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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Horsemen of Route 116

   
Author Topic: The Horsemen of Route 116
C@R3Y
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The story is now about 10,000 words, but I am trying to bring it down further to a more acceptable length. It_was_14,000, but I managed to get rid of 4,000 after a few drafts.

I am looking for readers and I am willing to trade.

________________________________________________________________

NEWEST VERSION - 12/27/11


I couldn't stop laughing and holding my sides, feeling dizzy, wanting to vomit. Wow. I had way too many shots of Jim Beam. Closing my eyes, I fell back in my seat, threw my head up and screamed at the ceiling.
Don sat next to me and snickered, his hands tightened on the wheel, the wasteland on both sides flying by. I had no idea what the hell was going on, but through blurry vision I saw a tilted dusty sign that said Route 116.
"Yeaaaaah baby! The horsemen got nothin’ on this ****!” We passed the sign and crossed the boundaries between our world and the horsemen’s; a foggy cloud in my mind hid the dreadful truth about the ground of which we drove, as it was the place four escaped convicts dwelled, forever imprisoned to seek retribution for vengeful spirits dead before their time.


One thing to look at that comes to mind.... I feel as if that I could scrape "dead before their time", and use one chosen word in its place right before spirits. What is the word that means "a spirit that has not moved on, stuck in limbo because the person was killed before his or her time?" I cannot remember for sure the exact word. Also, I do not think that "spirits dead" makes sense either. I am just struggling a tad to make that small part make a bit more sense.

If you could help out, that'd be great. x]

______________________________________________________________

Old Version:

I couldn't stop laughing and holding my sides, feeling dizzy, wanting to vomit. Wow! I had way too many shots of Jim Beam! Closing my eyes, I fell back in my seat and threw my head up, screaming at the ceiling.
Don sat next to me, snickering, his hands tight on the wheel, the wasteland on both sides flew by. I had no idea what the hell was going on or where we were going, but through blurry vision, I saw a tilted, dusty sign that said Route 116.
"Yea baby! Speed the hell up!” I screamed. We passed the sign and entered the devil’s land without caring.
Already I lost feeling in my arms and legs--couldn't feel a bit of pain as the car accelerated faster, the engine revved louder. And I ****ing loved it!

______________________________________________________________

Older version:

I couldn't stop laughing and smacking the windshield with my knuckles. Closing my eyes, I fell back in my seat and threw my head up, screaming at the ceiling.
Don sat next to me, snickering, his hands tight on the wheel. We'd just got back from downing too many shots of Jim Beam, and a splash of coke, at the bar--drinks for real men if you got it in you to keep it down.
"Yeah the **** right!" I screamed.
Already I lost feeling in my arms and legs, and my face rang with a buzzing numbness. I couldn't feel a bit of pain.
It was so damned awesome!
Then Douchebag Don over here screamed like a cowboy that had just caught himself a wild bull. "Josh, check out this fine girl!"

_______________________________________________________________

Oldest Version:

I couldn't stop laughing and smacking the windshield with my knuckles. Closing my eyes, I fell back in my seat and threw my head back, screaming at the ceiling.
Don sat next to me, snickering, his hands tight on the wheel. Wasn't my fault we'd just got back from drinking too many Kamikaz's at the bar--a drink for real men.
"Yeah the **** right!" I screamed out of nowhere.
Already I lost feeling in my arms and legs--couldn't feel a bit of pain, suckers. I ****ing loved it!
Then Douchebag Don over here screamed like a cowboy that had just caught a wild bull. "Josh, check out this fine piece of ass!"
I jolted up and saw a girl wearing a white blouse and tight jeans, a backpack slung over her shoulders, walking on the side of the road.

[ December 27, 2011, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: C@R3Y ]

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annepin
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I’d say that’s excellent news! Did they give you any feedback, or did they just say that it wasn’t right for them? If the former, then you may consider incorporating their suggestions. If the later, it may be that you have a strong story on your hands, you just have to find the right venue to publish it. Meaning, you can tinker with it all you like, but maybe the better thing to do is send it out to more markets.

Here are my thoughts:

Did you mean “kamikazes”? Not sure if the dropping of the e was intentional or not. Either way, I don’t think you need it capitalized or that you need an apostrophe, since it’s not possessive or contracted.

Not sure I understand what he means when he says, “Wasn’t my fault we’d just…” I don’t get what he feels he needs to apologize for.

Not sure you need “out of nowhere” since the scene pretty much sets it up.

Who is he calling “suckers”? I don’t really understand where his attitude is coming from, or who its directed to.

The characterization is strong here and well done, thought hey do come off a bit too negatively my taste.

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C@R3Y
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Thanks for the comments. They gave me actual comments to help make it better. Both Apex and Pseudopod did. Then at the end of the letter, they encouraged me to keep sending more stories. I thought they were pretty good comments, actually. =] I changed the beginning up a little, added a few things that I didn't have in the submission to them. Like, I included "sucker" and "freaking loved it". Those two lines, for example, weren't in the ones I sent out. I thought that it would add to the voice I use. If it didn't, I don't think I did what I wanted.

And yes. They do come off as negative. But they're drunk and driving, so why wouldn't they? When it starts with them not drunk, after the next couple paragraphs in another section, you find a difference in their character. Usually happens when you're drunk. I've been there a couple times. You literally can't feel anything and you're laughing hysterically and you having no idea how violent you are acting. And you think it's funny.

Yeah. I'm not gonna get drunk again. lol. I got drunk for the first time a couple months ago, and did it a second time the next weekend. Not happening again lol. Bad experiences. lol.

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Architectus
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I like the style. I like the POV character, his voice, etc. What I don't like about the opening is that it gives me no idea of what kind of story I am reading, or anything about plot, not even a hint.
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C@R3Y
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Thanks for the comment, Architectus. x] I will see if I can work that in there somehow.
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C@R3Y
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Here is the new beginning, although it didn't change much. I did add a few new things. Oh, and Architectus, though you don't get a hint of what the story is about in these first thirteen lines, I assure you, a couple more lines down right from the last line, I do leave a hint. In only thirteen lines, I couldn't do that right away with this story. I tried, but I found no way to include it. It is a few lines down though. So it's there. x]

Thanks. Let me know if there's anymore problems in this.

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Merlion-Emrys
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I like the first version better, personally. It seems more real/accurate to life.

It does have a total lack of speculative element...however, especially if its horror that can be ok.

I do agree the "wasn't my fault" seems a bit out of place, but overall I prefer the first one.

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Crystal Stevens
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The writing is fine. Good strong characterizations though I'm a little confused. Is the vehicle they're in moving? Are they driving down the road? Is this a science fiction or fantasy story? I see nothing that even hints at that. How does the title fit in? Horsemen? I see nothing that says anything about these guys being connected to horses.

No offense since you already had someone interested enough to give you more than the usual rejection. I'm sure the rest of the story must be better than what I've read so far. BUT all I have to go on is what I've read so far... not what comes after. I've read nothing to make me read further. If this was all I had to go on to decide whether to read this story, I wouldn't go any farther. What you have is good, but not enough for me. Sorry.

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C@R3Y
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Thanks, Crystal and Merlion. This helps. I will back-track to the first one. I don't want to make it worse by adding unnecessary lines or anything.
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C@R3Y
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Oh, and Marlion. It is horror, just so you know. Most of my stuff is horror, with a supernatural coating. x]

Crystal, I see what you are saying. In the ones that I sent out, the beginning was slightly different, so maybe I did make it a tad bit worse in here. I will see if I can fix that. I will find a way to bring a "hint" of the plot in these lines.

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C@R3Y
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The Newest Version is posted above. I hope I didn't make it worse. I included a hint of the plot this time. x]
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Merlion-Emrys
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Apex is still pro by the way...and you can go ahead and send me all of this.
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C@R3Y
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Oh. It is? I went on this one website and magazines were listed from pro to non-paying, and Apex was listed underneath semi-pro. I'm not sure why. That's why I thought it was semi. I think that was because it was last updated in 2008 or 2007. I can't remember for sure. And okay. I'll send it to you here shortly. Thanks for taking a look at it. x]
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Crystal Stevens
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Much much better.

I'd try to watch the use of so many "ing" words. I, myself, avoid them if possible. I find it smooths out my writing, though it seems to work well for you. I just wouldn't over do it throughout your story.

Would you be interested in trading story crits? I have the entire story down in mine but need someone to look at my lastest draft before I go any further.

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C@R3Y
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I would be interested in trading crits. I just finished one more read through of this story, because suddenly a small piece of the plot changed, which I feel might have made it better. I'll send mine over now, to both you and Merlion. And you can send me yours whenever is good for you.
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C@R3Y
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Ping. Here's the newest version finally.

Looking for readers and I am willing to trade. x]

Thanks in advance.

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LDWriter2
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I'm very late to this party and no I don't any Jim Beam right now thank you even if your MCs left some.

I don't really have time to do a 10,000 word story right now but it looks like you found a couple of people to trade with.

Your newest 13 are well done I think. They get into the action, and the problem- some of it anyway- quickly. Sentences aren't too long. I would want a bit more info on that horsemen and what he was suppose to do but I don't think there's time there for more. You might try to be a bit clearer on that sentence about him, the convicts and vengeful spirits. That did seem too long and complicated. To me anyway.

Crystal is right about the -ing words, they make it sound more passive I've been told.

And you might try leaving out "I had" and just say Too may shots of Jim Beam. Not sure if you need the head back phrase either. I think I know why you put it in but sometimes less is better. You don't have to describe every move especially if it makes the sentence a longer, compound one.

that's it for me for this 13

That's

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