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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Platinum Blonde - WIP SF

   
Author Topic: Platinum Blonde - WIP SF
Osiris
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Hi,

I'm doing three things I've never done before with this one. Targeting flash length (1k), writing first person POV, and writing part of it from the antagonist's POV.

Revised first 13 below.

----------------------------
Artís the gateway to sin. Papaíd have a heart-attack if one hadnít killed him already. Look at them out there, one big happy family, holding hands and dancing on the docks like thereís no God. Singing their dirty Bedouin songs. That little girl must be eight or nine, and still no head-scarf? What the hell is wrong with these people.
The creaking of my apartment window drowns them out as I close it, a second of mercy, but the single pane barely muffles the song once itís closed. Thereís only one way to silence them. Papa didnít trade Miamiís heathenry for the same here in Alexandria. Thereís only one way to silence them.
I need a gun, but first I need my dose of nanites. Quick reflexes are for more than just football.

[ December 19, 2011, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: Osiris ]

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pdblake
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I pretty much get that. Definately some kind of religious phsycopath anyway. Someone bible-bashed into a bad mental state.

I also get the impression he's a junky to those ninites he's injecting.

Despite picking up on hints of a bad childhood, I don't feel any sympathy at all. Probably due to the act I know he's about to commit. It's like expecting to feel sympathy for a kiddie fiddler because someone did it to him in the past. It's just not there.


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Osiris
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Thanks PD, sympathy might not be all that important.

I think more important, is if the reader wants to read on.

[This message has been edited by Osiris (edited October 13, 2011).]


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Yados
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Well we certainly don't get too much sympathy from those first thirteen lines. Just as well, with an unlikable character, sympathy should be earned, not proposed up front.

Nonetheless, I think you do a good job establishing a voice.

One suggestion is to not begin with a monologue devoid of action. You can establish voice alongside other stuff happening.

I know I went through three drafts of my first attempt at writing something before I realized that the biggest problem was that I wasn't starting with conflict/interaction. A long, in character description about a character transcribing a book can be illuminating to the specific character, that isn't a good thing to start the book with.

I'm not saying you're doing this. But I am saying that you should get as quickly to conflict as possible. Especially since this is a short work.


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pdblake
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Forgot to say, yes, I would read on. It did hook me, I just didn't sympathise with the MC.

[This message has been edited by pdblake (edited October 14, 2011).]


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EVOC
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I think it needs a bit of reworking. The opening scene starts with a monologue but nothing going on, no context to place it in. Perhaps opening with the last line, at least now we have the context of kids playing with chalk.

No sympathy for this MC, in fact I find myself hoping he was the one killed inside the first 13. Certainly nailed unlikable.

As far as changing the POV, that may be tough with a flash piece. But really, I can't say you should or shouldn't do it with out knowing how it is done. I don't see Flash that changes POV often, but I have seen it done before.

You ask if I would read on, I am a bit torn. I want to read on for hope someone does something about this MC. But at the same time, I personally don't care to read more about someone I so despise. Here is a junkie, religious fanatic, terrorist, child killer, why do I care what happens to him?

So, not sure if I would read on or not.


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OliverBuckram
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I thought this was a generally good start, although it is kind of static. We are just hearing internal dialogue without much action. I thought the internal dialogue was pretty interesting, especially about the headscarves and the sin. His references to Papa seemed less successful because they were heavy handed.

General comment-the narrator sounds pretty Americanized. His idiomatic English made it jarring that he was an Islamic fundamentalist. Not sure if this was intentional.

When I read the first sentence, perhaps because Art was capitalized, I thought we were talking about a man named Art (like Art Garfunkle). Maybe "Dancing's the gateway to sin?"

The second sentence took me a while to parse. Maybe simplify somehow?
Papaíd have a heart-attack if he was still alive?

The vein surfaces on command, just like a woman should.--i didn't understand this. A woman might be obedient, but she doesn't surface on command (a submarine might surface on command).

God help me, they're drawing on the asphalt with chalk--if they hadn't been drawing previously, then why did he mention art previously?


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Osiris
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Hi,

I finally finished a first draft of this, and I'm looking for an alpha read or two. Mostly to answer 'does this story work', as writing first person present from an antagonist's POV is something I've never done before.

The first draft is 2k in length, and I'm happy to return the favor. Any takers?

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Merlion-Emrys
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It may take me a little longer than usual but you can send it to me.
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Nick T
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Not sure if I've done a story for you before. Fire away.
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Denevius
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flash fiction always runs the risk of leaving too many unanswered questions. if i'm reading these lines correctly, seems like the narrator is about to go poastal on the people dancing outside his window. if i'm right about that, then that's kool, but i tink it might be tricky to make his reaction seem convincing in a 1000 words. this guy isn't just suddenly flipping out, he seems methodical. but then, why now? is this the first time, or has he done this before?
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Osiris
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@Nick, thank you for the offer, I have sent a revised version of the manuscript to you.

@Denevius, the draft ended up being a hair over 2k, and I don't think it could've been any shorter than this. As you said, it'd come off as unbelievable if he just went outside and killed the people right away. Even at 2k, some questions are left unanswered, but they aren't the ones that are critical to plot.

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Denevius
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if you're interested in more readers, i'll take a look at it.
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Osiris
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Thanks Denevius, I sent you the manuscript.
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micmcd
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For some reason, the first contraction bothered me. Otherwise it is quite interesting. Also, the title is SUPER MEGA AWESOME. Seriously, I love the title.
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