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 You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)

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Wicked Redhead


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PostSubject: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 10th 2009, 5:19 pm

I wrote this a while ago. Submitted it three times and recieved all rejections. Any suggestions to improve/help get this bugger published?

You Want to Live Forever?

I sat in Joe's bar and a guy walked up to me. He had a long leather coat on and I couldn't help, but think this began a bad joke. Instead, the guy ran a hand through black hair, same cut, and shade as mine. Removed sunglasses, must be a style thing because it was nearly midnight. The smile he gave me made my hair stand on end. "Hey buddy..." He said quietly, but loud enough to be heard over drunks.

I gave a nod, kept my brown eyes off him, and focused on the beer before me. Couldn’t remember if it was my fourth or fifth. So there I was taking a sip when he leaned over and whispered, "You want to live forever?"

At first, I was intrigued. Damn straight, I wanted to live forever, also wanted to bang two girls at once, being an ugly, balding forty-year-old man that was not likely to happen. A guy could still dream. I stared at Mr. Creepy, slowly moved my head ‘no’, not talking just a slight turn of my fuzzy head back and forth. I quickly returned to stare at the top of the almost empty beer bottle.

"Are you sure?" He had a disturbed gaze focused solely on me.

"Listen, I don't know what you're talking about. I just want to go about my life pal." I walked away. Had to, he seriously bothered me. I grabbed the beer, although I probably should have left it, I walked to a noisy table. Smiled at the guys that played cards while I kept an eye on the bar, Mr. Creepy snarled and stood. His long legs ate up the walk to the other side of the bar. In seconds, he approached another guy. Well, whatever to him, I wanted nothing to do with that nut.

The next night I stayed home. Couldn't sleep and beer no longer tasted as good. I was troubled by that guy, the one from the bar. I figured the news with all its "the world is ending" stories I'd get him off my mind. What did I find on TV? A warning about an escape mental patient and who did I see on TV - the creepy ass dude from the bar. Now my hearts pumped and I paced as they talk about the five people he killed before I collapsed into the chair. It was not right, no way had I met him.

A friggin' serial killer!

I had to make a decision. Forget I ever saw the freak or call the cops. My hand hesitated at the phone, the psycho spoke to me. He'd know I told. Those were the thoughts that ran through my head. I began to pace again. Pulled off the shirt that was suddenly too tight, choked. My jeans hung low over my belly. What the hell was I going to do? I glared at the window, frowned as I turned.

He was in front of me, his smile wide as he glared at my half-naked form. Terror clogged up my throat and I knew now I should’ve called the cops. I won't tell you exactly what he did to me. It involved an entire day of torture. Bloody and horrid to think about, let alone experience. By the end, I already gave up hope. I was ready to get the hell away from this psycho, even if it meant death.

I had no idea I'd become a ghost. Forever haunting as he kills others.

I watched him maim rape and destroy human beings. I'm trapped here as he completes the deeds and hating every moment but what's a ghost to do?
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TerishD


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PostSubject: Reply   June 10th 2009, 5:47 pm

First, glad to see you here. Second, well, you said that you are submitting this, I thus got a little picky -

He had a long leather coat on and I couldn't help, but think this began a bad joke.
The comma goes before 'and,' as the 'but' is part of the second phrase. Truthfully, I would have made this into two sentences: the first a good description of the man, and the second a reason to think of the attire as a bad joke.

Instead, the guy ran a hand through black hair, same cut, and shade as mine.
INSTEAD of what? No comma after 'cut' as 'same cut and shade as mine' is a complete phrase.

Removed sunglasses, must be a style thing because it was nearly midnight.
Wearing the sunglasses must be the style thing, as at night most people would remove them.

I ran out of steam there. Only thing that I can imagine is that you had a word count to get under, because you left a lot out. I felt that you were depending upon me (the reader) to read your mind, because there was a lot missing in the text. You need to add description, reasons for certain comments, and some rational explanations. As bad as slasher movies are, they make it a point to show an open window or door ajar. You don't even do that, but simply have your bad guy appear. You also forget that this is the 21st century, as most people carry their phones with them. A hand to a pocket and help can be summoned with most being able to start the device taking photos.

I don't want to sound mean, but I understand why this one was rejected.

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Wicked Redhead


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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 11th 2009, 1:24 am

Hi Terish.

1- That is mean. You should add something about that being your opinion. In your opinion you can see why it was rejected.

2- You're right about the characters. My flash tends to be hit or miss. I do believe this is a miss, beside the fact that I've seen a few stories with a similar plot.

3- It's now at the top of the garbage pile. Thanks for commenting though.
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PostSubject: Reply   June 11th 2009, 8:35 am

Just letting you know my personality, Wicked Redhead. I can be nice, but I am not doing a writer any favors by being tactful. If there are problems, I will state them. Now, there are levels of viciousness, but I consider publishing to be the cruelest level. As a beginning writer, not only do you have to be free from problems, but you must meet the editor's mentality for what type of story he wants. I preach self-analysis and self-editing, so I hope what I say will help you improve your future final products.

Wicked Redhead wrote:
1- That is mean. You should add something about that being your opinion. In your opinion you can see why it was rejected.
One does not have to say, "In my opinion," because unless that person is quoting then the words are from his thoughts. 'In my opinion' is redundant. You ASKED for opinions when you submitted the text, thus saying 'in my opinion' would be doubly redundant. Now, I did give evidence for my reasoning, thus I could have said, "my conclusion based upon the evidence," but I was nice and did not pound the knife into the wound.
Wicked Redhead wrote:
2- You're right about the characters. My flash tends to be hit or miss. I do believe this is a miss, beside the fact that I've seen a few stories with a similar plot.
Hold it, Wicked Redhead, you are making two bad comments. First, work to make your writings all hits. This is not a game of odds, but the working of a skill. Keep at it and you will improve, especially if you set your mind to improving. Second, don't worry about what others have done. We are a few thousand years into the future, so most ideas have been done before. Tell your story in your manner, and it should have a freshness that makes it worth others reading.
Wicked Redhead wrote:
3- It's now at the top of the garbage pile. Thanks for commenting though.
I don't comment to have you trash your work. I comment to have you IMPROVE your work. Again, I preach self-analysis and self-editing. Learn to recognize and FIX your mistakes. None of us are perfect, but we are all capable of getting better. I believe that I learn more from redoing a text than from starting over. Keep working, Wicked Redhead.

Once again, just letting you know my personality. Glad to have you here, and I hope that you stay. Really, I can be nice -- trust me.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Wicked Redhead


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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 11th 2009, 1:58 pm

There are problems with this that's why I didn't get a stick for you, fighting Wink

I completely disagree with you on the 'opinion' thing. It's just being curtious, like waving thanks when someone lets you in traffic.

Not all my writings are hits. The ones that really get to me, strick the heart, can't get out of my head, those are the ones I work to make as near perfect as possible. I liked this one but will not take more than ten or so minutes out of my time to fix it, thus, garbage pile.

I didn't trash my work because of your comment, it was halfway there when I posted this, you did give it a nudge. For the better I'm sure.

Of course I'm going to stay. You're not gonna have me slinking out of here because you weren't Mr. nice guy, I like 'em naughty. Besides I'm dying to see this nice guy you refer to. afro
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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 11th 2009, 3:48 pm

You're expecting courtesy, on the internet? Very Happy

Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from any writers group on any of the major social networking sites as you can possibly get, because the majority of the responders there make TerishD on his worst day look like Barney the friendly purple dinosaur.

Now, as to this piece itself.

For me personally the setting in the bar seemed a little too ambiguous. A bar is a bar is a bar perhaps was your thought here, but I was left guessing as to rather it was a hole in the wall pub, a trending uptown nightclub, or even a gay bar (not really that unusual of a hangout for a guy who list among his life's goals bedding two women at once, believe you me). Some more detail would have helped. Maybe a little interaction between the main character and the other people in the bar (the guys playing cards for example) would have brought it together. Either way, too much was left up to my imagination and I just couldn't draw a good enough picture in my mind to really "get into" the setting.

The other major flaw I saw was too many sentences that started with "I". "I grabbed the beer." "I walked away" "I had to make a decision." etc. etc. If you do decided your are inclined to go back and give this one a rewrite, I'd suggest taking a look at each and every sentence that starts this way and try and rework them so that they don't start with "I".

Best of luck.
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Swami


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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 11th 2009, 4:44 pm

I don't think Terish meant offence. I came on here thinking my work was good and thought people would like it once upon a time, and Terish let me know much more 'meaner' than he did yours that it wasn't. And, since then, my writing has improved a lot, enough for Terish to show his nicer side. Don't take offence at people's criticisms, use it and it will improve your work.

I don't really get short stories so I can't comment on your work Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 12th 2009, 11:26 am

TerishD wrote:
One does not have to say, "In my opinion," because unless that person is quoting then the words are from his thoughts. 'In my opinion' is redundant.

This is true, and I know what you mean. But you would be amazed at how many people think their "Opinion" is god given truth.

Just saying.

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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 12th 2009, 12:45 pm

Touche
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PostSubject: Carefully chosen words   June 12th 2009, 2:38 pm

Well, yeah, my opinions ARE God given, but -- you don't believe. Thus, all of you are condemned to an eternity in Hell with jets of sulpur spewing in your faces while streams of lava burn your feet and no water to be found except when you look up and see the glorious majesty of me sipping water from the pure streams of Heaven. Not that any of you believe, but I will suffer the indignities while counting the accumulation of wealth that is being placed for me in Paradise.

He-he. You know, I REALLY enjoy writing fantasy.

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 12th 2009, 4:32 pm

TerishD wrote:
Well, yeah, my opinions ARE God given, but -- you don't believe. Thus, all of you are condemned to an eternity in Hell with jets of sulpur spewing in your faces while streams of lava burn your feet and no water to be found except when you look up and see the glorious majesty of me sipping water from the pure streams of Heaven. Not that any of you believe, but I will suffer the indignities while counting the accumulation of wealth that is being placed for me in Paradise.

He-he. You know, I REALLY enjoy writing fantasy.

Ha, another man on a power trip. Rolling Eyes Don't you know dinosaurs eat men and women will inherit the earth. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 12th 2009, 6:25 pm

TerishD wrote:
Well, yeah, my opinions ARE God given

Hey! The voices talk to me too!

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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 12th 2009, 7:36 pm

Urs wrote:
TerishD wrote:
Well, yeah, my opinions ARE God given

Hey! The voices talk to me too!

i tend to ignore them, and go with messages the aliens send me instead...
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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 12th 2009, 8:13 pm

Swami wrote:
Urs wrote:
TerishD wrote:
Well, yeah, my opinions ARE God given

Hey! The voices talk to me too!

i tend to ignore them, and go with messages the aliens send me instead...

As my grandmother taught me the gods are/were aliens and so it's all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: You Want To Live Forever? (Flash Fiction)   June 13th 2009, 5:29 am

Ooh, so my opinion is god given truth as well then, no matter how murderous it is . . . Cool
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