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Curiosity


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Reznas

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Posted Sep 08 2012 - 02:00 PM

Hello there fellow friends and users. I know that I haven't ventured out here in the Library forums for quite some time, but this story came into my mind, and I thought, why not post it on BZP. So, without further ado, I give you "Curiosity". He walks down a cold and dirty street heading home from a long day of working. His surroundings are familiar; so familiar, in fact, that he spotted a missing light post, as well as the absence of a plant he so often saw on his way home. Something wasn’t right. He looks around; something is very strange about the street. It is dim. It is silent; too silent for his taste. He notices a slight, ever so slight, difference near the light post. He walks closer, and the closer he gets, the more he realizes what he is actually seeing. It’s blood. A distinct patch of blood drenched the sidewalk next to the, no longer present, light post. “What happened here?” he thought. Looking more closely, he sees that not only is there blood near the light post, but there is a trail of blood leading into an alley. Each step he takes begins to get heavier and heavier. The sound of his breath begins to get louder and louder. The abnormal silence allows him to hear the fast paced beat of his heart. As he approaches the abrupt turn into the darkened alleyway, he hesitates. He contemplates on whether or not to continue. His conscience battles against a curious temptation to look around the corner. “Should I go, or should I not?” he ponders. After some time, out of his own curious nature, he decides to take a leap of faith. He takes a left turn into the blackened alley. At first, he is blind to the darkness. However, after a few moments, his eyes become adjusted to the pitch black surroundings. It is nearly impossible to describe the feeling of surprise and fear that first came into dear Tehkii’s mind at first sight of what lay before him, but perhaps an explanation of what he saw is in order… Burahk walked down the same street that Tehkii would later walk on, in a quite similar fashion. He, likewise, walked home from the long day of work he had endured. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary; everything seemed normal. It was just the same old excursion he walked daily. Sometimes, however, when things seem normal, they are, indeed, quite the opposite. This fact was apparent on the night the Burahk met his maker. It was all so fast, all so abrupt. The Matoran, or what seemed to be a Matoran, jumped out from behind a bush and grabbed Burahk. In the process, he unintentionally pulled the frail, little bush out of the ground with the force he brought upon Burahk. The attacker tied Burahk up and then succeeded to take the nearest light post down. He then started beating Burahk with light post until the pain of it all was too much. Burahk was no more. Panicking, the attacker took the bush, light post, and Burahk, or Burahk’s remains, rather, and threw them all into a practically abandoned alleyway. It seemed convenient enough at the time, but little did he know that someone like Tehkii would come along to find the victim of a horrible homicide. Tehkii is stricken with a huge wave of shock. The dead body lay still in the dirt drenched in blood. In the distance, he sees the bush and light post that had led him to find what was in front of him. So shocked, in fact, that it is just too much for him. He falls, hits his head on a large rock, and there lay two Matoran bodies, dead, in the darkened night, all because of one little curious peek around a corner that Tehkii presumed safe; all because of one little temptation. Look where that choice got him…Comments and Constructive Criticism are always appreciated! :)-Rez
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#2 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Sep 09 2012 - 08:46 PM

Zaxvo here from the SSCC! Haha, curiosity killed the Matoran, I see. lol. Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyhow, great story, that ending was, well, surprising. I'd like to see what the law enforcement of the city makes of that one :PPersonally, the use of present tense threw me off: I'm use to past-tense writing and so it was a little strange. Nonetheless, you make it work, especially for showing where the flashback starts (by changing tense). That death scene was pretty brutal, I'm not going to lie, I was quite surprised. I'm no moderator, but to me you're just barely within the limits. *shrug*Other than that, I don't have much more to say. You've written yourself a neat little bionicle-themed parable, and it works out very well. The choice of tense is, ultimately, up to you, but I suggest writing in the past tense most often. It tends to flow better. Overall though, great work.
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#3 Offline Sumiki

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Posted Sep 09 2012 - 09:00 PM

Like Zaxvo, the whole present-tense deal threw me off. It sets this apart from other Short Stories - and now that I'm an Assistant in this forum I've read quite a bit of 'em. I doubt I'll forget reading this one, because the present tense is really not something that's often used in Short Stories. As (relatively) novel as it is, its use somewhat jarring and comes off as sort of awkward in certain places. Maybe that's just because I'm used to past tense and kept subconsciously assuming that you were using it, even though I actively knew you weren't.

Panicking, the attacker took the bush, light post, and Burahk, or Burahk’s remains, rather, and threw them all into a practically abandoned alleyway.

"Practically abandoned?" I don't know if I'm reading this wrong, but if Tehkii comes in later, wouldn't that make the alleyway completely abandoned? The word "practically" implies that there is someone else in the alley, and it doesn't sound like there is.

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#4 Offline Exitium

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Posted Sep 09 2012 - 10:28 PM

This is definitely an interesting story, and a well-written one at that. I do have some minor nitpicks though, mostly arcane grammar stuff.The use of present tense in itself isn't a problem. It adds a sense of immediacy to the story, and I think this is one of the few cases in which a writer can actually pull it off. On the other hand, the shift to past tense with Burahk is a little jarring and distracts the reader. There are also some awkward sentences in Tehkii's narrative that make use of both past and present tense.Personally, I wouldn't have killed Tehkii, and his death seemed a little sudden and random. It would have been one thing if the killer had still been at the scene of the crime, but having a Matoran (I assume he's a Matoran) die by hitting his head on a rock is a bit much for me.I think you emphasized your moral a bit too strongly at the end. You don't need to tell your reader outright that curiosity killed the Matoran because your writing has done such a good job conveying that message by itself. I think you could scrap the last sentence, and the ending would be even more powerful.The only other thing that I noticed about this story is that it has no element of Bionicle in it aside from the names. If you changed Burahk to Joe and Tehkii to Bob, no one would ever guess that this is a Bionicle story. There's no problem with that since it is a great story, but I think it would be better of in COT.Now for grammar. For the most part you have your grammar down, and the story is devoid of obvious mistakes, I actually had to reach for my writing handbook for a few of these, but they're all fairly minor.

It is silent; too silent for his taste.

A semicolon must divide two independent clauses, and the second part of this sentence is a dependent clause. A dash (--) might work better.

Looking more closely, he sees that not only is there blood near the light post, but there is a trail of blood leading into an alley.

This is a fairly common mistake, but in general it's better to use "not only ... but also" rather than simply "not only ... but."

The abnormal silence allows him to hear the fast paced beat of his heart.

This should read "fast-paced."

In the distance, he sees the bush and light post that had led him to find what was in front of him.

Grammatically there's nothing wrong here, but the sentence is a little awkward mostly because you use three different verb tenses in one sentence. If you want to keep the narrative in present tense, I would recommend something along the lines of "In the distance, he sees the bush and light post that have led him to find what is right in front of him." Even then "what is right in front of him" is a bit wordy and would be better off with something like "the body."

So shocked, in fact, that it is just too much for him.

This point is a bit debatable, but technically this is a fragment. There's nothing wrong with using a few fragments for effect, and can ignore this if you want, but I don't think the sentence suffers much if you add "He was" to the beginning.Finally, the penultimate sentence is a little long, which is a bit of a problem since many of the sentences before it are short, heightening the dramatic effect.Sorry that was long, but I hope it helps. Keep in mind that these suggestions (other than the grammar) are only my opinions. You know how to keep the reader engaged, and this story demonstrates strong writing skills. Overall, this is an excellent story.

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Memory (Memoirs of the Dead Entry)

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#5 Offline fishers64

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Posted Sep 10 2012 - 09:39 PM

This story suffers badly from being all over the place and slightly inconsistent with itself, in addition to breaking the fourth wall......all to a considerably shocking effect. I like that. But the inconsistencies and forcing the story where you want it to go really hurt this work.

He walks down a cold and dirty street heading home from a long day of working. His surroundings are familiar; so familiar, in fact, that he spotted a missing light post, as well as the absence of a plant he so often saw on his way home. Something wasn’t right.

The word "spotted" here is inconsistent with the present tense you have developed earlier in the sentence. And you don't need the words, "Something wasn't right." at the end because it should be evident to the reader that something isn't from the sentence you gave from before those words. Show, not tell - the problem is, not only have you shown but also told.

but perhaps an explanation of what he saw is in order…

That's the fourth wall breaking. Then you switch to past tense. It makes the whole shift that more pronounced, and shows that you are forcing the story to go in a certain direction. If you make a shift, don't tell the reader that you're making one, just make it, and hopefully we won't notice. Also, I don't think we really needed the explanation, exactly. Or at least it could have been done better. Maybe the story of the murder could have come first, then the curiosity. Swap mystery for creepy suspense. Might have worked better.Keep up the good work. You had a fairly good idea, just suffered in the execution (pun not intended).

Edited by fishers64, Sep 10 2012 - 09:40 PM.

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