#1
Uncle Russel had one lazy eye. He'd be going on about something, but you wouldn't know if he was lecturing you, or the guy standing to your right. ****, Russel is a good guy. The American kind. Some 10 acres of land that surrounded his home were a constant project. Back before the Reagan administration, the weathered shacks behind his home made up camps. Not so much separate camps, as a shanty town all together. Russel's father owned the land, and when he died it was given to him. Now the shacks just stood there abandoned, except for one where his recluse handicapped sister lived. Self -separation is half of alienation.

New Hampshire's gun laws were relaxed, nothing like down here in Massachusetts. Everybody up north has got a gun, at least past Concord, once you start getting up into the White Mountains. Bristol is where Russel calls home. He owns a whole ****in' arsenal. I knew he did from the previous trip I made up north with my mother, and brother. Uncle Russel took us shooting out in the woods around Alexandria. Busted matresses, old computers, and various other things like propane tanks littered this area locals called "the pit". Damn, every town has got "the pit" or "the pits" as we call it in Groveland. Large, cleared, open area where you can basically do what you want aside of murder and sodomy. That day we only fired a couple of bolt-action .22's, and a .38 special. My brother and I had never been shooting before, so Russel wanted to pop our gun powder cherries with some light ammunition.

Don't get me wrong. Russel had a lot more than a couple of candy ass .22's. I got a peek into his gun safe and saw several larger cases, locked away in the back. He tucked the hot guns into the front of the safe, and closed it up tight. The only firearm not placed in the safe was the .38 special. From firing it earlier I knew it was a ****in' hand cannon and could take the head off of medusa if need be. Shattering a mortal temple would take no effort at all.

After dinner, while drinking coffee, I mentioned a few things to my mother. Insomnia had never been a problem, rising in the morning was difficult. Sleep should last forever I had always thought. Mom knew I was a big boy capable of tucking myself in.

A single shot rang in my ears. Russel ran out and found the gun he kept hidden in the guestroom on the floor. That .38 special ain't so special no more.

Here's the deal.... I'm sick of critiquing pieces and never getting a critique back, except for a few like Jamie, Zach, and others. So, critique mine and I'll get back on yours.

-Nick
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
Last edited by freshtunes at May 4, 2008,
#2
I don't have much to offer as far as critiquing, because I don't really know much about prose, but I'll offer my two cents. And I'm sorry if I seem like an ass for correcting your grammar, but I'm somewhat OCD about it.

Uncle Russel (1) has one lazy eye. He'd be going on about something, and you wouldn't know if he was lecturing you, or the guy standing to your right. ****, Russel is a good guy. The American kind. Some 10 acres of land that surrounded his home were a constant project. Back before the Reagan administration, the weathered shacks behind his home made up camps. (2) Not so much separate camps, as a shanty town all together. Russel's father owned the land, and when he died it was given to him. Now the shacks just stood (3) their abandoned, except for one where his (4) recloose handicapped sister lived. Self -separation is half of alienation.

I like the tone you set with this paragraph. It gives off a cynical, down-to-earth, matter-of-fact feeling. Basically, "this is how it was." It's almost contemptuous, too. Really cool.

1: I'd change "has" to "had." The tense change in the next sentence was jarring to me.
2: I'd change the "and" to a "but." I had to re-read that sentence a few times before it made sense.
3: there.
4: recluse.


New Hampshire's gun laws were relaxed, nothing like down here in Massachusetts. Everybody up north has got a gun, at least past Concord, once you start getting up into the White Mountains. Bristol is where Russel calls home. He owns a whole ****in' (1) arsenol. I knew he did from the previous trip I made up north with my mother, and brother. Uncle Russel took us shooting out in the woods around Alexandria. Busted matresses, old computers, and various other things (2) such as propane tanks littered this area locals called "the pit". (3) Damn, every town has got "the pit" or "the pits" as we call it in Groveland. Large, cleared, open area where you can basically do what you want aside of murder and sodomy. That day we only fired a couple of bolt-action .22's, and a .38 special. My brother and I had never been shooting before, so Russel wanted to pop our gun powder cherries with some light ammunition.

Ha, gunpowder cherries. I like how this one (in a way) puts a magnifying glass over the first paragraph, giving you a more clear-cut setting. I also like how you used just enough detail. Everyone knows about a place like the one you described, so they could fill in some blanks with their experiences to give it a more personal feeling.

1: arsenal
2: It sounded weird, especially for the voice your character has. I'd change it to "like."
3: Those sentences were strange. They need a touch of revision.


Don't get me wrong. Russel had a lot more than a couple of candy ass .22's. I got a peek into his gun safe and saw several larger cases, locked away in the back. He tucked the hot guns into the front of the safe, and closed it up tight. The only firearm not placed in the safe was the .38 special. From firing it earlier I knew it was a ****in' hand cannon and could take the head off of medusa if need be. Shattering a mortal temple would take no effort at all.

The tension builds with your talk of guns. We feel something coming on, but what? There's no real grammar mistakes, but I don't think you needed any commas in this paragraph.

A single shot rang in my ears. Russel ran out and found the gun he kept hidden in the guestroom on the floor. That .38 and special ain't so special no more.

I take it you commit suicide, but because you say "A single shot rang in my ears," it sounds like your still alive. So I'm slightly confused about what you're saying, even though I'm pretty sure I know what you mean. And I think "That .38 and special" is a typo.


I really like this. The way you wrote it made it sound like you're literally speaking to me. I think you just need to revise a few sentences. After that, it'll be even more solid. Excellent, dude.
#3
Thanks! Yea, the grammatical errors were all accidental, I didn't really revise the piece (which I should have). I'm a douche when it comes to grammar as well, but yea I know their, there and all that. The last line was just a typo with the and. But thanks for the comments, I'm going to go back and edit it.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#4
hi; i'm a fan.

Self-separation is half of alienation.


i don't know if you meant for it to have a lot of meaning or not, but this line is nothing short of memorable.

i also loved the second section. the "folky" sounding descriptions were so fun to read. like pete said; it sounded like sitting down and having a "one-on-one" with somebody down to earth, and familiar with the folk sounding geographical locations.

the last two sections tore a hole in me. what a great twist.

i didn't really feel the need to delve into any grammar errors or issues of the such for this piece, because the benevolence of the story just overrode any complications i felt with the writing. great job.

no need for any comment, but if you'd just read over mine - a sound of departure; volume 1. - i'd really appreciate it.
#5
Quote by freshtunes
I knew he did from the previous trip I made up north with my mother, and brother.




I hated the from in the above sentence. It needed a 'because of' or something more telling.

Outside of that, I enjoyed this a lot. The twist is spectacular. The writing is catchy and very "you." I like your enjambment. The way you fit lines together that don't seem like they should. The short choppy thoughts, the strange connection of ideas, the random notes (such as the sister).

I really don't have much bad to say about this other than a few grammar things, which are negligible. Only other suggestion is maybe make the "gun on the floor" thing stick out a little more and tell us whether it was mom or brother, because some of the impact is lost since we are wondering who it was or what happened. Plus, I skipped over on the floor, because I thought it meant he hid it "on the guest room floor."


I know this sucked, but just a read and thoughts on the new one "hymnal" would be greatly appreciated.

-zC
#6
I kill myself at the end.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#7

I normally dig your stuff but this seemed far too normal, without the abstract elements that make you interesting. Also the short sentences did nothing for me, it felt like reading a shopping list, it was just one phrase after another after another with nothing to tie it all up You got a good voice, but this was a whisper of your usual self, IMO.




love is a dog from hell.



#8
Quote by freshtunes
I kill myself at the end.


Yeah, I completely missed it. I thought it was a brother or mother... because you were looking into the case and then it said something about you heard the gunshot... I don't know. Now that I know that, it makes this a little less sensational, because I completely missed the point of it all.
#9
Quote by ZanasCross
Yeah, I completely missed it. I thought it was a brother or mother... because you were looking into the case and then it said something about you heard the gunshot... I don't know. Now that I know that, it makes this a little less sensational, because I completely missed the point of it all.

Haha, sorry about that. I just didn't want anyone to get confused. The line "separation is half of alienation" is in there to kind of foreshadow it. As the narrator understands alienation, which ultimately leads to suicide.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
Last edited by freshtunes at May 4, 2008,
#10
I did quite like this. I don't have much to critiscise.

There, a sober critique. **** you Zach
#12
I had my friend read the piece, and she agrees with Zach, I deff. need more in the first couple of stanzas to let the reader know I'm the one killing myself(that sounds horrible, haha). Maybe this week I'll try and weave a couple hints in. Thanks guys for the comments.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#13
I think you should use the ending more than the beginning to make sure the reader knows the subject of the ending.
#14
Quote by Jammydude44
I think you should use the ending more than the beginning to make sure the reader knows the subject of the ending.

Very true, maybe expand the last stanza.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#15
Mmmh.

More effecive that wa than the bggininng. Pppl forget the bggining once they;ve come to the end.
#16
Is it the same way with life in general, forgetting the beginning once you're at the end? Wow, we're getting deep here Jamie, haha.

Edit: Added in second to last stanza. Hope it clarifys the ending.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
Last edited by freshtunes at May 4, 2008,