. Its hard to say if they would be noisy but if I start going that deep into it I think it would make a boring story, I don't want to stick to traditional sci-fi values either. It's not traditional Sci-Fi values. I'm still a bit iffy on the sound thing though. A part of me says it's fine. A part of me says its not. It's upto you, really.



Should have made that more clear, I meant all the lights on the consoles and such. Light on the consoles? How do they know what they're doing then? I would consider not putting this in because logically, "lights" for indoor lighting doesn't really constitute much "power" at least not in comparison to a laser drive or something.



It means they are trying to contact them. Its a term I've read in alot of books, usually when someone is using short-wave radio etc. Is that a big bother that the reader might not know exactly what it means? Alot of sci-fi I've read I didn't understand certain things, and others where it was things that were new to me, but I was able to figure it out based on the circumstances etc. I'm not saying I'll make up things that don't make sense :P, but since its not based in any known created universe I'm kinda making the lore etc up as I go. Although that isn't really a sci-fi term, just a generally confusing term. Hmmm... it's upto you. I think the keying in thing made sense in the way that I understood what you meant. I just hadn't heard of it being used that way. It's upto you.



Yeah it is Japanese. I suppose it doesn't make sense, but where my story is set humanity is alot more culturally blurred on Earth. Still it might be a bit confusing, I'll choose something else. Yeah. Because if you've got united nations of Americas, then it's less likely that they're going to be using a japanese term for their spaceship. Most likely it'll be an America's name. Probably something spanish otherwise? from Mexico influence?

Cheers for the input, the reason I;m responding to your comments is I'm new to this so I want to make sure I won't be repeating the same mistakes. Don't worry about it. Chill. Also, keep in mind that this is only one person's opinion. (Mine) If you want to use it or not solely rests on you. If it makes sense, use it. Otherwise, don't.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:04 AM
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Thanks alot Twinkle and urntme! I've considered your criqitues and rewritten it significantly, mostly adding alot of extra details. I'm not too concerned about making it perfect, mainly I'm just trying to figure out what works and what doesn't as I'm not a very experienced writer. I added alot more details, and tried to make it a bit more suspenseful.

Cheers guys

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________

15th June 2115, Earth Time

The small cargo ship Nautilus blasted through space, followed closely by a flurry of vivid blue laser-like beams. The freighter desperately manoeuvred to avoid the hostile barrage of lasers surrounding it, its chassis shaking violently under the sheer force of its engine’s excessive output. The freighter was painted a conservative light-grey, a symbol on its starboard side bearing the insignia of the “United Nations of the Americas”. The freighters viewports were as dark as the blackness surrounding it, with all its energy diverted to powering their engines.

Kurt Nolan stood on the bridge of the Nautilus, his knuckles white as he fiercely gripped the railing in-front of him. Knowing full well the bulky un-ergonomic freighter was being pushed to its limits; he turned from the floating holographic interface next to him to the pilot at the bridges front.

”Felix, talk to me kiddo!” Nolan yelled, struggling to make himself heard over the thunderous uproar coming from the engine room.

“We’ve got about 30 seconds before we’re a floating cockpit!” Felix yelled back, his arms on the verge of dislocating under the force exerted by the flight sticks. “We’ve got to power down or our sub-lights will rip us apart!” Felix frantically tried to manoeuvre the ship whilst flipping buttons on his console, diverting more energy away from the sub-light engines to reduce the strain on the fragile freighter.

Nolan watched through the forward view-screen as streaks of blue laser beams narrowly missed the freighter. “What the hell are those?” Nolan said, struggling to maintain his balance against Felix’s frantic attempt at evasion.

The woman sitting at the console next worked feverishly at her console, the glow of energy read-outs illuminating her strikingly sharp features. “It’s some sort of ion beam” Marla Pierce said, bracing herself as the ship violently lurched forward.

“TacNet?” Nolan asked her.

“Negative Captain, visual scanners are clear” She replied, looking at him helplessly. “Should I vent the cargo bay?” She added.

“No” Nolan said after a pause. “That won’t get us anywhere, they will hunt us down whether we have cargo or not”.

Nolan tensed nervously, his mind racing at possible solutions. They could try and outrun the barrage but that seemed impossible at this point. Whatever they were being pursued by, it was substantially speedier than the Nautilus. The only other option was to evade and flank, but generally that required knowing where the target was. He glanced at the TacNet interface floating next to him, quickly calculating their aggressors’ possible locations using the trajectory and speed of the laser barrage.

“Send a data packet to the Cargo Hub, inform them we’ve been engaged by an unidentified alien vessel,” Nolan said finally, biting his lip.

“Alien vessel, Captain?” replied Marla, staring confusedly at Nolan.

“For the meantime” Nolan said, tightening his jaw. “Felix, load the armour-piercing rounds and break left, adjust to the new bearing in the TacNet” Felix responded by immediately banking the freighter left, careful to avoid the passing fire. Beneath the bridge, the automated systems in the armoury busily loaded the requested ammunition.

Nolan slumped into the chair behind him, looping his arms through the in-built restraints. He pointed at Marla, “Switch to thermals, infrared, whatever it takes, I want them identified.” He said firmly. She nodded somewhat hesitantly.

The freighter spun wildly Felix as frantically dodged incoming fire. The gravity projector on-board automatically equalised the directional pull of the gravity itself, but the crew still felt every inch of G-force being exerted on their body.

Suddenly the freighter shook violently. “We’re hit!” Felix screamed, his face contorted in pain as he desperately clung to the flight sticks. “We’re losing power” He yelled, his teeth clenched as alarms rang loudly in the bridge. The ship rolled forward, pulses of energy resembling lightning flailed wildly along the chassis.

“Go to your own life supports!” Screamed Nolan, frantically reaching for his pressure helmet, Marla and Felix did the same. With Felix’s hands off the controls, the ship stopped fighting and suddenly died, drifting aimlessly through the black abyss.

“We’ve lost RCS thrusters!” Said Marla, as every console in the bridge went dark. “Emergency life-support engaged, there’s approximately two hours of oxygen” She added, sighing deeply as they all removed their pressure helmets.

So they want us alive.
Nolan thought, ordering Marla to reroute all systems to the insulated emergency back-up generators.

“Core systems are back,” She said with relief, leaning back into her seat before snapping forward suddenly. “Wait a second, someone is trying to hack our frequency.” She added, staring confusedly at the monitor.

Nolan stared at her, equally confused, his heart racing. There was a brief silence. ”Patch them through,” He finally said, throwing off his chairs restraints and stepping off his command platform. “I’m going to find out what the f*** just happened.”

He walked over to the pilot console where Felix sat slumped in his chair, breathing heavily, defeated. Nolan gave him a pat on the shoulder and leant over the console, looking back as Marla gave him a reassuring nod.

He opened the communications channel. “This is Captain Kurt Nolan of the UNS Nautilus, identify yourself at once.” He said confidently, the deep-set fear in his eyes revealing the contrary.

The response that came, was unlike anything that either Nolan, nor any human had ever heard before.

Last edited by AJBC; 11-24-2010 at 03:09 AM..
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:18 AM
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I knew it was crap but I guess no replies speaks for itself....lol. Guess ill trash this one.
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