#1
Hey so I recently scanned the forums for rules and such, and since I found no problems with what I'm about to do, although im not sure if this is the right forum section, I'll post anyways.

So I've decided to write a fiction story in the format that the fiction follows on the web page: basically a similiar size.

It's called 'A Skyline Fire'

I decided to write from a different prespective then the other fiction seemed to be taking, mostly Nolan Whyte's and Disbelief, although I haven't read much of the latter. I decided to step away from the great viewpoint of characters in a band and took on the prespective of an agent, as I felt there was already a large amount of great material from the band prespective.

Anyhow, the summary.

I really wanted to create a story that deals with character attributes and dialog, which take up more content then the plot, although it's just as important. I'm writing from the prespective of an agent named Daniel Grant, who lost his job as an agent of one of the biggest musicians in the media because he was with him and allowed him to take his car even though he was intoxicated, which lead to his death. Daniel then lost his house, his wife, his kids, had to move back home, and had to rehabilitate from alcoholism. However I found it would be too dramatic for me to have to retell that story from his point of view (which i'll get to later), so I decided to focus the story on how those events influence and especially motivate him in his life after the events. I couldn't write about the events through his point of view because I wanted to create a really egotistical and macho shell on him which drives his decisions, thoughts, and words. So in conclusion I have an egotistical, macho, yet extremely pathetic agent who tries to maintain his status and lifestyle even though he has become an agent re-starting his career.

So yeah, here it is, if theres any similarities with other fiction, they're accidental and i'll change them at once. Also if this idea has been done, it's also accidental and ill try something different. Any suggestions and corrections would be extremely appreciated. I realize there's a fair bit of swearing, but I wanted to capture the way egotistical males talk to each other, but I can tone it down if its going to affect opinions. Also, I'm not too sure if I got the whole 'new speaker goes on a seperate line' thing right, but I think I came close. Also bolding and italic-help would be greatly appreciated. I really want all responses to be as honest as possible...so be!
Last edited by SleepinGiant at Jul 21, 2009,
#2
A Skyline Fire


I stare at these kids. I stare at these 5 ****ing kids. I sit here, and stare at these revolting radio-faces and I see nothing. Absolutely ****-all. They sit there and stare at me behind my desk. They see a lot. They see their future. They see **** tons of money, they see new cars, they see new houses, and new fantastic everlasting drugs and they see it happening. They see it happening with me. They see it because of their music coming out of my office speakers, which they see me listening to. They see me listening tentatively but I’m not, not at all. There is absolutely no part of me, especially my ears, that is paying attention.

My eyes wander from the ugly bunch to my office walls. My past life. Hanging from my walls are pictures with me and the people I made money with, the people that once listened to my every word. There was K-os, Protest The Hero, Rush, Nelly Furtado, ****, even Shania Twain’s picture stared at me in pity. These were the people who were in the business, and at the time of those pictures, I was in the business with.

I looked away in fear, in fear that I might see myself in the reflection of the photos. The reflection of the agent I am today. The agent who has to sit and listen to local bands like the one sitting in front of me, pens already out and waiting to sign any ****ing contract I can give them. I bet their MySpace page would probably look better with something other than “indie” under their label section.

About 3 years ago this would’ve never happened.

About 3 years ago I would be in Toronto, or Chicago, or New York, or even L.A. with good, money making clients. Not with my agency though, and especially not with these crater faces.

About 3 years ago I was atop a Toronto-based entertainment agency named CTHA, selling millions of money making records to millions of money spending people. I was travelling all over the world, first class planes, first class women, and first class weed. I was representing the people normal folk beat off to, representing the people filling stadiums. I was around the actors, around the athletes, and most importantly, around the money. I knew how the ****ing game worked, and I knew how to **** the game.

I had clients at all ends of the money making spectrum. I had the lowly jingle ****s: the ones making music for teen friendly pregnancy tests. I had the people who laughed at the jingle ****s but were laughed at by everyone else: the drama queens creating the opuses and preludes for plays. I had the middle men: the ones drenching TV shows with cut-scene bass slaps. But then I had the cream of the litter: the icons filling out the stadiums (also known in agent talk as people who actually made me money). I worked hard for all my people, I truly did, but for the select few actual income creators, I invested my life into. And with one of those clients in particular, I developed a friendship.

His name was Ian Gribble, and his band was The July Road.

I made him. I raised that beautiful ****er out of the dumps of Southern Ontario, where he played at low pay birthday parties and open mic nights, serenading drunken teens and laptop guys with hot lattes and thick rimmed glasses. I rescued him and I found him a band, I found him an image, and I found him a sound. Okay I’ll admit, his sound may have been total bull**** and just fat-girl-cry –on-Friday-nights-and-eat-ice-cream music, but people loved it. People ran to his **** like he was a clean public toilet. It took me a year to bring this guy into the forefront of music, a couple singles and an album for the kids to pirate, and we ****ing made it. He trusted me like a stripper trusts her pole. I ran his life, and he appreciated it. I had the balls to make the decisions and he had the common sense every once in a while to follow them. He sold out gigs, he walked red carpets, and he made your wives and your girlfriends wet. We painted cities red like planes put out forest fires. We knew the people and we knew the places. He was the definition of a rock star, and I was his agent.

But of course, if my life was still like that, I’d be somewhere in New York cheating on my wife while I gambled away cars and houses. But it isn’t, and that’s because when my top client Ian Gribble decided to have a couple shots, I didn’t stop him. And then after a couple more when my top client Ian Gribble decided driving my $125,000 mazarrati into a concrete divider would be the best next step on his life path, I was too high to take his keys.

I passed out in a dangerous lifestyle.

I woke up in a dismal reality.

I went to the funeral. I apologized to the family. I lost my job. I lost my house. I lost my wife. I lost my daughter. I lost my sons. I moved back home. I drank. I rehabilitated.

And this is where it brings me back to. To my miserable Hamilton office where I listen to amateur local bands like the Larry, Curly, Moe, and the 2 other tools sitting in front of me who are going to waste the last of the money I made in my glory days.

I turned my attention back to the 5 stooges music. It was actually decent. It wasn’t exactly progressive rock but it wasn’t exactly high-five locker room music either. It was the kind of stuff you’d listen to after you drove home from your first lay, even though it didn’t go so well.

It was good, but it wasn’t the band I needed. They didn’t have the faces, the image, and the sound teenage girls listen to when they need to reassure themselves someone will eventually love them. I would love to sign these dirty rockers, but this isn’t what the people want. Yeah, I know somewhere out there there’s someone complaining I’m ruining the state of music, but I’m only the one who represents it, not the person buying it and playing it on the radio. It’s not my fault the public wants to buy this kind of music. I’m the person trying to make money off the **** you hear, it doesn’t mean I like it.

I told the guys to cut it off; it was time to talk business. “Alright... guys I’ll be honest, I like what you guys are doing. But I need more than this.”

One of the members who looked like he could actually sequence words into a sentence spoke up. “What do you mean more?”

“I need to see at least an image change .I mean I can’t sell this ‘wake up and try to look like Zakk Wylde without a shower look’! Now listen, I realize you’ve all got balls, but tattoos and chains won’t even get you laid at a Nickleback concert anymore” I said.

He wasn’t expecting that, and an increasingly cocky but equally grotesque member shot back. “First off guy, you’re like the ****ing Kramer of the music industry. You messed up in front of the world and now everyone hates you. Second-“

I interrupted him. “Oh okay buddy, don’t go on a big speech like you’re on your MySpace blog”.

His voice got even cockier. “Kramer, let me finish. Second, we’ve had offers to make an LP from labels all over Toronto. We only took the 45 minute trip out here to show you our demo because we know a guy near this dump who’s got some stinky weed”.

I made an obnoxious laugh. “There’s no way you’ve got offers yet, unless you count your Dad and his fat friends who probably want to pretend they’re producers and record their kid’s band”.

“Another good one Kramer! No, it’s not my ****ing Dad. We’ve had offers from Echo, The Williams Group, Eclipse Records, and even your old joint, CTHA” He said, with his fellow gnomes adding in “yeahs” and insults.

I stopped dead when I heard the old agency. Everything that happened during the final days of my employment flashed through my mind. I regained control. I always thought they were way above me, dealing with the huge clients that I used to represent. How could these butter faces get any attention from a company like that? This could mean that they believe these pugs could be big. I didn’t think I’d see a career client for a long time, but it seemed now I had their potential client right in my office. However, there was also the possibility that he was bluffing.

“Prove it Ronald Weasley”. I said, studying his pug mug for any sign of hesitation.

“Kramer, suddenly changing your mind, hm? Well, we’ve been on the phone with a guy named Pete Hedden several times, and he’s licking his chops” said the Seinfeld fan.

Pete Hedden. Pete ****ing Hedden! The douche bag who tried to steal my clients, my job, and even my wife. He was an agent before I rose up in the company, and when Ian Gribble and I found the jackpot, he had the male equivalent of permanent menstruation. He didn’t like how after half the amount of time he worked there I had already tripled his results. I wanted him in the ground. I had to do this right. I had a chance to get back at the company that fired me for experiencing the death of my friend. I had a chance to steal their client and watch them **** their pants more than a protective mother when her son dates a girl with legs. But I had to approach this in a way that wouldn’t cost me more money than necessary.
Last edited by SleepinGiant at Jul 22, 2009,
#3
I turned my ambition back to the conversation and spoke. “Alright you group of pugs, let’s cut the ****. I ****ing hate CTHA, and I ****ing hate this office. But I’ve been around, and I know that what they’re offering you can’t hold much water. I’m not going to offer you much more”.

“Well then why should we listen to a word you have to say, Jerry Seinfeld’s neighbour?” The Seinfeld fan really didn’t have any other jokes.

I stood up and pointed to him. “Because pie face, what you don’t get in money will be made up for in the fact that I’ve got jack **** in terms of other clients and I want to burn that ****ing company to the ground.” I punched my desk in exclamation.

The band shifted several times to look at each other. “Not bad Kramer...but you know how it is; we’ll get back to you”.

I turned my back to them and sat down. I rubbed my eyes and said “Well ****ing fantastic George Costanza, I just hope you guys can email better then you can dress yourselves. Now leave me that demo and get the **** on out of here before I realize how much of a mistake this was”.

They left, and I turned in my chair to face the window. I took a long sip from my coffee, forgetting it was spiked. I had to turn away from the window. The one thing I hated the most about this office, was that on a clear day just like today, I could see the Toronto skyline.

.....................................................................................................................................


I walked up to the small town house. As I went to knock on the door I saw through the window that the house was already packed. I let myself in, and was bombarded with the same music that I heard a week ago from my office speakers. As I made my way down the hall, I passed loose women and guys who spent too much time picking out their v-neck t-shirts. I made my way into the kitchen where people were gathered around the table, watching either beer pong or flip cup, I couldn’t keep track of that high school **** anymore. I opened up the fridge and was face to face with hundreds of light beers. ****. As I shut the refrigerator and made my way to the basement, a particularly tight v-neck t-shirt spoke up.

“Bro that’s my carling, where you going with it?” He yelled from the table.

I stopped at the stairs and turned around. “Is it a problem guy?”

“Yeah bro it’s a ****ing problem, you’re stealing my brew-skies, give it back”. Everyone at the table stopped, staring at me with drunken concentration.

“Relax banana republic, I don’t even want this ****”. I threw him a five dollar bill. “Use it to buy some better beer next time you cheap ****, oh, and some new clothes too”.

I continued down the stairs, hearing the drinking games behind me continue. The v-neck asked a guy wearing an equally tight polo, “What’s wrong with my clothes?”

I made my way to the basement, and found the brown bag worthy band in the corner, talking to some brown bag worthy women.

The member who had obviously saw his first Seinfeld episode recently spoke first. “Kramer! What’s going on? Do you want a beer?”

“Costanza! I’m fine, although I almost got punched upstairs”. I managed to fake a smile while the terrible beer ran down my throat.

One of the pug’s groupies, who was wrapped up in the arms of the Jerry Seinfeld admirer, spoke “Who’s this dinosaur Shawn?”

Seinfeld explained. “He’s this asshole agent who wants us to sign to his agency, even though he wishes we were prettier so he could try to mount us”.

I cracked a smile and said “Very flattering Shawn, you managed to pull yourself away from Seinfeld reruns to dress in your kinky leather outfit I see. Now, let’s get down to it so I can leave this sweet sixteen. We’ve been emailing back and forth, I’ve sent you the terms, how much money you’ll make, and who you’ll be working with, what’s the decision?”

Shawn took a swig of his beer, unravelled himself from the cow in his arms, and spoke. “Well man we’re almost there. We like the deal and we like how you’re kind of an asshole and fun to rip on, and that Phil Hedden guy from CTHA is kind of a prick. We've been ignoring his calls all day.” He finished off his beer, wiped his mouth, and slowly smiled. “But there’s one thing left you need to do for us, before we sign”.

Confused, I said “What else could you possibly deserve?”

Shawn laughed, hesitated, and then pointed to the rest of the band. “Now I know you only want to make out with me...but you have to learn the other guy’s names”.

I smiled, the deal was done. I started to walk up the basement stairs and yelled back “Not sure if it’s worth it Shawn, send me an email tomorrow and we’ll arrange a meeting to sign papers and make name tags”.

Laughing, he shouted “Yah, **** yourself Kramer!”

----
Last edited by SleepinGiant at Jul 22, 2009,
#4
Generally quite good, better than a lot of the works of fiction that are submitted here. This is the right place for it. Allow me to do my best in picking it apart.

First off, the bold. I understand that you're trying to detail the thoughts of the main character and, with the bold you're trying to differentiate. Unfortunately, the bold is quite annoying and makes the rest of it look spidery and, for lack of a better term, unimportant. It's a style I haven't seen used since my days attempting to write fanfiction. It screams amateur and you're quite obviously not, so I think it best that you find another method.

It's a fairly unique idea for UG, and I like it. It shows definite promise. He's a character in an interesting situation, but, to be honest, he swears far too much. That's not to say it's out of character, but more to say that, after a while, you see 'F***ing idiots' or something and just skip ahead because you're tired of reading it.

The ending seems a little stale and unconclusive. After all of the backgroud work you've done it's fairly anticlimactic. You don't need a big finish or anything, you just need the piece to bring itself to something that says 'we're done for this time, tune in next week'. It just needs to encourage that sense of anticipation.

That's all for now. It's hard to distinguish when your character is in their head and when they are not, but here's the thing. You're writing from third person yes, but you could still write out how he thinks and feels about things, similar to how I do things. I call it enforced third. It's third person from a particular person's angle.
#5
Hey colohue, thanks alot for taking the time to read all that and make suggestions.

I dont have time right now to fix it, but later on in the day I'll definately change and correct to what you said.

Thanks!
#6
It's no trouble, believe me. It's what the UGC is for and it's pretty much the reason I'm the major lurker here. Well, myself and emad anyway...

A writer can not improve without criticism, constructive or otherwise. I learned that writing for this site, so hopefully I might save you some harsh words that I've experienced in the past. It's a good piece and a good idea. It's worth following, so give it a try.
#7
I agree with Tom, the bold isn't necessary. What with the story being in first person anyway, there's no need to highlight your narrator's thoughts and feelings.

That said, I think this is great. It actually made me laugh. There are a couple of little grammar tweaks that need to be made but it's really nothing major. It's clever and it's witty and it's very earthy and I like that.

I hope you do post it. It has lots of potential.
#8
Thanks blood and gold, I really do want it to get posted.

So I took the bold off, it really looks better

I also added a little bit to the ending. I tried to make it a little more exciting but nothing too dramatic. I wanted to set up the start of the next chapter, where emails would be exchanged before they get to their meeting.

If the ending still is lacking, let me know!

No one views this part of the forums lol
#9
I do my best to keep an eye on things. If I could get more people putting their first piece in here before submitting it we might be a lot better off with our current fiction situation.

It doesn't need to have people on tenterhooks, it just has to round off the piece. Since there's a change in setting just beforehand you're left with a rather abrupt little bit that seems tacked on, and that makes it more than a little unstable.
#10
hmmm I think i get what you're saying, so I should add more to the part after the party conversation?
#11
I think it would be better to lengthen the last bit a little, just to give the reader something more to grab hold of. This will give it a little more power and affect. Maybe a little more description?
#13
Okay so I had a bit of trouble with finishing the ending, which meant I just kept adding things

However I think im happy with the ending, although I know its not the best so I'll definately take some direct help.

Also, is this how im supposed to be doing the editing, just correcting the first draft I posted? i dunno.
#14
This needs to be broken down into a series because you don't want to overload the reader with a long story. That's why no one ever wants to listen to grandpa talk about his past times - it's just one long jibber-jabber. You want the reader to beg for more and foam at the mouth, and you want to give them time to allow the story to settle before they continue to the next part. It's a very aggressive style of writing (declarative after declarative) and you don't want people feeling like they just read a long poem.

Normally, I'm not an advocate of swearing but it's quite becoming for this kind of story. It adds a punch and garners more attention. Try to keep it in check though.

Also, like Tom said, what's with the ending?

Also, also, just so you're aware ahead of time, you may be shooting for a fairly small demographic on this one. I'm not trying to discourage you but be forewarned that not many people may find this story appealing.
Quote by wahappen


This is a guitar community not Romper Room.
#15
Yeah it did get a bit long, although I word counted the last riot band chapter and i think mine might be 4 or 5 hundred more, but I'll try to work on it.

And although I realize its a bit different (im not doubting you cause I kinda know where you're coming from) why is the demographic small?
#16
Best not to compare to Riot Band. Different stories have different fans, so you want to focus on appealing to your upcoming fans rather than working to fit Nolan's criteria. His work is generally the longest of the three major columns anyway.

Unfortunately the ending still doesn't feel like an ending.

Shawn laughed, hesitated, and then pointed to the rest of the band. “Now I know you only want to make out with me...but you have to learn the other guy’s names”.

I smiled, the deal was done. I started to walk up the basement stairs and yelled back “Not sure if it’s worth it Shawn, send me an email tomorrow and we’ll arrange a meeting to sign papers and make name tags”.

Laughing, he shouted “Yah, **** yourself Kramer!”


I think it might be best to end it after that. It feels conclusive. You can start your next piece using what you have afterwards, then you can just keep writing.

Remember, we're just giving advice, this is your story. Marc's spot on though, it's a very aggressive style, but that fits the character. That's probably what's going to affect your key demographic.
#17

Laughing, he shouted “Yah, **** yourself Kramer!”

I think it might be best to end it after that. It feels conclusive. You can start your next piece using what you have afterwards, then you can just keep writing.


I know I've been changing my story to everyones advice, but I think I really like that idea, because it kind of concludes on the whole joke that he kind of hates the band and doesn't even really care what their names are. Also I think it would be good to have the second chapter start the morning after and end the same night.

But heres my question with further chapters.

Obviously I'm going to keep writing as the thoughts are still charged in me, but I'm wondering about the timing. Is it really the best time to be thinking about trying to submit fiction? I just looked at the homepage and currently its a stockpile. Riot Band and Disbelief are basically the forefront of it, but then there is harmony hill, sanford high, DOA, bar slam jam, and probably others.

Would it maybe be best to kind of build my chapters, but hold off submitting them? A significant amount of the stories are either just off their feet or in the middle of the story.

halp.
#18
Can you keep a deadline? If so, you're going to be at the forefront much sooner than you think.

The three major stories are myself, Nolan and blood_and_gold (Sanford High), in no particular order. The reasons for this are twofold. The first is by reputation amongst the fanbase. This is by writing well, writing for a prolonged period of time and having your work there when you tell them it will be there. The second is by reputation amongst the management. This is done in exactly the same ways, but the priority is keeping that deadline and maintaining a high view count.

Nolan is at the top because he has a very large fanbase; he had a large fanbase even before he started writing here. Amy and I achieve extra popularity via the distribution of additional material. In truth, Sanford has quite a small target audience, but it is still going strong regardless purely on the strength of the writing, the longevity and keeping to the deadline.

It's not a competition amongst us three, but, since we've accidentally created something of a blockade, it can be difficult to break through, but your work will still be read. Columns are not just available from the front page. If you can keep a deadline then get started. The criticism will show you exactly how to go about continuing your writing and you'll begin to make an impact and establish reputation and credibility.

All of the fiction has particular traits based on the writers. Bar Slam Jam is well written and comes out more often (call it undercutting if you will) but if you look carefully you can see a strong Whyte influence in it. It might well be accidental. Harmony Hill has no fixed deadline. You never know when it's going to turn up, if it actually will. That or the deadline is too rare to notice. DOA has what I label 'spasms'. You'll have one a day for three days, then nothing for three weeks. If you can make characters that people can love and identify with then you'll do just fine.

Just make a deadline and keep it. Otherwise you're likely to fall completely out of memory in the rush that is modern UG fiction.
#19
So I cut it to where I said I would. I'm now just looking for little grammar mistakes and such, but I'm really not that good at it, so if for some reason someone likes doing that, it would help alot.

Also I realize that the deadline I make would be based on my ability to produce, but what are some of the other fiction writes schedules? 1 every week?
#20
Sanford High is every Monday, Disbelief is every Tuesday, Life And Times is every other Thursday and Riot Band is every Friday.

If there are set deadlines for the others then I haven't figured them out. Each author handles each piece differently though. Amy edits my work as well. She generally sets to work on her Sunday and goes through it at a fairly leisurely place. I do Disbelief over the week if I feel it, otherwise I sit down on Monday and do it over the course of an hour or so. Nolan writes in advance, as Riot Band is fairly long and he works full time. Amy is the same.

Life And Times is an exception. That's hard work. I've never really gotten into it, I just got drafted in when nobody else would do it, so it doesn't flow as well as I'd like it to. It's a five thousand word piece, so once I've got going I'm committed. I push for small deadlines, such as the first thousand, the half way point and so on over the course of several days, then have one final push in the days leading up to submission.
#21
Hmmm I think I could manage a deadline pretty well, I'm not exactly writing lord of the rings.

I was thinking about how you said the additional material, and I thought maybe I'd set up a fictional twitter page, but I'm not too sure how I'd fit it into my story, unless I just posted the link at the end.

I was wondering about the pre-submission approval. Although I'm not sure if I'm ready for it, I was wondering exactly who to go to and what to do once I know who.
#22
I can help you with that too.

First decide on a deadline scale. This is either one a day, one every week, one every month etc. Most aim for a week for the sake of suspense and ease of work.

Then pick a day. This can be any day from Monday to Friday, though I advise you to try and work around the deadlines of other people.

Next, contact the user 'JustLikeMe' with this information, stating that you'd like to write fiction for UG and how you want to go about it. Genie is in charge of uploading submissions, as is his team mate 'h0spid'. Consider the HTML of your piece before submitting, as italics don't work using BBcode in submissions. There's a guide right here in the UGC.

Concerning additional material, don't force it. Additional material for the two users that do it is not done for the sake of extra stuff. It's done because the story won't be complete without it. It's an important part that doesn't quite fit in with the story at current, but still needs to be done.

I think I'm going to re-write the guide to writing columns with a special fiction section.
#23
Yeah I decided on every week. So I looked at the schedules you said before, and there wasn't one for wednesday, if thats what you meant.

And I remember learning the BBcode from your thred, so i would change Example to <i>Example</i> and so on?
Last edited by SleepinGiant at Jul 23, 2009,
#25
Hahah we'll you should have a seal approval, my piece would be lacking without you. Thanks alot!

But I submitted it, and I wrote my second, and I must say its alot funnier, better, and CONCLUSIVE!

Heres to hoping!
#26
Did you talk to Genie about your deadline day? You really don't want to be uploaded on Monday or Tuesday if you can get a dedicated day to yourself.
#27
I see you are doing really good here Nice. Let's post this promising fiction on Wednesdays. Thanks alot, Tom.
#28
Awesome

I know this the lamest post before I submit, but is the HTML code for bold and all the others <b> (without a period) or <b>. (with a period)

worst question ever I know, but I don't have a big chunk of time tonight to submit, so any time savers would help
#30
Good.

Alright since i'll be gone for a week now ive submitted my second.

but yah, thanks alot colohue, i would have never gotten anywhere without you!