#1
this is starting to materialize in my head, don't forget to read the first chapter if you haven't already.

Chapter 1


***
A few days earlier, the four of us had met in Peter’s room, which is basically the basement of his mom’s house. It was planned to be more of an organizing meeting than a rehearsal, discussing the various ingredients that go into pulling off a show, such as clothing choice, pre-show food arrangements, what friends we were going to invite, even the set-list. The discussion violently derailed when Joey brought up a certain controversial idea.

“I think we should write us a new song and play it at the show. Yes sir, that’s one hell of an idea, ain’t it?” No one seemed to be real enthusiastic about backing our body-suit drummer. The topic of our ‘own material’ had been a touchy one all throughout our ten months of existence.

“Yeah, sh.it yeah, might as well bring in ‘Atom Heart Brother’ and ‘Lolly-pop-who-screws-ya’ while were at it, eh genius?” chimes in Peter, almost threatening to surge out of his wheelchair. The two songs mentioned were the lone attempts at material of our own we had ever done, and were the main source of an embarrassing end to our last concert back here in our small home town of Grand River.

“I think we should just stick to what works Joe. I’ll be damned if I have anymore peanuts thrown at me while-“

“Don’t tell me you’re not a little tired playing the Police and the fu.ckin’ Talking Heads,” Joey says, interrupting a memory that probably didn’t need to be dug up. “There is something out there to be said, and I think we have the tools to say it”

“That sounds good, only this time, I say we make the drum solo 15 minutes or so, right Darrell?” Peter says, rolling his chair a little closer to me, either moving out of reach of Joey or wanting to make sure he heard every syllable I was fixing to say.

“Well, I’m going to have to-.”

“What the hell is all the yelling down here?” Tammie says, stepping off the final stair into the basement. She carried in front of her a plate full of refreshing beverages, though I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what they were.

“Ah, our friend Joey here wants to get us killed,” says Peter

“Can I finish what I was going to say?” I plead, though the focus in the room to me was obviously elsewhere.

“What you got cooking, Joseph?” asks Tammie, after chugging some of the beautifully colored mystery drink.

“He wants us write a new song and play it at the gig,” explains Peter, never taking his eyes off the now pacing Joey, most certainly in a state of creativity and thunderous brainstorming.

“That’s suicide Joe. Here, have a swig of this, maybe it will snap you out of it.”

“All we need is a little inspiration,” Joey blurts, completely unengaged in the other happenings in the room. “You know, like how some people get from looking at a painting, or climbing a mountain, or…hey, what was that?”

“What was what?” asks Tammie, with a slight slur, possibly affected from the contents of the drinks.

“That squeaking. That rhythmic, almost beautiful squeak! Who did it? Was that you Pete?

“Well, yeah, I was just backing up out of the way, and-.”

“Do it again! Retrace your exact path. Where were you, right here? Help him Darrell.”

“Jesus Joey, this is just stupid. What the hell-.”

“Shh…alright, now, back that damn thing up exactly like….that, yes. Ya hear it? Isn’t that just….beautiful?” A nervous silence seemed to envelop the room, for Joey has had similar sudden outbursts of uncontrollable absurdness that have ended almost always in disaster.

“Tammie, get on your harp, I’ll strap on some drums, and Pete, I want you to wear a groove in that carpet buddy,” Joey says, grabbing Tammie buy the arm in mid-drink and almost dragging here to the other side of the basement where the instruments were.

“And Darrell, you start opening and closing the sliding glass door. That’s always made a lot of inspiring noise,” Pete says, with his feet of the coffee table, not moving an inch.

“No, no Darrell, you just stay there for a second and listen. Okay…” Joey says, as he lower his voice towards Tammie and begins humming a tune with his mouth, apparently trying to mimic the squeak, but, at least to me, sound nothing like the sounds that were coming out of the wheelchair.

“This is by far the biggest contribution I’ve made to the band thus far, eh Darrell?” Pete says while putting his hands behind his head in a relaxing manner.

“Yeah, it is amazing sometimes where inspiration can come from,” I confess, as the other two begin tapping into something. Something that sounds different than anything I think we have ever done; something, dare I say, that might actually be good.
Last edited by streetcarp19 at Mar 18, 2008,
#5
Thanks for the crit. I appreciate. Anyways, i'm not the good at critiquing stories, but I'll give it a shot. I would like to see more description of the basement. Also I feel that the "though I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what they were" line was really unnecessary. However, I thought this section had good pacing and I thought the conversation was very interesting. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to make some music with a squealy wheel.
#6
Thanks man...yeah, there is a fine line between pacing and description, and I do agree with you on the fact that this piece is certianly leaning towards the non-descriptive side. Also, if you can, send me a recording of that squealy wheel session...i am sure it turned out great.
#9
Pretty good. I enjoyed reading through this.
Your strength is in the dialogue; you do a good job with keeping it interesting.
However, you do a lot of telling rather than showing. For example, here:
Quote by streetcarp19

“Don’t tell me you’re not a little tired playing the Police and the fu.ckin’ Talking Heads,” Joey says, interrupting a memory that probably didn’t need to be dug up. “There is something out there to be said, and I think we have the tools to say it”

You don't need to mention that he's interrupting an unpleasant memory. It would be more effective, and more concise, to say "Joey interrupted hastily." And maybe describe his physical appearance when he does it--the look on his face, his mannerisms, whatever. And that should be more than enough to show what's going on instead of telling what's going on. Always, always, show-don't-tell.

Also, you overuse the word "say" a little bit. I understand that it's hard to replace every single "say" with a better verb, but try as hard as you can. It really makes a difference.
Quote by streetcarp19

“Can I finish what I was going to say?” I plead, though the focus in the room to me was obviously elsewhere.

You've got some syntax issues here. Just say something like "I plead, though the focus in the room was obviously elsewhere."
Quote by streetcarp19

“What you got cooking, Joseph?” asks Tammie, after chugging some of the beautifully colored mystery drink.

Avoid using abstract adjectives (well, in this case, it's an adverb, but it's the same idea) like beautiful (here, you have beautifully). Try to describe the color of the drink instead, in concrete terms. Was is blue, green, red, golden, sparkling, iridescent, transparent or translucent, lustrous? Et cetera.
Quote by streetcarp19

“Yeah, it is amazing sometimes where inspiration can come from,” I confess, as the other two begin tapping into something. Something that sounds different than anything I think we have ever done; something, dare I say, that might actually be good.

this is just a pet peeve of mine. It's not "different than". It's "different from". Different than doesn't make grammatical sense. Sorry for being nitpicky here. :P

So yeah. Read through and see what can be improved based on those examples, and I think you'll get a better, more concrete piece. And you'll find a few easily corrected errors in syntax too. But mostly, this is well-written. Kudos. And I hope my critique is helpful.
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
#10
Thanks a lot for the help here. I will certainly keep a lot of your tips in mind during the next installment.