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Old 02-17-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
ZanasCross
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Carvin

Another snippet of... I hate to use the word "lore," but history from a world that is formulating in my mind. Just a piece... all going back to my "Of the Fourth" piece from January. Exploring a small bit more detail some of the world ideas and characters. Still pretty undeveloped (I know this part essentially goes nowhere in storyline; this is a bit of character building and setting up character connections as I see it). I tried to just build a bit table/board of what characters go where, but found it easier to build snippets like this. Thoughts appreciated.



Quote:
He folded the paper gently; twice short-ways, once long ways, pressed it to his heart. It was more a ritual than a meaningful act at this point. It had been years since the letter had evoked any emotion in him at all, and the last time it had been a slow, sterile anger that seared across his brain instead of sadness, fondness or remembrance.

It was the expense Carvin had to pay. He was calm, collected, calculated… to a fault. When one joins the mechanism of armament, one loses morality and feelings in favor of training and loyalty.

“Remember recruit, the moment you think with your heart or your dick, someone will put a knife in your back. Loyalty is an exclusive club… and you’re the only one in it. Don’t trust your friends, don’t trust other recruits, and from here on out… don’t trust me, or I’ll knife your ass.” Carvin shook himself back into the present and chuckled. That was the gunny’s favorite song and he sang it often and with all the romance of a rape scene. And Carvin believed him. He lived it and breathed it and fucked it and coddled it.

His new recruit bumbled through the crumbling door frame, “Why you always kissin’ that letter, Car?” A sneer tickled Carvin’s lips and the corners of his mouth twitched to life as Sam fled the room. Carvin was an ex-marine and every bit the man’s man. His face was burnt leather, his eyes empty hallways, his teeth canyons waiting to crash together in a tectonic shift that could swallow a man’s pride in one gulp. To say he was weathered would be to call water wet; he was stone, a balding, sinister, soul-crushing stone that has seen too many wars in too few winters.

A loud grumble followed Sam out the door, “Today is a war day, Sam. Get your god-damn gear on.” Carvin strode out of the rickety shack that constituted the bunkroom, his face lighting with anticipation. A gun on each side, a black leather vest, jeans that were shot all to hell, and a bandana: all the makings of the modern warrior. Dust was already kicking up in the west desert and horse tracks were crackling off the sky. He laid down and placed his ear to the crumbling earth, “Ya got about six miles as the horse rides, Sam. Make it count, say yr prayers. There’s at least thirty o’ them and two of us.”

With that, Carvin let his eyes fall. His hands jumbled through his pack and he slowly brought the letter to his lips. Then he held up a picture of his wife and children… his old life, back before the first atomic blasts hit the city of Caroldan. Before he’d given up his gentle ways and replaced them with this savagery. Before the hand of Gaven has stretched down into his wrecked home and offered him a place in the mechanism; before he set off on this God-forsaken quest to avenge Marilyn and Scotty and Kenneth and the rest of his family.

It was time again. Each bullet that entered the chamber he gave a name. “Kenneth. Lauren. Marilyn. Katherine. Scotty. Bethany.” Carvin drew back the hammers of his guns and stared into the oncoming wisp of desert being kicked up by the onslaught to the west. His vision blurred, his hands grew steady and his rage took control of his hands.

Last edited by ZanasCross : 02-18-2011 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
halo43
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Well... I like it, but I'm super tired, it's 4:30 in the morning, and I have no energy to work this over like I should right now, so I'll come back later. I know you don't think this has much, but it's a good piece in its own right and I think you should keep it on hand and/or expand it into a relevant episode.

A few quick things that caught me:

-get rid of "Flash." It's terrible and you know it. I don't want to see the flashback. I want to see Carvin see the flashback. Ya feel?

-"ex-marine" is wrong. I mean, it's okay to keep because this is an alternate world kinda thing, but if it's in any way related to the USMC, it's wrong. "Once a Marine, always a Marine." I'd make that sentence about his service and how it was a long time ago, blah blah blah, then that he's a man's man. Unless you're going to have him be discharged wrongly or dishonestly or something, he shouldn't be an ex.

-semi-colon after wet, comma after stone.

I'll be back liek Aahhnold.

Later.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:47 AM   #3
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Thanks Patrick.

Also, at least for now, there are no Marines any more in that world. They used to be there, and he was part of them... but the whole of the establishment has been dismantled now. So he's an ex-marine. That's the thought process anyways.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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A lovely addition to of the fourth. Im on my phone right now so im not going to go into too much detail. But I want more. Also about the marine thing, all the marines I know I believe that even if the organization came to a end they would consider themselves still apart of the "brotherhood" so by saying ex-marine you are stating that he has either lost faith in that brotherhood or has reason to believe that he's the last. Either way very powerful
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #5
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Aaahh, Bach.

You should be old enough to understand that reference. If not, I have no faith left in humanity

That makes sense, I had a feeling you wouldn't put that without good reason, but I figured I'd say it in case you didn't know

Quote:
He folded the paper gently; twice short-ways, once long ways, pressed it to his heart. It was more a ritual than a meaningful act at this point. It had been years since the letter had evoked any emotion in him at all, and the last time it had been a slow, sterile anger that seared across his brain instead of sadness, fondness or remembrance.
I'm not a fan of this combination of words. Judging from what this episode tells me about Carvin, despite his Marine training, he's still a man of strong emotion and I doubt he'd ever feel plain anger that wasn't fueled by something else.

It was the expense Carvin had to pay. He was calm, collected, calculated… to a fault. When one joins the mechanism of armament, one loses morality and feelings in favor of training and loyalty.
This sentence is meh. I like what you're saying, but not how you're saying it. The "one" thing has always bothered me.

“Remember recruit, the moment you think with your heart or your dick, someone will put a knife in your back. Loyalty is an exclusive club… and you’re the only one in it. Don’t trust your friends, don’t trust other recruits, and from here on out… don’t trust me, or I’ll knife your ass.” Carvin shook himself back into the present and chuckled. That was the gunny’s favorite song and he sang it often and with all the romance of a rape scene. And Carvin believed him. He lived it and breathed it and fucked it and coddled it.
Much better, yeah? Still a little funky with no lead in, like "He smiled fondly" or something like that, but much better than "Flash."

His new recruit bumbled through the crumbling door frame, “Why you always kissin’ that letter, Car?” A sneer tickled Carvin’s lips and the corners of his mouth twitched to life as Sam fled the room. Carvin was an ex-marine and every bit the man’s man. His face was burnt leather, his eyes empty hallways, his teeth canyons waiting to crash together in a tectonic shift that could swallow a man’s pride in one gulp. To say he was weathered would be to call water wet; he was stone, a balding, sinister, soul-crushing stone that has seen too many wars in too few winters.
I really really reeeeaaalllyyy like the last sentence. Really well constructed.

A loud grumble followed Sam out the door, “Today is a war day, Sam. Get your god-damn gear on.” Carvin strode out of the rickety shack that constituted the bunkroom, his face lighting with anticipation. A gun on each side, a black leather vest, jeans that were shot all to hell, and a bandana: all the makings of the modern warrior. Dust was already kicking up in the west desert and horse tracks were crackling off the sky. He laid down and placed his ear to the crumbling earth, “Ya got about six miles as the horse rides, Sam. Make it count, say yr prayers. There’s at least thirty o’ them and two of us.”
I think the first two sentences happen too close together, you know? As though Sam had just gone out and immediately Carvin came out, which doesn't feel right. I think there should be a pause of some sort. I know he already has a ritual with the folded paper, but maybe he crosses himself or pulls out a smoke or something... Just a pause of some sort...

With that, Carvin let his eyes fall. His hands jumbled through his pack and he slowly brought the letter to his lips. Then he held up a picture of his wife and children… his old life, back before the first atomic blasts hit the city of Caroldan. Before he’d given up his gentle ways and replaced them with this savagery. Before the hand of Gaven has had stretched down into his wrecked home and offered him a place in the mechanism; before he set off on this God-forsaken quest to avenge Marilyn and Scotty and Kenneth and the rest of his family.
Nothing here. Well constructed.

It was time again. Each bullet that entered the chamber he gave a name. “Kenneth. Lauren. Marilyn. Katherine. Scotty. Bethany.” Carvin drew back the hammers of his guns and stared into the oncoming wisp of desert being kicked up by the onslaught to the west. His vision blurred, his hands grew steady and his rage took control of his hands.
A good way to end the episode. Really makes the character breathe.

There. More or less my opinion. Well done, mate.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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He folded the paper gently; twice short-ways, once long ways, pressed it to his heart. It was more a ritual than a meaningful act at this point. It had been years since the letter had evoked any emotion in him at all, and the last time it had been a slow, sterile anger that seared across his brain instead of sadness, fondness or remembrance.

I think the opening line would work better if you changed the punctuation like this:
"He folded the paper gently: twice short-ways; once long ways; pressed it to his heart." Apart from that suggestion, I have absolutely no problems with this at all.


It was the expense Carvin had to pay. He was calm, collected, calculated… to a fault. When one joins the mechanism of armament, one loses morality and feelings in favor of training and loyalty.


Hmmm... I felt that you needed another sentence after the second sentence, because the last sentence reads in an empty manner. At this point I couldn't possibly decipher why someone would 'lose morality and feelings in favour of training and morality."


“Remember recruit, the moment you think with your heart or your dick, someone will put a knife in your back. Loyalty is an exclusive club… and you’re the only one in it. Don’t trust your friends, don’t trust other recruits, and from here on out… don’t trust me, or I’ll knife your ass.” Carvin shook himself back into the present and chuckled. That was the gunny’s favorite song and he sang it often and with all the romance of a rape scene. And Carvin believed him. He lived it and breathed it and fucked it and coddled it.


'Fucked it and coddled it' read in a weird manner because it was spoken by the narrator. Nohing else is fundamentally wrong here.


His new recruit bumbled through the crumbling door frame, “Why you always kissin’ that letter, Car?” A sneer tickled Carvin’s lips and the corners of his mouth twitched to life as Sam fled the room. Carvin was an ex-marine and every bit the man’s man. His face was burnt leather, his eyes empty hallways, his teeth canyons waiting to crash together in a tectonic shift that could swallow a man’s pride in one gulp. To say he was weathered would be to call water wet; he was stone, a balding, sinister, soul-crushing stone that has seen too many wars in too few winters.


Not sure why, but the I didn't like the line preceding the comma; in terms of diction perhaps 'bumbled' is a wrong word to use' 'Twitched to life' read quite awkwardly. Maybe a simple word like 'regenerated' could be used instead. ' I wish there was a bit more character development because the line, ‘swallow a man’s pride in one gulp’, would have been much more impactful at this point. ‘Too few winters’ is quite irrelevant because I, as a reader, don’t know what it is you are referring to. Also, the line doesn’t add anything to the story. Also, I think ‘he was a stone’ would be better than ‘he was stone’.


A loud grumble followed Sam out the door, “Today is a war day, Sam. Get your god-damn gear on.” Carvin strode out of the rickety shack that constituted the bunkroom, his face lighting with anticipation. A gun on each side, a black leather vest, jeans that were shot all to hell, and a bandana: all the makings of the modern warrior. Dust was already kicking up in the west desert and horse tracks were crackling off the sky. He laid down and placed his ear to the crumbling earth, “Ya got about six miles as the horse rides, Sam. Make it count, say yr prayers. There’s at least thirty o’ them and two of us.”


I didn’t like the phrase ‘crackling off the sky’, it was a bit over-jarring. Also I think you mean ‘he placed his ear on the crumbling earth’.


With that, Carvin let his eyes fall. His hands jumbled through his pack and he slowly brought the letter to his lips. Then he held up a picture of his wife and children… his old life, back before the first atomic blasts hit the city of Caroldan. Before he’d given up his gentle ways and replaced them with this savagery. Before the hand of Gaven has stretched down into his wrecked home and offered him a place in the mechanism; before he set off on this God-forsaken quest to avenge Marilyn and Scotty and Kenneth and the rest of his family.


Not sure who this Gaven is, so you should try to develop him/her, to give the line an actual backstory. Also, I think you mean ‘Before the hand of Gaven HAD stretched down…’

It was time again. Each bullet that entered the chamber he gave a name. “Kenneth. Lauren. Marilyn. Katherine. Scotty. Bethany.” Carvin drew back the hammers of his guns and stared into the oncoming wisp of desert being kicked up by the onslaught to the west. His vision blurred, his hands grew steady and his rage took control of


I would remove ‘it was time again’, because apart from the fact the you mentioned that Carvin has ‘jeans that were shot all to hell’, there was nothing in this piece that even implied that Carvin has been in this situation before.

Overall, this was well done- I did enjoy this. I look forward to reading the continuation/extension of this piece.
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Last edited by Bleed Away : 02-21-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:11 PM   #7
ZanasCross
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Thanks Fred. Like I said above, this is a snippet of a whole backstory that is forming, so some of the names and past references aren't explained as you mentioned, but would be in the larger narrative.

I really appreciate your time, gents.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
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Carvins are the best ****ing guitars around
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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^I think you may have missed the point of this thread, young chap.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halo43
-semi-colon after wet, comma after stone.
I'll be back liek Aahhnold.


I think you may have just accidentally written the best couplet on this entire forum.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfiniteRain
I think you may have just accidentally written the best couplet on this entire forum.

Oh my

That's awesome. Unintentional genius is unintentionally genius
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