#1
As the title suggests, I'm going to contribute a work of fiction. It's going to be based loosely on some of my friends and my experiences in trying to form a band, recording, making music, etc., but it will also go a little further than that and pan out what we've kinda envisioned happening to us if we started gigging and what we'd expect/like to happen if we started getting relatively big. Some characters will be fictional, but most will be either real or based on real people. Anyway, here's part 1.
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"F*ck this. F*cking piece of shit". Brian smashed his keyboard with his fist in utter frustration, a small bead of sweat trickling down his right temple ever so slowly. The fact that all the air conditioning units in the house had gotten fried during an electrical storm a few nights before only compounded his angst, but he was partly to blame for it as much as the 85 degree weather that lorded over his tranquil little part of Southern New Jersey. He had gotten lazy recently, probably due to the weather, in getting himself to get his ass to the computer repair shop after his newer PC caught a virus from a night of rather un-kosher internet surfing. He had no girlfriend or available booty calls that night and nothing to do, so he figured why the hell not as everyone was in bed. Big mistake, as it turned out the virus he caught was a tough sonuvabitch. This only resulted in having to use the older computer that was only capable of handling dial up until he decided to get his ass in gear on that issue.

Sighing heavily, he decided to try and drown his anger in yet another night of attempting to pull off a rather tricky riff on his axe with his closest friend Jack sitting on the desk next to him, silently listening to every missed note and off time riff. Dear ol' Jack didn't exactly help his playing (in this case actually making it worse), but he did help the 6'2" man sitting next to him by taking the edge off from the day a considerable amount. It was only 5 pm and he was already sufficiently toasted. The fact that a bottle of whiskey can't yell at you for not doing the dishes or mowing the lawn was a definite plus as well. "Thank god they're out of town for the weekend". He closed his eyes and pictured his parents nit picking his every move for the millionth time.

Just before he was about to launch into the main riff from a rather catchy Behemoth song, his phone vibrated rather loudly on the desk next to him, startling him from his half asleep state of consciousness and causing him to swing around, narrowly avoiding knocking over the uncapped bottle of liquor onto the power strip sitting on the floor directly under it.

Regaining his compsure rather quickly, he looked at the caller ID. It read "This Guy", a nickname that his friend Kevin had seemed to have acquired and no one could explain the origin. He picked it up and answered.


"Yo, what's up?"

"Watcha up to, mang?"
, replied Kevin.

"Abshof*ckinlutely nothing. You?"

"Haha, same thing. Great minds think alike"

"Heh, either that or we're drinking the shame thing. Wanna come over?"

"I was just about to ask you the same thing. You drunk or something?"
Kevin could have sworn he could smell the alcohol on his friend's breath through the reciever.

"It's a possibility"

"Damn dude, it's only 5! I'll be right over. Just save me some, okay?"

"Will do. I'll shee you when ya get here. Later"


A rather short answer, consisting of a half hearted "later" was all Kevin gave his friend. He shook his head and smiled to himself as he grabbed his axe and half stack and headed out to load up his car. Brian wasn't a bad guy at all, in fact he was one of Kevin's dearest friends and the type of guy that was always there for you should you need something, but his friend's recently developed drinking problems were starting to become an issue. He mused to himself for a minute about bringing it up when he got to his friend's house, but shook it off for the moment as he suspected it would only make things worse at this point. "Another talk for another day" was the last thing that crossed his mind as he hopped in his car, threw some Pantera on, and loudly squeeled out of the driveway.


Turning the volume up on his dinky little practice amp to the maximum tolerable level, which for him in his drunken state was all the way, launched into a catchy little riff he had been working on for the past few days. After a few minutes, his skin began to crawl from sweating so much that it prompted him to actually get up for once and open the windows in the computer room. Pausing for a second, he directed his drunken gaze across the street. His neighbor's girlfriend was lounging on a beach chair in their front yard across the street. Running 5 days a week did her body good, and she knew it, constantly flaunting her slender and toned body for all the old men on the street to ogle. He knew her type- the kind of girl that got off at teasing the living shit out of every guy she came across, loving every second of it.

"F*cking c*ck teasing little bitch". He nearly spouted that train of thought aloud but caught himself in time. "I can't stand that shit. Definitely would f*ck her brains into next week though". From his vantage point, he could see her in all her glory, two narrow strips of black fabric barely covering only the most essential parts of her incredible anatomy. The fact that she was a redhead only served to intensify his quiet infatuation with her. As he turned away to go back to playing his axe, he could have sworn that out of the corner of his eye he saw her lift her sunglasses and give him a wink and a smile.

Suddenly, something came over Brian. Not knowing why, his feet seemed to gain a mind of their own and he opened the door. He stood right outside it for a minute, just standing there and looking longingly at her. It was an ever so slight motion but he knew he saw it- her finger curled up in a "come here" motion. Taking a leisurely pace, he made his way over to her, stumbling on occasion. He had downed just over half of the bottle of Jack sitting on his desk in a little under 2 hours afterall.


"Hey Jess. What's up?". Brian put on a false air of naievite on his words to seem oblivious to her efforts at teasing him. He hadn't had much contact at all with her since she moved into her boyfriend's house almost a year ago, but he had enough to at least learn her name.

"Nothing much, just doing some tanning. You?"

"Same shit different day. I was just trying to get a new song down, but it's a little harder than I thought."

"I heard. It sounded really hard. I wouldn't know how hard it could be 'cause I don't play anything, but it sounds really hard"
. Rolling over onto her flat-as-a-board stomach and propping her head up in her hands with her elbows on the chair, she extended her fingers up the side of her face in a faux attempt to seem 110% interested in the man stranding before her. She also started lifting and lowering her lower legs, alternating left and right every few seconds. The fact that she put a decent amount of emphasis on the word "hard" didn't help to hide his apparant interest in her body. Deciding that adjusting himself through his pockets would be too obvious, Brian decided to take a seat on the lawn next to her.

"So what've you been up to lately, Jess? I haven't seen you around much at all."

"Yeah, I've been busy with work alot these past few weeks, and any free time I've had to myself has really just been spent running and working out. Gotta watch my figure, ya know?"
. Brian watched the beads of sweat roll down her neck and disappear between her more interesting features as she talked, the words barely registering in his inebriated mind.

"Yeah, I could watch it all day". A shit-eating grin spread across his face.

"You perv! That's a good way to get your ass kicked", Jess giggled a little bit, yet another one of her teasing tactics.

"Oh really now? I might enjoy that"

"Yeah really! Johnny might not though"

"Who, your boyfriend? What he doesn't know won't kill him"

"I'd still know!"

"He's a piece of shit"

"Excuse me?"
, she answered, seemingly getting genuinely pissed at this point, raising her right eyebrow.

"I've seen him when he comes home from the bar, drunk as hell and almost smashing up your car in his failed attempts to park straight in the driveway. You know he treats you like shit, right?"

"Yeah, I know, but I love him. I've just been with him for so long it'd be like ripping off an arm at this point."

"Jess, the whole f*cking street can hear him screaming at you at 3 am, and that's with the doors and windows closed."

"Really?"

"Really".



Just then, Kevin's car rounded the street corner, the sound of the engine alerting Brian to his friend's approach. As he turned to stumble back to his house, he uttered one last comment to her.


"I hope you know all that makeup doesn't do well enough to cover up your bruises.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
Last edited by Helloween_rox at Jun 4, 2010,
#2
Just so you know, I'm intentionally over-critical in the attempt to help.

Thus far, your main character is a typical male, which, in the long run, will work well for the sake of projecting your target audience into.

You've introduced one character who could be potentially interesting in the female and also introduced, by reputation, a potential antagonist.

However, there's no hook, or main interest. I don't feel compelled to read any more, or that there is anything to make this piece/series unique. While the line that you end on would likely be quite effective once we know about the characters more, it fails to feel conclusive at this point.

For an introduction piece, there's no excitement. It's more like filler, or empty writing. Cheap thrills are necessary to build interest, and if there aren't any in the first piece then it weakens the position for later ones as a more sedate series.

You need speech indicators. Back and forth is fine in small doses, but you need description of who is talking, how they are speaking and what they are doing. Actions speak louder than words, and it really brings out the characters.

You also seem to go back and forth with the speech, due to the lack of one in the other.

Description
Speech
Description
Speech
Description
Speech

Flow is important in making it seem natural.

Also, since you're centralised about a single character, you could veto the 'he thought' business in favour of just out and out saying it. "It was strange to think..., or so Brian found it." etc. At the very least, please don't use speech marks to indicate thought processes. That's immensely confusing.

You have a taste for the art, you're just in need of practice.
#3
Quote by Colohue
Just so you know, I'm intentionally over-critical in the attempt to help.


I'm all for criticism, as long as it's constructive.


Thus far, your main character is a typical male, which, in the long run, will work well for the sake of projecting your target audience into.

You've introduced one character who could be potentially interesting in the female and also introduced, by reputation, a potential antagonist.


The main character is based off of me. I'm embellishing some of my habits and the way I go about things for the sake of the story. I also do love me some good JD, but I'm also embellishing that part to what I believe to be a borderline self-destructive level for the sake of the story. I also added the female character who is also based off my neighbor's girlfriend (who I find ridiculously hot, btw) for material in the story and a nice set of interactions to follow this.


However, there's no hook, or main interest. I don't feel compelled to read any more, or that there is anything to make this piece/series unique. While the line that you end on would likely be quite effective once we know about the characters more, it fails to feel conclusive at this point.

For an introduction piece, there's no excitement. It's more like filler, or empty writing. Cheap thrills are necessary to build interest, and if there aren't any in the first piece then it weakens the position for later ones as a more sedate series.


To get people interested in reading more after this, I purposely added the interaction between the main character and female character, as well as the drinking problem of the main character. I plan to add a few more characters in the 2nd part, and I felt that the amount to which they interact in this part will give people a taste of what's to come. I'm using this to build up the story, not to go balls-out and use up my creative resources before this takes off.

If you have any suggestions on how to make it a bit more exciting or interesting, I'm completely open to them though.


You need speech indicators. Back and forth is fine in small doses, but you need description of who is talking, how they are speaking and what they are doing. Actions speak louder than words, and it really brings out the characters.

You also seem to go back and forth with the speech, due to the lack of one in the other.

Description
Speech
Description
Speech
Description
Speech

Flow is important in making it seem natural.


I think I fixed that part with the back and forth 1 liners with the speech parts. I also eliminated most of the "he said, she asked, he thought, etc." indicators in favor of more descirptive pieces on what's going through their minds and how they're physically interacting during the speech parts.


Also, since you're centralised about a single character, you could veto the 'he thought' business in favour of just out and out saying it. "It was strange to think..., or so Brian found it." etc. At the very least, please don't use speech marks to indicate thought processes. That's immensely confusing.


I believe I've effectively done away with that part. I reread it and you were definitely right about that. A "he thought/she thought" indicator after every train of thought like I had before made it seem recycled and a little boring.


If this needs anymore improvement, by all means fire away, but I'm making the main character laid back like myself as he's basically just a different version of me, and I'm using this 1st part to build interest in the story, give readers a little taste so they come back again and again for more. I'm not trying to make it like a blockbuster action movie chase sequence, but more of an intro to the main characters and where the story's heading.

Also, I felt that the last line I wrote should serve to make people want to read the next part.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
Last edited by Helloween_rox at Jun 4, 2010,
#4
I spotted a man who likes to drink and happens to be drinking. I didn't spot any drinking problem.

The open ended main character is not a bad thing. It's also fairly evident, when you say that it's based on real events, that said character is based on you.

Concerning adding excitement or dramatic flair, there really isn't that much you can do if you want to engage your target audience.

If you're planning a series, let's talk deadlines. Do you want to do it weekly/fortnightly/monthly and, if so, on what day?
#5
Quote by Colohue
I spotted a man who likes to drink and happens to be drinking. I didn't spot any drinking problem.


Well that was more of an intro to his more problematic drinking habits. Like I said, everything here was made to be an intro to bigger things, including this part. I set it up to get people to expect more self-destructive things from him.


The open ended main character is not a bad thing. It's also fairly evident, when you say that it's based on real events, that said character is based on you.

Concerning adding excitement or dramatic flair, there really isn't that much you can do if you want to engage your target audience.

If you're planning a series, let's talk deadlines. Do you want to do it weekly/fortnightly/monthly and, if so, on what day?


I'd say once a week, and the specific day of the week is up to you, but I feel Sundays would be best. I may write more often than that, but if you want to publish one part per week or do it as often as I write it's up to you.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
#6
Actually, as a writer, it's up to you. If you have a weekly deadline, will you stick to it or are you likely to miss dates? There's a reason that there are only two major Fiction writers, despite all the stories floating around.

Saturday and Sunday is no go. The Office don't work weekends/aren't sober weekends.

As it stands, Tuesday and Thursday you'd be competing with me. This Monday (only this Monday) you'd be competing with me. Friday you'd be competing with Nolan. If you like Sundays, then Monday might be a good deadline date for you.
#7
Mondays it is then. I won't be able to write another one until after this coming monday as I'm going away for the weekend. I'm going to be getting back on sunday, but by then I'll have no energy left (I plan on getting properly f*cked up), so I'll get to writing the next installment after the weekend.

Also, I had no idea you and Nolan were the only 2 writers here. I guess just from the volume of stories I assumed there were more people writing fiction.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
Last edited by Helloween_rox at Jun 4, 2010,
#8
There are, we're just the ones that have set deadlines, so we're the names that people remember. I like to stress the point. Having a deadline and sticking to it will always ensure you readers.

I would suggest that you don't submit this one until next Monday then, which would keep you from having to compete (Nolan and I make a point of not competing with people in case a party suffers for it) with my Dio article. Sit this week out and hopefully you'll have the next one prepared and ready.
#9
That works out perfect, because if we do that then it will let me get a step ahead on the next installment, and we can go over it like this one, if it needs it, and fine tune and tweak it.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
#10
I've got some ideas for the next chapter floating around in my head, but should I make a new thread for it, or just post it here?
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you