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 Post subject: Angel Hunters episode 4 (p. 10)
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:41 am 
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Current projects:

Naomi's Story (on hold, no title)
-Centers on a teenage mercenary named Naomi Revertere, who gets swept up in a war between the Seekers and the anti-Seekers, two sides fighting for the same values with different methods. Assassinations, battles, and one-sided beat downs are soon to follow.

Angel Hunters (in-progress)
-Fantasy, action
-In the same world and same time as Naomi's Story, angels are being hunted all over the continent for their feathers, bones, and pure beauty. The southern and western regions ban angel hunting, soon followed by the north. But hunters from the east and center don't set their boundaries as those of their regions, and attack angels in the three "safe" regions. (story is only here so far)

Lauren's Story (on hold, no title)
-Modern, drama, sports
-Lauren Coleman is a 15-year-old snowboarding prodigy who lives on a ski resort with her parents. She dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder, but things don't go according to her plans. A local high school sends kids up for a "ski club" every Tuesday and Thursday. Over time, Lauren's happy-go-lucky, modestly silly goose personality wins her many friends and enemies. (this is why I put it on hold: there's really no conflict, i.e. no one's trying to kill her :\)

Kasey's Story/Luke's Story (in planning, no title)
-Modern, action, mystery, romance, school life
-This one's only in planning, but I've had the characters in mind for four and a half years (the four heroes were my first OCs ever). They've appeared in multiple side-stories, like my crappy war stories on the old forum, the one I deleted from this thread, and various movie script-style prose works I've never uploaded (and never will).


Last edited by Matt on Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:35 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Creative writing assignment. Unfinished, of course:



Quote:
The moment the green Volkswagen plummeted over the edge of the bridge no more than a quarter mile ahead of me, I knew my life was never going to be the same ever again. Or perhaps it was the moment I parked my red jeep on the bridge and mindlessly dove thirty yards into the violent waves to save anyone unfortunate enough to be in the Volkswagen and fortunate enough to survive the fall.

I couldn’t see anything. The rough water was too deep and too dark to provide any visibility except for the dimming glow from the sinking vehicle’s one remaining headlight. But that alone was enough. I saw a hand attached to an arm, and that arm was attached to a slim figure that was mostly obscured by the torrents of bubbles in the area.

I hadn’t been the best swimmer in my lifeguard training course, but all the same, I was a lifeguard. That was likely the reason I’d dove off the bridge without thinking in the first place. It was also the reason I was able to pull the unconscious girl to the surface, where we were both immediately pounded on by heavy rain and whipped around by winds that I thought could very well be hurricane force. Keeping the girl and myself afloat simultaneously was by far not the easiest thing I’d ever done. Being seventeen, I was well aware that my muscles weren’t fully developed, but for now, they would have to suffice if I wanted to keep my life and rescue this poor girl.

I was weighed down too much. Thankful that I’d worn shoes two sizes too big for me, I easily kicked them off. My basketball shorts and sleeveless jersey didn’t add much weight, so I went to remove the girl’s shoes and found that she had none.

It was very difficult to do anything while keeping the girl’s head above the water. Despite my training, I found myself bobbing like a buoy as I made my way toward the shore fifty yards from the wreck. In the stormy weather, the waves could very quickly overtake me and destroy any hope I had of saving anybody’s life, including my own. I carefully swam parallel to the waves, looking around for any water walls too big for me to cut through with my petite companion unconscious.

The odds of pulling this off had I not been through multiple swimming classes were close to zero. Had I dove in to be a hero without the help of those classes, I’d have drowned along with the girl. It was a scary thought to die under the waves, and I was greatly relieved when my feet touched the soft, cleansing sand near the shore.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Quote:
The moment the green Volkswagen plummeted over the edge of the bridge no more than a quarter mile ahead of me, I knew my life was never going to be the same ever again. Or perhaps it was the moment I parked my red jeep on the bridge and mindlessly ^1^ dove thirty yards into the violent waves to save anyone unfortunate enough to be in the Volkswagen and fortunate enough to survive the fall.

I couldn’t see anything. The rough water was too deep and too dark to provide any visibility except for the dimming glow from the sinking vehicle’s one remaining headlight. But that alone was enough. I saw a hand attached to an arm, and that arm was attached to a slim figure that was mostly obscured by the torrents of bubbles in the area. ^2^

I hadn’t been the best swimmer in my lifeguard training course, but all the same, I was a lifeguard. That was likely the reason I’d dove off the bridge without thinking in the first place. It was also the reason I was able to pull the unconscious girl to the surface, where we were both immediately pounded on by heavy rain and whipped around by winds that I thought could very well be hurricane force. Keeping the girl and myself afloat simultaneously was by far not the easiest thing I’d ever done. Being seventeen, I was well aware that my muscles weren’t fully developed, but for now, they would have to suffice if I wanted to keep my life and rescue this poor girl.

I was weighed down too much. Thankful that I’d worn shoes two sizes too big for me, I easily kicked them off. My basketball shorts and sleeveless jersey didn’t add much weight, so I went to remove the girl’s shoes and found that she had none.

It was very difficult to do anything while keeping the girl’s head above the water. Despite my training, I found myself bobbing like a buoy as I made my way toward the shore fifty yards from the wreck^3^. In the stormy weather, the waves could very quickly overtake me and destroy any hope I had of saving anybody’s life, including my own. I carefully swam parallel to the waves, looking around for any water walls too big for me to cut through with my petite companion unconscious. ^4^

The odds of pulling this off had I not been through multiple swimming classes were close to zero. Had I dove in to be a hero without the help of those classes, I’d have drowned along with the girl. It was a scary thought to die under the waves, and I was greatly relieved when my feet touched the soft, cleansing sand near the shore.^5^


All critique marked out with a ^ and a number.

Shocking redundancy! The highlighted words can die!
Shocking stylistic errors! The critique can fly!

1: 2 main issues here; the following sentence is absurdly long, and, unbroken by punctuation as it is, seems speechless and breathless, making the narrator sound flustered as silly goose.
2: 'and' is a little clumsy here. The sentence would probably be better balanced either as two separate sentences, or, better yet, as a single sentence swinging around a semi-colon. (That second one: "I saw a hand attached to an arm; that arm was attached to a slim figure that was mostly obscured by the torrents of bubbles in the area.") Moreover 'one' is redundant because if the headlight is the 'remaining' of two, it's obviously the only one left.
3: So what? 'Bobbing like a buoy' may create a little bit of a nautical semantic field, but it requires too much thought to decode that image for casual reading.
4: Poorly-written purple prose in "looking around for any water walls too big for me to cut through with my petite companion". Consider using less fruity language.
5: 1st sentence: Not a very good way of expressing it. I recommend expressing the relief of survival without being so blindingly obvious, probably in a more physical way that doesn't pull us away from the action. 2nd sentence is talking directly about emotions, which is a big no-no. It's dull. Again, express through actions, not words.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Cool. Thanks.

On that last crit, I've seen it done so many times, and now that you point it out, I see just how annoying it is to read. You're right. It IS stupidly obvious.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Ahhhh, yay, you posted more things. <333

I'll get around to reading this later tonight. I'm babysitting right now and logged into MT to check Windy's commission request details. XD (I'm such a bad babysitter! But hey, they're my cousins--they'll live, right?)


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:45 am 
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I'll get around to reading this later. I have school soon -.-'

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 4:40 am 
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Quote:
He turned around, smiling like a model.

THIS. This made my day. And it's one in the morning. You just made a 23-hour impression on me.
AND LUKE CAMALA: STRIKES AGAIN. Man, gotta love that Camala guy. ♥

Like you said, it was a weak execution of a premise. I'm not exactly sure where you were headed with it, but it seemed. Eh, I don't know. You like the supernatural elements; you should have tried to throw in the Queen of Harlots of the ten-headed dragon in, if you catch my drift. ;D (It's always been a dream of mine to talk about the beast of the sea and the beast of the earth in one of my stories. It's a simple element, but I just can't integrate it well right now in any of my material.)


Cross-dialogue with you and Delph!
1. Long sentences seem very Hermann Hesse-y, huh? (Matt, read Siddhartha. Good book. Umber recommends it, too.) I think that this sentence is too long, but all of the surrounding sentences are painfully short. If you know how the Flesch-Kincaid algorithm works, you can rig your writing to be more "advanced" by making long sentences with words more than three syllables long. However, as you can imagine, that can also make your work totally unreadable and ridiculous.

2. I'm not sure about the semi-colon, man. My problem with it is the strange repetition of "attached to". You've read about [mereology], right? It's just one mega-breakdown sequence of the parts: "This is a cup. The cup has a body and a handle. The body is made of a cylinder of clay. The clay is minerals. Et cetera." The whole "attached to, attached to" thing kinda reminds me of that, and I don't think I like it.

3. It's not the simile itself that makes it hard to follow, but rather the simile sandwiched between the alliteration.

4. Fruity language is best combated with a lowered vocabulary range and heightened complexity in syntax and sentence structure. :)

5. You have to expect more of your readers. Yeah, my reading comprehension is relatively retarded on my SAT test scores categorically, but I can pick up sensations in text, haha. Delph is totally right when he says that you should never spell it out for the reader. (It's almost insulting. XD)


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:29 am 
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I do tend to spell it out too much, don't I? That stems from the times when I showed my writing to an adult and received the critique of, "It makes no sense!"

And of course, that spelling out eliminates the possibility of plot twists. If the reader knows everything, there's no way to surprise him/her.

As for Luke, I use him a lot, since he was my first character ever. That was why I was Camala on the previous forum.

I'll look over all these crits after school and make some new stories.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 1:25 am 
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I love how well you take critiques. Like a little sponge. <:


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 7:23 am 
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Well, thanks. I enjoy being sponge-like, actually. It's a huge change from the way I am in class.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:24 pm 
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I ended up ditching my last one and turning in this one earlier today for a creative writing assignment. I had a deadline: the end of the school day to get it done. I ended up skipping history class and taking all of two periods to finish it--and I still had trouble with the ending. I couldn't find a good closing line.

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

Ten Minutes To Live

Five minutes were left in the school day when freshman Sierra Summer’s life was threatened over the intercom.

“They’re joking,” I said.

“You will die in ten minutes,” Sierra repeated. “Kayden, that’s not a joke!”

“It’s not gonna happen,” I told her.

The other students pitched in their thoughts on the message while the teacher called the office back and demanded an explanation.

“Miss Kelly,” said the voice over the intercom. “What are you talking about?”

“You threatened Sierra Summer! That’s what I’m talking about. Why?”

“Nobody’s used the intercom in the last twenty minutes.”

Miss Kelly turned to a wide-eyed Sierra. She opened her mouth and closed it again, then turned around. As she spoke with the secretary, Sierra trembled like a vibrating cell phone. Her eyes were hidden by her white hair, but I could tell she was starting to cry.

“Okay, that’s not a joke,” I mumbled. Putting my hand on her shoulder, I continued, “Relax if you can. Think about it. If that guy was gonna come out and kill you, why did he warn you first?”

Sierra didn’t answer, so I returned my attention to the secretary’s voice.

“Yes, we’ve called the police,” the secretary said. “They’re already here. Lock your door; close and shade the windows. I’m turning the mic over now.”

After a brief period of silence, a male voice emitted from the overhead speaker. “Sharon Kelly’s ethics class?” the man said. “I’m Officer Ken Goldman. Sierra, are you there?”

“Yes,” Sierra said.

“How long has it been since the threat on your life?”

“Three minutes.”

“Do you know of anyone who has any motive to kill you?”

“No . . . I was kidnapped four years ago and held for three and a half, so maybe the kidnappers . . .?”

“Possibly,” Goldman said. “What was the reason for the kidnapping?”

“I don’t know. They used a lot of chloroform and I woke up with stitches on my head a few times.”

“Yeah, that’s in the records,” Goldman confirmed. “A remote time bomb is planted in your head. When we arrested the terrorists, we thought we eliminated the remote, but . . .”

Sierra had a bomb in her head? Where had I been these past six months?

“The kidnappers were Iraqi terrorists,” said Goldman. “Al Qaeda, actually. I’m gonna call for some backup. We need to find those terrorists before the bomb detonates. Stay calm, Sierra. We won’t let you die.”

“Wait,” I said to the officer. “Why did they warn us if they were just gonna kill Sierra?”

“We don’t know the nature of the bomb. For all we know, she could be a nuclear warhead. As things are, that’s very likely.”

No way. If I was gonna sit around and let this happen, then I may as well be helping the terrorists kill my friend. Sierra and I had both taken martial arts, but if your head was gone, all your knowledge was literally lost.

“Officer Goldman!” I said. “We don’t have time to wait around for your guys to find the terrorists. We need to lure them out and take the detonator!”

“It’s safest if we don’t use bait.”

“It’s safest not to let anyone die in the case of a nuke blast,” I replied. I stood up and walked toward the door. Miss Kelly caught my arm.

“Don’t go outside,” she said. “What are you thinking? The terrorists won’t come after you.”

Sierra stood up. “I’ll be the bait,” she said, still trembling. “They should come after me.”

I knew Miss Kelly wanted to stop her, but she didn’t. Officer Goldman, on the other side of the intercom, said, “That’s putting yourself directly in the line of fire.”

“It’s better than putting the entire county in the radius of a nuclear bomb,” Sierra replied. She sounded much braver than I knew she was.

“I’m going with you,” I said.

Goldman started to say something, but static cut him off. A new voice came on.

“Sierra Summer, you will die in five minutes.”

Sierra threw open the door and sprinted toward the front doors. I followed her and caught up as she skidded past the office and made a sharp right. She pushed the front door open and stepped outside. In the strong fall wind, she was almost blown back inside, but she pressed on. As if she had any idea where she was going, she started running again, slowed by the wind, but carried by sheer terror.

“Do you know where you’re going?” I shouted.

“The only possible place someone could hide around the school!”

We turned around the corner of a brick building. Sierra stopped in front of an alley and looked down into it. “Stop!” she shouted at the three men crouched around a jumble of antennas, wires, and boxes.

“Sierra,” one of the men said, turning to us. “Look here.”

He threw a small object to her. “A timer?”

“A minute!?” I gasped.

“Sierra Summer,” said the man, “you have a minute to live. Then your head’s gonna explode and everyone around you will die slowly.”

“Stop it then!” Sierra yelled. She took the initiative and ran at the terrorists. The first one falsely anticipated her attack. He held a hand out to block what he thought was a kick to the face. Sierra jumped over him; using his head as a footstool, she landed on another one’s chest. She was throwing punches before the pair hit the ground.

“Sierra, gun!” I cried. She twisted around. A bullet skimmed her cheek and buried itself in an unfortunate terrorist’s neck. With a furious curse, the shooter descended on Sierra and punched her in the side of the head. She rolled twice before hitting a wall.

I would have helped her, but I was occupied with the first terrorist. He had a gun pointed at Sierra and was trying to get a clear shot without hitting his friend. I tackled him from behind and grabbed at his gun. As we fell to the pavement, he fired four shots. I punched him in the back of the head the moment we hit the ground. His arms buckled with the added force and he face planted the ground. When I moved to get a clear view of Sierra, I saw the timer.

With ten seconds left, I got up and charged at the terrorist who was holding Sierra against the wall by her neck, battering her with punches. He turned suddenly and held Sierra out like a shield. Unable to stop, I crashed into her. Two fingers caught on the terrorist’s coat pocket. With my momentum added to gravity, both fingers snapped. Something fell out of the coat. When we hit the ground, Sierra’s body took the impact.

With my good hand, I reached over and grabbed the object from the terrorist’s pocket. Shouting something in another language, he kicked my ribs, then my hand. That alone told me not to let go of the thing. All of my fingers hurt, but only two were broken. I took one glance at Sierra, thought of the timer, and pressed the button.

Immediately, the terrorist screamed in rage, indicating that I had done the right thing. I rolled away, expecting another attack. I smacked my funny bone on something hard and reached for it. Pointing my newly obtained gun at the oncoming terrorist, I pulled the trigger. The gun clicked. My opponent dropped his knee into my ribs and punched at my face. I twisted my body and brought up my arm to block. I was hit, but not nearly as hard as the terrorist wanted. He drew his fist back to try it again.

Sierra gave a weak battle cry as she drove her knee into the back of his head. He got off me and stood up, looking between Sierra and me, breathing hard. He didn’t have the time to make a decision on what to do. Two police cars pulled up on either side of the alley.

“Sierra! Kayden!” someone called. Officer Jeremiah Summer, Sierra’s dad, emerged from one of the cars. “Get over here!”

Sierra’s ten yard journey looked agonizing. Two of her ribs were sticking out of her shirt. Both of her eyes were blackened and blood was streaming from her nose and mouth. If I hadn’t known her eyes were red to begin with, I’d have assumed the insides of those were bleeding as well.

An ambulance was waiting for us when we got out of the alley. Sierra was so weak from the fight that she didn’t have the strength to stay standing in the wind. Officer Summer caught her. “EMT’s!” he called. “Over here!”

Sierra was taken into the ambulance on a stretcher. The paramedics told me to wait for just a moment while they gave Sierra some treatment. Her life, they said, was in no danger.

“Thanks, Kayden,” Officer Summer said. “You saved Sierra’s life.”

I nodded. “Never going through that again, though,” I said. “Someone’s gotta take that bomb outta her head.”

“They can’t,” said Officer Summer. “It’s implanted in her brain. The doctors found it when they first examined her, but they couldn’t take it out without killing her. The same applies to the present.”

In any case, Sierra was alive. I looked into the alley. One terrorist, the one with the bullet in his neck, was put on a stretcher and covered with a white sheet. From there, he was carried out the other side of the alley. Another one was led into the back of a police. The one I’d taken out was also on a stretcher, but not covered in a sheet. I knew I wasn’t responsible for it, but seeing one of the terrorists dead gave me a bad feeling; a feeling that seemed to say, “One more second and that would have been Sierra.”


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Matt wrote:
I do tend to spell it out too much, don't I? That stems from the times when I showed my writing to an adult and received the critique of, "It makes no sense!"

Eh, I wrote something in third grade and no one that I've encountered thus far in my life has understood it besides me. I found it around six months ago in my closet. It discussed death and metaphysical being, perhaps with a bit of transcendentalism thrown in. The reason why no one got it was because they were the wrong audience. Just because everyone else doesn't get it doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense; they might be the wrong audience. Of course, philosophical concepts of being and location in space and time obviously don't come across well to the everyday reader. I might type it up and post it here sometime. I would scan the page it was written on, but I was in third grade, and it's not as legible as I'd like it to be, haha.


Quote:
Sierra trembled like a vibrating cell phone.

Though a good simile, why is relating it to a cell phone important? I would pick another simile that might relate to the story (later on, perhaps) in some way.

Quote:
Sierra had a bomb in her head?

SCOTT MATTHEWS TIME: "Got a head like an atomic bomb, just waiting for the explosion." That's part of his song "Wasp in a Jar"--it's pretty chill; check it out.

Quote:
“The kidnappers were Iraqi terrorists,” said Goldman. “Al Qaeda, actually. I’m gonna call for some backup. We need to find those terrorists before the bomb detonates. Stay calm, Sierra. We won’t let you die.”

Meh, I'm not sure if I like this political blip. Sure, it give insight to our day and times, but--oh, I don't know. Why would al-Quaeda want her, I guess is what I'm asking.

Quote:
“We don’t know the nature of the bomb. For all we know, she could be a nuclear warhead. As things are, that’s very likely.”

I loled. I really hope that pun was intentional!

Quote:
Two of her ribs were sticking out of her shirt.

How? (I'm guessing by saying that it's not possible.)

Quote:
“EMT’s!”

No apostrophe.

It was good, but not exactly to my tastes, I do admit, though. Again, it's with the "young characters doing big things"-thing. But of course, I can talk about other things. I kinda like the idea of an explosive head. I think it would be cool if the authorities did succeed in destroying the first detonator, and the antagonists spent time developing another one, hoping that it would work. It would also be a unique surprise if the characters found out while they were in the hospital that the new detonator the people had didn't work at all.

I think one thing that needed to be worked on was time. Usually this isn't a problem of yours at all, but time seemed to slow down dramatically toward the end. The first large section took up five minutes, and the remaining time left seemed to fly by. There was no relative length or order to the minutes or seconds, if that makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:07 am 
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It makes sense. I originally had the terrorist say that Sierra had three minutes left, then decided that the fight wouldn't take that long. A fight is fast-paced and I thought I could make it all seem like it could happen in a minute.

The thing I have with young characters doing big things is that I'm just not interested in adults. Unless a story is extremely well-written, if it has main characters over 30 (most of the time, if they're out of college), I find it hard to read. That applies to how I write most of the time. I'm aware that it's unbelievable to have high school freshman taking out terrorists, but at age 14 I was pretty proficient in martial arts. Not sure about now (no training for years), but back then I knew for a fact I could beat some adults.
That said, I'll have to do something about it. Either bump up the ages or reduce the conflict. But I didn't want to contribute just another romance story, since everyone else in my class did that.

As for the terrorists wanting Sierra, I failed to explain that because I had a deadline, which I hate. I had to fit in as much as I could and somehow left that out, as well as the fact that the alley they fought in was the place Sierra's adoptive parents found her.

The cell phone thing. When I wrote the simile, I planned for the terrorists to call her and say how long she had, but then I figured that she wouldn't check her cell phone if she'd just got a threat on her life and forgot to remove it.


Maybe someday I'll do some prewriting. Before now, I don't think I've written a single word in preparation for any story.

Thanks for critiquing, Seefy.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:21 am 
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You didn't want to do another romance? Good on you. But perhaps you should have abandoned genre fiction altogether; literary fiction is far more interesting in my opinion, focused as it is on the 'big' questions: human emotion, human social groupings, etc. And, of course, it gives you an excuse to write a bizarre yet intelligent protagonist.

"Whining, melodramatic little children of fourteen, shouting about romance and romantic love and sex. What little they know - what little they can know - of these things. I haven't been fourteen since I was eight; now I am fourteen, I'm twenty-two. As one might expect, though, all this is hard to explain; alienating, perhaps. Parents, teachers, other children... all assume I think the same way as the crawling, conniving masses. Is this intelligence or insanity?"

I'm not even joking when I say I thought that way at fourteen. You should try literary fiction; it's like a heady whiskey compared to the shandy of genre fiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Assorted Literary Works
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:27 am 
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I've never really aimed for any sort of genre, actually. I just write what's in my head. I don't have an intended audience, but it turns out to be the YA area most of the time. Unfortunately there, it sometimes gets too unnatural, with kids beating up terrorists and such. As you said, literary fiction would be a good change, but something psychological like that would probably overwhelm me. I hate making things more complicated than they are; I'm a very simplistic person.

Because of my tendency to make little people do big things, I think I'd be a little better suited to write manga. I'll continue with fiction and probably get some literary fiction in there if I can. It's not gonna be very complex though. I'm not the most intelligent person, but I do have a lot of theories and philosophical thoughts. So that might work.


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