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  1. #1
    James Armstrong II
    Guest

    "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    I've received good ideas from everyone. So here's chapter 2, critique away!

    Chapter 2

    Down In the Rabbit Hole


    As he is resting, James starts to ponder of what had just happened, “That’s too ****in’ weird! Was my request answered by God? Would God hook me up with a guy that has illegal drugs and driving while on those drugs, and booze? Or is this just some cosmic coincidence? Whatever it is, I am not going to question it!” he concluded to himself.” And off into his drug induced slumber he went.

    A few hours later, somewhere around Biloxi, Mississippi, Bobby taps James on the arm, “Hey kid, you still o’right?” James yawns, “Yeah, where are we? We in Biloxa, Mississippa! You been sleepin’!” exclaims Bobby. “Nah… wasn’t sleeping, I was in some sort of deep meditative trance or sumptin’. Really nice actually. Did I thank you for saving my life?” James asks. “Yup, we already went through dat kid. ‘Man are white guys’ strange’ thought the man. I’m glad I could help yus. I almost didn’t stop, I was thinkin’, ‘what if dis guy’s a murderer, or a rapist, or a robber’ or sumptin’ like dat. Then, sumptin’ tol me ta stop, I don’t know why, I jus had ta.” concluded the jovial man. “Well,” the stunned James responds, “I’m sure as hell am glad you did. If I had a gun, I don’t know if I wouldn’t have shot myself in the head or not to get rid of that pain! It was excruciating!” James could see that Bobby was searching his mind to figure out what “excruciating” meant, when James interrupted his thought process, “And, I can feel it trying ta make a come back! Where’s that whiskey you said you had? Mind if I get another snort?” the kid asks of the man. “Nah,” states Bobby, “It’s behind my seat. Here,” Bobby starts to look blindly for the bottle, “Here, just save me some is all.” he asks. “No problem brau, I won’t drink it all.” James assures him. “Can I have a little more of the ‘fun powder’ also?” asks James. “Yeah, okay, but be easy on dat also, I saw da line ya did last time!” exclaims Bobby. “Don’t worry dude, I will not do as much this time. I just want to stay ahead of the pain is all.” Bobby then nods his head in approval and proceeds to train his eyes forward, “Not much longer and we be in N’aulins!”

    Bobby would then take the conversation to another level, “Hey’s James? You smoke da rock?” James looks at the man with some reservation and states, “Nah dude, I used to mess with that when I lived in Lauderdale, but I had to go to rehab down on Biscayne Blvd. to get that gorilla off my back. I now refer to that ‘hobby’ as ‘sucking on the devil’s dick’. I don’t see myself doin’ that @!#$ any more. I learned my lesson the first time!” exclaimed the kid. “You? You smoke that @!#$?” he asks. “Yep, I like ta puff on it from time to time.” said James new friend. “But I’ don’t has a problem wit it! I got it under control.” James scoffed at that statement, in his mind anyway. This guy had no idea what he was dealing with, but he didn’t want to offend his new friend—his new pharmacist. So he capitulated to keep the peace, “That’s cool dude, just don’t let it get a hold a ya! It’s a beast if it does! Yup, I know my brutha, ya can’t control it. That ‘aint gonna happen ta me dough, I have a strong constitution! Or at least that’s what my mama always used ta say!” James just laughed inside. He doubted if Bobby had any idea what he had just said to him. James then put his head back on the headrest once more and dozes off into another drug induced meditated trance, or was this whole episode a hallucination? This time he would be in slumber until they could finally smell Lake Pontchartrain.



  2. #2
    James Armstrong II
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    :::cricketscricketscricketscrickets:::
    :::coyotescoyotescoyotescoyotescoyotes:::

    -Aladdin Sarsippius Suleminagic Jackson III

  3. #3
    James Armstrong II
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    I know it's somewhat choppy. I have a serious question though. After the character speaks, do I use too many, "said the kid," or "exclaimed young James."? And what is the correct way of writing this? Thanks!

    -Aladdin Sarsippius Suleminagic Jackson III

  4. #4
    Dawn Prince
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    Hey James:
    Good to see that you are not discouraged about the critique on the first chapter. Kuddos for bravery, my friend. I, like so many beginning writers need encouragement if we are to continue to go in the right direction. I know that a negative critique is like a punch in the stomach, but it is not to say that you are bad writer, the story needs work. And so here goes.

    James, I like the idea of the story. I know this happened to you, but like I said before something needs to happen in the story. All that happens here is James and Bobby talk, apparently, as he is in and out of sleep. Is that where the next chapter is heading?

    I will say this with much respect--not every true thing that happens makes an interesting story. At least not the way you are telling it. You can take the true things and then create interest with conflict or something to pump it up and make us want to ride along with you. It can be based on a true story, but create your own conflict. Or else if you want to tell it exactly the way it happened, I think this would be best suited as a short essay. This is not to discourage you, but you have to step back and look at the story as a writer and not take the criticism personally and at least incorportate some of the past suggestions.

    For example, the dialogue, why is it within the paragraphs along with the narrative?" And your question about using he said, for instance. You don't need to do this if the dialogue is strong enough to let the reader know who is speaking. You gave Bobby this accent which I like cuz I am just that way about accents, so we know when he is speaking. I like Bobby's voice, but he's putting it on too thickly now, isn't he? More is less, James. By that I mean, we get that he has this beautiful drawl, and so you can now cut down on the Bobisms.

    Also,you have to choose words that fit the characters and their situation and not to mention the reader. Capitulated. If you mean gave in or surrender, then just say so. Do you see what I mean. They seem like 2 regular guys. Capitulated doesn't work here.

    Switcing the talk to the rock isn't taking the conversation to another level, it is the same old thing you are talking about. I guess what I am trying to say is that you need to have less banal bantering and really spice this thing up with conflict or action around as you drive. NOt every thing spoken makes for interesting dialogue. Spice up your dialogue!!!

    Also, this is my take on James' talk with God. I don't see the point of it as it just seems too trite to be talking to God about cosmic co-incidence because some guy showed up with a stash to stave off the pain. You see people want more than that when they read. And I am not trying to put your story down. Really. But give us more as to why bobby showing up is divine intervention. Are we missing something that went on before?

    If James was in rehab, what the heck is he doing with drugs again? And being so casual about it? He should be talking to God about why he is doing drugs again. Gee maybe, that is your story or at least it is a conflict or something the character must overcome. Another thing, isn't rock also cocaine? I know nothing about drugs but I thought it was cocaine in its pure form or something like that. Even if it isn't, I don't see how he could say that he learned his lesson and now is snorting cocaine. No need to mention biscayne blvd because we don't know where that is. It is not important unless something that is important to the story happened there.

    All that being said and done, once again, I think the idea of the story is great, but you have to make something happen. It has been 2 chapters and nothing has happened as yet. I know you really want to tell this story because it happened to you, and if you do then by all means write your novel. But I do think that it would make a better story if you didn't stick to just sleeping, driving, drugging. I mean, something's got to happen. You are a writer, so write something that is at least a plot of some sort. Write life into the characters. Tell us about the setting, what is outside as they drive along.

    I don't think 12 hours of going in and out of a drug induced coma will be very interesting if nothing interesting happens. Writing is a demanding beast, and it demands that you at least capture your audience in the beginning to make them want to read further.

    Please do take this advice in the spirit that is intended. If you want to improve on this story, you have to listen to a few people. I probably know as much as you do about writing, but some of the other people on here know a whole lot that can help you turn this into something readable. Take their advice and don't come back saying that it happened to you and this is how it is. It maybe how it is for you, but you have to make it interesting for the rest of us. So think about things. It really is a great idea, and I can see him going in and out of sleep, but if you make something happen, you will see the difference. Respectfully, Dawn

  5. #5
    James Armstrong II
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    There's two more chapters and it is leading up to something a little funny. The points that I was trying to make in this story is the conflict is within James. That's why I pointed out that he was in rehab, but the pain was so bad that the wanting to get rid of said pain was paramount to any sobriety. As for "capitulated," that was the narrator speaking, not the characters. I know it is slow in the beginning, but it picks up a little. Thank you so much for your input, I am learning on the fly here. I didn't want to add some "conflict" between the characters because there was not conflict. It was amazing how this guy was just so helpful to me, yet, he was a junkie and a car thief. I'm gonna post chapter 3 now, hopefully this will give some insight on the story better. Thanks again! I will use your advice and revise the story after I post the next two chapters.

    -Aladdin Sarsippius Suleminagic Jackson III

    P.S. And rock cocaine is much more addictive than powder cocaine. I know that's like saying H.I.V. is less deadly than A.I.D.S., but it is.

  6. #6
    James Armstrong II
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    Chapter 3

    Revelation
    A couple of hours would pass and then Bobby would see a sign that says, “10 miles to New Orleans.” Bobby then shakes young James out of his self-inflicted dream state, “Hey! Wake up! We almost dare! You okay?” James yawns and stretches his arms outwardly, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh… what time is it? It be 12:30 in da p.m., you was sleepin’ fo a while! I jus let you sleep, figured you could use it.” explained Bobby. “Thanks, why is it so late though, shouldn’t we have been there long ago?” asked James. “Uh huh, but I stopped at da rest area for a while; you didn’t crack a eyelid da whole time! I figured you’d wake up as soon we stopped! Never seen a fella do cocaine and then fall asleep!” exclaimed Bobby. “That’s sum weird @!#$ man!” James laughs, “Yeah, I guess this tooth really did a number on me! Wow!” James feels the left side of his face, “The pain! It’s gone! Where’s that bottle? Bottle? Whataya need da bottle fo?” asks Bobby. “Ya said da pain was gone. To celebrate!” James said with great fervor. “Celebrate what? Celebrate the fact that I ‘aint in no more pain!” as James swigs down another gulping shot of the rotgut brand of whiskey. “One more request my man, is it okay if I do another bump of your coke? And put a little more on this godforsaken tooth? I can feel the pain trying to edge its way back into my skull (James was, of course, pulling an old junkie move here). Sure kid, do what’cha need! I got plenty, for now at least.” James goes through the ritual once more and is now in full stride.

    Coming around the bend, they can see their target, New Orleans. “Da city of big titty!” Bobby shouts. James applauds his choice of words. “Yes! I think I might like this town! Any kind of town where women take off their tops for cheap plastic beads is my kinda town!” exclaims the youngster. Bobby is searching the center console for an address, “So, where ya wanna be let off kid? Doe ya know da city at all? “Nah…” says James somewhat dejectedly, “Don’t know it at all! I was hopin’ you could get me to the French quarter though.” Yup, I kin do dat, I gotta go near dare, gotta go ta da projects a couple a miles from dare.” James looks at him with a somewhat confusing look on his face, “Projects? Your sister is moving from Miami, to a project in New Orleans? That don’t make any sense?” exclaimed James. Bobby looks at James quickly, almost frantically back at the road, back at James, back at the road, then states, “Well, not actually. Not actually what?” asks James. “Not actually as in my sista ‘aint movin’ out here.” states Bobby. James is really confused now, he asks his new friend to elaborate some, “Whataya sayin’? Why would you bring her car here if she ‘aint movin’ here? ‘Cause,” said Bobby, “Dis ‘aint her car. Whose car is it then?” asks James. “I dunno? Could be anyone’s I guess. I picked it up in North Miami.” James was absolutely floored! “You mean I have been in a stolen ****ing car all this time? And you didn’t say nuthin’ ta me about it? Are you ****in’ nuts? Do you know I will go down with you if you get pulled over? That’s ****in’ great! Hey!” yelled the car thief, “You wasn’t too goddamned worried when you was hurtin’ like you was! All dat cryin’ and fussin’! Like a little girl in @!#$!” James recoils, he realizes he has just pissed off his one and only lifeline at this point, “I’m sorry brau, but I’ve been pulled over before in another state in this same exact circumstance. And I did thirty days in county over it for just being in the car. Plus, we got drugs and booze in here also. But yer right, I really didn’t have much a choice did I?” concluded the kid. “No! You didn’t! And I helped you! Now you disrespectin’ me?” said an angrily Bobby. “Yer right brother, I’m sorry.” Bobby calmed down somewhat and then said, “I got some business ta take care of, so if ya want ta go to da quarter, ya can either get out now or ya needs ta hangs wit me’s fer a spell.” James wanted to get out, but did not know the area in which he was in and was still enjoying Bobby’s company somewhat so he decided to stay around for a bit. “And relax,” stated Bobby, “Nuthin’s gonna happen ta ya.” As he could see James’ disposition change as they descended into the ghetto. “Famous last words” thought James. James knew he didn’t have much of a choice, since he didn’t know the town at all, and where they were, he wasn’t about to leave the car now.

  7. #7
    James Armstrong II
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    And, as I realize that chapter 3 is yet more dialogue (which I love better than action) here's the final chapter.
    Enjoy!

    Chapter 4

    Be Careful What You Wish For

    They exited in a “not-so-nice” part of town. Nothing but projects as far as the eye can see. He also noticed a lot of police cruisers once into the bowels of this ghetto neighborhood. James then expressed his concerns on the subject, “This doesn’t look good bro. A black guy with a white guy, in this neighborhood? The cops gotta be wonderin’ what the hell we’re doin’ here?” Bobby, with a somewhat put off tone to him shot back, “You kin git out any time you like! I gotsa sell dis car and git some rock. Yeah, but if you sell the car, how am I gonna get to the quarter?” asked young James. “Don’t worry, I’ll git you ta da quarter first, then I’ll come back here and do da rest a my business.” And with that they pull into one of the projects. They go to the end of a dead end road and then turn around and park on the side of one of the many brick one story buildings that align both sides of the road. “I’ll be right back, gotta go and talk ta dese cats. Stay in da car.” James did not need to hear that order from Bobby; he wasn’t going anywhere but wished he was a million miles from there at the same time.

    Bobby saunters his way over toward the three young black men that sit some one hundred yards from where they have parked. They all appear to be in their mid-twenties. They are all shirtless, donning various tattoos and posturing as though they were gangsters. The men are sitting on their stoop in front of their building. They are all drinking 40 oz. beers and smoking what appears to be weed, as they keep passing it around to each other. “This is a ****in’ scene!” James was thinking to himself. That’s when a police cruiser starts to head down the dead end road, straight to where they are. The cop car is still some distance away when Bobby sees them coming, he heads for the car in a very casual manner. At this point both of their pulses are racing, but they cannot show their fear. Bobby gets into the car and starts it up, still acting casual, and pulls away from the curb. The police at this point notice them pulling away and decide they want to check them out. “No white people for miles and the only white people that frequent this neighborhood only want one of two things, drugs, or sex. This is not good.” James continued to think. The police hit their lights as they pulled behind the red car, “@!#$!” Bobby says under his breath, “Be cool. Don’t show that yer scared or were dead!” whispers James. We dead anyways!” shrieks Bobby. “I got no license, an dis car ‘aint mines! We ****ed!” Just then, as the cops start to get out of their patrol car, two of the men previously sitting on the stoop take off like a bat out of hell toward the center of their complex! The police see this and begin to chase the two, leaving our two pseudo-criminals to themselves! Once the police disappeared into the project, Bobby and James looked right at each other with the same thought rattling around in their heads (in unison), “Let’s get the hell outta here!” Bobby then started the car and they proceeded to escape. James is looking in the rear of the car frantically; looking for the police. The police appear to still be in their pursuit of the two young men. James is very animated, “Oh my God! Do you ****in’ believe that dude! We’re gettin’ the @!#$ away! We’re gettin’ away!” They both start to laugh and high five each other once again. “Man! I’ve been in some @!#$ before! But this is the luckiest @!#$ I’ve ever gotten away with! Can you now get me to the quarter?” James almost begs of his friend. “Please? My heart can’t take much more of this today!” Bobby laughed and assured James that this time he would be taking him close to his destination, “I’ll take you ‘bout a mile from dares, you got ta walks da rest of da way dough, I got anutha place ta scout out. I’s needs ta ditch dis ting dough! Then why don’t you do just that?” James asked. “Just ditch it!” Bobby looked at James like he was nuts, “You kiddin’ fool? I kin gits a handful of rocks fuh dis car!” James just looked at him with semi-disgust and thought to himself, “Yeah, you got a handle on this drug.”

    They come to where they will depart from each other; Bobby pulls the car over in front of a liquor store and parks, “Well kid, da quarter is straight ahead ‘bout a mile down dis road. Jus stay on Rampart St. until you see the signs. When you git ta ‘Armstrong Park’ you gotta make da very next left inta da quarter. I gotsta go in here and git me anutha bottle. You wants ones more line? James had enough for now, his nerves were shot and the pain was gone, at least for now. “Nah dude, that’s enough fer me! I will take a shot of whatever you buy though.—Deal!” said Bobby, “I’ll be back in a minute.” That was one long minute to James, he was still sitting in a stolen car, and there was no shortage of police cars in that area either, as he saw about five in that one minute that he was there. Bobby then strolls out of the store, brown bag in hand: “Okay my friend, I got another bottle of whiskey, seems ta work fer you, no? Yes, that will do.” expressed James. “I hate to even ask this dude, but do you have a couple a bucks I could get from ya? I’m dead broke and don’t even have cigarettes anymore!” Bobby scratches his chin, shakes his head and then says, “Man! You don’t want much does ya? Yup, I got a couple a bucks I kin give ya, I guess.” Bobby then reluctantly pulled out some bills and handed James a ten dollar bill, “Don’t spend it all in one place kid. James was very happy that his act of kindness was not yet extinguished, “Man, you are one cool brutha!” as James grabs Bobby in a bear hug. “Okay, okay, dat’s a nuf, git goin’ youngsta! You got some more splorin’ ta do! You feel betta when you gits to da quarter, yo people in dare.” James accepts the pint from his friend, takes a shot, and hands it back to him. And with that, James was on his way and Bobby his. Bobby honks as James waves him off and down the long stretch of foreign road James strolls, “Wow! What a difference twelve hours makes!” thinks young James. “I won’t forget about this God! Just don’t ask me ta pay any time soon though, I need to be ‘bad’ right now, I am in ‘N’aulins’ after all!” he concluded to himself. James got to Armstrong Park (named after Jazz great Louis Armstrong), saw the sign for the French Quarter and made his left turn. And off into another world went James; his tooth would not survive.



    So, whataya think? Other than what we talked about that is.

    -Aladdin Sarsippius Suleminagic Jackson III

  8. #8
    Pat Mac
    Guest

    Re: "The Big Easy" chapter 2

    This is cr@p.

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