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ainsz

Julie And The Mothman

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ainsz

Her name was Julie. She worked across the road in some TV store, her job title must have been 'looking good'. All day, she would stand by the window, smiling at her own reflection. She never made eye contact with anyone but herself. Not taking any notice at the people walking by, just offering them a smile.

 

On this side of the road is myself, working in a launderette. My job title must have been 'starring at Julie'. I didn't pay well, but the hours were long. My only problem with the job was that she always finished an hour before me. Every night at 6:00 a blue four door sedan, possibly a Vincent, would pull up at the entrance and every night at that moment, her smile would drop. Was she only happy at work, or was it a mere mask she would wear for work? Either way, she wasn't happy about entering the car.

 

I knew her name was Julie as she came in the launderette once and I saw her name tag. We didn't speak, but I was lost for words at the sight of her. The curves of her hips, the shades of brown draped over her shoulders and that smile. I have never been able to take my eyes off her. Observing her every move was now my job. However, I felt I was due for a promotion.

 

The thought that she wasn't happy was driving me crazy. How could she not find happiness? The time was nearing six as I was sat by the wall in the launderette. Some old woman had came in concerned that a moth had ruined her clothes. One that isn't possible and two, what could we do about it? I was getting distracted. Perhaps I'm too excited of the prospect of what I'm about to do. I was going to intercept her as she exited the store and try to talk to her. I felt crazy, a little bit weird and foolish.

 

Not long now, I was pacing in my mind, counting the seconds. My boss was waving his arms around at the lady, trying to explain our policies on damaged goods. Distracted again! Time had jumped to 6:02. I leaped out of my chair and out the front door. Looking straight forward, walking across the road. I look to my right and see the blue Vincent pull up. Out walks Julie, with a face of despair. I'm too late. I catch a glimpse at the driver, I see his silent yells through the windshield, right in Julie's ear as she simply looks down at the footwell. Abruptly he he drives off.

 

Without a second for thought, I run to my car and begin pursuing the blue Vincent. Surprisingly I catch up quickly. For the rest of the journey, I keep my space behind. Finally the car pulls into an alley. I park outside by the road and continue on foot. I peer over the corner and see flashing lights of red and blue. I find two police cars and Julie stood by them, holding a gun at the driver of the blue Vincent. She says her name is Kendra and that she is working for the FBI. I simply back away and head back to my car. everything I thought I knew about Julie from observation was wrong.

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AceRay

Now ask yourself this, slowly and carefully. Did this need to be set in the GTA universe? Honestly, if it didn't say "GTA IV fanfic" in the title, I wouldn't have noticed aside from the Vincent being from GTA IV. Now, some folks around these woods look down on fanfics, so it would have probably been better to replace Vincent with Mitsubishi Gallant. Not to mention that you say FBI instead of FIB. Was this intended to be a stand alone piece of writing or did you shoehorn in one GTAIV reference in so it would appeal to the crazy dawgs at GTAF and get us to read it?

 

Anyway, overall this was pretty good. I like the little twist at the end, nice way of subverting the audience's expectations. Some sentences were pretty decent although it could get a little bit matter of fact and could use a little more flavour, some bits are quite dry. A few spelling mistakes crept in here and there.

 

 

One that isn't possible and two, what could we do about it? I

I'm pretty sure there needs to be a semi-colon or comma after the "one" there. If you read this sentence outloud in real life, you would pause at the end of One. You wouldn't continue quickly from "one" to "that."

 

 

Abruptly(comma here) he drives off.

Ditto. This happens a couple of times, like in the final sentence. Just something to keep an eye out for.

The end kind of felt like it was just rattling through "I did this, I did that." with every sentence being the same kind of structure. It got repetitive and you should have tried to mix it up a little. Furthermore, I think the final sentence should have been cut out;

 

 

everything I thought I knew about Julie from observation was wrong.

The reader knows this. If the end was the main character walking back to his car depressed, it would have left a bigger impact as he realizes he can never have the girl he wants and that he had blown his chance. Maybe you were trying to tie things off but it was kind of matter of fact and left no real impact tbh.

 

Overall, I would still say this was a nice little piece and I hope you'll continue with some writing in the future. But who was the Mothman? Was it the guy in the Vincent or the lady in the store? Maybe it refers to the narrator, who is like a moth on the wall, nothing to her? I don't know, good piece anyway.

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ainsz

Thanks for the feedback man, some good points. At first, I set out to make it akin to GTA IV but as I got further into it, it became too much of it's own thing and strayed away.

 

I really don't know how to properly use colons. So when it comes to storytelling, I just tend to not use them.

 

About the ending, I wanted to have his own confirmation sentence. But re reading the ending as a whole - it all seems rushed. I agree, every sentence was the same thing.

 

Thanks again man! icon14.gif

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Eminence

AceRay has given some great feedback, especially in reference to fan-fiction and cutting out that last line. I think removing the references to GTA would make this feel much stronger in and of itself; it's a pretty interesting scenario, and didn't feel like it needed to be set in the GTA universe. In that sense, it didn't feel very organic.

 

AceRay's suggestion to cut that last line is absolutely spot-on, largely owing to the notion that it is better to show us something than tell us. For one, the process of showing us is often much more interesting and fun to read, and for two, if it's a subtle thing and we figure it out, it empowers us as a reader, and again makes the entire process more enjoyable. The funny thing here is that you've already done the hard bit - the legwork of showing us, of illustrating the point you're trying to make in an interesting way - and then you tack on an additional explanation at the end. It sours things. It's repeating yourself; stating the obvious, like explaining the punchline after a joke.

 

Obviously I'm just recapping what AceRay has said there, pretty much, but I wanted to explain the underlying architecture to his instinctive decision to suggest cutting that line. wink.gif

 

That aside, I thought this was an interesting read. As I've said, I like the idea of basically stalking the girl, of watching her constantly. I'm not sure the FBI twist at the end was really necessary - felt like it could go in a more unique direction - but the buildup to it worked very well. As well as that, the tone was quite atmospheric throughout. For the most part, it felt like a voiceover; fluid and natural.

 

Something that you could work on a little more is to tighten up the theme you're working from: observation. If you make the entire thing revolve around it, then by the end the message you're getting across would read loud and clear. The best part about this is that, again, you've done most of the legwork: the building blocks are pretty much all there already. Just requires a little bit more polish.

 

A final thing, and this is perhaps what took me out of the story the most, is that at times the wording got a little clunky, especially in reference to tense. For example, look at these two passages:

 

 

I have never been able to take my eyes off her. Observing her every move was now my job. However, I felt I was due for a promotion.

 

 

I leaped out of my chair and out the front door. Looking straight forward, walking across the road. I look to my right and see the blue Vincent pull up. Out walks Julie, with a face of despair. I'm too late.

 

You'll notice that you switch between past and present tense a fair few times here (and throughout the piece as a whole) - first it's 'have', then 'was'; then 'leaped', then 'look'. Tighten that up and the style as a whole will read much, much more fluidly.

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ainsz

^ Many thanks. I really appreciate both yours and AceRay's feedback and for the friendly but constructive approach you both gave.

 

Story telling in this style is kind of new and weird to me - I'm more into writing dialogue, ala screenwriting. But I'm saving that for other projects I have in mind. I've got a lot of ideas floating around and It seems harder to get them across in this style of writing. But I do want to get better at doing so. These stories are experiments for me.

 

Thanks again, hopefully I'll improve. icon14.gif

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Mokrie Dela
AceRay has given some great feedback, especially in reference to fan-fiction and cutting out that last line. I think removing the references to GTA would make this feel much stronger in and of itself; it's a pretty interesting scenario, and didn't feel like it needed to be set in the GTA universe. In that sense, it didn't feel very organic.

Listen to this man, there is wisdom in his words!

 

Despite our opinions drastically differing on fan fiction, he's right in this example. Substitute "Vincent" for any other car, or the town for any other town.

 

I think, if it's a fanfiction, you shouldnt HAVE to mention the city. It should be clear if it's set in Liberty City, or Los Santos - there's a big difference. So far i'm not feeling like i'm in the GTA world.

 

As i said in the other topic, ask yourself if this can be in New York, or anyother place.

 

Despite people's disdain for FF, it does take effort to do it properly imo. You can't just drop references and names like "Vincent" or "Niko." It has to be sewn in like a tapestry. The same skill that you'd use with real world references, and subplots.

 

 

 

Story telling is a wonderful world, but it's one of obstacles and pitfalls. If you fall into one though, you can get out. It can be hard, and can even be scary, but it can also be fun! You do have to try hard to improve yourself and your works but you can do that and still have fun. I'm a goalkeeper, and i've spent hours in the gym, at times feeling faint, and even hurling up through overexertion once. I've had my body feel painful and weak through overexercise, but when i'm in goal making saves, I'm having the time of my life. Same with writing - sometimes you have to take the hits, have someone say "this is crap" (no one is saying that here btw) or, as eminence said to me "it's your darlings you have to murder" - that line you thought was poetic, a perfect description, an artistic metaphor - it might be hard but sometimes it has to go. You take these hits, you grow stronger. Then to use my goalkeeper example, you save a penalty, diving right to the top corner to tip it over the bard to the cheers of your teammates.

 

 

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