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Author Topic: Untitled (SF/horror 2000 words)
Paul-girtbooks
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Autumnmuse has already kindly critiqued this story. I have, as best I can given the meager skills which I possess, incorporated her suggestions.

Looking for readers for the entire manuscript (2000 words) although, as ever, any comments are appreciated.

DISCLAIMER: for anything I got right, thank 'muse. For eveything else lay it solely at my feet!

* * * * *
Josh wandered off from the rest of the kids out trick-or-treating and headed toward the woods where a many-colored, misty light was beginning to fade. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the other kids: sure, they teased him some, but that was mostly okay. It was just that, well, he didn’t need them. And if something better was to come along, like this weird pulsing light, he wouldn’t hesitate to take a look.
Ten minutes later the adult leading the group realized Josh was missing. They found him in less than an hour. But by then it was too late.
#
Using the moonlight to guide his way, Josh walked to where he thought the source of the colored light, now gone, had come from.
* * * * *

[This message has been edited by Paul-girtbooks (edited October 10, 2005).]


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Leigh
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I found it a bit confusing that Josh left and wasnt noticed missing for 10 minutes.

How did they find him? When did they find him? I'm only new here but I am starting to ask myself these sort of questions.


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wbriggs
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Well, the narrator is really pushing this humility thing -- oh, you meant the story! !

"It wasn't that..." I think it's better to start with what it was. I just want to skip what it was.

Josh was so indifferent to the other kids that he wandered off... but while he did this, he kept thinking about the other kids! So I can't tell if he's really indifferent or not. If he is, just mention them in passing. If he isn't, highlight it a bit, as in, "He was indifferent to the other kids. All they ever wanted to do was tease. But he didn't care. They could just stuff their fat little faces with candy and die for all he cared."

...and he wandered off to see a mysterious light. In evening. Alone. On Hallowe'en. It makes me wonder if he's borderline autistic, having such different reactions from the rest of us. Wasn't he scared? You can make me believe it, but you'll have to show me that you know he's different, and maybe why.

You've got 2 POV shifts; heavy work on the reader. Here's my suggestion:

quote:

Ten minutes INTO LEADING A GROUP OF TRICK-OR-TREATERS, MRS. SMITH realized Josh was missing. SHE found him in less than an hour. But by then it was too late.
#
Using the moonlight to guide his way, Josh walked to where he thought the source of the colored light, now gone, had come from.

I'm not sure about naming Mrs. Smith, because it seems to imply she's the POV character. ? Anyway, this only has 1 POV shift, and it's in paragraph 1 (which OSC says is "free"), and it's a hook!

[This message has been edited by wbriggs (edited October 10, 2005).]


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LMermaid
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I'd be happy to read the whole story if you want to email it to me.
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Jaz
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Paul,

I am always interested in stories that have children as their main character (whoa does that sound bad!). No really, I am trying to finish one myself so reading others may give me some motivation.

I would be willing to read the whole thing if you are interested.

Jaz


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tchernabyelo
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Paul

If you want to mail this, I'll give it a crit.


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Dude
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This opening meanders a little too much for me. First off, he's not wandering, he is purposely following the light. Then there is an explanation as to why he decides to follow the light instead of staying with the group, and finally, it loops back to the group too soon. It seems like you are trying too hard to set up your opening--just get to the action. I don't care why he left the group at this point, or that they finally missed him--I want to know about the light and why it drew him away.
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Noctivigant
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I'll read this.

What kind of critique would you like?


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Robyn_Hood
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The POV shift seems more like a POV violation. And you don't really need it there at all, at least not based on the opening we see here.

If you want to have that little bit, consider putting first. i.e.:

Mrs. Smith counted the trick-or-treaters as they jumped into the van, ready to pillage the next set of house...seven...eight...nine...

That wasn't right, there were supposed to be ten.

#

Josh wandered off from the rest of the kids out trick-or-treating and headed toward the woods where a many-colored, misty light was beginning to fade. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the other kids: sure, they teased him some, but that was mostly okay. It was just that, well, he didn’t need them. And if something better was to come along, like this weird pulsing light, he wouldn’t hesitate to take a look.

Using the moonlight to guide his way, Josh walked to where he thought the source of the colored light, now gone, had come from.

-----------

The two paragraphs from Josh's POV sound like they go together. The adult POV breaks it up in an awkward way.

That said, the story itself is intriguing. If you need readers, I'm curious.


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Paul-girtbooks
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Thanks, noctivigant and Robin - sorry for the delay; I've been snowed under with my regular job for the past few days and this is the first opportunity since then that I've had to turn on the computer. Sending it your way now...
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Smaug
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I'll read it.
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