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Thread: A story I wrote for my creative writing class

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOtorboat View Post
    What age is she in and what era? Is she an old soul?
    Setting is very near future, maybe 5 years from now. She's early 20's. She's terribly clever and dominates her testosterone-fueled bf by wit and moxie, although she has a soft spot for him. She would be a good trivia partner at a bar competition, she has all this useless info. Likes to throw down with some arcane knowledge. But she's not afraid of being thrown in with the sharks, not afraid of a harrowing ordeal. She wants to prove herself.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Setting is very near future, maybe 5 years from now. She's early 20's. She's terribly clever and dominates her testosterone-fueled bf by wit and moxie, although she has a soft spot for him. She would be a good trivia partner at a bar competition, she has all this useless info. Likes to throw down with some arcane knowledge. But she's not afraid of being thrown in with the sharks, not afraid of a harrowing ordeal. She wants to prove herself.
    Patti Smith - Because the Night.
    *The statements above are my opinions, unless they are links, because then they are links, which wouldn't make them my opinions, and I suppose stats aren't necessarily opinion, but they are certainly presented to support an opinion. Proceed accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
    I love the Shitgun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOtorboat View Post
    Patti Smith - Because the Night.
    That song is perfect for her. You nailed it. But I want more from her somehow.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    Or maybe I need to understand her better.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    But I want more from her somehow.
    Consider that the start of her character build...or maybe that is the character, ie, that’s her problem.
    *The statements above are my opinions, unless they are links, because then they are links, which wouldn't make them my opinions, and I suppose stats aren't necessarily opinion, but they are certainly presented to support an opinion. Proceed accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
    I love the Shitgun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOtorboat View Post
    Consider that the start of her character build...or maybe that is the character, ie, that’s her problem.
    Agree.

    Part of it is also the author question--what song do I want to guide me as I explore this? Not so much the song that is her anthem but rather the song that I want a reader to feel as I write about her passage.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Ok then.

    Well maybe this is interesting.

    I have a character, and she's important. She's an underpowered nobody, a trust fund girl that wants to prove herself to daddy, she's a survivalist with a wild streak. She's going to face a mortal crisis by something from outside of reality and existence as humans know it, something that challenges her own cognizance of agency and free will, her own definition of herself. She needs to prevail.

    I just want a theme song to help guide my writing.
    Edge of 17 - Stevie Nicks.

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    Hey. If anyone has a moment, see if this intro pulls you in. I am especially curious if the vulgarity is too offensive. I know that my published/successful author friend and his publishers would treat it like Dracula treats garlic, but I'm having a tough time conforming to PC convention. You'll see what I mean. I'm fine taking it out, but I need perspective if you want to grant it. Anyways, apologies that there's no spooky stuff in the first 2k words, but it's right around the corner.

    Cheers.

     
    Will would, in later years and when once again human, relive this very moment. There was nothing special or unique about it. Sometimes the mind just etches a bookmark of its sensory impressions.

    But if there was a main reason, it was the pairing of Will’s mood—flush with whim after school on a Friday—and the beautiful day. The sun was powerful and still high upon a blue dome with no white. Will was reading a Vandermeer novel, reclined on the odd and inviting oak tree along the property’s creek. The shade of the oak leaves gave shelter to Will’s eyes, at least until the wind danced with the boughs and the sun’s rays forced a squint. The day was warm from the sun but cold from the wind, and Will would alternate wearing his pullover or not. Suspended and blown about were the airs of sage, oak lichen, and most of all, possibility.

    This is nearly perfect, went his stray thought, I wonder if I will remember this.

    Will enjoyed the book when he could concentrate, but he couldn’t. He was distracted in equal parts by the beauty of nature and his anticipation of meeting with Heidi tomorrow. He had been infatuated with her for three or four years, since middle school, along with perhaps every other person in whatever school she might attend. She was movie-star beautiful but friendly. His attempt to get close to her in middle school had been a humiliating disaster. Most of these last few years had been ad-hoc social triage to his own image and reputation. He didn’t know what he was doing—he coveted the respect of others but maintained an indifference to it. He didn’t know if it was working, but he was happy that he was finally meeting with Heidi tomorrow to go on a run to prepare for a cross-country meet. Best of all, it was her idea.

    His mood crashed when he heard the rumble of his dad’s Ford diesel. Will saw dirt plume of the pickup truck about a mile out from the property. He became anxious and thought he might be in trouble for something, but what that thing was he did not know.

    Will lingered by the creek until well after his dad arrived. The creek was a ways down from the house, and not in sight of it. Will returned to the book and, in time, the raft of his mind floated along its currents. The sun lowered toward the horizon.

    He heard the crunch of boots on desiccated oak leaves and twigs. He caught a waft of weed and beer.

    “I thought I might find you down here,” said Will’s dad.

    “Hey dad.”

    “Watcha reading there?”

    “Kind of a spooky sci-fi novel. Weird but I like it,” Will said.

    “Yeah, that sounds like you alright.” Will’s dad said, using a tablespoon of good-nature and a pinch of disapproval. “Hey, I found that orange box of yours.”

    Will’s dad, Joe, was a recently retired military badass—some kind of special forces or similar elite commando type. Old school, but unorthodox. Results at the expense of decorum and niceties. Perpetually disfavored by the institutional rearguard except when needed most. Will preferred it when his dad was deployed or otherwise away. Now he was home with empty hours and his intense manner led him to a preoccupation with alcohol and the leaf—and fresh interest in Will’s affairs. Will preferred to keep his affairs to himself. He somewhat liked his dad but was beyond ready to move on from his overbearing presence and move out.

    “Orange box?” Will asked.

    “Don’t act like you don’t know,” spoken as a threat. “I know you’re smoking pot. I found your orange box. Now tell me the truth. You’re smoking pot, aren’t you?”

    Joe moved his body to square his shoulders with Will’s frame, intent to fight. Joe’s posture indicated a readiness for sudden, deadly conflict—body poised to strike and eyes fixed to depose his prey. Will demurred by angling his shoulders away from his dad, but he did meet and hold his eyes. Will thought his dad was always too over-the-top. Will forgave his father too readily.

    “I. Have. No. Idea. What. You. Are. Talking. About.” Will said. “What orange box?” Will was confused and indignant. “I don’t smoke pot and don’t know what you are talking about.”

    Will then squared to his father. If Will held this pose on a stage, the audience would recognize him as the justified martyr awaiting execution after voicing his righteous exculpation.

    Joe cocked his head slightly and gave Will a squinty-eyed look. “You bullshitting me?”

    Will, exasperated, said no, he wasn’t.

    “And you still say you’re not a fag? I know what you did.”

    At this, Will’s body deflated. He was tired of granting pardons for all of his dad’s trespasses. Not for the first time, he wondered if the relationship was worth the effort. He had often considered running away, but to where? Back to his mom? Better to finish up high school and get the hell out. As much as Will detested his father, he appreciated the structured environment. Will, like his father, had a tendency toward self-destructive intemperance—which is why he was living with his father in the first place. Will walked over his mother and left her with no choice but to ship him off to his father and his father’s discipline.

    “Don’t just stare at me, son. I asked you a question and I have a right to know.”

    Will knew, objectively, that his father’s statement was laughable in front of a jury of peers. But there was no such jury here, and Will was intimidated by his dad.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    con't
     
    “Look. I’m not gay, and I’m not smoking pot. Are we done here?”

    Joe held the squinty-eyed stare for a long moment, then broke it off with a skeptical smirk and something like a merry twinkle in his eye. Like nothing had happened. “I had to ask. Just because I love you. Don’t get pissed, I’m just trying to make sure you’re on track.”

    Will just wanted to be away. He felt vaguely violated. “Uh huh,” he might have said, but was distracted by a movement at the corner of his eye. One of their Rottweilers was running full-tilt toward the barbed wire fencing at the north edge of the property. Joe noticed Will’s focus shift and turned to look.

    “Oh shit. BRUNO!!” Joe called after his dog, without effect. A neighbor’s pitbull had wandered onto the property and was pissing.

    Joe bolted for a nearby ATV.

    Bruno was all cruise missile, mach vectors toward the target. The pitbull, whose owner was watching from the other side of the fence, saw Bruno. The pitbull scampered back onto its own property and continued to flee away from Bruno.

    Bruno shot under the barbed wire and continued pursuit.

    Joe opened the throttle on the ATV and raced toward Bruno.

    A gunshot rang out. Bruno fell over. His front paws and right rear leg worked against the ground, his left hind leg useless. He was just lifting himself from the ground when the neighbor walked up to him and executed him with a gunshot to the head. Bruno went still. Bruno was a good dog.

    Joe neared the fence on the ATV and locked the wheels to a skidding stop. Joe hopped off the ATV and strode toward the property line, bowed up and elbows out like extra-wide pickup truck side mirrors. Male dominance incarnate.

    Will jogged over to witness the confrontation.

    The neighbor, Will recalled his surname was Molter, spoke. “Your dog came on my property and threatened my life, *******.” Will remembered that Molter and his dad had some minor beef going back years but couldn’t recall what it was about.

    Molter still held the handgun by his side. Molter had come out here in his pickup truck, parked close by.

    Joe continued to advance toward the fence. In a voice laden with the promise of grave bodily harm, he threatened Molter: “You need to put that fvcking gun away right now before you make a mistake you can’t recover from, n1ggerkvnt.”

    Molter was white, but that didn’t matter to Joe, also white. Joe, Will knew, grew up street fighting in rough neighborhoods. The trick, as far as Will could infer from seeing his dad do this on at least one other occasion, was creating fear and incapacitating the opponent’s will to fight by convincing the other of one’s willingness to defy convention and rules. Joe’s tone of voice was the back-of-the-throat lowing of an alley cat, an unmistakable warning of violence.

    Joe continued. “I’m coming across this fence and I’m going to take that gun and buttfvck you with it, pissfvck.” Joe kept a steady momentum of implacable violence. Each detail of speech was honed to perfection, the fricatives and affricates sharpened and sculpted to points and hurled with audible effect. Joe used his voice as a sort of musical instrument of violence, and the dynamics of that voice promised mayhem and invoked despair. There was, Will admitted, a certain creative genius to this intimidation.

    Molter halfway raised the handgun as Joe slipped across the barbed wire, but couldn’t raise it further than that. A urine patch bloomed at Molter’s crotch. Molter must have been drunk to instigate this confrontation, and how Molter realized his foolishness. “Oh shit, I’m sorry,” Molter said.

    Joe walked all the way up to him, streaming more of the crippling obscenity and firing shocking gestures of impending violence. He arrived at Molter, who was by now already defeated. Joe popped Molter in the face with a sudden fist, somehow unexpected and disguised despite the obvious foreshadowing. Molter dropped. “Get up, bitch,” Joe said.

    Molter rose, showing complete submission.

    Joe equivocated, apparently torn between a need to fully punish Molter and other considerations that Will didn’t know. Joe took the handgun from Molter and put it behind his waist. He grabbed Molter by the lapels.

    “Here’s what we are going to do, Molter. You go get that dog of yours, and you put him down. Do it now.” Molter’s pitbull had fled toward Molter’s house, several hundred yards away.

    “That ain’t right! A man doesn’t just kill his own dog like that!”

    “I don’t give a shit. You killed my dog and we need justice. This might not be perfect, but it will do. Let’s go get him.”

    Joe’s cell phone rang. Joe began to ignore it, but then he thought better. “Yeah?” Joe said into the phone. Molter began to get in his truck but Joe grabbed him. To the other end of the phone, Joe said “Can this wait? I’ve got a situation I need to deal with…Fine. Bye.”

    Joe released Molter. “We’ll finish this later, fvckhead.” Joe dismissively pushed Molter into his truck, but with a keen awareness of Molter’s balance, so that Molter tripped and fell awkwardly. Joe squatted down and picked up Bruno, the dead dog’s blood ruining Joe’s expensive silk shirt.

    “Ah, fvck.” Joe lamented, about Bruno, the shirt did not concern him. Will couldn’t be certain, but it looked like his dad was crying, or was stifling the urge to do so. “Will, come give me a hand,” Joe called, his voice slightly hitching. “fvck! Fvck that Molter.”

    Joe put Bruno in the cargo bin in the back of the ATV and rode back to the house. He would bury Bruno near the garden, or maybe he would have Will dig the hole. A call that could interrupt that confrontation had to be urgent. Will had to guess that it was military-related.

    Will walked back toward the house.
    Last edited by Hawgdriver; 10-22-2019 at 02:25 PM.
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    I would remove the words bad ass it seems out of context with the rest of your vernacular

    I see no vulgarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valar Morghulis View Post
    I would remove the words bad ass it seems out of context with the rest of your vernacular

    I see no vulgarity
    Fixed!
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Fixed!
    Now I see the vulgarity!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valar Morghulis View Post
    Now I see the vulgarity!
    I think if I kiss enough progressive ass, you know, have lots of sexually wayward and pansexual characters, they might cancel each other out so a publisher could hold their nose long enough to let me use a dash of vulgarity.

    Thing is, I'm not sure it's all that effective. It seems great in my head, but you potential readers are the problem. It's like you have your own agenda when you read my words.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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  18. #44
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    Oh, and rough draft caveat, etc. etc. Needs polish, I know.
    "It's ultimately about you, trying to put yourself around people that want to see you be successful--in the right way."

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    I love me some vulgarity, but in written words, without real substance it is often just superficial

    Be as vulgar as you like, but because the narrative demands it.

    Just my humble opinion

    FWIW I loved the intro the first thing before the edit, first paragraph was class
    Last edited by Valar Morghulis; 10-22-2019 at 04:10 PM.

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