May 17 2009

Sax Man’s Review Forum

Published by at 10:08 am under Review Forums

Please see the comments below.  Thanks.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Sax Man’s Review Forum”

  1. Sax Manon 25 May 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Ok well sice I don’t know how to post stuff on my forum I’ll just use this as a reply to myself, of sorts. Anyway, here is the opening of my tale…I think I’ve decided on calling it Absolute. As this has many subtle meanings throught the story, along with being a description of the protangonist’s abilities. So…here we go. (As a side-note, this story is in both 1st and 3rd person–so try to keep up)::

    ———
    Where should I begin? Um…let’s see, something easy…the accident.

    ———

    The city smelled of three day old everything, almost as if every piece of garbage wanted to rot at the same time, just for laughs. Faint sounds of puddle splashes and running broke through the odd groan of the city. “GO! Chris com’on! The cops are comin’!’ a blonde haired man yelled as he bolted down an alleyway. As he approached the rendezvous point, no one was there to meet him. “Chris?? Johnny?? I got this shit you wanted!…oh okay…I see the way it is, have me almost get killed trying to get here and you don’t even SHOW UP!!”

    Listening to his semi-delusional partner’s rant to a brick wall, another shadow hobbled down the same path as the blonde haired man. “Kev-vin, I-I got hit…” Chris nearly collapsed trying to get close enough for his accomplice to notice his injuries. “It’s pitch black out here Chris where are you?” An uncomforting silence separated the conversation. “The left side of my body is gone, m-man” as he said this, small red streams trickled their way to Kevin’s feet. “Jesus Christ! We need to get you to a hospital or back to base!” A van slowly crouched down the alleyway, it flashed its lights three times, and Kevin knew they were safe.

    A tall, slightly round man opened the door of the vehicle and asked about the bounty that was stolen for him. “Yah, we got it, but we also got a few free bullets in Chris’s arm and leg as a door prize.” “Kevin, you knows dis is nona my concern, I came here for the backpack and what’s in it…not for yous two.” “He is dieing!” the words spewed from Kevin’s mouth before he could even think of what to say. An unseen fist came from nearly every direction, but only had struck him once. Cold, everything became cold.

    ———

    As he regained consciousness parts of a conversation could be made out: … “Freezin’ in da summer…” “…nothing in the backpack…” “…shouldn’t have save ‘em…” “…only able ta get one…” After hearing that, Kevin forced himself out of bed, what actually was a spare park bench that was ‘mysteriously’ missing from the park, and started shooting off questions: “Where’s Chris?…Where am I?… What did you want that backpack for?…How can it be cold in the summer?” “Somebody shut him up” Johnny arose and put on a ring. “I did last time and I’ll do it again Kevin, just keep talkin.” “He doesn’t need to know nothing” said a man across the room. “Curiosity killed the dog” said another. “It was the cat! Curiosity killed the cat! Guys if you want to be part of this organization than at least use some proper grammar and shit…isn’t that right Johnny? This ‘organization’ just another name for gang. That’s all we are, small time crooks! We have no purpose! Only looking for more turf to control. Nothing more; what do you want to be Johnny, some big bad gangster?! Because I know you’re not anything but a coward!

    It was silent in the bunks that night. Everyone was thinking, mainly about nothing, just completely different topics: “Why do sleep in this revolting shit-hole and Johnny sleeps in king-sized seclusion”, “I wonder what gophers think about”, “Bullets are like little hookers, cheap and it only takes one to mess you up”, but none of these really compared to the ideas forming in Kevin’s newly bruised head (that oddly looked like a ring)…”How did the police now we were hitting that certain combination of places—a jewelry store, computer store, and chemical storage facility—all in less then half an hour?” and “Why would they open fire on crooks with only a small amount of stolen goods on them?”. Time begin to become just a word, as seconds became minutes, minutes stretched into hours, and hours just became apart of the darkness itself.

    ———

    The ‘boss’ was up to something big and I knew it. He was quiet these past couple days since Chris’s shooting and the cold summer night. I’ve been thinkin’ too, but pretty much about the past. It’s weird; I’ve been talking to myself more, maybe because of Chris’s passing and my loss of a friend. Remember, when people get enraged they’ll become ‘hot under the collar’ well for me, it’s literally the exact opposite. My arms and legs start going numb and start shivering. And it has only been occurring as of late, it makes me wonder if it was the…no…it couldn’t have been.

    Well, here we go again. Midnight and in ski masks. Gloves, lock picks, and guns. You know, just between you and me, I’m getting kinda sick of this whole robbery thing—something in me just thinks it’s wrong. Time to forget about it now, its show time. Only one security guard, poor guy, I can already see his lifeless look of shock on whom or what killed him.

    ———

    The glass shattered almost like music, at least for those willing to hear it. The van once full of men was emptied instantaneously. A lone security guard was gunned down by Frank, Johnny’s right hand man. Around the solemn glass building, the living shadows quickly went through the plan. “First floor, Jim and Michael. Second, Tony and Kevin. Frank and I’ll take the third” Johnny whispered with such power it was almost a grunt. Strange what a glass building looks like at night, lit up by the moon, revealing things once hidden. “Attack dogs on right wing” was mentioned, but by who was unknown. Kevin and Tony had already bolted up to the building running through the shot-open hole that once was a glass door into the stairwell. Everyone did their part so flawlessly that it was over in minutes.

    Frank came running down the stairs whistling twice, meaning he had what he came for. No time was wasted as Kevin was nearly on the first floor as the second whistle happened. Sprinting towards the van five men was counted. One was missing. “Drive Frank!!” Johnny screamed as he tore off his mask. Dogs could be heard snarling and ripping in the background of the roaring engine, along with the high-pitched echo of an alarm. “Crack a few eggs an’ make an omelet, huh?” the smirking Johnny mentioned as Kevin was in shock to see Jim’s shaking body under the ravenous guard dogs. The van grew silent until broken by Kevin’s odd question “Can someone turn up the heater?” Tony tried to tell him it was almost 90 degrees that night, but while arguing something happened no one saw coming——everything stopped.

  2. Ragged Boyon 25 May 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I’m in a reading mood, I’ll get started on this now.

  3. Ragged Boyon 25 May 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Generally, I think this is pretty good. Here are some of my thought:

    – I understood that the switch to first person had Kevin as the main character, but a random change in perspective could be very jarring for a reader that is unwarned. My suggestion would be to switch perspectives between chapters, not in the midst. Although, I don’t feel the first-person account added much other than an internal monologue. If it’s not going to offer more I’d recommend cutting the switches entirely. Alternatively, you could rework it and say that Kevin is writing in a journal before the mission. I think that would be acceptable, not a jarring, and would add an interesting trait to his personality.

    “The city smelled of three day old everything, almost as if every piece of garbage wanted to rot at the same time, just for laughs.”

    -I don’t feel that this sentence adds much to the first paragraph, it seems irrelevant. I think you could go further saying something about how hot the city is. Then, the differentiate between the setting and Kevin’s coldness would be more apparant.

    “Curiosity killed the dog” said another. “It was the cat! Curiosity killed the cat! Guys if you want to be part of this organization than at least use some proper grammar and shit…isn’t that right Johnny?”

    – I think ‘grammar’ should be replaced with ‘wording’.

    – I think Kevin is portrays well. Although, I can’t point out any strong individualistic qualities besides the fact that he’s the only one with an actual conscience.

    -I feel that Johnny is portrayed very well. Good job!

    – The writing has a strong feel which is a good thing, but a publisher may question the marketability of violent work. Although, I really don’t think this will be a problem for you. B. Mac can give you more insight ino this than me.

    Other than that I think everything else works pretty well. I’d like to see more.

  4. Sax Manon 27 May 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Gracias for the constructiveness.

    I won’t be able to post for a little more than a week because of finals week coming at my high school, so I’ll put off life as an aspiring author until then.

  5. B. Macon 28 May 2009 at 6:02 am

    Here are some thoughts and suggestions.
    –It’s sometimes hard to tell who’s talking.
    –When a speaker stops speaking, please start a new paragraph.
    –Punctuation is an issue. “It’s pitch black out here Chris where are you?” I think that should be split into two sentences. “Chris c’mon!” should probably have a comma after Chris, etc.
    –I recommend replacing double question marks (??) and double exclamation points with singles.
    –I like the first sentence. I’d recommend cutting the phrase “just for laughs,” though.
    –The shift to first-person is very disorienting. If at all possible, I recommend sticking with first-person or third-person. I like the narrator’s voice more than Kevin’s.
    –It’s not clear that Kevin is the first-person narrator.
    –I think time is passing too quickly. Drawing out the scenes would probably help you develop the characters and help readers follow the story.
    –I don’t feel it makes me care very much about the characters or story.

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