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Annessadav
October 29th, 2005, 08:04 AM
sorry i don't know how to do the link. i'm thinking of submitting this very soon to a competition. it's very short(only 394 words), and i don't think it'll go very far but it just kinda rolled outta me last night when i should have been asleep. i'm obsessed with zombie flicks but have never written about an attack before, i usually stick to magical-type fantasy. please help, and possibly enjoy!




Daylight savings
Ariel took her time walking past the familiar graffiti-ridden traffic sign, reading the words once again and still finding a sort of cold humor to them. Some prankster had spray-painted “right turn on red after dark.”
The artist was probably dead by now, the traffic lights hadn’t worked for months, and those annoying orange and white road blockers still lay rolled down the street, useless and abandoned. Reflecting the condition of the entire city she was still in. No one used pavement-dependant vehicles anymore; too many obstacles and far too urban for many.
The zombie movies stopped soon after infection, only mere days of the main character’s survival stories. However, the bastards apparently lived on for who-the-****-knew-even-if-God-knows-how-long. Ariel chuckled quietly to herself as she reached the outside stairwell to the roof. Even her thought pattern had changed in the past few months. Before now, before everything had changed so drastically, she had been an intellectual. Swear words were inferior to her immense vocabulary. As she ascended the stairs she realized nothing was the same and the abandoned buildings suffocating her view agreed with her that nothing would ever be the same again.
She reached her goal after ten minutes of climbing. Her body could endure more physical activity now than ever before, after seemingly running nonstop since the beginning of the massive destruction. Smoke billowed into her face as she sat in the middle of the roof on top of the protruding vent shaft and she coughed, but even that was a welcome change from the smell of rot. Burning was so much faster, and even though the acrid smoke reached her nostrils easily from the fires accommodated in the closely neighboring buildings, the rank smell of decay was fainter in the thinner air.
Ariel reflected on the many deaths and non-deaths she had witnessed. How, even if the buildings were restored and the roads cleared; even if the world was cleaned of the blood and the bodies burned, her mind would still house these memories. She loaded the gun with her last bullet and the phrase “spring forward, fall back” resounded in her mind with the click click of metal. Finally, the night descended upon her and once again she reminded herself that it was suicide to stay unprotected in the night. She song a lullaby of peace within her mind.

Darknel
October 29th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Not bad at all Annessadav, you seem to have the beginnings of a clear and distinctive style. If the following comments seem negative, it is only because I believe constructive criticism, not innane praise, benefit a writer most.

1.) Proof-reading: There are a few sentances here which don't read quite right and I suspect that is more to do with a lack of proof-reading than ineloquence. Especially if you want to enter a competition self-editing is critical, notice for instance the error in your very final sentance (not likely to leave a good impression on the judges).
2.) Structure: I'm assuming that this is merely an extract from a larger whole. It is not a self-contained story and even if you were thinking of submitting this to a competition as a sketch piece, I would strongly urge you to set it in a wider context. As it stands I don't think the reader can really known who, or what Ariel is, and this creates a barrier to empathising with her situation.
3.) Be wary of over-stylisation.
"who-the-****-knew-even-if-God-knows-how-long"
This doesn't mean a whole lot to me and I'm not sure that's just because I'm stupid.
4.) Don't succumb to thesauraus syndrome. As the extract goes on your turn of phrase seems increasingly strained and your word choices, while not technically incorrect, are perhaps somewhat unsuitable. For instance:
"the fires accommodated in the closely neighboring buildings"
Are fires really accommodated? Why not more straightforwardly: the fires burning/raging/smouldering in the buildings?
5.) Some of your sentances are too long and if not in need of re-structuring, could certainly do with some additional punctuation in the form of commas.

Once again I would apologise if this critique seems harsh or discouraging. I really do believe you have potential as a writer - if I didn't I wouldn't have bothered reviewing your work at all.

Annessadav
October 29th, 2005, 06:03 PM
i was looking for what you gave, darknel. thank you and i'll be working on those. though i'm not sure i want to give up on my non-cliched-cliched sentence quite yet. i'm kinda fond of it. def. need to proof read, and i'll be adding quite a bit more. the accomadating sentence was meant to be a bit ironic, but perhaps it's only in my head. a lot of it's still bouncing around in there...thank you!

Expendable
October 30th, 2005, 01:07 AM
This is a good start - some interesting color. But you need to think about where you're going in this story. We hear about zombies but don't see a single one. There are fires burning but we don't smell anything until we reach the roof. We're not even sure why she's on the roof. Her motivations escape us.


The artist was probably dead by now, the traffic lights hadn’t worked for months, and those annoying orange and white road blockers still lay rolled down the street, useless and abandoned.
"...still lay rolled down the street" - is very clumsy. You need to rework this. And it's traffic cones (http://www.fantasyjackpalance.com/fjp/photos/misc/002/traffic-cone-2.jpg).


Reflecting the condition of the entire city she was still in. Very lazy. It's your job to paint a mental picture and you were doing a great job so far. Cut this.


The zombie movies stopped soon after infection, only mere days of the main character’s survival stories. Try dropping "The" from the start of your sentence. And the last half is very clumsy, I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Please rewrite this.


However, the bastards apparently lived on for who-the-****-knew-even-if-God-knows-how-long.So how long is that? Does nothing stop the zombies?


Even her thought pattern had changed in the past few months. Before now, before everything had changed so drastically, she had been an intellectual. So what is she now? A survivor?


As she ascended the stairs she realized nothing was the same and the abandoned buildings suffocating her view agreed with her that nothing would ever be the same again.She's just now realizing this? Interesting word choices.


She reached her goal after ten minutes of climbing. And that goal is...?


Her body could endure more physical activity now than ever before, after seemingly running nonstop since the beginning of the massive destruction. Very clumsy. Try thinking of a better way to express this.

Burning was so much faster, and even though the acrid smoke reached her nostrils easily from the fires accommodated in the closely neighboring buildings, the rank smell of decay was fainter in the thinner air.Burning is so much faster than what? Accommodated? Closely neighboring? >.<; And why would she want to sit in smoke anyway? Have you sat in smoke? Your eyes burn and water, the smoke thickens your throat and you cough and choke. It's hard to breathe. Stay long enough you die from carbon monoxide.


Ariel reflected on the many deaths and non-deaths she had witnessed. This sounds a bit remote. Non-deaths? Would near-miss or escapes work better?


Finally, the night descended upon her and once again she reminded herself that it was suicide to stay unprotected in the night. She song a lullaby of peace within her mind. So why is she up there? It's not clear.

Annessadav
October 30th, 2005, 06:51 AM
This is a good start - some interesting color. But you need to think about where you're going in this story. We hear about zombies but don't see a single one. There are fires burning but we don't smell anything until we reach the roof. We're not even sure why she's on the roof. Her motivations escape us.


"...still lay rolled down the street" - is very clumsy. You need to rework this. And it's traffic cones (http://www.fantasyjackpalance.com/fjp/photos/misc/002/traffic-cone-2.jpg).

Very lazy. It's your job to paint a mental picture and you were doing a great job so far. Cut this.

Try dropping "The" from the start of your sentence. And the last half is very clumsy, I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Please rewrite this.

So how long is that? Does nothing stop the zombies?

So what is she now? A survivor?

She's just now realizing this? Interesting word choices.

. And that goal is...?

Very clumsy. Try thinking of a better way to express this.
Burning is so much faster than what? Accommodated? Closely neighboring? >.<; And why would she want to sit in smoke anyway? Have you sat in smoke? Your eyes burn and water, the smoke thickens your throat and you cough and choke. It's hard to breathe. Stay long enough you die from carbon monoxide.

This sounds a bit remote. Non-deaths? Would near-miss or escapes work better?

So why is she up there? It's not clear.


they aren't cones, i'm not sure of the word for them, but i will work on that sentence, thanks. the non-deaths i was refering to were zombies rising. and she didn't care about dying of carbon monoxide poisoning because she has already killed herself by letting nightfal with her out in the open. man- i had no idea my story was so confusing. i thought it would be clear that her goal was the roof top(where she sat down right afte that sentence) and that she was going to commit suicied- hence the single bullet and deadly situation. i'll stop trying to be vague- probably only zombie flick fans would understand the rules. according to the zombie survival guide, it takes about 5 years for them to die without help and in regular weather. i wanted to draw away from the zombies and focus more on humanity. typical, huh? thank you very much for your help, i will be working on those points.

Expendable
October 30th, 2005, 11:57 AM
I've not read the Zombie Handbook and you need to be careful using it. First of all, how does anyone know that zombies only last five years?

Something you need to ask yourself is why is this woman committing suicide now? From what you've said already she looks like a survivor, someone who's toughened up inside from the zombie attacks. So what's changed? What made her snap and decide to kill herself?

And why on top of the building? What's so special about it? She could have suicided at home, among her things. Or she could have gone to the park where she still have a grand view and make it easier for the zombies to find her.

Some stories leave a lot of unanswered questions, but that's not going to work for this story. It's unsatisfying. Look at the newspapers - first thing everyone asks when someone commits suicide is "why?" - tell us the why.

Annessadav
October 30th, 2005, 12:24 PM
hmmm. perhaps she'll have a flash of memory...

Expendable
October 30th, 2005, 02:10 PM
What about the event that makes her snap?

What caused the zombies? Are the zombies infectuous? Could a bite from the zombies turn their victim into a zombie?

Resident Evil/Dawn of the Dead zombies aren't typical zombies.

Annessadav
October 30th, 2005, 02:53 PM
What about the event that makes her snap?

What caused the zombies? Are the zombies infectuous? Could a bite from the zombies turn their victim into a zombie?

Resident Evil/Dawn of the Dead zombies aren't typical zombies.


she hardly knows about how they are and how long they live. she is an innocent bystander to humanity's downfall. she's meant to be ignorant of those facts and so is the reader. but thanks for the suggestion anyways