View Full Version : The Rat

Philip Smith
February 2nd, 2012, 07:04 AM
The Rat scurried through the back alleys of Old Montreal ever so vigilant of his surrounds. He knew the area well.

His rivals could not be seen tonight, but the Rat knew all to well they were there. Movement to his left caught his

eye and he paused, searching for the cause. Friend or foe? ally or enemy? He waited listening for any signs of an


"Well well my friend it is you" the Rat thought to himself.

The Pick had finally made his appearance tonight. he had heard much of this one, but why was he so easy to detect? Setup? accident? sloppy? Music escaped from the neighborhood bar. Smells of cooking made him hungry.

Philip Smith
February 2nd, 2012, 07:05 AM
A little excerpt for you all, this would be part of "The Rat"

"What would this institute want with a man of my abilities." Delaney asked

"You came highly recommend by General McCall." the director for the Institute for Alternative Thinking said.

"and that is the only reason I'm here, as a favor to the General. With that out of the way what can I do for you Mr. Kolb"

"In 1995, before NATO started bombing in the Balkans you were in a small Albanian village." he paused for effect studying his guest.

"You saw atrocities that you had never seen before, even the Serbs could not have committed that slaughter."

"Then on your own you tracked those responsible, alone, afraid and killed them." Kolb finished.

'I have no idea what your talking about" Delanny countered wondering how the hell did this man for an institute that had nothing to do with
the military know about top secret information that only a handful of high ranking officials knew.

"Their not like us Mr. Delaney. There what we call the Flock."

"They may look like us, but they are certainly not human. We've tracked them for many years and have even eliminated some, but you
Mr.Delaney by far have done more than we could have ever hoped for"

"Look Mr. Kolb there must be some mistake but I honestly have no idea what your talking about. Yes I was in the military but I was never in Albania."

"I have something to show you Mr. Delaney this won't take a moment. Please come this way" The director said with a smile.

February 2nd, 2012, 12:07 PM
I'm a little confused by why there are two very short posts from The Rat posted one minute apart, rather than being placed within one post, but that's just a technicality really. There are some issues with punctuation and grammar, but I thought the general gist of this excerpt was interesting, hinting at some tumultuous 20th century history, and the dialogue believable. Probably the best thing now would be to enlarge this excerpt slightly and put a paragraph of introduction at the start to contextualise it.

February 2nd, 2012, 01:48 PM
The threads have now been merged as they are very short excerpts from the same work at nearly the same time.

February 2nd, 2012, 02:53 PM
These two excerpts, though from the same(?) story, appear to be disconnected to me. I am sure the pieces get connected somewhere down the line but for now it is a bit confusing.

Never the less, I am intrigued about where this is going. I suspect a subtle alien invasion perhaps? Or maybe infiltration would be a better word?

As already noted, careful attention to punctuation and grammar helps with readability.

Expand on this and I'll read it.

Best regards


Philip Smith
February 2nd, 2012, 04:24 PM
Thanks you all for your comments and advice. Yes I am the worse when it comes to detail, meaning grammar and punctuation. What would you all suggest for a "bible" on such a thing.

February 2nd, 2012, 04:41 PM
If there is something specific I'm not sure about (eg, whether to capitalise after a colon) the I'd go to Wikipedia. If it's a more general situation I'd grab the nearest novel and flip through it to see anything I need in context. I'm not sure about one specific 'bible' but just looking at other stuff usually works for me.

February 2nd, 2012, 06:23 PM
Philip, one book that I like is The Elements of Style (http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/020530902X), it's a small book packed with a lot of very good information on punctuation and grammar.
One book I'd LIKE to get is Eats, Shoots, & Leaves (http://www.amazon.com/Eats-Shoots-Leaves-Tolerance-Punctuation/dp/1592402038/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328203142&sr=1-1) by Lynne Truss.
You can also use a style book such as The Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Manual-Style-Essential-Publishers/dp/0226103897/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328203298&sr=1-2) which sits on my shelf but rarely has been opened (bad me).
One online resource that has come to my attention is Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/).

bazz cargo
February 2nd, 2012, 09:52 PM
Collins 'Improve your Writing Skills box set,' lots of patience, practice and a soft wall to bang your head on.

Been there, done that, (still doing that). Got a t' shirt.

Philip Smith
February 2nd, 2012, 11:06 PM
I tend to do just that. Meaning looking at a book and see how they did it.

Philip Smith
February 2nd, 2012, 11:06 PM
Thanks Foxee

Philip Smith
February 2nd, 2012, 11:06 PM
haha, I see that.

February 5th, 2012, 08:11 AM
Hi Phil,

Can we see more of this?


Ellis Schull
February 9th, 2012, 06:31 AM
Phillip, "The Elements of Style" is the only pocket sized handbook you will ever need. Less than fifty pages, simple, easy, and fun! This book taught me most of what I know about grammar, though an avid reader my entire life the intricacies of applying the art to practice were always very difficult for me! Thanks to Strunk & White, however: no more!