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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » resistance

   
Author Topic: resistance
adamatom
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After motivating the rat for a while with shocks and food, Dr. Philips picked it up, slit its throat, and threw the body at my feet. Through all of this, Dr. Philips never spoke a word to me, never even looked at me. I stared at the dead rat for a few moments. Before I could speak, I felt the most excruciating pain in my head, then I blacked out. When I woke, everyone left the room. As they were leaving, I noticed the dead rat was still on the floor. After they closed the door, the lights went out. I was left there to consider the consequences of my resistance. My head pounded for a few hours. I finally fell asleep. When I woke again, the lights were still off and I was still on the floor. I felt around for my bed and laid down. A few hours later, the lights came on

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited November 24, 2009).]


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satate
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Interesting, yet confusing, I feel like the main charaater is witholding information from me. He obviously knows he's being punished and how but when he falls to the floor it's a complete shock to me. While I like the writing I feel frustrated that the MC is not sharing important information. Also I don't understand the relationship between the MC and the rat, why is the rat even in the story. I feel like the story should have started a little earlier so I could understand what is going, like I've just waked in on the tail end of a conversation and everyone gets the joke but me.
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Wolfe_boy
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This is still journalistic, fact-based, and terribly dry.

There is also little to no flow between sentences/events. Seriously, this is very Un Chien Andalou.

1. A rat is tortured, then killed summarily.
2. I experience blinding pain and pass out.
3. I wake and everyone leaves the room inexplicably.
4. The door is closed and the lights go out.
5. I consider the consequences of my resistance (to what is my question. The narrator hasn't actually done anything).
6. I sleep. It is still dark.
7. I wake. It is still dark.
8. People reenter the room. My training (again, what training? Nothing has happened) begins again.

If you're trying to liken the experience of the rat to what your MC is experiencing, you're going to have to try again. This is a miss.


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adamatom
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I was a prototype superclone. I was designed to outsmart, outmaneuver, and physically overwhelm opponents. They planned for me to enter enemy countries to assassinate leaders, kidnap scientists and businessmen, rescue hostages and dissenters, raid bank accounts, and steal inventions.


This was the original opener. But as I've seen with other posts, it's too much of a journalistic, biographical, infodump.

So I tried the torture scene. More personal. More action. More dramatic. Then let the superclone fill the reader in on who he is and why he started to resist.


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adamatom
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I opened my eyes and saw men in lab coats.


Actually, this is was the original opening. Cliche #1: waking up. Cliche #2: men in lab coats.


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adamatom
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Alternative opening:

“George,” Wilson said, “we will explain everything to you after you complete your training. What’s important now is that you stop interrupting your training and start obeying again. If you obey, everything will be OK.”

“No,” I said. “I want to know how I got here. I want to know who you are. I want to know why you’re training me. I want to know what’s beyond that door.”

“Dr. Philips,” he said into his handcom, “George has entered the stage where your services have become necessary.” A man I had never seen before entered the room. “This is Dr. Philips. He’s in charge of discipline. Pay careful attention, George. Something very important is about to happen to you and you should never forget it.”

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited November 24, 2009).]


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tchernabyelo
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I like that last one, the dialogue makes it much more immediate and there's a genuine sense of threat, plus the hook of what Dr Philips is about to do.
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LlessurNire
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I agree with tchernabyelo, last alternative opening works best, and I am wondering what Dr Philips is going to do.

My only suggestion: make this 13 somehow even MORE menacing. maybe trim some of the dialogue lines, so there is room for a line or two of description, where the MC notices some very menacing things hinting at the torture/surprise to come.


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adamatom
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After Dr. Wilson says, "Something very important is about to happen to you and you should never forget it," George says: Indeed, what happened next would haunt me long after I escaped that room. That line got cut.



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adamatom
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"This is Dr. Philips. He’s in charge of discipline."

In the next paragraph, George notes that Dr. Philips doesn't say a word to him, doesn't even look at him. To be consistent, and to reinforce how indifferent and sinister Dr. Philips is, I should cut Dr. Wilson introducing Dr. Philips. Cut this line to make room for Dr. Philips sliting the rat's throat and throwing the body at George's feet.

Progress. Thanks everyone.


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