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Gerry_VDS
June 5th, 2012, 11:02 PM
Hello everyone! This is my first real attempt at writing, so please take into account that the most I have written before this is an essay or two.

Background:
Somehow (still working on it) aliens have landed. They are purple blooded, Predator-sounding Humanoids. They have set up a base somewhere, and the Us is setting out fo find them and destroy them.

The US has sent their army to fight the aliens. With all electronic inteligance down, the US must search for the Aliens. They finally find a Alien force and engage. The story picks up just after the battle.


Chapter 1: A bad day

It was a beautiful day in Hell. The sun was shining with a cool breeze whispering along the valley, forcing the temperature to a crescendo of perfection. The trees swayed with the wind, dancing to their own tune. The rolling hills were majestic, as was the white topped points jutting from the land on either side of the lush valley. Yes, it was a majestic day in paradise; too bad no one could appreciate it.

The sheer carnage was horrifying. Bodies were lying all around, in all manner of grotesque positions. Shells had flown their course, punching holes in the ground so deep that men could stand at the bottom and not see over the top. Bullets had peppered every object for miles around. There was no patch of dirt not covered with either blood or bullets. Smoke covered the battlefield. And among all of this, a lone man walked.

I cannot believe this only happened yesterday. This was the thought of Zackary Hicks, a soldier in the American Army. In two minutes, it went from a peaceful morning to a place of Sheer Hell! In an intense five hour battle, the Brigade on the front like was almost annihilated, fighting against an unknown enemy. Almost four thousand men dead, how can we be defeated so easily? He mused as he searched for as much ammunition as he could find. But there was a much more disturbing question on his mind. In only a couple of hours until our Brigade move up, how did the enemy remove all of their dead, vehicles, and equipment? It looks like we fought ghosts. This was the most puzzling question of all. The only marks that showed there had been any battle whatsoever was the dirt. Here and there, scattered over the cleared area was a strange purple color in the dirt. Then it hit him. My god, this isn’t any kind of chemical, this is their blood! And with that, Hicks was suddenly hit with a wave of horror. What the hell are these things? If there was to be an answer, it was going to be with the dead on that field.

As Hicks analyzed what had happened, a few miles away there was a general with the same thought on his mind. “You’re telling me that we just lost an entire Battalion, and the best you can do is you THINK their aliens?” was the talk from Major General John Sherman. “But sir, we have no idea what they are, and they removed all of their equipment and casualties. It’s as if they were ghosts!” this from a Major of Intelligence. “How in hell can we fight em for FIVE hours, lose FOUR THOUSAND men, and think their GHOSTS?” It was a puzzler all around. They had watched in horror as the enemy had shot down each and every spy satellite out of the sky, along with any plane, drone, balloon or leaf that was with a view of their positions. This had left the Americans deaf and blind to their enemies, without knowledge of where they were, what they were doing, or even who they were!


I am working on more, and hope to have it in a few days!

note: the Italics are thoughts, and quotes are people talking.

Higurro
June 7th, 2012, 05:28 PM
This is a solid enough start but could bear a few tweaks, I think. One question I have is how did Zackary know the purple liquid was blood (which presumably would be some kind of chemical) and not something like machine fuel or oil or some weapon residue?

That's a technicality, but my main point would be that you're using a narrator to describe the scene without putting the reader in the scene. The italics start to explore your character's thoughts, but could go far deeper into his state of mind. For example, the narrator describes the carnage as being horrifying, without really saying why this is. It's all very well to say there were lots of bodies lying around, but why was this horrifying? It may sound like a stupid question, but you need to be tapping into the triggers that are directly responsible for the character's horror. The horror would come from contrasting the reality of the situation with what Zackary knows of his world. In this case I would suggest mentioning things like the silence, perhaps he has a ringing in his ears that distracts him, perhaps it's that the bodies are so numberless that they blur into one mass of twisted limbs, devoid of humanity, stripped of dignity and civility and morality. If you were to ask a holocaust survivor what the concentration camps were really like, I'm sure they would say more than "bodies were lying all around"

Zackary would surely talk about the smell of explosives still hanging in the air, the endless mournful silence, the heat (presumably he would be somewhat dehydrated) and the horror of seeing brave men and women - friends - turned into debris. In the space of one day he's had everything he knows about US military might, friendship and order overturned. I imagine most men, soldier or not, would be at least partially in shock at this.

I thought I'd mention these thoughts as I like the potential in this, and hope you find them helpful.

ps, just thought I should add that I'm completely in agreement with podman36! Reading my comment again it doesn't seem terribly complimentary, which wasn't my intention.

podman36
June 7th, 2012, 08:41 PM
One really positive aspect of the story so far are the descriptions. You do an excellent job of getting the right images out without being overtly descriptive which I like in a new writer.

Ohgodaspider
June 10th, 2012, 03:26 AM
It's a decent start. The jump from the peacefulness to all of a sudden bodies everywhere was quite a shock, and not in a good way. Ease into that a little more. A few minor spelling/grammar errors, other than that it has some potential, keep at it.

Gerry_VDS
June 11th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments! Here is a revised chapter 1!



War Is Hell

Chapter 1: A bad day
It was a beautiful day in Hell. The sun was shining with a cool breeze whispering along the valley, forcing the temperature to a crescendo of perfection. The trees swayed with the wind, dancing to their own tune. The rolling hills were majestic, as was the white topped points jutting from the land on either side of the lush valley. Yes, it was a majestic day in paradise; too bad no one could appreciate it. There was simply no one left. Everything has been destroyed.

The sheer carnage was horrifying. The mass of dead formed a carpet of decaying flesh, limbs hanging at grotesque angles. Shells had flown their course, punching holes in the ground so deep that men could stand at the bottom and not see over the top. Bullets had peppered every object for miles around. There was no patch of dirt not covered with either blood or bullets. Smoke covered the battlefield. And among all of this, a lone man walked.

' I cannot believe this only happened yesterday.' This was the thought of Zackary Hicks, a soldier in the American Army. In two minutes, it went from a peaceful morning to a place of Sheer Hell! In an intense five hour battle, the Brigade on the front like was almost annihilated, fighting against an unknown enemy. 'Almost four thousand men dead, how can the most powerful army in the world be defeated so easily?'. He mused as he searched for as much ammunition as he could find. But there was a much more disturbing question on his mind. 'In only the few short hours until our Brigade moved up to shore up the line, how did the enemy remove all of their dead, vehicles, and equipment? It looks like we fought ghosts.' This was the most puzzling question of all. The only marks that showed there had been any battle whatsoever was the dirt. Here and there, scattered over the cleared area was a strange purple color in the dirt. The truth hit him like a punch in the gut. 'My god, this isn’t any kind of chemical, this is their blood! That's why it doesn't smell like oil or grease, but like a strong acid!'. And with that, Hicks was suddenly hit with a wave of horror. 'What the hell are these things?' If there was to be an answer, it was going to be with the dead on that field.

As Hicks analyzed what had happened, a few miles away there was a general with the same thought on his mind. “You’re telling me that we just lost an entire Battalion, and the best you can do is you THINK their aliens?” was the talk from Major General John Sherman. “But sir, we have no idea what they are, and they removed all of their equipment and casualties. It’s as if they were ghosts!” this from a Major of Intelligence. “How in hell can we fight em for FIVE hours, lose FOUR THOUSAND men, and think their GHOSTS?” It was a puzzler all around. They had watched in horror as the enemy had shot down each and every spy satellite out of the sky, along with any plane, drone, balloon or leaf that was with a view of their positions. This had left the Americans deaf and blind to their enemies, without knowledge of where they were, what they were doing, or even who they were!

Please let me know :)!

bazz cargo
June 11th, 2012, 07:49 PM
Hi Gerry,
I wish I had thought of your opening line.

After the battle...Hmmm.

What kind of effect are you looking for? What you have now is a static picture. An easy in to the real meat of the story. There are some good descriptions. To my eye it is slightly wordy, but that is a question of my personal taste.

The start of something is always fraught with uncertainty. First of all the rest of the story informs the beginning. I always have to go back and redo the start, sometimes several times. The secret is to get the entire thing down and then tweak bits to fit the pace and style you eventually adopt.

There is promise in the premise. Don't get hung up on details. Move it on, get it done. Then get the spag (spelling, punctuation and grammar) Nazis to give it a work over.

For now, be satisfied you have hit a theme that works.
Good luck!
Bazz