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August free-write

 
August free-write

Here's my August free-writing short story. Feel free to beat it around a little, let me know what you think, what you would change.


Well done, Agri!

Some positives:
Great vocabulary for many advanced and specific (futuristic) concepts. I couldn't touch that stuff.
Writing is very, very solid.
Suspense.
Set-up and world make good sense. Well thought out.

Some other stuff, some of which is quite minor.

A couple places with two adjectives could probably use just one: "hot, rubber" and "heated, moving."

I got confused by the "Ran mused" paragraph where "he" was used for mankind a lot. I thought some of them referred to Ran. Maybe substitute with "we" or something else.

Would we still have disk drives at this point in time? Maybe we would.

The biggest thing I noticed was the only thing that actually bothered me as the reader. Just prior to Ran getting entranced by the alien, all of the steps that his gun had to go through were so long. I'm thinking, "a sniper's equipment wouldn't have to go through twenty steps before he could pull the trigger, bah." It seemed unbelievable both logically and in terms of the story. The "'Steady, two'" and "PT pulled" paragraphs are the main ones I have in mind. You could probably drop those.

One other possibility for you before it's mailed off to the big timers. I would suggest writing a few alternate endings and see what you think about them. This ending was good, but I feel like it wasn't great. I think you might be able to do something even wackier. Maybe just continue on with some extra actions from the alien. Maybe the hero survives the bullet to his chest and does something even more dramatic. Maybe some other aliens get involved. Maybe something happens to the guy that shot him. Maybe the whole place blows up or nearly does. I don't know. I think there could be something else here.

Anyway, this is really damn good. I'd just tweak a little more if it were me. I hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Get_in_my_Belly View Post
Well done, Agri!

Some positives:
Great vocabulary for many advanced and specific (futuristic) concepts. I couldn't touch that stuff.
Writing is very, very solid.
Suspense.
Set-up and world make good sense. Well thought out.

Some other stuff, some of which is quite minor.

A couple places with two adjectives could probably use just one: "hot, rubber" and "heated, moving."
Gotcha - I'll look into that
Quote:
I got confused by the "Ran mused" paragraph where "he" was used for mankind a lot. I thought some of them referred to Ran. Maybe substitute with "we" or something else.
Gotcha - I'll look into that
Quote:
Would we still have disk drives at this point in time? Maybe we would.
Maybe not disk drives, you're right - might be succeptible to the acceleration of the recoil. But a solid-state mother board with microcircuitry wouldn't hum, and wouldn't be suspenseful
Quote:
The biggest thing I noticed was the only thing that actually bothered me as the reader. Just prior to Ran getting entranced by the alien, all of the steps that his gun had to go through were so long. I'm thinking, "a sniper's equipment wouldn't have to go through twenty steps before he could pull the trigger, bah." It seemed unbelievable both logically and in terms of the story. The "'Steady, two'" and "PT pulled" paragraphs are the main ones I have in mind. You could probably drop those.
Once again, it builds suspense, but you're right. I was right up against 2967 words at that point. I think maybe a paragraph on some more inner reflection would be better
Quote:
One other possibility for you before it's mailed off to the big timers. I would suggest writing a few alternate endings and see what you think about them. This ending was good, but I feel like it wasn't great. I think you might be able to do something even wackier. Maybe just continue on with some extra actions from the alien. Maybe the hero survives the bullet to his chest and does something even more dramatic. Maybe some other aliens get involved. Maybe something happens to the guy that shot him. Maybe the whole place blows up or nearly does. I don't know. I think there could be something else here.
Gotcha - If you read the book that Walberg's movie "The Shooter" came from, then you're even more right. This ending was a little morbid, which I sometimes get mired into.
Quote:
Anyway, this is really damn good. I'd just tweak a little more if it were me. I hope this helps.
Thank you, Belly! Actually, being a former shooter, I just extrapolated things from the seemingly endless computerization of everything we buy these days, to a gun. I tried to imagine how shooting would be improved, and more importantly, management of a clandestine sniper team would be completely controlled, for legally defensible reasons. Dog One now has a complete record of everything that went on.

As per the high-tech imaginings, this is one I wrote for one of the challenges, you might like it too:


Nice short, Agri. Belly came up with most of the important comments (love the heat exchanger idea, that was neat), but I do have to agree with him about the ending.

Morbid doesn't bother me so much, but I'm left with too many questions for my taste. Does he die? Will the Quark get away? How big is that explosion he feels and will it get to Three? How does he feel about what he just did? Your ending is good, but my first reaction was "Hey, I wanna know more!"

One other detail I picked: [quote]a silvery gray city of high spires, gleaming in the suns.[/spoiler]
More than one sun? If that's not a typo, putting the number of suns would be a simple and fun detail to add in. Plus, it'd make the plural slightly more obvious.

Anyhow, that was a fun read.

Thanks, Anna! Actually, a lot of these types of short stories end nebulously, letting the poor reader think up his own ending. In my mind, he already had a count against him, since he froze up on an assignment in the past, and sniper training instills complete and utter adherence to commands. So 'Red' is a code for the other member of the team to shoot the now-expendable agent. The explosion is the high-tech bullet, originally meant for PT103. Ran dies. PT escapes. But you're totally right - many people would want a nail-down ending.

Suns? Yes, I meant two of 'em. It takes the reader right away to a planet far away, to differentiate it from Earth, as does the pink sky. I wanted to make sure the reader knew PT was showing Ran his home world.

Now, the second story has a definite ending, so you might appreciate that one.

Aah, you see, I don't actually mind the open-ending, but you had to somewhat explain a few of the meanings. If you can think of anyway to hint at the meaning of the Red code in the story, I think it'd give the reader a split second to realise what's going before everything goes boom. Y'know, they'd see "Red", go "Aaaw, crap!" and then Ran is shot down.

As for the suns thing, I was saying because I only noticed the plural on a second read. That's why I think a number gets your point across more thoroughly.

True, I could have mentioned "...he didn't want to invoke the Red code and get shot for subordination..." and mention "...multiple suns..." and "...He thought,'this must be Queck-oz, their home planet..." Good catch, thanks





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