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  1. #11
    L Bea

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique


    Well, hopefully Joe sees that it wasn't intentional given the context of my post. I was supporting his post, not refuting or challenging him. I think he contributes some good content here at WN. Hopefully, he sees me the same way. (Sorry Joe, to be talking about you like you're not here.)

    There is something about the combination of Joe and Zeff that meshes together. It's an interesting name. My "real" name gets butchered all the time. It's rarely pronounced correctly, even after I tell people how it should be pronounced. I've learned to live with it and I don't let it get to me. I'll answer to just about anything anymore.

    Sorry, Stephen. Your thread kinda got hijacked. Sheesh, I'm such a trouble maker tonight...


  2. #12
    Sam English

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    I think when you're dealing with words and names written out, they tend to blend together and those typing fingers just combine them without thinking. On another thread, someone had typed something like "...shot by gunmen..." and my mind saw "shot by Gumby..."

  3. #13
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    When I see Joe Zeff's name I always think of Artie Ziff from "The Simpsons."

  4. #14
    Jean Bonifacios

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    Wow Kitty, that was a great thread. I have ALWAYS typed Jeff but went back and corrected it before I posted. Joe's tongue lashings hurt.

    To the original poster: My opinion is only one opinion so take it as if I'm a hooker saying that I'm a virgin.

    It's *nice* to post for critique but my suggestion would be to finish the manuscript first. You can't even begin to feel good about it if it's not finished. All WIP look like a waste of time when you reread it. That's what revisions are for. We had a poster earlier last week saying he would write and throw them in the crapper at the end of the day. Seriously, if we all read over what we've already written before it's completely done...there'd be no books on the bookshelves. That's what revisions are for. Finish it would be my opinion. How are you going to feel if we tear your writing apart? Are you going to start all over? Give up? Continue with it? I bet "no" on all those answers but that's just my opinion.

  5. #15
    Stephen Holak

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    Ah, Jean, thanks for getting the thread back on track. I was going to stay quiet and let it die until you led it back out of the rabbit hole. (I was pleasantly surprised at the number of responses to my original post, until I saw that roughly half of them stemmed from a behavior I call "Wikipedia Syndrome" -- a simple look-up under "Turducken" leads you to Kevin Bacon's bio six hyperlinks later . . .)

    So what I'm hearing is a mix of "post and duck", and "finish and polish your work first." I have to laugh, because that's exactly the fence I was sitting on before my original post.

    I'm thinking, though, that I can't disappoint everyone who spent the night sharpening their knives. Sticks and stones, right?

  6. #16
    Jean Bonifacios

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    The sticks and stones WNers throw are spiked and dripping with poison sometimes. No offense to the WNers. They're just honest and know what they like. It should be appreciated as our moms throw sugar coated sticks and stones.

    I'm just saying, if you get told that the beginning of your first draft isn't worth wiping our butts with it...are you going to continue it with gusto?

    But like I said, I'm just a hooker telling you that you were the best I've ever had.

  7. #17
    Stephen Holak

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    Ah, fudge. (Only he didn't say "fudge" . . .) Here goes. It's out of context, so I'll give enough background to avoid complete confusion:

    [--Jordan Parish, the story's protagonist, has just driven to his father's estate and confronted his grandmother (Lena) about info his lawyer and a PI have uncovered that suggests that 1.) both Lena and Jordan's pregnant wife (Melanie) were adopted under strange circumstances, and 2.) Lena and Melanie's family (the Whittakers), may have spread money around to hinder the investigation into Melanie's disappearance six months prior.
    --Jordan's confrontation, coupled with a strange event, force Lena to agree to reveal most of the mystery to Jordan.
    --Before Lena can get very far, they're interrupted by a frantic call from Chase Whittaker, Jordan's childhood friend and Melanie's brother, about intruders on his estate. Lena connects the strange event with the attack at the Whittakers, and urges the reluctant Jordan not to call in the police, but to run over to the Whittakers and help Chase. She admits Chase is involved, and asks Jordan to bring Chase back when it's over, when she'll explain everything.
    --Jordan has some limited martial arts experience; Chase is an Iraq war army vet with a few "souvenirs" from his service days, like a rifle and night-vision binos.
    --Both families are wealthy and powerful, and live on a (fictional) Outer Banks NC island near Roanoke Island, on adjacent estates.
    --Jordan has just run about a half-mile through a growing storm (an artifact of the strange event) over the rough terrain separating the two estates; the scene opens as Jordan approaches the property.
    --The passive verbs in the fifth paragraph are deliberate, to set off the mini-flashback.
    --For the sensitive, there are a few expletives.]

    * * *

    "I'm close," Jordan said quietly into his cell phone.

    Chase's reply crackled through the low hiss of storm interference. "Whereabouts?"

    Jordan squinted against the rain at the silhouette of the Whittaker mansion's roof, a dim smudge over the treetops backdropped against black, rolling storm clouds. Chase had extinguished all inside and outside lights, cloaking the estate in an eerie gloom broken only by the occasional flash of lightning.

    "Somewhere out to the north and west of you, I think." Jordan conjured up a mental image of Chase's view through night-vision equipment, a distillation of countless CNN video clips of nighttime battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "Raise your hand in the air, slowly. I'll try to pick you out."

    Jordan winced as he raised a bruised and stiff arm -- his shoulder poked through a tear in his sodden shirt. He had run barely a hundred yards from the Parish house before his clothes grown uncomfortably heavy. It had taken Jordan longer than he had expected; the afternoon had grown dark enough that the stretch of ungroomed ground between the two properties became an obstacle course navigated between lightning flashes. In the limited visibility of the storm, rocks, gullies, sand dunes and low brush that might have been back-of-the-hand familiar to Jordan as a child posed as hazards, and he had found himself painfully picking himself off the ground three or four times during his run through the storm to the Whittaker's estate.

    "I've got you," Chase said. "You've got a hostile about 50 yards south of you. Near the gate."

    "A hostile," Jordan muttered to himself. "Christ." He peered in that direction, but saw nothing. "What do you want me to do?"

    "Come in closer, take him out. You should be able to move in under the cover of the storm noise if you're careful."

    "Take him out. You think I'm some kind of Delta Force commando or something?"

    "Come on, Jordan, you know your @!#$. Just karate chop him or something. What good is all that training if you can't use it?"

    "Are they armed?"

    "Can't tell. But probably."


    Jordan worked his way carefully in the general direction of the gate, keeping to the sparse grove of trees that screened the estate, using the cover of dark to scurry quickly to the next tree or bush, and the occasional flash of lightning to pick his next movement. He kept the phone pressed against his ear.

    "You've closed it up," Chase said. "Maybe twenty-five yards now. I need you to get him, and one more, then I can take out the rest."

    "****ing Jack Bauer," Jordan said under his breath.

    "What was that?"


    Jordan scurried to another tree. The next time lightning flashed, he thought he saw a dark figure crouched to the left of the closed gate. "I think I see him." He shook his head. "This is crazy. I think I'm gonna 911 this."

    "No! This is not for the cops, Jordan, trust me."

    "This is just going to end in a cluster-@!#$."

    "Please just do this for me. Please."

    "And you'll explain it all to me later, right?"

    "Ah, I'll explain someof it . . ."

    After a long moment Jordan sighed. "I'm going to go quiet while I move in get myself killed. I'll call you in a minute, if I get lucky."

    "Ten-four. Thanks, buddy."

    "And Chase?"


    "We have a lot to talk about after this is over. You and Lena and I. About the whole Melanie thing. Lena was about to tell me a long story when you called. I'm sure you were in it."

    After a few seconds of silence, Chase said, "Ten-four."

    "Now shut the @!#$ up." Jordan slipped the phone into a pocket and moved closer.

  8. #18
    Stephen Holak

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    Interesting. It auto-bleeped some of the expletives . . .

  9. #19
    junel ;-)

    Re: Appropriate forum for critique

    Post it on a new thread Stephen. You're likely to get more replies.

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