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#1 Darkender

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:12 PM

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“Where is that child?”

The suns descent to the horizon was almost complete and its light was becoming scarce against the auburn sky. The warm summer air then rushed through an open window as a worried mother stared out of it into the distance, waiting for a sign of her son’s return.

“He’s probably out with that horrid child Chad. I don’t know how many times I’ve told him not to associate with that little piece of shit. He’s gonna have something waiting for him when he gets home, that’s for sure.” The abusive father ranted on without taking his eyes off of his newspaper while the mother’s eyes continued to watch the horizon.

Meanwhile that child was with that little piece of shit, Chad. They laughed and joked as they hiked deeper and deeper into the Killan swamp.

“Chad! Chad! Chad, wait!” Chris cried as he tried to maneuver his way through the thick mire. “We have to turn back! We went too deep. It’s dangerous out here!”

“Oh, please don’t tell me you’re afraid of those stories of monsters and ghouls. You listen too much at story time… Look, I found a lake!”

The lake was a disgusting and still green. Not a creature seemed to stir within the thick swamp waters. This however didn’t hinder the two boys from their adventure. Chad, of course, was the first to volunteer to tread deeper into the swamp. He carefully stepped onto one of the ancient tree roots that protruded from the thick green waters and slowly inched his way across.

“See I told you, Chris. It’s just a regular swamp that some guy probably hid a dead body or two at and had to make up those stories to keep people away.” Chad said as he laughed, nearly falling into the swamp’s waters. He just caught himself before falling onto the other side of the small lake. Chris soon arrived after him. He fumbled behind Chad, him too nearly falling before reaching the land.

“Ow! What are you doing?” Chris said as he picked himself up out of the mud.

Chad however didn’t answer. He eyes were fixed on the fog that was slowly rolling in.

“What is it Chad?” Chris asked, but then he too saw it.

It was a small figure standing in the mist. The silhouette of a young girl in a summer dress stood still in the distance. Chad was stuck in awe at the figure, but Chris was apparently ready to go. He inched away back towards the large tree root that they arrived on when the girl seemed to flinch. A sharp pain then shot through both of the boys’ heads at they cried out in unison. It was as if someone was in their head stabbing all around with a dagger.

Chad was the first to fall to his knees. His own blood began to accumulate under his nose and drip around his mouth. The pain seemed to intensify as the girl drew nearer. He put his head to the floor in an attempt to curtail the agony.

Chris then stumbled back onto the root as he began to search for an escape, anything to stop the pain. It was then when he really caught sight of the girl. She was so beautiful. Her black her billowed in no presence of wind and her beautiful dress seemed to be untouched by the swamp that surrounded her. She brought her own light to the swamp.

Chad’s cries now seemed almost nonexistent in her presence. Nothing seemed as important.
She now stood in front of him and he could feel her consciousness enveloping his own. It was so warm, powerful, and comforting. It was as if all the problems in his world had left forever. The girl then slowly lifted her hand to him. She gently stroked his cheeks, and as quickly it seemed his problems disappeared they returned tenfold. She grabbed his forehead and all of the blood in his body seemed to rush to his head as if he was standing upside down. Within seconds he dropped to the floor with a splash as his body went numb beneath him. Slowly the damp earth took him, devouring him whole as he sank into the swamp.

15 Years Later

Star rested on the couch in the pitch black as she stared in utter wakefulness. She watched the clock tick, and then tock as another sleepless night went by. The sudden rattling on the fire exit didn’t seem to faze her as a dark figure shimmied the window open and then stepped into the dark apartment. The figure then pointed to the light switch and an arch of electricity shot from his finger tip. The lights flickered on shortly after the arch hit its mark.

“Babe, what are you doing in the dark?”

The lights revealed the figure to be James Badmon, a local street level hero of The Twelves. He seldom was seen working with any other heroes, nor was he affiliated with any organization as reputable as The Sentinels of Liberty and Justice, but he did his part. More interestingly, he is one of the very few heroes of Khazan without a secret identity, or alias. Whether this is due to sheer stupidity or bravado is yet to be seen however.

Once the lights were on James looked upon Sarah and was immediately taken over by heartache. Sarah’s face was soaked in a mixture of salty tears and makeup that ran down her face as she clenched onto a throw pillow.

“I had the dream again, Jimmy.” She said staring past him, as if looking through him. “It’s like they’re getting worse and worse every time I close my eyes.”

James didn’t know what to say, he was not a man known for his words. He sat down next to her, wrapping his arms around her in an attempt to comfort her.

“I’m sorry babe. I wish I was here more to help you with this… but I can’t stay long. I have to finish my patrol.” He said as he kissed her on her forehead.

“These patrols of yours are starting to get longer and longer Jimmy.” Sarah stated, her tone growing tenser by the second. “If you don’t want to be with me you don’t have to make excuses. You can just go! Just like all the others! You’re not here when I need you anyway!”

James was quick to answer.

“Don’t say that. You know you come first in my life, but there are things I have to do. The crime rate is on the rise and with more and more villains crawling out of the woodwork it’s now more important than ever that I use the abilities that were given to me. I have to do my job. I promise when I get back tomorrow we will spend the whole day together.” James said as he rubbed her soft, silky hands before bringing them to his lips for an affectionate kiss. “…After your see Dr. Goodwin, of course.”

She pulled her hand away.

“I hate going to that see her.”

James embraced her again and they sat in silence together for several moments. Only the stray siren and yell of a deranged citizen could be heard from through the still open window.
James finally broke the silence, pulling away from her.

“Listen, I have to go, but I’ll be back first thing in the morning to go with you to see Dr. Goodwin.” He said as he kissed her forehead once more. She smiled. He walked back over to the window as he looked over at her. He returned a smile and then blew her a kiss. She reached up and caught it as he stepped onto the fire escape and back into the night.

*********

James entered the barren alleyway, looking back over his shoulder to ensure the coast was clear before jumping and then climbing up the fire escape ladder. He scurried up the steps before he arrived at his window, and after giving it a bit of a nudge he opened it and stepped through. He then glanced over at the empty couch somewhat expecting to see Star there. He looked down at his watch and once again realized how late it was. Star most likely left for her appointment over an hour ago. Slapping his palm into his forehead, he began to take off his shoes and clothes and head towards the bed. It had been a long night.
*********
Star lounged uncomfortably on the leather couch in Dr. Goodwin’s office. It made a noise every time she fidgeted to change her position and she hated it. Other than that however the only other noise was a soft tune that could be heard outside of the office in the waiting room, that, and Dr. Goodwin’s frantic scribbles onto her little notepad.

It felt like forever for Star before Goodwin finally looked up from her notepad to Star, as if to check if she was still there. She then placed her pen down on the glass coffee table that sat between and after taking a momentary pause, began to speak.

“I’m sorry to say, I haven’t been able to find an explanation to your dreams Star. The only reasonable explanation for such vivid dreams, and trust me it’s a long shot, is to say that they are not dreams, but repressed memories of some kind. Things that you maybe remember seeing or hearing about as a young child that are just now, because of triggering events, starting to resurface in your subconscious.”

Dr. Goodwin then fixed her glasses back onto her angular nose and folded her hands over her crossed legs. Star sat confused as she tried to soak it all in, but she still didn’t seem to understand. The good doctor then glanced at her watch.

“Oh, I’m sorry, we’re out of time, but you’re welcome to schedule another appointment if you’d like.” The doctor said as she stood and motioned towards the door. “You’ll find your prescription at the front desk.”

The cool summer wind greeted Star at the door as they opened up to her. She took in a deep breath and fingered the new bottle of medication, paroxetine, that Dr. Goodwin had given her.The dose she was to take was quite abnormal, but then again, her case was quite unusual. Hopefully, it would have more affect than the last. She then trudged off into the hustle and bustle crowd of Khazan City.

It wasn’t long before she made it to her building. The dilapidated apartment buildings the James refuses to leave on claims that he wants to ‘stay close to the problem’. The self-indulgent asshole. She popped the cap her the medicine bottle and downed two pills. She pushed open the heavy door to the building and large, balding man stood on the other side, leaning on the wall to the hallway. He shot her a disgustingly sly smirk her way and, after holding off her own vomit, returned a polite smile of her own.

It wasn’t until after she walked up the first flight of stairs did she take notice of the footsteps behind her. She finally looked over the railing and saw the large man from the hallway following her. He had a intimidating tattoo on the top of his head that stood in place of his lost hair. Star quickened her pace, and began searching for her keys. She could hear his pace quicken also. Her door was at the end of the hall, hopefully James was home.

She fumbled with her keys as her brisk walk turned into a jog and then a full out run. She could hear the heavy footsteps closing in behind her, but didn’t dare look back. She was almost at the door, almost there, then everything faded to black.

The day had turned to night and the moon had reached it’s zenith in the black sky. It shone in full over Khazan city. A bad omen to many in the bizarre city Khazan.

James awoke startled from his sleep. The alarm clock then followed several seconds later. He looked at the time and rubbed the crust out of his eyes before he calling out for Star, but no one answered. He slowly slide out of bed, realizing the amount of bruises he received the night before and grimaced.

Once he reached the end of his bed he checked his phone; zero missed calls. He began to worry. Star didn’t make a habit of staying out late and if she did she would definitely call.

He then dialed Star’s cell number, but it went straight to voicemail. He became worried. He quickly threw on his clothes deciding to go on patrol until he found her, or she called back. As he donned his jacket his phone vibrated in his pocket. The number was private. He quickly answered.

“Star?”

“No, but I’m sure she’d love to be able to talk to you right now.”

“...Who is this?” James asked, a spark of anger clear in his voice..

“You don’t know me. No, you don’t know me at all, but I know you James Badmon. You’re the quiet writer from America that has come to Khazan, as a gift from God himself, to cleanse the corrupt city of Khazan. Quite noble I must say, but a shortsighted endeavor. You see, I can’t just continue to allow you to play hero.

“The night is young, and if don’t want to see this pretty little Star go out, then you’ll follow my instructions to the tee...” The lights of the apartment brightened to an unnatural light as James listened to the unnamed caller’s demands.

Star awoke tied to a metal chair by a wall of windows at the top floor of a large warehouse somewhere in dockside. She could smell the ocean. As she slowly regained composure she attempted to free herself of her restraints. It was an attempt she was sure she would fail at but she attempted nonetheless. Only after managing to give her wrists a major case of rope burn did she give in. It was then when she could hear footsteps ascending stairs, and shortly after the door slowly crept open.

She anxiously waited to see the face of her captor, whipping the hair out of her eyes. The door finally opened to reveal a severely thin man with an oddly large head.

He wore a striped black suit with a silky red tie and his hands were burrowed deep into his pockets. He leaned upon the door frame, staring a hole into Star as she sat held to her chair and breathed heavily.

“Glad to see you’re awake.” He finally said in a warm and hearty voice.

“It wasn’t a very pleasant sleep.”

“I’m sure it wasn’t. It usually isn’t when you’re knocked out.”

“Who are you?”

“No one,” He said pushing himself off the doorframe and striding towards Star. “I’m just the guy pulling the strings, the man behind the curtain. My name really isn’t important. What is important is that you and your boy toy are an obstacle. An obstacle I must dismantle and destroy.”

He was now standing behind her, looking out through the windows at Dockside. He then continued.

“When James Badmon arrives we will kill him and then we will dispose of you.”

Then yet again a knock at the door. A hooded man stood between the threshold.

“You have played your part, Clemson. Exit stage right.”

A vein could be seen jumping as the man now known as Clemson rigidly walked away, as if not by his own will. He carried himself through the threshold past the hooded man and Star could hear him slowly descend the stairs.

The hooded man then slowly approached her as if savoring every dramatic step.

“Aah,” He said breathing deeply before removing his hood, revealing his silvery hair. “I can feel the chaos just stagnant within you, waiting to be released, waiting to be called upon.”

“So... You’re crazy? Great.”

Marshell Percy then plunged his fingers into Star’s temples as he entered her mind. Star struggled as the aversive and shattered mind of Marshell Percy entered her own. He knocked down her mental door and broke every mental safe, eagerly searching for his prize.

“Aah.” He said once again.

It was after this that Star felt the agonizing wave of pain. Her vision went red as she fell over in her chair. As her eyes closed she could hear the maniacal laughing of a madman and a woman accompanied him.

Mental Blast
Star awoke to a pounding headache and covered in thick black mire. She slowly lifted herself to her knees to realize the long-haired girl that sat upon a rock across from her. The girl looked about her age, but it was hard to tell as the girl refused to acknowledge her presence and stared off into the distance. The girl donned a tattered white dress and had jet black hair which contrasted against her pale skin. Star finally stood to her feet and realized how cold it was. She shivered as fog slowly rolled into the area.

“Hello?” She said as she stepped forward to the girl. “Can you help me?” She asked.

Slowly, the girls head turned to reveal to Star, herself. Her spitting image sat upon the rock in front of her, with an emotionless face.

“H-How?” Star was able to make out, but the doppelganger upon the rock did not answer. She did not speak nor did her expression change. Her eyes simply faded to black.

Star fell to her knees as a familiar yet distant mind entered her own, not to search for information, but to take her mind, destroy her very essence. She tried to fight it but it was futile. The doppelganger quickly enveloped Star’s mind in a dark shadow. Tears began to line Star’s eye as she could sense the end. She peered down at her hands as they slowly faded out of existence.

The doppelganger smirked as she watched Star disappear.

Psychic Vampire
The swamp land that surrounded, now the only, Star then spun as it slowly turned back to the warehouse. She found herself lying in the corner with her head leaning against the window, looking out over Dockside, Khazan. The sun was just beginning its ascent over the horizon as rays of light fell over. Star squinted as she stood, her legs wobbling from inexperience.

She stood for a moment, regaining her composure before opening her mind to the area. She could feel the multitude of peons that encompassed the area along with a number of formidable minds, but what more was a presence that she felt that lingered between this world and another. She oddly longed for contact with this being.

She took a step, nearly falling over.

She caught herself and tried again and again until she reached the door to the room. She held onto the railing as she struggled down the stairs. A group of men lay slain across the warehouse lobby. She could only feel one mind in the room and it was fading quickly. She reached the bottom of the stairs and crawled over to the body. He shuddered at her touch, allowing precious air to escape his lips. Her hands came up his chest and caressed his cheeks before reached his temples. She then delved into his mind, feeding on what was left of it, and transferring the energies to herself.

Star smirked as she stood, now renewed.

Mind Control

She strolled out of the warehouse and took in the city of Khazan. Khazanians were starting to fill the streets now as the morning rush hour began. Star walked forward, stepping into the street when a blaring horn caught her attention. The checkerboard brain logo was the first thing to catch her eye.

The driver slammed his fist onto the steering wheel, blaring his horn repeatedly as he yelled at the young woman in the road.

Star’s eyes slowly fell upon the driver. They turned an abysmal black as the beeping stopped and the driver stepped out of the car. Horns from the cars behind the taxi could be heard as he stepped out the car and opened the passenger door. Star smirked as she got in the car. The driver then sat back into the driver’s seat and the car sped off onto Crowe Road.

The smooth city pavement eventually turned to bumpy asphalt as the taxi drove deeper into the Khazanian plains.

The morning breeze rustled the Khazanian plains. The sun was climbing into the azure sky above and all was beautiful.

The yellow cab slowly came to a stop and the driver’s door swung open. The driver then stepped out and opened Star’s door. She slowly got out of the car, her eyes never leaving the plans. The driver’s empty eyes lingered as Star gazed upon the fields before being reminded of the driver’s presence.

The veins rippled under his skin as he sat back down into the driver’s seat. He then slammed his foot onto the gas pedal. The taxi screeched as it sped off. Star then stepped into the high plains, and seconds later she heard the second screech followed by a crash. She couldn’t hold back the smirk.

She then walked and walked until she found her destination; a patch of green a couple miles into the plains. There she waited.

After a while Star found herself lying in the grass, allowing the sun to warm her pale skin. It was then that it blocked out the sun. The dark cool shadow seemed to cast down over the whole plain. It simply came all of a sudden. Star looked up to see the Spire drifting over her, dirt falling from it to the earth. She knew what it was.

“Home.”

#2 Darkender

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:37 PM

Added the pictures.

#3 deojusto

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:20 PM

Ok I read it and this is what I've noticed so far,

I like the background section more now that it isn't star beating up random gangsters. The trip into star's mind (or whoever's mind) is a nice device to keep the story moving. However I did notice that you still have the early scene with the disappearing kids. I don't feel like I can really pass judgement on the plot relevancy of this section because it may turn out to be very relevant. I don't know since I haven't read the whole character yet. But, with the 16 year gap, I think it aught to be pretty darn important since its nearly half of everything you've written so far. (Also who is the Elder? Is he their dad? He just sort of pops up then pops out. Again, you may already know exactly what is purpose is later on, but just something to think about.

As for what I'm guessing is the personality section starting at "sixteen years later", it is ok as is, but could be better. There is a lot of attention put into the current scene, but not of lot of background explaining how we got here. While I am usually hypocritical to dismiss exposition, it might help here. For example, how long has Star been having nightmares, how long has she been seeing doctor kimble (wait, wasn't that the guy from The Fugitive?), How old is Star, what job does she have, who is she in the greater scheme of things. Even with that background, you could also add, if you wanted to, some more detail about the current scene: What does Kimble look like, what does the room look like, what does the hypnosis induction sound like. That part is more up to your opinion because too much detail could slow the pacing.

When we get to the swamp its kind of the same deal. You're off to a good start with some of the sensory details, cold and muddy, but I'm greedy, I want more. What does it look like, sound like, feel like, smell like? (also the line about Inception seems kind of out of place, who would she be saying it for).

As for Mechanical issues, there are a few missing apostrophes and such, but really it felt like the sentence structure was sometimes off a bit. Here are some examples below.
--
"He didn’t stand another second."--kind of weird sounding, I don't know

"He ran the other direction, constantly looking over his shoulder. So much so, he failed to see the branch the perturbed through the mud." This could probably be combined, or at least fixed so the second sentence rolls a little better, "over his shoulder. He failed to see the thick branch protruding out of the mud." (I think you meant protrude, perturbed would imply that it was a disgruntled branch of some sort.)

"The Doctor Kimble spoke softly as she began and it wasn’t long before Star fell to the hypnotism."--Just The Doctor, or Doctor Kimble will do (dialogue to consider inserting, "I didn't kill my wife", "I don't care!")

"Her fit resembled an epileptic seizure"-- resembled how, what was different? If nothing, why not just say she went into an epileptic seizure? Or, "Her body thrashed wildly, foam sprayed from her mouth, her eyes went blank and vacant." This could be a great scene to describe what it was, rather than what it was sort-of-kinda like.

"The second she stepped into the swamp and her flats stepped into the thick swamp muck the void behind her disappeared and was replaced by the swamp." Two things. First, the word swamp is used way too much. "thick swamp muck" is a great detail, I just love the way muck sounds exactly like what it is. But the repetition of swamp undermines it. Second, this sentence is a heavy run on with no commas. There are a few run-on sentences throughout and they don't flow well. An example I would suggest would be, "the second her flats stepped into the thick swamp muck, the void behind her faded away. She was now surrounded on all sides by the swamp." or whatever.

"She stepped through the brush into a clearing encircled by the swamp. In the middle of the clearing, encircled by the swamp, there was a cage." You don't need to tell us the clearing was encircled by the swamp twice.

#4 deojusto

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:34 PM

Also, picture wise I like them all fine except 3. 1 is maybe my favorite, but 4 will probably resize the best.

#5 Darkender

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for reviewing what I wrote so far. This is a rough draft though, reading through your review I realize that I missed A LOT during my review before I posted this. I usually don't have this many mistakes, and I blame this laptop I've been forced to write on. I'll go through this and fine tune it(Implementing most of your advice) before I finish the ending.

Thanks again. Also could you let me know what site you use to resize photos? I lost mine.

#6 deojusto

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:15 PM

Thanks for reviewing what I wrote so far. This is a rough draft though, reading through your review I realize that I missed A LOT during my review before I posted this. I usually don't have this many mistakes, and I blame this laptop I've been forced to write on. I'll go through this and fine tune it(Implementing most of your advice) before I finish the ending.

Thanks again. Also could you let me know what site you use to resize photos? I lost mine.


I don't. I just download the photo, select it, then go to tools and adjust size.

#7 Pseudonym

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:22 PM

I'm gonna try to read through and comment on this tomorrow.

#8 Darkender

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:16 PM

I'm gonna try to read through and comment on this tomorrow.


Please and thank you. :ph34r:

#9 Pseudonym

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:57 PM

Heh, Toll-Tie.

#10 Pseudonym

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 02:02 PM

I keep reading the Bio and I keep getting stuck on the unlikelyness of these two children.Read what you've wrote again and ask yourself if two kids on a race through the woods would ever speak to each other like that.

#11 Darkender

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 08:06 AM

I keep reading the Bio and I keep getting stuck on the unlikelyness of these two children.Read what you've wrote again and ask yourself if two kids on a race through the woods would ever speak to each other like that.


I know my dialouge is never the strongest part of my characters most of the time, but in this instance I intentionally made them speak like that. I was trying to convey that these children aren't normal children. Apparently, I didn't do the job well enough. Maybe, when I finally get around to finishing this I'll reinforce that.

#12 Darkender

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 02:10 PM

Oh yea.... this.

#13 Darkender

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 07:49 PM

Finished. I may add on a little extra to the end if I can find some more inspiration.

If you find any parts confusing, or parts of the story that simply don't work, please let me know.

#14 deojusto

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:33 PM

Ok I read the new sections. I also reread the earlier parts as well, I noticed a few changes, but a lot of the sections still seemed awkward. In the background you have "their mind" not "their minds", as well as that bit with the stick beginning with "So much so..".

As for the new sections, in all honesty I am completely lost. At first the doc's talking to the old guy (who is supposed to be the aged kid right?). Then you have this thing about Gods, and high councils, princes and a reference to Jean Grey/Phoenix and all seems thrown together and rushed. Nowhere before here have Gods or any of this stuff been mentioned before. I'm guessing she gets in contact with Sayang at the end, but this story is still missing a middle. I sort of get what you were trying to do, but it needs to be longer so you have time to explain all this stuff. It feels like I'm reading the spark notes of the character rather than the whole thing.

#15 Darkender

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 06:35 PM

Ugh. I failed at this experiement with this style of writing. I tried to write a character where most of the information is placed in as hints for the reader to elaborate on. But obviously I didn't do it right and it was more confusing than anything else.

I'm not sure where you got the Jean Grey reference from, but I could see how you would be confused with the rest of it. I'm dumping this project and rewriting. Back to the drawing board!

#16 deojusto

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:46 PM

Ugh. I failed at this experiement with this style of writing. I tried to write a character where most of the information is placed in as hints for the reader to elaborate on. But obviously I didn't do it right and it was more confusing than anything else.

I'm not sure where you got the Jean Grey reference from, but I could see how you would be confused with the rest of it. I'm dumping this project and rewriting. Back to the drawing board!

The Jean Grey reference I thought I saw was in the last section, there was a line "like a phoenix" or something. Just considering that Star is a telepath with a secret evil hidden inside her that makes her supra-powerful, I think I may have made the connection on my own and picked up on a clue that wasn't there. No worries on the story, this wasn't awful, you just need to stretch out the ending a bit. Good luck on the rewrite.

#17 Darkender

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

Yeah, remember her? I just didn't feel right leaving her like that to represent Sayang so I've been revising. I should have it posted tomorrow if I can get online. Of course, all comments are welcomed.

#18 Darkender

Darkender

    Believes Han shot first

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:13 PM

Finished. Please let me know what you guys think and if you spot anything off.

#19 Pseudonym

Pseudonym

    Aqualad

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

There is no personality section.

#20 treacherous

treacherous

    Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the Hammer

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

I'm still working through it. It takes me four weeks to read a character, like four months to write one.




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