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Jeff C
April 3rd, 2012, 04:38 AM
Hey guys, posting up the first bit of my chapter one of a story/series I'm working on. It has two "bad" words, so brace yourself.:rolleyes:
This is my first attempt at an actual novel and would love some input on it so far.


A little background of the world:

The year 2071, The world is recovering from a disastrous war that enveloped most of the world. Economies, governments, and whole countries collapsed. The United States, struggling financially for the past 70 years, decided to enact a state of isolationism after the long Middle Eastern conflict it had been engaged in for most of the new millennium, deciding they could not afford another war. Though, through that decision the country was divided and the domino was tipped for a revolution.

The United States as we know it has collapsed through a long catastrophic 23 year civil war. While the old regime still has some control in the North East and have set up a temporary government in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they have all but lost the Western half and the Southern sections of the US. The Southern states and representatives have reformed into a temporary government known as the Eastern Democratic States. While out west the Gangs and militias of the US that formed during the war and the Cartels and War lords of latin america are in a violent power struggle for control of what was the American West.

The main character is a young man named Abbas (still working on a last name if I even give him one, pronounced, "Ab" - "bus"). He is the son of the militant leader of the Tridents(name for now) the largest militia group in the west, a naval based organization out of San Francisco. While on a trading mission with the Chinese, his supply ship is attacked by Latin Pirates, flying the colors of notorious War lord, Duece ("doo" - "say"). He and his crew are taken captive.

I probably need to write a proper prologue of some sort. But let me know what you think so far, this is just an excerpt of the chapter.

Chapter 1:

Sitting slumped in a chair, I heard the creaking of a door opening behind me and heavy footsteps entering the room. I could feel my my stomach churn with every step as the chains on my feet started to rattle. And then, silence.

My mind began to race as I was sitting, exposed. I imagined this is what it would have felt like before an old execution, silence, as an audience watched waiting to cheer at the falling of the blade upon my neck.

I knew the giant that had entered the room was still there, staring at me. Just wondering what to do with me.




"You fucking scum!"

As soon as the words had reached my ears, i felt the unsettling pressure of a hand around my neck. Then a flash of light as the bag that was covering my head was ripped off with brutal strength. My eyes were completely blurred from the light, it had been days since the last time I had seen anything.

"Now what are we going to do with you?" Came the thundering voice.

My eyes, trying to focus on where the voice was coming from, were still adjusting to the intense light.

"Hmm, WAKE UP!"

At those words, I found myself falling face first towards the floor. I tried to catch myself, but in the panic had forgotten that my hands were still bound to the chair. I landed with a slap, as I hit face first on the concrete floor, then fell over sideways in the chair. I was finally starting to regain my sense of things as my vision began to come back.

I was lying bound to a chair, on a hot concrete floor. The room was hot and humid, I could feel the sweat running down the corners of my face. There was a horrible stench that was just starting to hit my nose. I looked forward to try to gain a sense of where I was. Ahead of me was a dark desk with stacks papers scattered everywhere, along with a map of North America ordaining the wall. It had bright neon lines tacked and strung all over it.

The few fluorescent lights lining the tin ceiling, were making it hard to focus. I looked downwards towards where I had heard the foot steps.

There stood two tall black army styled boots, mud splattered, and loosely laced.

"Finally coming to, huh?" Came the voice, I could only see his boots as he was standing almost right over me.

I then heard a murmuring of what sounded like Spanish calling back towards where this beast had entered. As I looked more intensely, I could in fact see a shadowy silhouette leaning against the door. My eyes tried to focus on this intruder but out of the corner of my eyes, I saw a horror in the corner of the room. I wanted to scream, but my voice couldn't be found, my mind just shrieked in terror.

Against the wall sat four bodies in wooden chairs, hoods covering their heads. Blood stains rivered down their shirts and formed pools of blood on the ground.

I finally muscled out a little a weak loathing scream, as what I had just seen, sketched itself into my mind. I kept staring intently at the bodies hoping that they would move, but even after my half attempted scream, they sat lifeless. My mind was overcome but my new found situation and I found myself loosing consciousness.



When I finally came back to, I was still bonded to the wooden chair lying on the ground. As I slowly came back to my senses once I again, I looked around in panic. It was much cooler, than earlier, I assumed it must be night. My eyes immediately directed their attention to what I had seen earlier. I focused on the corner wall, but saw no bodies, only four wooden chairs where they had once sat. The stench of blood still filling the cool air.

I lied there assessing my situation when I realized I was still not alone in the room. My ears pricked up as I heard foreign words pierce my ears. It was in fact Spanish, I could pick out a few words here and there. The party of people continued their conversation unaware that I was listening in. I didn't even know if they realized I was still there in the room. Or let alone, alive.

My eyes darted back to the desk that I had seen earlier, there was a bright, green shaded, desk lamp that had been placed there and was shimmering light onto the dark wooden desk. There sat two men, one on either side of the desk. They were pointing at the map on the wall and chatting furiously back in forth.

I wriggled my feet and hands, trying to get a better look a the two men. When all of a sudden from behind me I felt the chair I was tied to start to lift off the ground.

"Primo!, He's awake" Shouted the thundering voice from earlier. As I was placed firmly upright in the chair.

I felt the huge hand of the man beside me grip tightly on my shoulder. I honestly don't think this monster knew how hard he was squeezing my shoulder. When the shock of being picked up in full force wore off, I saw a pair of big brown eyes leaning over, staring firmly at me inches away from my face.

"Cual es su Nombre?", he said quickly. I didn't really know how to respond. I hadn't spoken to another human being in days, and had honestly forgot my basic spanish from back in school.

"Cual es su Nombre!?!", said the man more intently.

I racked my brain, until I remembered he was simply asking my name.

I responded hesitantly, "Abbas."

"Abbas!" repeated the man.

"Yes", I said a little more enthralled, "Abbas!"

"What am I doing here?!" I yelled, as I finally found my voice.

Taken aback the latino man stared firmly into my eyes. Sweat was dripping from his brow. This man had an aged, sun beaten face with a thick black beard, and slicked back hair with a tattered camouflaged hat, hanging on his head. There was a "Y" shaped scar wrapping itself around his left cheek. In the back of my mind I know I recognized that scar from somewhere.

"Habla espanol?" the man asked keenly.

"No, only English" I barked back, getting very frustrated.

He backed off and stood firmly at attention in front of me.

"Who are you and what am I doing here!?!" I screamed, I had finally had it, becoming fully aware of my dim situation.

"You don't speak Spanish huh? spoke the man, carefully thinking of each word before he spoke. You could tell he wasn't comfortable speaking in full English.

"Fine." he quietly exclaimed.

"My name is Carolas Duece."

My stomach sank, my face must have turned white because Duece and the hidden man still clutching my shoulder started laughing.

grant-g
April 3rd, 2012, 05:05 AM
Well done! I was ready to read as you layed out the world..
as you said a prolouge or even just a chapter with storyline details. Very entertaining,
very viable and shockingly accurate layout. The sides and the links and what not, East and West.

badboi scene
June 22nd, 2012, 05:04 PM
I found myself so engrossed in this piece that my cup of tea is now cold. Your imaginative account of future outcomes was impressively illustrated. A small number of mistakes but nothing that prevents you from enjoying a first-rate chapter.

Penwillz
June 22nd, 2012, 05:30 PM
Very well written. The brief synopsis was interesting, and the chapter held my attention til the very end. This Deuce must be one bad dude, if his name freaked Abbas out that much. I would love to keep reading.

solidgoldbrass
June 28th, 2012, 02:19 AM
You've got a good sense of pace and what sounds like some interesting ideas. However your prose style could be improved; I would say you need to read some more. Read some sharp, punchy sci-fi - I'd even venture to suggest Heinlein. Read some dick-lit, like Andy McNab. Sorry, but sentence structure and style do matter, even when your work is really story-driven.

The Prodigy
July 14th, 2012, 07:27 AM
Read half the piece but wanted to write a few nits before I forgot:

At those words, I found myself falling face first towards the floor.

Doesn't this sentence sound a bit clunky? The action that follows the phrase is not hinged upon them being spoken. To me it was an unnecessary adage.

I landed with a slap, as I hit face first on the concrete floor,

The comma destroys the smooth consistency that the sentence is attempting to convey. Shouldn't he hit the concrete floor and then there be a slap. Instead of highlighting the action only, emphasize the sound as it echoes around the environment. This not only helps the story read better and be more realistic but does so through clever immersive techniques for me, the reader.

I was finally starting to regain my sense of things as my vision began to come back.

I was lying bound to a chair, on a hot concrete floor.

The position of your character hasn't changed. Why describe being bound to the chair on the concrete floor? Your passed that now.

I was lying bound to a chair, on a hot concrete floor. The room was hot and humid

A word of caution here, the use of a generic adjective cheapens worthwhile opportunities when used twice so very closely. It loses meaning and reveals a lack of depth to a writing piece.

Against the wall sat four bodies in wooden chairs, hoods covering their heads. Blood stains rivered down their shirts and formed pools of blood on the ground.

I finally muscled out a little a weak loathing scream, as what I had just seen, sketched itself into my mind. I kept staring intently at the bodies hoping that they would move, but even after my half attempted scream, they sat lifeless. My mind was overcome but my new found situation and I found myself loosing consciousness.

This entire paragraph was brutal. Avoid things like "I finally" because it adds a sense of time ending when nothing really happens. If you meant to convey that some time lapsed before he reacted with the weak scream, interject some descriptive language, how it made him feel, something, a particular detail, etc. to indicate that movement of time. My best advice for something like this: Condense.

I know it may seem as if I picked too much, but I hope it helps you out. Honestly, I felt compelled to critique after the wonderful synopsis of the story in the beginning. I admire big story ideas like it. Keep writing, and I promise to finish it off.