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  1. #1
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    Second try, new story

    I gave up on the other one. I just couldn't avoid both cheesiness ans cliches, so I made another attempt. Here goes?

    The world was coming to an end, and Anton Reacher was in his element. He crouched behind a bush, his AR-15 in hand, staring intently at the caravan of trucks passing him. His second in command, Jayden, crouched beside him, and the other members of his squad were to his left. Anton turned to face Jayden and motioned for him to follow. Together they stealthily moved forward, keeping behind the bushes.

    "Watch this," Anton mouthed, hefting his rifle onto his shoulder.

    Jayden grinned, noting the easy and relaxed way he held the rifle. Anton lifted the end of the gun, carefully aiming it at a truck in the middle. His breathing relaxed, the rifle steadied, his finger squeezed, and the truck exploded in a ball of flames. Glass and other shrapnel rained down around them as Anton ran forwards, yelling and laughing, Jayden and the squad following behind.

    The other trucks had skidded to a halt when the first blew up, and Anton headed for these now. He threw open the door of the nearest and grabbed the driver, throwing him to the ground. The man stood up and faced Anton, holding his fists up, ready to fight.

    Anton laughed and said, "Really? You want to fight me? I am the best fighter in what's left of the world!"

    "I'll fight you any day!" the man roared back, rushing at Anton. Anton stepped aside easily and wrapped his hands around the man's neck, cutting of his air supply. Soon, the man slumped to the ground and was still.

    Jayden cheered and slapped Anton's back, but Anton just looked at him. Jayden sighed and jumped inside the truck and started throwing boxes of food and supplies outside, causing Anton to step back and watch from safety. Someone ran up beside Anton and bend over, huffing air. It was Cam, leader of another squad.

    "We've got the rest of the trucks, pretty boy. Nice of you to help!" he said, laughter in his voice.

    "My pleasure, considering you did nothing, like usual," Anton said, staring coolly at Cam. Cam was a fool to annoy him like that. He noticed the rest of his squad standing under a yew tree staring at him and he turned, walking in their direction.

    "Why are you standing around?" Anton shouted at them, "Do something useful for once!"

    Anton's squad, handpicked elites chosen by him,knew exactly how deadly Anton was. They were all afraid of him and rushed to pack crates.

    "Wow, is anyone not afraid of you?" Jayden said from beside him. Anton sighed and shook his head.

    "No," Anton said. "Are the trucks all unloaded?"

    Jayden nodded, "Let's go home!"

    Anton nodded and gestured to his squad, bending over and grabbing his rifle from where he left it behind the bush. His squad formed up behind him and he began to run, jogging back to camp, fifteen pairs of feet following him.

    BTW: Anton is a badass, or going to be, in a Tony Stark kind of way, in the way you want to kill him but love him to death.

    TIA!



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    BTW: Anton is a badass, or going to be, in a Tony Stark kind of way, in the way you want to kill him but love him to death.
    From that scene he actually just seems like a bully and jerk, taunting some random guy and berating his subordinates.

    There's no real sense of where or when any of this is taking place.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    From that scene he actually just seems like a bully and jerk, taunting some random guy and berating his subordinates.

    There's no real sense of where or when any of this is taking place.
    He's intended to be like that, a snotty nose rag. Later on something bad and embarrassing happens (*cough gets the crud beat out of him cough*) and he develops into a more sensitive person. Hmmm... I read through it again, it talks about an AR-15 and trucks, that's a pretty specific time period, IMO. It isn't in the future and it's not super old either, I guess it would be in today's world. Later, I also say more about where it is happening. IMO the location is important, but can be regulated to the second chapter if needed.

    Any other comments? Does it seem interesting, would you keep reading? I tried harder this time to have more (but not to much) dialogue, is the ratio okay?
    Last edited by serenalover; 02-17-2016 at 10:18 AM. Reason: spelling :(

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Hmmm... I read through it again, it talks about an AR-15 and trucks, that's a pretty specific time period, IMO. It isn't in the future and it's not super old either, I guess it would be in today's world.
    No need to get snotty. Trucks have existed for a long time.

    Does it seem interesting, would you keep reading?
    Since you asked, no and no. You compare your guy to Tony Stark, but he doesn't have any charm, charisma, humor, brilliance. He's more like Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. I have a friend who has a series of books published (the latest coming sometime this year) and this one character is a murderer who is also pretty much a man-whore. But he's likable because he has this really thick Cockney accent that makes him funny. It gives him personality. Tony Stark, personality. Your guy, no personality.

    Hang in there and keep writing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    May 2015
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    The world was coming to an end, and Anton Reacher was in his element.
    This is an editorial comment, not the beginning of the story. What does it tell the reader that they will find useful and interesting? Only you know what the world ending means in context of this story. And only you know where he is and what’s going on. So what’s his element? No way to tell.

    My point is that you need to look at every spot where you talk to the reader and try to see it as they do, knowing only what the words have said to that point.
    He crouched behind a bush, his AR-15 in hand, staring intently at the caravan of trucks passing him.
    You’re over-describing, because you’re seeing the scene and describing what you see, not what he’s interested in. It’s a matter of small things. Why do you say, “his” AR-15. He has a rifle. Does it matter who owns it, or even what kind it is? And why staring and not studying? Staring implies his eyes are locked, or that he’s perhaps horrified.

    And again, in your viewpoint they’re passing him. In his, everything is expressed with him as the center of the story universe, so they’re passing trucks. Fair is fair. It is his story, so his viewpoint matters than your camera angle. Ask yourself not what you see happening, but what, from his viewpoint, he’s focused on. And given that he’s going to stand and shoot, and needs to decide what to do based on the situation, and has to talk to someone first, shouldn’t they be approaching, not already passing? Shouldn’t the line be expressed more as:

    “He crouched behind a bush, AR-15 in hand, studying the caravan of approaching trucks.”

    In general, your character is a comic character, postering heroically, while those against him behave stupidly, so he can do that, and those around him worship him for treating strangers badly.

    You have a line of trucks. He shoots one and it explodes? Nonsense. Gas tanks aren't explosive. If he shot the tank it would start to leak. I also have to aqsk why they unloaded the trucks. You have none they can transfer the cargo to, and they are perfectly good trucks. Why not take them?

    But that aside, the trucks “skid to a halt.” Even the ones in front of the one that blew up? Would you stop? And if you were driving one of those behind, and a group of men with rifles charged at you wouldn’t you drive around the wreck and get out of there, or turn the truck toward the attackers and mow them down? Of course you would. And one thing you can be sure of it at people almost never accommodate you by doing exactly what you want. Things always go wrong. So if they don't for your character he's just a plot device.

    And be reasonable. Were you the protagonist, approaching a truck that’s part of a convoy, with a possibly armed driver in any one of them, would you lay down your rifle and attack someone who might be armed or a martial arts master? Would the driver simply sit there waiting to be dragged from the truck?

    Story comes from inside your characters. You cannot dictate their behavior because then they’re strong when you need strong, wise when that’s needed, and then dumb and weaqk when the plot needs that. Can that seem real?

    You give your character a background and personality. You place him in a situation where he has needs and driving forces. And then you let him decide what to do next, based in his assessment of the situation, not yours. You start the scene clock and stop it for nothing, till the scene ends.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2016
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    18
    Hey There. You have some good ideas here but the scene does come off a little bit campy....unless that's what you are going for. I can't see there being several trucks in the convoy and your protagonist able to pull someone out of a driver's seat and choke him to death without another of the convoy shooting a weapon.

    I would suggest checking out AuthorsCombatAcademy.com and also a book, "The Writer's Guide to Weapons" by Benjamin Sobieck. They can help ground your work in reality. Good luck!

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