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Author Topic: Popular Veto
Member # 8970

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Ok, made some changes to the setting in the story: didn't like the lifelessness of the outside in the first. Also, moved up the action. Bye-bye office.

Version II:

Albert Sommers stood behind the iron-gate, a hint of sweat beading on his forehead. Across the street, news vultures checked their equipment and made their last pre-event segments. Sommers donned a wide smile for the cameras. They wouldn’t feed on his bones this day.

“Are you ready, Congressman?” The security chief stood ready to signal the gate at Sommers’s word.

Sommers clutched the vote tablet to his chest. At the head of a small army of patriotic citizens, the composition of the scene was perfect. “Democracy is always ready,” Sommers replied. God he hoped those vultures could hear him.

The gate slid open and the first squad rushed out, taking positions along Capitol Ave to the cheers and jeers of the

Version I:

Albert Sommers put the pen down and stared out the window. The easy part was over.

Outside it was a beautiful summer day, the kind normally filled with life and activity. But now it was quiet. Four stationed ambulances by the firehouse were the only signs of activity outside the steel gate of his building. Capitol Ave was empty, devoid of even a single parked car or lost motorist. Even at its worst, there had always been a crowd looking for a show, camping out in the neighboring lawns in a carnival atmosphere, but this was different.

“Are you ready, Congressman?” a voice came from the doorway.

Sommers secured his helmet before he grabbed the vote tablet off his desk. The composition of his office was perfect.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited July 07, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by JSchuler (edited July 14, 2010).]

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Member # 2651

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There's enough intriguing stuff here - the deserted Capitol Avenue, the helmet that he puts on which is not "normal" Congressman workwear - that I am not convinced you need to do the whole teaser thing with him signing something and you not telling us what. He knows what it is, so the fact that you aren't telling us is an artificial hook, and those have a tendency to be frustrating rather than enticing.

Nevertheless I would read on, but it's borderline.

Just my opinion; feel free to reject it.

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Member # 5174

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Nits -
1) You can cut "Outside" at the start of paragraph 2; I think it reads better without it. We already know Albert is inside, and where else would it be a beautiful summer day?

2) You use "activity" twice in the 2nd paragraph - I would drop the first one.

3) Stationed ambulances don't seem like a sign of activity to me. Perhaps you should mention the emergency personnel prepping, or something.

Interesting enough for me to turn the page, but I'll need something to happen (or become clearer) soon...

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Member # 9156

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I like the premise. I would have probably started outside and worked my way inside, the office and then inside his head.

Posting my version of your start would be annoying though, especially since I don't see anyone else doing that.

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Member # 2818

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In general I liked it.

My suggestion to you would be to cut the second paragraph. It is not necessary at this point of the story for this much description. Give us some movement, some action, let us get to know the situation from the characters, don't just tell us. So far nothing has happened.

If nothing else, get the congressman outside where he can comment on how quiet it is, but get some movement.

I would keep reading as I suspect the action is just a paragraph or two away, but you could bring the action in faster, and spread the descriptive info out a bit more.

Just my thoughts.

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Member # 7738

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I like your second version much better. My only nitpick is the final line, when the gate opens and "the first squad rushed out." I'm guessing that's a security force? I found it kind of jarring because until that moment, I pictured Sommers at the head of a group of followers standing behind the gate waiting for it to open, and the security chief, and no one else. The security force kind of appears out of nowhere.

Other than that nitpick, I think it's a definite improvement, and I would read on.

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Member # 9156

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That is very good!

The first squad rushing out through the gates is a surprise that tells me that there is definitely some kind of violent action coming.

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Zack Zyder
Member # 9162

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I liked the term: News Vultures.

Is the congressman a "lovable scoundrel?" (Someone who can be a grandstanding cheeseball but still get some good things done?

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New Member
Member # 9186

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Really liked version II and would like to keep reading. However, I think you used the word "vultures" one too many times.
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Member # 9192

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Interesting enough to want to read more. Straight into the action and good teaser words to help me imagine a larger conflict. Got a sense of characterization in that space.

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