The Writing Thread - Post Shit You've Written (And Criticize What's Posted)

Discussion in 'Book House' started by Himeo, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Archangel_sl shitlord

    Archangel_sl
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    Okay! Greetings all smile.png

    I have gathered a selection of four or five dreadful to moderate scenes that I recall from work I've proofed/edited/or co-worked on in the recent pass. Character names have been changed. If this works out, after my wisdom teeth/back molars stop trying to collectively kill me, I will switch over and show you some of the good to excellent things I've seen.

    I would really like to know what you guys think of these selections...so without any further ado....!

    ================================================== ========================

    1: This was an excerpt from a short story anthology:
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    ?So, anyway. The doctors say he?ll be in plaster for about two months, and he?ll have some cool-looking scars to show off to his friends. You know how boys are.?
    I got scars, too. Think they?d wanna see?
    She didn?t answer; she never did. Sometimes I don?t know why I kept trying. It was like banging my head against a brick wall. So I assumed, at any rate. Never tried it, but this certainly seemed as futile.
    ?Two days home, and he can?t hold still. Hopping around, trying to do stunts with his crutches. You?d think it was all fun and games.?
    Seriously. My scars are better than his. C?mon, I bet the guys would love ?em. Bring everyone in to see me. I?m much cooler.
    ?I keep trying to get him to sit still, but it?s impossible. He won?t even watch Red River Falls with me like he used to.?
    Ugh, I don?t blame him. I don?t even like to hold still to watch that. Granted, I don?t have much choice, but that?s not the point. That?s cruel and unusual punishment for falling off the roof.
    She never listened to me. Sometimes I wondered if she was going deaf as well as blind. She always fidgeted with her glasses whenever she talked about Kevin. , she liked to fuss over the youngest of all us kids. It didn?t matter that he was nearly fifteen, but he still thought he was six.
    ?Ah, Meg. What am I going on about??
    I dunno, I stopped paying attention when you started talking about how often the new dog licks his own balls.That should have been her cue to laugh. Instead, she took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. Good thing I never set my heart on a career in comedy. Now?s when you tell me that I?m bored, and you?re tired. [/i]
    ?I know, you must getting bored with me prattling on. I keep meaning to bring you new magazines, but I?ve been so busy lately.?
    It?s not like I could read them anyway, remember?Sometimes she was so thick. Denial, denial, denial; that?s my mum. Someday I?d figure out just what part of ?quadriplegic? she misunderstood.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2)
    Ashlye Cantrell hurried between the marble and granite headstones. It was high summer, the heat as dry as the bones that baked beneath the earth. The statuary shimmered as if under water and even the crows were silent, but Ashlye barely noticed. Her right eye was swollen shut and her lip crusted with blood. Robert ?Bacon? Cantrell hadn?t been happy with the quality of her house-keeping?again.Ash-can couldn?t, just like always. Somehow Ashlye had managed to get away from him and had come here, to the place of the dead.

    She hadn?t come to seek solace, for she had no family buried in this parched pocket of Australian earth. Her people still lived in Ireland?s wet hills and in the snow-capped mountains of the west coast of the US. Nor had she come to seek advice from some long dead friend, for there was none. She had come to find a way out. Sweat stung her battered face as she searched frantically amongst the steles and broken angels. The glare made her eyes water and the angels seemed to flex their stone wings in readiness for flight.

    If only theycouldfly, rise like the real angels had on their magnificent wings and bear her and baby-sister Bec away. Ashlye swayed and clutched at a headstone to steady herself. Its inscription had been eaten away by time yet there were places where time could be as brief as a blink or as slow as the birth of a mountain. But here her time was as short as Bacon?s grog-fueled temper. Shemustget herself and Bec to safety.

    Something moved on the edge of Ashlye?s vision and she turned. God in Heaven! He had followed her! The booze still held him and he swayed, but he carried some sort of cudgel; maybe a picket torn from the cemetery fence. Ashlye didn?t have time to find out. The wood caught her on the side of the head and she staggered to her knees. Blood turned the dust red but somehow she managed to crawl behind a tomb. The cemetery was the worst place to be; the weeds shoulder high and the sweltering day keeping others away.

    ----------------------------------------

    3) A partial prologue from the slush pile. I?ve kept this one, because I couldn?t help but wonder how many fantasy clich?s and tropes the author could fit in. How many can YOU find? (This is me testing you guys now smile.png Read this one, and make a list of all the things that *shouldn?t* be a part of the story smile.png

    The sun was setting, spilling its golden light across the treetops of the forest that followed
    the ancient borders between the lands of Caran and the sovereign mountainlands of the Perimeter. It was beneath this vast blanket of green and gold, not far from a village that was thusfar unaware of their presence, three dark-cloaked, blue-clad figures sat round a gleaming blue fire. The fire was not a fire of the normal, natural varieties, just as the men who stared into its depths were far from normal men.

    Somewhere high amongst the treetops, a small bird took wing, startling one of the fire-watchers. His head jerked up, sending back the hood that concealed his features. Dark crimson eyes narrowed, following the bird's flight path. Anger laced their edges as the blue flames sputtered and wavered. The horses nearby pawed the ground, prancing uneasily. He faced the other men, light from the fire casting pale features into harsh relief.

    "By the Lady," he hissed, "where are they?" Narrow lips frowned between a long, aristocratic nose.

    "Relax." Blue eyes framed by thick blonde lashes lifted to regard him. "They'll be back."

    The man with crimson eyes scowled, raking long white curls back from his face with hands gloved in the color of new-fallen snow. He blinked slowly, breathing deeply, and the flames blazed a little higher.

    You're too tense. They know what they're doing." The other man stretched, still cloaked in shadows.

    "Your brother can be an irresponsible fool," the albino complained, turning on his companion.

    "Liraen," the blue-eyed man whispered in warning.

    "Rene may be a little undisciplined, but he's not a fool," the third responded, his voice barely betraying the tension that had gripped them all. The scouts were late in returning, At the Perimeter, that meant danger, and they all knew it.

    Liraen lowered his eyes, hunching his shoulders for a moment. When he raised his gaze again, his anger had fled. " I am sorry, Trev. Forgive me."

    Trev shrugged. "With luck we'll all be home soon. It's not your fault." He pushed back his hood, revealing straight brown hair that barely touched the top of his collar. Pleasant brown eyes smiled warmly in a rather unremarkable face.

    Grimly the albino began pacing. He frowned at the touch of the sun's dying rays upon his bared face, but otherwise ignored his surroundings. The other men frowned.

    "Liraen, stop it." Six-fingered hand plucked absently at a belt pouch as angled blue eyes fixed upon the albino. He went unheeded. Standing, he threw back his cloak. Fine blonde hair was pulled back and fastened at the nape of his neck , tumbling in a golden cascade across his blue-clad shoulders and back. His aqualine face, what had been called both haughty and beautiful by many people, was shadowed, lending him a decided dark quality. He scratched absently at one pale, pointed, beringed ear.

    "Liraen, your nerves are effecting us all. Get control." He frowned for a moment, and his voice softened as he switched to his native tongue. "What is it? I've never seen you like this, Lir."


    The strange, sing-song language of the Sh'ijr drew a sudden look from Trev, who sat at the edge of the fire, warming his hands against the chilling air. His blade lay naked across his knees, a sign of the tension that had blossomed in the darkness. The albino stopped pacing, fists clenched. A shudder passed through his lank body, his eyes focused on nothing.

    "Time is growing short. We have to find him."

    The blonde moved forward, putting his hand tenderly on Liraen's shoulder. Crimson eyes met blue. Crimson fell first.

    "I am sorry, Thyme." Liraen's voice was barely audible over the crackling of the fire.

    "I understand, brother. That boy, whomever he is, will be found. His power is hurting us all. But fretting will do nothing to help the situation, Lir. Control yourself. "

    Liraen nodded slowly, restraining himself. Old disciplines rose to the surface, calming him. Thyme sensed this change and nodded his approval. Though they were not brothers by birth, they were cut from the same cloth.

    Near the fire, Trev spoke into the silence. "Liraen, what do you think--"

    Liraen's head snapped up, dark eyes flashing with the sudden movement. He held up a warning hand. Trev fell silent, one hand grasping the sword balanced on the knees while Thyme looked around them, trying to pierce the darkness.

    A long heartbeat later, Liraen frowned, dropping his arm. He glared at Trev. "An irresponsible fool," he growled, resuming his pacing. As he stalked away, a shadow came to life and mock-stabbed him with a broken tree branch. "Gotcha."

    Liraen pushed the offending limb away with a snort as a second shadow stepped forward, approaching Thyme.

    "What's wrong with him? We shouldn't have been able to get that close."

    The first man removed the black cloak concealing his identity. Long hair fell unrestrained over his face and shoulders, dark as a moonless midnight sky. His face was lean and slightly dusty, with a thin nose that was perhaps a trifle too long, and a generous mouth that smiled often. His eyes still held a spark of mischief in their emerald depths as he approached the fire. The second man had also removed his cloak and settled like a mirror image across from his twin.

    Thyme turned upon the two. "What in the Lady's Name was that all about? Were you trying to get killed? "

    The black haired man sighed, and bit back a retort, seeing the anger in his superior's eyes. Rene straightened, and suddenly his gaze shifted to the left, his brown eyes widened. "Lir? " he whispered.

    The others turned, Thyme drawing in a sharp breath. Liraen, balancing himself against a tree with one hand, was trembling, depending entirely upon the trunk for support. His crimson eyes were dilated , and his breathing had grown rapid. Sweat beaded his face. He was murmuring under his breath, shaking his head in denial.

    Thyme cursed, moved quickly to Lir's side. He knew the albino's power was immense, but to see it in action was always surprising and humbling. The albino nearly doubled in a sudden spasm and lurched away from the tree. "Se?ran! No!" He ran few steps into the forest and stumbled, falling to his hands and knees. Exchanging confused glances, the others followed.

    When the albino looked up, his eyes narrowed, twin crimson flames in a face of sculptured snow. He raised one hand to his lips, tore off the glove with his teeth, spat it aside. The pale, almost skeletal hand reached out and pulled something from the leaves and moss that littered the forest floor. He raised it for inspection, careful as if it had been a precious jewel. He spoke a single, harsh syllable, and the tiny treasure began to glow. He shook his head, causing long curls of the palest crystal to tumble into his face. An expression of wry tolerance crossed his features for but a moment. Raising his other hand, he beckoned, speaking one word.

    "Thyme."

    One of the four regarding him stepped forward. He ran a nervous hand through bangs of golden corn. He approached, and knelt near the crouched albino. " What is it, Liraen?" Thyme's voice was almost musical, like water falling over rocks.

    The albino raised his head, raking his curls back with one hand. Then he pointed to the ground they sat on. To the leaves. The leaves that were burned and blackened, though there was no other sign of fire. Thyme inhaled sharply and looked at Liraen. The albino nodded.

    "I never noticed these. How could I...how could we have been so blind? Here- the trees and the leaves he burned. He's so close, and he's growing stronger every moment......." Liraen's voice trailed off. "Such raw Power...how can I hope to control him?"

    Thyme squeezed Liraen's shoulder. " You will. What else?"

    Liraen held up the small item he had found. Thyme took it, turned it over in his hand, holding it up to the light. A fine line appeared between his furrowed brows as
    \recognition and confusion fought for control of his features.

    "It's an identity badge. A family seal of sorts. Many southern landholders use them to mark their people or property. This one I've heard of: Derrida. Myllar, by name. This badge is his son's......." Thyme's voice trailed off, wonder filling him. The name on the badge was the same one Liraen had cried out moments before.

    "Se?ran, " he stated flatly.

    "Se?ran Derrida..." Liraen tasted the name, eyes closed briefly as pain lined his face. "So that's the specter's name."Liraen's hands began to shake. Crouched next to him, Thyme began to worry.

    "Lir, what is it? What do you see? " Thyme gripped the albino's shoulder, shook him gently. Liraen raised his eyes and their gazes locked, blue eyes and crimson. Thyme looked away first, seeing the pain and fear in Liraen's eyes. Thyme had never seen the albino so distraught. He felt a slight touch in his mind, the gentle touch of Liraen. Images flooded him; Foresight, fear, sorrow, pain, confusion. He squeezed Liraen's hand in his own, feeling the ring that had been his gift to the albino years ago biting into his palm. He gripped his bond-brother's shoulder. "I understand."

    Liraen regarded him, fighting for control. The only sound in the strangely silent forest was his ragged breathing.

    "This must come to an end. We must find him. "

    --------------------------------------------------

    4)And now, for your mental health, imagine that you *had* to read more than 200 pages of the narrative voice below....

    ---------------------
    Whooshwas the sound the air made as it was cut by a swinging object. It was simply his legs, flapping back and forth like a child as he sat on a ledge high above the door to the inn. Dangling his feet as such gave him a subtle peace, like being a child again. No worries, no cares. Now though, times were different and a man had to make his money the only way he could. Even if it meant killing others for it. He had been hired to oversee the death of the one they refer to simply as Vega, though she hadn?t always been known so simply. He sat high above as he watched another stranger enter the inn.

    I wonder... he thought to himself as he saw the man dressed in black.I wonder if he's friend or foe. Either way, it is of no matter. I'll fight two. I'll fight twenty. I care not.

    Shadowfang felt the itch of his Coldfire blade against his back. Adrenaline pumping through his veins with the speed and force of a thousand horse-pulled carriages. Sweat beaded onto his brow and fell to the ground like a sweet spring rain shower.

    The time was now?the blade hungered. He slid down a nearby lamp post and took his sword off of his back and attached it under his coat. Feeling the uneasy tension of another assignment, he opened the door and begin to survey the area.

    He knew he probably wasn't the only one looking for this woman assassin so he'd better find her first or find a new job. He began to search the room for signs of her

    I can?t read what came next in mu hardcopy because I had blacked everything out like a redacted CIA document from the 50s!)

    Shadowfang watched in horror as the medallion fell to his feet. Hearing her denial of assistance, Shadowfang began to feel, once again....

    RAGE

    His fangs began to grow as his eyes went from their dark brown color to a glowing blue. Using his jumping ability afforded to him as an undead, Shadowfang leapt to the rooftop of the cabin. He stood in front of her, the burning itch of his sword propelling him to ex tract it from it's sheath upon his back.
    Shadowfang could not help but obey its command. One thing you should know....I'm a lot better than last time. Remember, I told you we'd end it here. Prepare to make your last stand!

    With that, Shadowfang unsheathed his Coldfire blade and, with saliva dripping from his fangs, began to move across the roof towards the woman.

    --------------------------- -----------

    I have already reviewed these; now it is YOUR turn! (any home remedies for the kind of tooth headaches that make your inner ear hurt, too, will be rewared with Rep, and my eternal board-love!)
     

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  2. Troll_sl shitlord

    Troll_sl
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    I've always been horrible at critiques, for whatever reason, but I'll try...

    1) I like the interior monologue, but if it's inserted after every bit of dialogue... I dunno. Seems like it would be too much. But it might be interesting if used correctly. It's certainly a strong voice.

    2) Nice piece. A little heavy on the unnecessary descriptions (like the part about the inscription on the headstone), but not bad.

    3) Eugh. So... tropes. Dark-cloaked figures sitting around a fire; so many unusual facial features; descriptions of eyes; The Badass in the Shadows (get thee behind me, cloak!); a boy with strange powers; cursing "By the Lady!"; effortless magic.

    Nobody seems to really be doing anything. It almost reminds me of a Greek chorus but without the refrain.

    The writer certainly has potential; hell, they remind me of me, several years ago.

    4) Shadowfang? Coldfire? Just... no...


    I've never envied editors their jobs. I don't think I could do it (first, because I don't think I'd be good at it and second, #4). As for the remedy: drink. Lots. Or maybe that's the writer's remedy. Write drunk, edit sober?
     
  3. Lightning Lord Rule Well-Known Member

    Lightning Lord Rule
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    1: I almost thought this was some kind of joke story, with the punchline being 'quadriplegic'. Nothing like a light-hearted quadriplegic story to brighten your day!

    2: This one is at least readable, although it is a little heavy on the descriptors. It at least gives you a sense of tone, but the things happening don't make much sense. She got away, and is running her ass off into a cemetery, but wait! With no warning here's the bad guy in mid swing! It's like a bad horror movie or lifetime movie of the week.

    3: I don't know about how many tropes are here, I'm guessing a lot. The main thing for me is this whole piece is practically unreadable. Purple Prose is the term for it I believe. Once you get past all the flowery language there's nothing happening here at all. A few people(?) around a campfire find a bauble of some significance. The author tries to hint/foreshadow about some issues outside of the present situation but muddles it up and fails miserably. The author here should give up and start over, or banish themselves to writing shitty mmorpg fanfic or something.

    4: This... hmm, wow. It reads like an 11 yr old's attempt to write a WOW quest. First it's a man, no wait it's an undead! Killing is just a job, a job where i'm possessed by a demon blade! An itchy demon blade!


    I feel for you having to give these semi-constructive reviews.
     
  4. faille Active Member

    faille
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    Sorry it's late, Uni's been kicking my butt so far.

    I think you could lose the first three paragraphs of stevie waking up. Doesn't really add anything to the story and any details you might want can be inserted in later, like him suffering a hangover.

    The clue counting seems a little belabored, and should probably stop at the third one, since at that point he knows things are off, the lack of chip smell doesn't add more. If you really want it, since it's a nice detail, probably insert it before the bodyguard, but that has issues of smelling through the door.

    When you describe the room as being from an ikea catalogue, give some specific details, especially in ways that relate to my white and co. Combine this with when you introduce my white and co, give them strong and distinctive physical descriptions so they stick in the reader's mind.

    When the older man drops his act, that's breaking that rule of show don't tell (which isn't a rule since there are no rules). Phrase it more like, "stevie turned back to the older man. Gone was the genial smile and grandfatherly act. In its place was a cold hard stare that nailed stevie in place..."

    POV is a pet peeve of mine and I'm pretty anal about how it should be done, so I don't think that you should switch to the reservoir dogs pov, especially since it doesn't really give us much new information and the little it does can be achieved without switching PoV. It is my personal preference though.

    The info about what has happened to scotland is interesting and creates a fascinating world, but it's very much an expositional info dump. It should probably be spaced out more, in smaller details and shown. Like having Stevie involved in some of the barters that happened, or at least witness to it, and reminisce about how it used to be and how they got to this point, but not at all once. Let the reader piece the details together.

    ---
    Other than that, it was a great little story, with an interesting premise. Stevie is a good character and you establish how he's stuck in his current situation. There's good mystery about mr white and co and what their agenda might be. I assume the geographical details you use are accurate? If so, that is great. Too many people set their stories in anywhereville, and miss out on the chance to demonstrate a unique part of their stories.
    Keep up the good work!
     

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  5. Lusiphur Member

    Lusiphur
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    Thanks Faille. Solid crit and probably just what I needed. I will have to study your points in more depth but the pov will definitely stay I think. It's an important part of how I want to structure this. It definitely needs another pass or 2 tho.
     
  6. faille Active Member

    faille
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    Here's a short story I wrote last year. I actually think it might work better as a longer piece so I've been playing with that. In the meantime though, I thought I would enter it in a short story competition. It's a tad long since the competition is for 1500-3000 words and this is at 3126, so I need to cut it down a bit. Possibly a lot if there's lots of bad stuff in it...

    Time to Wager

    Gordon stood in the front of the tram, close to the doors, ignoring the people who had to squeeze past him to get on. He was focused on his phone, browsing through various sports results, but keeping an eye on where the tram was heading. As it approached the Arts Centre he groaned. A group of ticket inspectors were lining up, ready to board his tram. When it pulled up, the doors opened and Gordon jumped off, annoyed that he was going to have to walk the extra stop.

    Passing Federation Square, he thought about grabbing some food from Flinders Street but seeing the clocks reminded him how late he was. He hurried the rest of the way to St Paul?s and entered through the great stained-glass Processional Doors.

    Each step he took down the aisle reverberated amongst the gothic columns. Passing row after row of old wooden pews, worn smooth from generations of bums that sat on them. Arriving at the alcove, he saw the computers and high tech equipment that had been setup there and couldn?t help thinking how out of place they looked in the old building. Likewise, the men in white lab coats that hovered over them looked nothing like priests.

    One of them saw Gordon and broke away from the others to meet him. ?It?s about time you got here. You?ve kept us waiting.? He was a short man, balding, and wore wire framed glasses.

    ?Sorry Dr Brown, trains were cancelled again,? Gordon lied.

    ?Fine, fine. You?re here now. I see you?re wearing the appropriate clothing at least.?

    ?Yeah, Dad?s had this Everton top for as long as I can remember.? Brown led him past the other scientists towards the large capsule that sat in the middle of their equipment. ?How come we have to do this in a church??

    ?It?s a cathedral actually, and it?s because we learned that it?s better to do temporal experiments in old, unchanged buildings.? They got to the capsule, which had dozens of cables connecting it to other pieces of equipment. ?Everything is ready. Just remember that once we start, remain as still as possible. Any movement could have undesirable consequences.?
    Gordon furrowed his brow. ?What sort of undesirable consequences??

    Brown stared at Gordon. ?As was mentioned in the briefing, some of our earlier experiments haven?t gone as planned. The test animals came back, well, mangled for want of a better word.?

    Gordon thought about the day long bore-fest they had made him sit through and realised he couldn?t remember a single thing. He had just nodded his head whenever they expected a response while he focused on more important things.

    ?Right, Gordon said, nodding his head. ?Fair enough.?
    ?Ok, so as was also mentioned in the briefing, you?ll only be gone for twenty four hours. We want you to look around and observe, but try not to interact with anyone. We might have disproved the Butterfly Effect but for the purposes of the experiment it would be better if you kept any contact to a minimum.?

    ?Sure thing.? Gordon was already thinking about the interactions that he had planned.

    ?Now, just put any electronic gear in the safe and we?ll get ready to start.?

    Gordon gripped the phone in his pocket. ?Why??
    ?The briefing clearly explained how any electrical equipment ends up fried. It?s why we need to use live test subjects.?

    ?That sucks.? Gordon took a quick look at his phone, some results still showing, before locking it away.
    ?Ok, when you?re ready, lie down in the Temporal Capsule, and we?ll begin.? Brown went to one of the nearby computers and began typing.

    Gordon climbed into the capsule, which reminded him of a metallic sarcophagus, and lay down. The lid closed over him. Alone, he tried to think of what he was going to do now. He hadn?t counted on not having his phone. Why hadn?t he made a backup plan, like printing out the results? It was too late now though. Or was it? Maybe he could ask for a short delay. Surely they would give him a little more time.

    Everything went white.

    ***

    Gordon landed flat on his back with an oomph.

    Struggling to his feet and shaking his head, he saw he was still in the cathedral and wondered if it had worked before noticing all the fancy equipment was gone. He walked to the entrance, which no longer had the stained-glass doors, and pulled open the wooden ones.

    He had to shield his eyes against the light shining into his face. Row upon row of windows from the great skyscraper across the road were reflecting sunlight down on him. It was such an ugly concrete block, like the high rise flats that still dotted the suburbs. Gordon had never really given Fed Square much thought, but looking at what it had replaced he discovered a new respect for it.

    At first he thought about doing what the scientists wanted him to but decided he had more important things to do. He crossed over the far busier than he remembered Swanston St, made his way past the Young & Jackson and found what he was looking for.

    Looking through the window of the TAB, he saw men standing around, papers clutched in their hands, staring at the old boxy tv screens that lined the walls. The men might be in all shapes and sizes, but there was something similar about them. The way they hunched their shoulders, guarding their papers from prying eyes. Clothing that was full of wrinkles from being worn too many days in a row. Gordon was glad that he was nothing like them.

    He pushed open the door, immediately coughing as he entered the smoke filled room. After recovering, he started looking at the screens, peering over the shoulders of men who wouldn?t budge. Information about the upcoming races and results of ones that just ran kept flicking past. They also confirmed that he had arrived on the right day, May 18, 1985, so the scientists should be happy about that.

    Gordon reached for his phone but remembered that he had been forced to leave it behind. Damn that Dr Brown. It could have been so easy. Just look up the results, place some bets, and he?d be laughing. Instead he had to remember some of what he had seen. The races and horses just blended together.

    Just as he was about to give up he spied one of the screens that was showing a preview of an upcoming footy match between Fitzroy and Footscray in the VFL. It caught his attention when he was scanning for results since neither team used those names anymore, and while he couldn?t remember the score, he knew that Fitzroy won. They were paying $3 for the win, not anywhere close to what he would get backing a longshot horse, but better than nothing.

    He made his way over to the teller and lay his cash on the counter, ?I?d like $500 on Fitzroy please.

    The teller stared back at him. ?You trying to be funny??

    ?What??

    ?Look kid, we don?t take monopoly money. You?ve had your laugh, now either pay up or get out of the way of the real punters.?

    Gordon couldn?t work out what the issue was. He looked at the other men lining up for a clue but they just glared at him. Returning to the teller he saw the cash register full of notes. Crisp paper notes. Nothing like his plastic ones. ?Right, sorry.? He grabbed his cash and stepped out of line.

    What was he going to do now? This ruined everything. Looking around he tried to think of something. He considered doing what the scientists wanted him to, settling for the pittance they were offering but he couldn?t waste such a golden opportunity.

    A heavyset man who had been standing to the side of the teller?s window made his way over to Gordon. He put his cigarette out, looked around to ensure no one was near, and muttered to Gordon. ?Couldn?t help overhearing. It?s not often that I see someone willing to back an outsider like the Lions.?

    Gordon replied without thinking, ?Well, they?re going to win.?

    ?You?re certainly confident. What was the issue placing the bet??

    Gordon considered the man carefully, ?Why do you care??

    ?I thought I could be of service.?

    Figuring he had nothing to lose, ?Turns out I forgot to exchange some foreign money I had.? He smiled at his ingenuity. ?How can you help??

    ?I run a similar business to these guys,? the man nodded towards the counter where the teller was serving, ?but I deal on a personal level.?

    ?How do you mean??

    ?Where are my manners? I haven?t even introduced myself. Barry?s the name,? he thrust out a hand.

    Gordon instinctively took it. ?Gordon.? He felt his fingers crunch as the larger man squeezed. He was on the verge of crying out when Barry released him.

    ?Pleased to make your acquaintance Gordon.?

    ?Yeah, good to meet you too.? He massaged his hand to get some feeling back.

    ?As I was saying, I run my business on a personal level. You strike me as just the sort of fellow that I work with.?

    Gordon beamed at the compliment. ?Thanks. I still can?t use my money though.?

    ?That?s not a problem at all. One of the advantages of being so personal is that I don?t mind extending credit.?

    ?Wow, really? That?d be awesome!? Gordon couldn?t believe his luck. ?So you?d take my bet? $500 on Fitzroy to win??

    ?Of course. We could even make it a nice round $1,000 if you?d like??

    Gordon began grinning. This was getting better and better. It wasn?t as much as he?d have won on the races but it was twice what the TAB would have given him. ?That?d be fantastic. I can?t thank you enough.?

    ?Think nothing of it, though I?m obliged to mention that if you were to lose, you?d owe the full amount.?

    ?Oh, that?s fine. Fitzroy will win.?

    ?I like your confidence. One last matter. If you end up owing any money, it?s going to accrue interest. Ten percent a week.?

    Gordon didn?t like the idea of having to pay back an additional $100 a week but realised it wouldn?t matter. Even if Fitzroy lost, he?d be gone after tomorrow. ?That?s fine. Won?t matter once Fitzroy wins after all.?

    ?Of course. Just had to make sure you know where we both stand. You take care now, I?ll see you after the game.?

    ?Will do, and thanks again Barry. You really saved my arse.? Barry just smiled back at him as Gordon turned to leave. Gordon figured he might as well spend the next few hours doing the stuff the scientists wanted. No point hanging around to watch the game.

    ***

    The sun was setting by the time Gordon returned to the TAB. This time he was careful to avoid inhaling too deeply, but still found himself coughing. Barry was standing where he?d left him, but he wasn?t smiling. ?I don?t know how you did it kid, but looks like you were right.?

    ?I told you,? Gordon couldn?t help grinning at him.

    ?That you did.? Barry pulled out a thick wad of bills from his coat and began counting them out.

    Gordon watched the notes flash in Barry?s hand but the amount still seemed far too little. ?Would you be interested in taking another bet??

    Barry stopped counting. ?I?m always interested in a bet. What did you have in mind??

    ?I was wondering if I could bet on tonight?s FA Cup final.?

    ?I thought you might ask about that when I saw your shirt, but sorry pal. Everton are odds on favourites to win, and you?ve already won too much for my liking.? Barry resumed counting.

    ?Oh no, I didn?t want to bet on them. Manchester will win this one.?

    Barry raised an eyebrow. ?You?d bet against your own team? When facing an average team like the Red Devils??

    Gordon had to stifle a laugh at the idea that the mighty Manchester United were once thought to be an average team. ?I just have a feeling that today?s their day.?

    ?Fair enough.? Barry pulled out a little black book. ?Looks like it?s four to one on United winning the cup. You want to bet the full amount??

    Gordon did the math. Twelve grand wasn?t bad, but it wasn?t great either. It would barely buy a new car. ?What sort of odds would you give if I could tell you the correct score??

    Barry took a long look at Gordon. ?That might depend on the score.?

    Gordon shrugged. ?I have a feeling that it?s going to be a tight game but United will come out on top, one nil.?

    Barry relaxed. ?I guess one nil in a game of soccer isn?t unreasonable.? He referred back to his book. ?That looks like fifteen to one, which would bring winning amount to??

    ?Forty five thousand dollars,? finished Gordon. That was more like it. He could get a real car then, like a BMW. It still wasn?t enough. He wanted a Ferrari, or a Lamborghini. And a house to match. Pool, tennis court, the works. He still had a fair way to go, but it was another step in the right direction.

    ?That?s a decent amount of money. If you were to win, it might take me a few days to get it to you.?

    ?That won?t really work for me. I?m not going to be around after tomorrow so I?ll need to collect before then.?

    Barry didn?t look happy. ?You never mentioned leaving town. That changes things a little.?

    ?Why?s that??

    ?I?m not sure I?m comfortable dealing with someone who?s just going to disappear after a day.?

    ?Does that mean I?ll have to take the money you owe me and find somewhere else to bet??

    ?No, that won?t be necessary.? As Gordon waited with baited breath, Barry considered him carefully. ?Since I need a chance to square the slate, I?ll take the bet. Where are you planning to watch the match??

    ?Well it starts at midnight so I?ll probably just skip it and get a good night?s sleep.?

    Barry shook his head and laughed. ?You?re a strange one. Anyone else with forty five grand riding on a game would be on the edge of their seat watching every minute of it. Not you though, you want a good night?s sleep. Where are you staying??

    Gordon considered the question. ?Now that you mention it, I don?t actually know.?

    ?Perhaps I could offer you a room? I have a friend who runs a hotel. He?d be happy to put you up for free.?

    ?Really? That would be great.?

    ?Not a problem. My man, Jim here, will show you where it is.? Barry nodded to a man standing nearby. ?I?ll be along in the morning. Jim will let me know which room you?re in.?

    ?Thanks. I look forward to seeing you then.? Gordon gave him a cheeky little grin. ?Don?t forget the cash.?

    ?Don?t worry. I?ll bring what you?ve got coming. You have a good night?s sleep. Tomorrow is going to change your life.?

    ?I know. It?s about time something went my way.?

    ***

    Gordon woke up earlier than usual and stretched out on the bed. He had to hand it to Barry, he certainly knew how to take care of someone. Remembering what was at stake he rushed over to the TV and started flicking through the channels. As there were only five, it didn?t take long find one showing the news and he began watching intently. The sports report was dominated by the VFL and even though they showed his earlier win he wished they would hurry up and get to the important stuff.

    Finally the results from the FA Cup appeared. Gordon jumped up and did a little dance, not even bothering to watch the highlights. Forty-five thousand dollars. It was more than he had ever seen at one time. He still had enough time to make more, he just had to think of his next move.

    Try as he might, nothing came to mind. He would have to speak to Barry and hope that he mentioned something that jogged his memory. As if summoned, there was a knock at the door, and when he opened it, he found Barry standing there with two other men. ?Hi, I was just thinking about you.?

    Barry gave him a smile that didn?t reach his eyes. ?What a coincidence. I?ve been thinking about you too.?

    ?Did you see the result? One nil to United, just like I said.?

    ?Yep, just like you said. You certainly have a knack for picking the winner.? Barry entered the room and the men followed, spreading out to look around and inspect the various pieces of furniture. Gordon had to keep jumping out of their way until finally he bumped against a wall.

    ?Yeah, well I seem to have a gift for seeing what?s going to happen.? Gordon said, grinning. ?Though I must admit that I?m a bit unsure on what will happen today. I was wondering if you could help me with that??

    Barry cocked an eyebrow in disbelief. ?Yeah, I think I can let you know what?s coming.? He nodded to the men who stopped what they were doing and advanced on Gordon, grabbing him by the arms.

    Gordon tried to struggle free but they held him tight, almost lifting him off the ground. ?What are you doing? Let go of me. Barry, do something.? His voice, indignant at first grew fearful, ending more as a whimper.

    Barry went back to the door but turned around. ?Make sure you dump him somewhere that he?s not going to be found. Not for a very long time.? Gordon could only watch helplessly as Barry left, closing the door behind him.

    ***

    Dr Brown started adjusting the computer controls. Around the cathedral the other scientists were monitoring their own computers. A big clock on the wall was counting down, and as it approached five seconds, he spoke into a microphone. ?Everyone prepare for return. Stand clear of the Temporal Chamber.? The clock reached zero and the cathedral filled with a humming sound that got louder and louder until a boom thundered out.

    Dr Brown rushed over to the chamber, pulling it open to look inside. What was inside looked closer to a mass of meat than a person. It had been smashed so much that the clothing blended in with the flesh, mangled beyond recognition. He noticed one piece of cloth intact: The emblem of Everton FC. ?Well boys, looks like this test was a bust as well.?
     
  7. Kinkle_sl shitlord

    Kinkle_sl
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    Professor made us do an ode this week. Was spectacular to see the difference in comprehension between my fellow students and the teacher, a baby boomer. Anyway: SO ANGSTY

    Ode to the Meme

    Erhmagerd, said one generation to another,
    as the Annoying Facebook Girl mourned, via Iphone 4,
    of being forever alone. Wherewillthis girl
    learn to deal with first-world problems,
    they chanted in biblical twang,
    when memes give definition to her life
    that ought to be gotten from TV.

    Every generation but our own
    fits neatly into hyperbole. The boomers caused the 80's.
    And the 90's, punctuated by the new millenium. Assholes,
    that one was supposed to be ours.

    Ours fits some description too. I'd give it to you,
    but Wikipedia's not quite free enough;
    there's sometimes that exhausting yellow banner at the top,
    its assault on our eyes penance for knowledge.
    Price isn't green or gold anymore. It's bright, distasteful, offensive,
    removable for a dollar donation.
    It's the principle of the thing.

    Epiphany is an 80's movie leaping into freeze-frame while the credits role.
    But the scientific process comes after epiphany,
    and we came after the 80's.
    Give us a sec to orient to the green-tinted glasses. It's not easy,
    to fill in a million words.
    Meanwhile, philosophers haven't had jobs for years,
    just memes in the downtime.
    Self-contained gestures toward expression;
    a pitiful medium, but at least they don't get it.
    I don't think we'd survive being got.
    Freeze-frame. No, wait, we did away with that already.
     
  8. Troll_sl shitlord

    Troll_sl
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    Just saw this on reddit.

    www.hitrecord.org

    Started by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his brother. Basically a collaborative website for various artforms. Anything you post can be revised/remixed/reused by anyone else on the site. They've done showings at Sundance and are working on a TV show, showcasing the work. And if the work you've collaborated in makes money, you see a share of it.

    Thought some of you might like it, as it may be a good place to show your writings.
     
  9. Troll_sl shitlord

    Troll_sl
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    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8FB...it?usp=sharing

    The latest on my story about Lily. This'll be a work-in-progress link, so if you want to see how it progresses, just use that. Feel free to comment here or at the link.

    I've got the opening chapters figured out. The first is done, and am writing the second out now. Also have a chapter added on to the ones I'd shared previously. Working through a rewrite of other bits I've done and will be adding those in as I get through them.
     
  10. Archangel_sl shitlord

    Archangel_sl
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    To you guys who commented on the "bad" manuscript excerpts....just thank goodness! I couldn't believe the quadriplegic one when I read it, and that was only a page into the story. Sometimes, when you hear stories of writers getting knocked back dozens of times, ( akin to J.K. Rowling) and then getting that ONE person reading from the sludge pile (like I do) who sees what they can be and "discovers" them, and thy become a major success, I really really pray I that I'm not knocking back something that could have made us lots of money. In the chosen examples, I think we are all pretty safe in saying they are rubbish.

    I took some time to indulge myself over the Easter break. Which really, was only a bucket of Cadbury eggs, bacon toast, Doctor Who's new ep on repeat until it was time for Game of Thrones, and then that went on repeat as well. I even was able to take the break off from work-reading, and do some me-reading! Yaaaay smile.png
     
  11. Archangel_sl shitlord

    Archangel_sl
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    I shall post some "good" examples in the next few days. smile.png
     
  12. fat12_sl shitlord

    fat12_sl
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    Hey guys, really like the idea behind this thread. I currently started a blog to share my photos with a made-up narrative behind each one of them. I'd love you all's input on them so far, and the idea as a whole!http://apagenamedhazel.tumblr.com
     
  13. Maebe_sl shitlord

    Maebe_sl
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    Faille, I liked that one. As a story it was good. The guy in it never saw a sci-fi film or tv show though. Even if he was a bit thick he was a bit too thick. Still good.

    Archangle:
    For the first, I wasn't a fan, it seemed like the punch of the reveal was pretty obvious once you tried to understand what was written. As a character the narrator was unlikeable. Perhaps someone dealing with such an issue is writing about it (having it transcribed) and is documenting a low point? Definitely a low point for the character. Writing was obscuring the story here to tell the truth.

    The second was good. Didn't seem to be my taste (choosing complex descriptors without adding anything) but good.

    Third, yeah, no. No!

    The fourth I think it has some good qualities (at least on par to other such writings) but the subject matter is a problem, not sure what story is trying to be told here. Seems to me just an attempt to build a superhero type character with no story or flow (just a bad-ass, kick-ass).
     
  14. Archangel_sl shitlord

    Archangel_sl
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    Hullo all! I have a little time now that my knee has mostly healed and I'm not buried in thick manuscripts (just one left right now! woot!) so I shall have a look at the new links smile.png
     

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  15. Void Hamburger Helper DONOR

    Void
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    Just got around to reading this, and I'm intrigued. I'm not an expert editor or anything so I can't really comment on things like structure or voice or anything beyond the fact that I was interested enough to keep reading, and the writing was good enough to let me continue, so in my mind that's a good thing. I won't be any use on technical aspects, but I liked it.

    I was wondering, have you considered starting a thread about your continuing progress? I had a thought at one time to do something like that, so that it might spur me on to do somewhat regular updates if people kept asking for them, but I was too lazy to even get that far. Since you've already made some progress, I wondered if you thought that might motivate you any more. You could spell out exactly what you hope to accomplish (because I can't even remember if you said as much earlier in this thread, so I'd have to go look) , and I'd think it would make it a little easier to get direct feedback on your writing as well, instead of mixed in with other works.

    Just a thought, mainly because I considered it for myself at one point as a motivating tool. Do you think it would help you any? And for that matter, would the rest of you reading these feel that you'd want to follow along as well? I would, but maybe I'm the only one.
     
  16. Troll_sl shitlord

    Troll_sl
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    That was actually kind of my original intent, but then I got a real job and haven't had the energy to work on it over the last several weeks. frown.png

    Fortunately my schedule will be normalizing more coming up, so I'll be getting back into it.
     
  17. Archangel_sl shitlord

    Archangel_sl
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    Isn't it amazing how that happens? I'm sincerely not trying to sound sarcastic--you spend the whole day thinking about your story or project, and you just can't wait until you get home, when you know you can sit done and finally write that Sven, or rearrange that chapter....but then the universe throws all kinds of stuff your way, and it just doesn't happen. Certainly not because you don't want to....!!
     

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  18. Troll_sl shitlord

    Troll_sl
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    A new link to the book I'm working on.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    I've re-worked the first part a bit. Still not happy with it, so it'll change in a rewrite. I've got a good half of the book already kind of written, so will be copying a lot of parts over. You may see large chunks appear, and then not see much get updated for a while.

    Feel free to leave comments here or at the link.
     
  19. Pancreas Member

    Pancreas
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    This happens to me a lot. I have started jotting down the basic premise of the ideas I daydream about, just so I don't lose them. By not having a deadline for these "just for fun" projects, the ole productivity department really suffers.

    I am thinking of entering some creative writing contests just to light a fire under me. Another benefit with that, is most of these contests put some sort of constraints on submissions, which helps with the creative process quite a bit. There is one contest that is coming right up. If I manage to spit something out that seems remotely coherent, I'll be sure to share it here.
     
  20. faille Active Member

    faille
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    One of the best books on writing I've read is Becoming a Writer :http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Write...orothea+writer
    In one, one of the pieces of advice given is to write first thing in the morning, for 15 minute, while you're still half a sleep, so that you can capture your dreams. It's all about tapping into your subconscious and it's creativity. While this sounds all hairy fairy, the book is actually quite practical, and gives great advice and tips.

    As for finding motivation, can't recommend enough joining a writer's group. Not only do you gain valuable feedback on your writing, and associating with fellow writers, but you'll find yourself motivated to have something written for your next meeting. It can be tricky finding the right group for you, but well worth it in the long run.