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A Story From the Old West

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Happyness
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    Li'l G Loc

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#1

Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Hello folks, I decided to re-write again, I am going to put the prologue, I chose a better theme this time! Fanfiction of Red Dead Redemption. I will try this time to keep going and make it better and better.

user posted image


Prologue


John Marston rode his horse into the sunset on a hot summer night, he headed towards MacFarlane ranch after a ‘hard’ day at work as he arrived at his small shack he was greeted by his golden Retriever pup, Henry, he was only a few months old, a really energetic puppy, the dog barked as he spinned his small tail in happiness, seeing his lord was his true happiness.

John arched a smile upon his face as he bended down and patted the pup’s head, John subsequently grabbed his horse, Thunder’s rein, and tethered it to his shack’s stall for the night. John proceeded to pet Thunder’s head then he continued to walk into his shack then he released a long sigh indicating his tiredness, John quickly exchanged from his casual clothes to his night clothes and jumped on the bed where he had fallen asleep.

Sun began to set at six a.m. John was used to wake up at that time and so he did, John released a long and loud yawn as he raised himself from the bed, he stretched his body then he proceeded to change his clothes from his nightwear into the casual, every-day, clothes. John turned towards the hat-stand and gripped his so-called “lucky” hat, arranging it on his head, click-clack, the door opened and John was so sleepy, he exited his shack without paying attention to the following stairs that he stumbled as he was headed towards his horse, and then he actually ended up heading to the ground. Motherf-.. Son of a b-.. God DAMN IT! Yelled John in anger and then he stood up followed by a few pats to dust his clothes off.

John had proceeded to untie his horse’s rein from the stall and he quickly jumped on it, and he rode the horse towards Armadillo, to begin his day.


Every feedback is welcome as long as it helps me improve!

Boss Falcone
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#2

Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:20 PM

I say Very Nice There is not alot of problems with your Grammar and Spelling.
I love the Idea but if I was you be a little original. I love red dead but you want to
give something new to the people.

Change the name of the main character and go on from their.

Good luck

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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#3

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:24 AM

Oh dear, that looks a little rushed!

But i do love a western, and an RDR fanfic... Hmm.

Firstly my thoughts on the theme - RDR. From what I read, i see nothing that says it has to be a fan fic yet. Could you make it your own, or do you have plans for it? I support fanfics, but i think it's always worth asking the question: can it be my own?

QUOTE
John Marston rode his horse into the sunset on a hot summer night,

Firstly i think this should be a full stop. Also, is this sentence all it could be? It seems very vague. Could you add to it?

QUOTE
he headed towards MacFarlane 's ranch after a ‘hard’ day at work

'hard' - doesn't work here. It sounds like you're mocking him. Also as someone who's familiar with the character, we know he does not "work" per se. RDR sees him abandoning his ranch, and thus his work. What would be better is to say something like:
"It had been a long, hard day - the only kind anyone on the frontier knew. As the sun began to set, John could see Mcfarlane's ranch ahead, the white paint of the barn winking at him like a cheeky landmark."
I think there is a lot more you could tell us.

Also, you've bled the next sentence with the previous, and the reader may get confused.
QUOTE
as he arrived at his small shack he was greeted by his golden Retriever pup, Henry, he was only a few months old, a really energetic puppy, the dog barked as he spinned his small tail in happiness, seeing his lord was his true happiness.

Firstly, too long. Too much. We need a breather. You also tell us he's a dog 3/4 times, twice that he's a puppy. You don't need to, cut it down. You also don't need to say he's a puppy THEN only a few months old.
Here's how I'd do it:
"John hitched his horse and bent down, patting his Golden Retriever puppy on the head. The dog yipped, and craned his neck upwards, wanting more, and when John withdrew his hand, Henry - John had named him after the rifle - rose to his feet with such energy that only came with youth. Henry's stumpy tail whipped back and forth as he barked his greeting to his master. That rewarded him with more attention as John patted his leg. Henry faithfully followed John into the small shack."

QUOTE
John arched a smile upon his face as he bended down and patted the pup’s head, John subsequently grabbed his horse, Thunder’s rein, and tethered it to his shack’s stall for the night.

bent, not bended. I also think this could be broken up into two sentences. My above rewrite would have me remove this completely, though you've told us the horse's name, which is good.

QUOTE
John proceeded to pet Thunder’s head then he continued to walk into his shack then he released a long sigh indicating his tiredness, John quickly exchanged from his casual clothes to his night clothes and jumped on the bed where he had fallen asleep.

Are you the same guy who wrote something about someone's hand "shooting out to a coat stand, grabbing the coat and dragging it" or something? If so, I'll repeat what I said then (if not i'll say it anyway). There's too many unnecessary words here. You're saying released which sounds too formal, too robotic, soulless even. "exchanged" when "changed" would do. I'll go through this bit bit by bit.

QUOTE
John proceeded to pet Thunder’s head then he continued to walk into his shack

Stop the sentence here. Also, it's not flowing right for me. "pet thunder's head and enter the shack", or "and then" or insert a comma perhaps?
New sentence for this part:
QUOTE
Then he released a long sigh indicating his tiredness,

You've used nine words to say "he yawned" and it feels like needless padding. The entire section could be better, and shorter:
"John proceeded to put Thunder's head before heading inside, yawning as he did so." (jst an example, thought i'll admit not a great one).

QUOTE
John quickly exchanged from his casual clothes to his night clothes and jumped on the bed where he had fallen asleep.

I'm gonna be brutally honest with you here - that's terrible. I too have written bad lines, and it's hard to get your eye in to see them on the edit - reading helps that. As i said before it sounds too formal, too detached, almost like you're trying too hard to sound clever. "exchanged" has to go. I do like how you've stated that he wears some kind of nightwear though - only in UN did R* point this out, and it's something i've thus noticed in RDR itself. I also think you could go into more detail (though be careful sometimes you can say too much!)
"John closed the door and unbuckled his gun belt. His repeated he leaned up against the wall, but the pistol was set right next to his pillow, as was his knife. He changed into his nightwear, and climbed onto the bed, which creaked under his weight. Henry leapt up with commendable loyalty, to protect his master during the night. John new that Henry would alert him of any intrusion, and gave the dog a final pet before falling asleep."

Also you've slipped up a bit with your tenses. Decide what tense you're using - past or present? Either the entire story is "john does this" or it's "John did that." Don't mix the two of them - I talk of: "jumped on the bed where he had fallen asleep." which should be "where he soon fell asleep."

QUOTE
Sun began to set at six a.m.

RISE! Sun RISES at six AM. It would set at six PM! I don't think you need to state the time either. Saying "John awoke at sunrise" is enough.
QUOTE
John was used to wak ing up at that time and so he did, [color=green]releasing a long and loud yawn as he raised himself from the bed,

end the sentence here. Also be careful - you say yawn, i think sleep. Perhaps stretch would be better? [as indeed you've said here:]
QUOTE
he stretched his body then he proceeded to change his clothes from his nightwear into the casual, every-day, clothes.

First thing i thought here was "did he not wash" then remembered it's the wild west!!! I also think you can tone down the language too - talk less like a businessman and more like a cowboy. BECOME John Marston. listen to how he talks, and how others do and try to mimic their language somewhat.
QUOTE
John turned towards the hat-stand and gripped his so-called “lucky” hat, arranging it on his head,

Again, full stop, new sentence man. Also, as i've said, you're too formal - "arranging"? I dont think you NEED to say where he put his hat - it's not going to be on henry is it ? tounge.gif
QUOTE
click-clack, the door opened and John was so sleepy, he exited his shack without paying attention to the following stairs that he stumbled as he was headed towards his horse,

I'll ignore the "click clack." as i personally dont like things like that. The door opened implies someone ELSE opened it. But john did ? "John opened the door". Now you say he's sleepy, but did he not sleep? Or has he not fully woken yet? I have never stumbled down steps I knew was there, as john would have. you show him with implied familiarity (referring to McF's by name, and that he has his own shack. He would not stumble here, and as funny as it is, it makes him look stupid and very un-dangerous. I think this bit has to go. as a side note - "following" stairs, doesn't work. I have never referred to them as stairs - it's a single step is it not? And it's not following, really. "stumbled down the step outside" would be better.

Also, another note here, is immersion. So far, john's got off his horse and slept. What about dinner, breakfast, drinks? IS he not human? It feels like you're telling us how a segment of his day went, when you should be making us LIVE it!

QUOTE
and then he actually ended up heading to the ground. Motherf-.. Son of a b-.. God DAMN IT! Yelled John in anger and then he stood up followed by a few pats to dust his clothes off.

Again john just seems like an idiot here. This paragraph could work if he's drunk, but even while you're only half awake, someone like John would not be that clumsy i dont think.

"John yelled in anger* as he stood up, dusting the dust from his clothes." - that's how i'd do it. shorter, sharper, straight to the point. simple.

QUOTE
John had proceeded to untie his horse’s rein from the stall and he quickly jumped on it, and he rode the horse towards Armadillo, to begin his day.

Again, the confusion of tenses - see below. You're showing john with urgency now - quickly jumping on his horse. Why's he in such a rush? It also seems like he's woken up all of a sudden. Strange.
Again also with the formal language - dumb it down a little. Become more like john - a cowboy**. Talk like him. use his words - play the game and watch the cutscenes, study his speech and write in a similar style.
"John rubbed the side of Thunder's [are you forgetting you named the horse?] head as he unhitched him. The horse snorted and bobbed his head, letting John know he was ready for the day."

Also, you're forgetting about Henry - has john given him anything to eat (how did people feed dogs then?) does john even say "goodbye"?


a note about tense.

When you write, decide if it's in past or present tense. Often i find i'll start writing and just write in one or the other. Past is the most common, especially for third person ones (HE, SHE, JOHN), and i find present more common in first person (I).
When you've finished writing - it's not finished. You have to proof read it and edit it. I recommend setting it asside for a day or two, or more, if you can, and coming back to it fresh. As a new writer I'd recommend going over it a few times, for different reasons. onceyou get used to editing it, you'll be able to do it in one possibly.

Firstly check for tense and viewpoint. Make sure you don't go from past (he did) to present (he does) tense at all. If you spot anyhting, change it!
Viewpoint is where the "camera" is. Is it in john's head, or are we following him, watching from without? the way you say things in your narration have an impact on this, as well as what you tell us. If from john's viewpoint, for example, he won't know of the ambush around the corner. If the viewpoint is from the outside, then we might see it.

The second edit should check for spelling and grammar. Do all of your sentences flow well, and make sense? Are your words spelt correctly? are you using the right one?

You also need to check for "flow." - as i've said, are you saying things the best you can. Are you giving the right details out? Too many? not enough? Do the sentences flow easily, and will they pull you in if you were the reader? If not, why? Why does it not work to you? What would work? Again, reading others' works and seeing their feedback will help you in all this.




All that thought, and it's not terrible. There's one final problem howver:
Nothing happens. This entire story is: "John comes home, goes to bed, goes out."
There's no antagonism, nothing that pushes john (or the reader) on. there is no event in the story. it's a good set up, if something happened, but nothing does.
I would like to see you carry this on however. it has potential!

Hope i've helped.
*I've never been a fan of "yelled john" - the order of words seems awkward to me.

** actually john isn't a cowboy. Very few characters in rdr are. A cowboy is a ranch hand who tends to cattle, and participates in month-long cattle drives, often nothing more than a worker. John is an outlaw, really, or something other. The word cowboy does not mean now what it meant then. Bear that in mind. if Bonnie said "Bob's a cowboy" then she means a cattle tender, not what we mean today.

Happyness
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    Li'l G Loc

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#4

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

Oh God this feels embarrassing, so many mistakes. i'll read thjm once i get home because i need to go now, thanks Mokrie!

P.S. I am going to re-write the whole prologue!

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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#5

Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:33 PM

Yes, a rewrite is probably wise.

Nothing here smells to me like a lack of ability, though, it just feels very rushed. we're all eager to share, but take your time, and go over it a few times - first time checking tense (past, present) and viewpoint (i believe i mentioned that above)

THEN go over it for spelling and flow.


Then leave it a few days (by all means carry on writing!) then go over it all again. You'll know when it's ready!

Happyness
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    Li'l G Loc

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#6

Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

Yeah but, at points I think that some people might get impatient and bleh. Sure, thanks I will now read your post. I will leave the prologue there for more and more criticism.




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