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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » For We are Legion - Horror - 5,200 words

   
Author Topic: For We are Legion - Horror - 5,200 words
C@R3Y
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NEWEST VERSION:

I fixed the story up a bit since it was last up here a month ago. Looking for readers. If you are up for trading, I'm game. It could really help me out. x] Let me know if you would read on/what needs work/what's good/and anything in between.

Thanks in advance
________________________________________________________________
Robert followed his dead wife upstairs to the bedroom, his heart cracked with each step to the wood floor, and all the while he wondered_what_she was. Was she a spirit? A ghost? A demon haunting him in the darkest hours of the night?
Hell no. It was worse than that. She was a painful image, a memory from hell, shattering his last hopes of happiness into thousands of tiny shards of his gut-twisting past.
His wife_was_here. He knew it. She wasn’t a demon or a ghost, but then again…
Maybe she was. What if she was? What then?
Cali stopped in the doorway and turned to him, her silver-rimmed spectacles sliding down her face, her straight black hair fell over her shoulders. She winked and disappeared inside the room.


______________________________________________________________


OLDEST VERSION:

Robert followed Linda up to the bedroom. His heart skipped a beat when she smiled at him. When she glanced over her shoulder and winked, his heart melted. Robert smiled, following her down the hall. She turned into the room. He hurried to keep up. When he entered, she was gone. It was another trick: she always played her disappearing act. Just like a child. He scratched his head, still grinning. Then he frowned and his legs wobbled.
His wife’s been dead for years. He sighed and dragged his feet toward the bed. He placed his hand on the soft tan blanket. Just once I’d like to believe she was here with me. Then we could be together again. But no. God had to tease him. It was always reality he faced at the end of the day, wasn't it?

OLD VERSION:
____________________________________________________________

Linda had been dead for years, but somehow Robert found himself following her up to the room with a dreadful heart. His heart rocked like a ship in a bad storm, the beats crashed against his chest and pained him in his sickened stomach. She’s here. How’s she here? He asked himself these questions, but he only wanted to let himself loose of the digging pain in his heart. At the doorway, his wife winked. Then she entered the room. Gulping, he stepped carefully down the hallway and closed his eyes in the threshold. “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this again,” he repeated to himself over and over again. He opened his eyes and the empty bedroom laughed at him. He fell to his knees, the back of his hands smacked against the wood floor with a tick.

[This message has been edited by C@R3Y (edited October 20, 2011).]

[ December 03, 2011, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: C@R3Y ]

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GreatNovus
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While short and to the point is easy to follow, the way your story is wrote makes it hard to get emotionally attached to or exctied about. It is a little to much tell and not enough show, plus it could do with a rewrite to get rid of cliches. Skipping a beat and heart melting has been overused, put your own unique creative spin on it. Also down at the end you have a dramatic shift from third person to first person. Changing Point of View isn't necesarily a no-no, but it must be done with perfect precision. As it is currently it is extremely jarring to the reader for it to be wrote that way. It would be like me telling you about an event happening and then throwing in two people talkign without names quotation marks or any modifiers.

Despite all that I enjoyed the little read and can't wait to see what else you do with it.


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axeminister
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GreatNovus mentioned many of the things I was planning to say.

The tense shift is odd. If you're going for an in the character's head shift, it didn't work as written.

I also felt a shift in my own perception of how old the character was. He exhibits young man feelings, then you say just as a child, but then I read his wife's been dead for years.

Factual, but lacks some emotion. In the sense of being shown. We have frowned and sighed. That's about it.

Not bad, just needs some word juggling. You might consider starting with the line about his wife being dead. It's a secret we don't need withheld. In fact, the lines above it have more punch if we know this, than when we don't.

Axe


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C@R3Y
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Thanks for the comments. =] Anyway, I just revised it a little bit ago. Let me know if it's better and what I can fix now. Comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. =]
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C@R3Y
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I noticed something, before someone also comments on it. It sounds repititous: letting himself loose of the digging pain in his heart. I said "heart" in this like three times so closely together. Whoops. But I caught it.

[This message has been edited by C@R3Y (edited October 20, 2011).]


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Auskar
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I'm looking at the revised version...

"Linda had been dead for years, but somehow Robert found himself following her up to the room with a dreadful heart. His heart rocked like a ship in a bad storm, the beats crashed against his chest and pained him in his sickened stomach. She�s here. How�s she here? He asked himself these questions, but he only wanted to let himself loose of the digging pain in his heart. At the doorway, his wife winked. Then she entered the room. Gulping, he stepped carefully down the hallway and closed his eyes in the threshold. �I don�t want to do this, I don�t want to do this again,� he repeated to himself over and over again. He opened his eyes and the empty bedroom laughed at him. He fell to his knees, the back of his hands smacked against the wood floor with a tick."

1) Perhaps the first sentence should start with Robert instead of his dead wife, as in, "Robert followed his dead wife up the stairs..."

2) Take out, "She's here!" Change "How's she here?" to "How was she here?"

3) Consider removing the reference to his stomach. It makes an emotional thing a biological thing. Maybe he was "revolted" but not sick to his stomach"...

4) I was going to mention that you said "heart" three times, but you posted that you noticed it.

5) I just read the original version. It has a lot of information that is not in the revised version. In the first version, I think it is a ghost story. In the second one, I thought it was a vampire story and I wondered, "where did the vampire go?"


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C@R3Y
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Just thought I'd pop this back up to the top. I fixed it up some. I am willing to swap stories.

Thanks

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annepin
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The latest version doesn't really work for me. There's too much speculation, and he ends up contradicting himself. As a reader, I feel frustrated. I'd rather read what _is_ than what _isn't_ so i can draw my own conclusions. Meaning, don't tell us what he thinks she may or may not be, but show us what she is and show us how he reacts to her--make it clear that he's hesitant about trusting her by his actions and his responses to her.

I stumbled on "his heart cracked". It just seemed overdone.

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InarticulateBabbler
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I'll give it a look. Send it over. Also, I'll trade a horror story I have. Put "Hatrack Story" in the subject line, or it might get deleted.
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C@R3Y
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Thanks, InarticulateBabbler. I'll send it over just as soon as I fix a couple of things. Go ahead and send me your story as well.
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