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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Grotesque on the Inside

   
Author Topic: Grotesque on the Inside
C@R3Y
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Well, here's another story. Horror. 1,000 words. I wrote it last year, then I just took it back out and decided to toy with it some to see if I can do something with it.

Anyway, give it a look and let me know your thoughts on this.

Thanks. x]

________________________________________________________________


Jason stepped into the small motel room and knew he was being watched. He could feel it. He heard the floorboards creak. A footstep. He looked around and glanced over his shoulder.
What the hell? The door was gone. It’s freakin’ gone! Jason ran over to the wall where the door had been.
He touched the solid gray wall. It was cold--hard like concrete.
There was another creak behind him. The bed springs. He looked back. A girl sat on his bed, holding up a glass of some liquid, one leg over the other. An elegant woman. Very pretty. She had stunning black hair. Smooth skin. A petite figure, small nose, cherry lips. She dipped her fingers into the liquid. Then took them back and flicked the liquid at him with a warm smile.
She stood up and moved across the room, her hand limp by her side,

[ November 18, 2011, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: C@R3Y ]

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Bent Tree
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This one seems a bit cliche and flat to me. Perhaps it is staring in the wrong place. What is leading him to go into a strange hotel room? What does he feel... see? I suggest looking at your use of pronouns (He, especially) and consider deepening your POV which will eliminate the need to use them and make for crisper prose.

Example:

A thousand eyes starred upon him. Am I losing my mind?Jason's stomach sank. Something wasn't right. Floorboards moaned in the cold empty motel room...

Overall, the pace here seems a little fast. I think you might slow it down a bit. Get into the character's head, and give us some imagery. Adjectives would benefit the scene.

I will give a look at the whole thing if you would like. Send it over.

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C@R3Y
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Thanks, Bent Tree. It probably is a bit cliche is my guess. I will consider re-writing the entire piece to perhaps fix it not being a cliche. I actually did get a rejection a few months ago with this and that was what the rejection said.

Thanks for the offer, Bent Tree, but this story isn't really doing it for me right now (I have other projects I've been spending more time on, ya know). Maybe at a later time, I will just change it altogether as to make it more unexpected and not so cliche. Again, thanks for the offer. x]

However, I just finished this really really short flash fiction piece. It is 274 words. The reason it is so short is that... I am in Barnes and Nobles right now and I ran across this book that has the shortest horror stories ever, each 55 words a piece. I read almost the entire book and came up with an idea (as in, I studied the art of the extremely short short story. I took nothing else in this story I wrote). I am going to post it up, but would you be interested in reading this short piece instead?

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Bent Tree
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Sure, I used to publish a bunch of Micro Fiction. It is fun and a valuable tool for learning to maximize words. I would be glad to look at it.
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wisealma
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C@R3Y,

For me, good horror builds suspense quietly. I think the issue here that you try to jump into the suspense too quickly (artificially/not a proper build up) and therefore it doesn't "feel" suspenseful. It feels a little forced.

The opening paragraph doesn't grab me, or give me a reason to care about Jason. The best sentence was that he was being watched. Then, all of a sudden, the door just disappears etc.

I'd lead up/build up a little bit more. That will probably give your reader a better reason to stay with you, and actually make the writing more tense/suspenseful.

Good luck.
Justin

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C@R3Y
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Thanks, Wisealma. I was thinking the same thing.

x]

I probably won't come back to this one for awhile, if I do at all, as I have other projects I am working on, and because this story was an old one I wrote a year and a half ago that I decided to give another chance. You know, just to see how things would go.

However, I will remember what you've said for future works.

Thanks again.

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Uley Bone
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Afraid I am going to have to agree, though I would not have bothered responding if I didn't have another take on it.

Having written a horror tale or two (which would likely account for like 80% of everything I have ever written, give or take)-- seems almost odd to be saying this, but it needs a little more sauce. Jumping right into the action is fine, which might require some rework on the way you work it through the opening. It isn't what you have written, it is what you haven't written-- or at least the choice of how you went about telling the story. There are hundreds of ways to rewrite it, but there is still the chores of making the opening scene work.

But one of the tried and true is a one line zinger, which is almost always the first line of the story.

Examples:

"It was right after the fight with Niccolo that Eli went for his last drive." (Poppy Z. Brite, "The Ocean")

"I found an index finger on my front porch this morning." (Michelle Scalise, "Just Someone Her Mother Might Have Known.)

From there, both writers go into the set up. While it doesn't necessarily have to directly relate to the big, mean, nasty and evil thing-- you've got a fair indication these folk are not going to have a particularly good day. While not every horror story starts straight out with a "zinger", if you can catch a reader's attention in the first line-- the other twelve are the sauce (who & where they are, how and why they got there.)

Those were two modern examples taken from a single book of short horror stories, back to back actually.

You have your "zinger" out of place.

(Only a slight rework)

"When Jason walked into the motel room, a very pretty girl sat on his bed holding a glass."

It may not be the best one liner, but it works for a set up, and then you can go on from there.

Those are my thoughts upon it leastwise. Nice to meet you.

Uley

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C@R3Y
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It is good to meet you as well. As I have said previously, this story is not my best. Far from it. It was something I wrote a year and a half ago and decided to just toss this up here again. Although I do not plan on coming back to this story anytime soon, as I am working on better projects, I will most certainly take your comments into consideration.

Thanks again for the help. You definitely bring up some really good points.

Welcome. x]]

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