#1
Leave a link, I'll provide a full crit. Sorry for the somewhat-abrupt ending, but I have a research paper to do and can't finish this.

http://download.yousendit.com/3A19AF1A7AEF8203

There's a link to download it instead, so you get all the nice italics and what not... I feel it adds to it.


I couldn't sleep, I kept pacing around my room like I was an animal stuck in my cage for too long. I'd finished my third Sam Adams and the new Thursday had finished for the second time. Nothing good is on T.V. at 11:30 at night. I decided to catch a bus down to the beach, and walked outside my apartment. The bus was scheduled for 11:45, so I had some time to kill. I threw rocks at the bats, which were flying above me overhead. One landed dangerously close to my feet, so I stopped. I think I might have clipped one of their wings though, I hope the bastard can't fly anymore. I hate bats.

The bus pulled up late, of course. Why do busses and airplanes and trains never seem to be on schedule. Airplanes I'll give them; the problems with the air and storms and what not, but the busses have no real excuse. I bet the driver was getting high in a parking lot too. When I stepped on the bus, my theory was confirmed, because the bus driver smelled of smoke and herbs. I saw a small roll of paper inside the trash bin. I dropped in my nickel and moved on. There was a black couple sitting in the front seat, with an Asian man opposite. The Asian man seemed like a student, he looked business-like with glasses with black rims, he had long hair, but it was neatly parted. He held a laptop on his (go figure) lap, but he wasn't using it. I could tell he was a student, though, because he had a long-sleeved polo shirt, white, with pink, vertical stripes, un-tucked, yet the right half was slightly in. He pulled it out slightly more as I walked past. I think his jeans might have been girl jeans. Emo pussy.

The black couple turned around and stared as I walked toward the back. Suppose they can't understand why what they fought so hard against, I now wanted. Perhaps they felt some sort of resentment toward that, like us whites tricked them, and the back really was better or some ****. I doubt it, no one seems to care that much about a lonely asshole like me. They stared, I walked. After sitting down into the second to last seat (I hate sitting in the back row, because it's one continuous one. I'm not into that.), I suddenly realized I was wearing a Murder By Death shirt, which, presumably, is what the black couple was staring at. A slightly confusing name, I suppose. It was now only 11:52, but it seemed like it was easily 2 A.M. The beach was only a few minutes away, so I wasn't on the bus too long.

As we pulled up, seeing the sand along the roadside, and the tall, dark buildings with now vacant neon signs, I stood up, pulling the top rope as I did. The bus stopped abruptly, and I was shoved involuntarily forward. The black couple stared again, and I held in the urge to flip them both off. After I stepped off, the bus began to pull away, but then stopped again. The Asian student walked off. He headed down backward though, and I wondered why he didn't get off earlier. I got slightly paranoid he might follow me, but shook off the though. I head toward the beach. As I passed the bus schedule, a horrible thought entered my mind, which I hadn't thought about when I left: That was the last bus of the night, I?d have to wait until morning to get home. I almost panicked, because it seems there was no hotel in sight. Then I remembered, I was here for the beach, and to the beach I would go. I?d worry about my housing situation later.

I walked down the boardwalk to the stairs, forming a straight line with my feet over the tram tracks. The water was really rolling in and out, like a storm was forming. I knew from the weather report (which I?d seen at 5, 7:30, 10, and 11) on the news that there were no storms predicted all week. I was thankful for that, more now than then, because I was stuck in the middle of this forsaken town.

After sitting there for what seemed like hours, my feet resting in the water, I?d taken off my pants and waded in slightly, but not enough to get my boxers wet. My luck, a wave came and swept me under, so I was soaked from head to toe now. I tried to find a place to dry, but couldn?t. Grudgingly, I put my dry pants back on, and was thankful I didn?t wade in with them on, but pissed because my underwear was now wet. I hate that wet/dry feeling. That contrast.

I spotted a vending machine, and, after digging into my pocket, was even more thankful I had taken my pants off, because I found a five-dollar bill, albeit it?s being slightly rumpled. I felt slightly drunk from the three Sam Adams and two Heinekens I drank. I wish I stayed at home. But, I had comfort in knowing I could get chips and a coke or something, hoping that the soda would bring back some soberness.

I pulled the five out of my pocket, and though it was slightly rumpled, it seemed like it could work. I pushed it up against the glass, and tried to flatten it some more. I fed it into the machine, but infant-like it spit it out. Bills can be such a bitch to get the machine to take. I tried again, to no avail. Third time was supposedly a charm, but after a moment, it spit it out again. I finally shoved it in, and kept my hand in front of it. To my surprise, it accepted it. I glanced at the machine, saw the regular Coke (so many varieties these days?), and pressed B5. The coke shot out. I grabbed my change, and went to the other vending machine. Thankful I had coins at this point, I stuffed them in gleefully. I got a bag of Wise chips, though I prefer Lay?s, they only had barbeque. I hate anything that differs too far from the norm in mainstream products, though I suppose Cherry Coke?s fine.

After drinking half the coke, and finishing the chips, I felt a little more sober. I wasn?t straight-up drunk by any means, just a little tipsy, if you know what I mean. I finally cleared my head enough to remember there was a park I could sleep in that night, so I headed off to the East? at least I think it was the East. Could?ve been West, I suppose, but it was to my right, anyhow. I had seen hobos and vagrants sleep there before, so I figured I would be ok for a night. Never heard about any trouble, anyway?
#2
Hmmm. Alright. Well, there are some problems. First, you leave things out. Like, kinda important things. You give straight up, basic descriptions of the Asian kid and the Blacks, but you don't describe yourself until later and it sounds awkward. Second, when he first gets to the beach and he steps across tram tracks...what tram tracks? Where did they come from? Stuff like that.

Second, you don't really get at the bigger points. Like, if someone takes a bus at 11:45, they know it's the last bus, probably, so I don't know why he panics. He also says that the beach is only a few miles away, so he can walk back. But again, he would probably know that already. So some parts of it are just like "Wait...what?" Especially with first person, we're not in the narrator's mind to work out the logistics, we're in his mind to see his mind. Unless the logistics have to do with us seeing the person's mind.

It reads to me like Catcher in the Rye meets Fight Club. Which is a good thing. It also reminds me of one of those movies that take place at night, so you're never sure how much time is passing. It's a wonderful idea, cause it makes the entire story seem completely surreal, if the reader can't tell how much time goes by. But I digress. You have a good scene set up and it's a nice start, but you need to really make us interested. We kinda care, but we don't really. We want to know why he's alone, drinking and suddenly packing up to go to the beach at midnight. We don't really care what type of beer he drinks. Not to say narration like this is useless, it's just not as important as the big stuff.

To finish, I'll leave you with a paraphrased Hemingway quote: Never confuse motion for action. There's a lot of motion in your story, but how much actually happens?

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#3
Quote by Petey Cook
Hmmm. Alright. Well, there are some problems. First, you leave things out. Like, kinda important things. You give straight up, basic descriptions of the Asian kid and the Blacks, but you don't describe yourself until later and it sounds awkward. Second, when he first gets to the beach and he steps across tram tracks...what tram tracks? Where did they come from? Stuff like that.

Second, you don't really get at the bigger points. Like, if someone takes a bus at 11:45, they know it's the last bus, probably, so I don't know why he panics. He also says that the beach is only a few miles away, so he can walk back. But again, he would probably know that already. So some parts of it are just like "Wait...what?" Especially with first person, we're not in the narrator's mind to work out the logistics, we're in his mind to see his mind. Unless the logistics have to do with us seeing the person's mind.

It reads to me like Catcher in the Rye meets Fight Club. Which is a good thing. It also reminds me of one of those movies that take place at night, so you're never sure how much time is passing. It's a wonderful idea, cause it makes the entire story seem completely surreal, if the reader can't tell how much time goes by. But I digress. You have a good scene set up and it's a nice start, but you need to really make us interested. We kinda care, but we don't really. We want to know why he's alone, drinking and suddenly packing up to go to the beach at midnight. We don't really care what type of beer he drinks. Not to say narration like this is useless, it's just not as important as the big stuff.

To finish, I'll leave you with a paraphrased Hemingway quote: Never confuse motion for action. There's a lot of motion in your story, but how much actually happens?

Rock On


Agreed with you on most points, however, I will be getting to much more important stuff in Part 2(and possibly future parts?) Also, I kind of wrote this as a... I dunno, like it's already inside of something, not as a straight up short story. It's hard to describe my feelings. Part 2 will definately give more insight into the character(and you're right, the lack of description does play into his mentality) but I'll probably revise this part too.
#4
Sounds good. I figured you were going to expand, but it's always good to put some important stuff at the beginning. Hell, some people make the first sentence of a story the most important. Like Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" where he says at the end of the first section something like: "This is a story about a slaughter. It starts like this and ends like this." So who knows. I trust ya.

And about the description, I was thinking about it, and there are some things I liked. For instance, when he describes the black couple and then says "us whites" I realize that was a really good way to get the point across that he's white. So I guess I should take some of that back. But like I said, some of it is awkward.

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#5
Quote by Petey Cook
Sounds good. I figured you were going to expand, but it's always good to put some important stuff at the beginning. Hell, some people make the first sentence of a story the most important. Like Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" where he says at the end of the first section something like: "This is a story about a slaughter. It starts like this and ends like this." So who knows. I trust ya.

And about the description, I was thinking about it, and there are some things I liked. For instance, when he describes the black couple and then says "us whites" I realize that was a really good way to get the point across that he's white. So I guess I should take some of that back. But like I said, some of it is awkward.

Rock On


Haha, some of my descriptions surprise even myself.
#6
That happens a lot in writing. You write something and people say it's good and then you're like "I wonder if they realize I had no idea I was doing that..."

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#7
With that in itself being a blessing of sorts, although to be honest, one would be hesitant to admit so. In order to pertain to this thread; I have to say that despite the aforementioned shortcomings, this was a thoroughly decent read, with Mister Cook proving most useful in regards to improvement.
Incisive inklings of proper piss are unsuited for the quill…
#8
Quote by HendrixEdge
With that in itself being a blessing of sorts, although to be honest, one would be hesitant to admit so. In order to pertain to this thread; I have to say that despite the aforementioned shortcomings, this was a thoroughly decent read, with Mister Cook proving most useful in regards to improvement.


Wow, Will thought it was a decent read.

What do you know, maybe I'm not so bad.

Thanks a lot though, and I'll be revising this soon. Though I do have a memoir-of-sorts due to someone this weekend, so I should be working on that more. Maybe I'll post it? Who knows?