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jallenw
February 17th, 2007, 01:47 PM
It's just one page. Tell me what you think of my new brainchild Cliff Ungar.

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2298p0.html

Note: These stories are a mix of fantasy and sci-fi. Personally I label it fantasy because I'm not capable of writing anything that deserves to be in the same genre as Asimov. This installment of Cliff Ungar's story takes place in a modern setting, but I'm sure his travels will take him to the farthest reaches of the universe and multiverse. This one is written as a narrative, but I expect most of them will be third person, since that is what I am most comfortable writing.

Global Thermo Nuclear Peace,
J. Allen Wentworth

Julian
February 17th, 2007, 02:14 PM
Well, he may be immortal, but he's just about to get his butt kicked over to Somewhere Else.

You're in the wrong part of the forum, Messr Allen :) !

jallenw
February 17th, 2007, 02:38 PM
Ooops, my bad. I thought I was in writing but I was in fantasy instead. I posted another critique request and it was in writing. I must have clicked over here and not noticed. Sorry about that. I have several windows opened, I must have messed up.

Could a moderator please move this to the writing forum as quickly as possible, thanks.

Global Thermo Nuclear Peace,
J. Allen Wentworth

AgentRustyBones
February 21st, 2007, 07:37 PM
I liked what I read.

Nice voice to the character. It could probably work entirely in first person--although speaking from experience, that can be pretty challenging.

I don't know that I'd test my own premise of immortality with poison--I'd probably be more direct--like trying to wound myself with a knife, gun, etc., but the piece, as short as it was, worked for me.

Doug
aka Agent Rusty Bones

jallenw
February 21st, 2007, 08:07 PM
It doesn't come out in this piece, but it isn't the first test. I assume that Cliff has done quite a lot of harm to himself. He uses poison here because it's the one form that doesn't hurt. He's immortal, but he can still be injured and feel pain. I have another one up which occurs much later in the timeline. He's on a spaceship being attacked by some alien demon thing.

Peace,
J. Allen Wentworth

AgentRustyBones
February 21st, 2007, 08:17 PM
It doesn't come out in this piece, but it isn't the first test. I assume that Cliff has done quite a lot of harm to himself. He uses poison here because it's the one form that doesn't hurt. He's immortal, but he can still be injured and feel pain. I have another one up which occurs much later in the timeline. He's on a spaceship being attacked by some alien demon thing.

Peace,
J. Allen Wentworth

If the premise is merely that he can't die...but can still be injured (Does he heal real fast like Wolverine or like the cheerleader chick on Heroes?)...then you might want to rethink your comments on poison above--Poison doesn't necessarily kill--it can make you vomit, or suffer seizures, or blind you, or burn up your insides...

You'll want to make sure that you maintain some sort of consistency with the immortality angle...if he can be wounded by physical attacks (even if only briefly) then he would likely suffer some pretty unpleasant consequences from ingesting large quantities of a bunch of different poisons...That didn't come through in the piece I read--it seemed more like an invincible immortality without any consequence.

Just something to think about...

Julian
February 21st, 2007, 08:31 PM
I liked what I read.



So did I, by the way. Even though I hadn't planned on reading it at the time :) .

In fact, i liked it enough to get me thinking & I ended up re-writing it just a bit. Not too much, mind, but I added a bit of detail and, perhaps, some humour and foreshadowing. This was along the lines of "Hey, if I wrote this, how would turn out?". An alternate take, rather than criticism.

Mostly, though, I cut it all up into paragraphs. Now that is a bit of criticism: I feel you really need to pace it a bit more, and that's what paragraphs are for.

Anyways, if you'd like my version, send me a PM. I'd be happy to send it to you (it's a Word file).

jallenw
February 22nd, 2007, 01:27 AM
With regards to his immunity to poison...

So far, he can not be killed by any normal means, but he can be harmed.

He can not die from loss of blood or organ failure, but can suffer other side effects of both.

His body processes any poison or unhealthy chemical into it's base components and digests them like a healthy diet.

He can live without oxygen, food, or water, but with severe discomfort and pain as he experiences the same other side effects any human would.

He can survive almost any temperature. Extreme cold could freeze him, causing him to stay in a coma until he thaws. While short term extreme heat won't kill him, it does hurt and can cause severe cosmetic damage. Prolonged exposure to fire might reduce him to ashes. This might kill him. He isn't keen on finding out.

In the unlikely event that he is injured he will heal at a normal rate of speed, but will not die no matter how bad the injury is. He will, however, feel pain as a normal person with such a wound.

If he loses a limb then he will NOT grow one back, it would heal eventually to a stump. He could at any time find the severed limb, re-injure the healed stump, and hold it in place until it heals together.

He can get sick, but his immune system can kill any disease or virus in a matter of hours, causing him to run a slight fever and have other trivial side effects.

He can't die of old age. In the story about the poison he is a young man. In the story about the alien demon thing, he is somewhere around five-thousand years old.

As you can see, he has to worry about almost everything except death itself.

Possible bad things that could happen to him:

Jettisoned into space.
Buried Alive
Frozen in the artic in a glacier
Dropped to the bottom of the ocean
Drawn and Quartered (he'd have a hard time tracking down the pieces)
Burnt at the Stake
Chopped, cooked, and eaten (this might kill him)
Etc.

This is why I used the word 'immortal' and not 'invincible.' My goal is to have a series of stories where I can put this character into the most terrible situations I can think of. I want the readers to worry about the character's safety even though he can't die. I thought it up when I was thinking about how 'main characters' almost never die in fiction. I figured it might be nice to give my reader an actual reason for that, instead of the obvious reason that the story would end if he died. Basically, I turned being a 'main character' into a super power that my character has. It should be obvious from the first story that he is a bit reckless (drinking poison like that is ill-advised.) But it should also be obvious from the second story, much later in his life, that he isn't fearless and can't trust in his own immortality to save him from every situation. That is why I wrote those two pieces first, to help myself get a good picture of where he started and where he is going.

Peace,
J. Allen Wentworth

P.S. Send your version to jallenw@bluebottle.com or just post it here, whichever you want. Word files are fine.

grechzoo
February 22nd, 2007, 04:31 AM
the last line is great, is a very good page.

i like the way its in first person, although as someone else said it will eb very hard to keep that going for a longish story.

good job :)

btw i have put my second chapter up if you want to give it a read and help me out with your expertise :)