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Zico Cozier
December 27th, 2012, 10:25 PM
This was here.

bazz cargo
December 28th, 2012, 07:35 PM
Hi Zico,
the tail end could do with a bit of spacing, make it easier to read.

Intriguing premise and some interesting characters. Well written and full of promise. I'm curious as to where this is going.

Hope you had a great holiday and all the best in the New Year
Bazz

AshtonHadsmith
December 28th, 2012, 10:43 PM
Hello Zico,

I really enjoyed the theme behind this short story. The title unnatural selection is a pretty gloomy foreshadowing of what is to come from this "crisis". When the sound of a gun clicking was heard I was set aback, especially after the current events. Seems like these ideas are stemming from some pretty literal encounters. Keep up the good work!

Cheers,

Mr. Hadsmith III :lone:

monseratthefool
December 29th, 2012, 01:53 AM
Zico,

Tremendously done. I enjoyed the story, the subtle hints at the state of the world, and the very well-defined characters. Intriguing, unique, and thought-provoking.

A few things I would say; first, is that while I am not implying that your story needs to be dumbed down for the lowest common denominator, I feel that certain parts of a story have particular impact to them, and if that critical moment is made inaccessible to the reader, it can break the emotional flow of the story.

For example, "His face, contorted in rage, hinted his imminent fulmination." My girlfriend and I, both avid readers, had to stop in the middle of this tense scene, not knowing what fulmination meant.

This sentence also, while not at an impactful moment like the previous one, just feels superfluously complicated. "Carter feigned nonplused innocence ensnaring a visibly flustered Mr. Davis in his inquisitive stare." It makes the story more mentally tangled than emotionally charged.

That said, I love the undercurrent of tension throughout the story, the foreshadowing of events to come, and the way you are giving a novel treatment to an ancient and heated debate. It felt new and interesting. Great work.

M

Zico Cozier
December 29th, 2012, 05:13 PM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I've just redone it based on some criticisms I got from some other people.

monseratthefool (http://www.writingforums.com/members/monseratthefool.html) I agree with your opinion of those 2 sentences. Especially the second one. Not only are some of the words inaccessible, but the more I read it, the more I find it to be an ugly setence that needs to be done away with. the first sentence with fulmination, I may keep it because I feel like it flows well and the meaning could be guessed. The second sentence though I will change. I just haven't yet figured out how to do so.

dolphinlee
December 30th, 2012, 03:12 PM
I really like the idea of this story. It was new to me and I wanted more. I liked your characterisation. I particularly liked the ending. It gave me goose bumps. Before you read the comments below know that I would give your story 9/10.

Like some others I found the unusual language made it more difficult to read. The last part, where the language became simpler, was a pleasure toread.

I do find some ofthe words ‘unsuitable’ for the scenes they are describing - which are about young people at school.

I also have problems with how you are using some words.


For our people’s flame, drew first light from liberty’s torch; for our people’s flame, ignited the crucible intertwining smelted fates.

I have no idea what “crucible intertwining smelted fates” means.

Do you mean crucible’s?

To smelt is to extract a metal from its ore the first part of which is melting. So I also have difficulty having something intertwining something that is melted.


He looked like he was having an aneurism.
An aneurism is a blood filled bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Even when one bursts there may be no effect on the person.


Inversely the other half looked livid.
If you are going to use inversely, and I am assuming that you are using it in terms of ‘direct opposite,’ it must be followed by the direct opposite of the previous statement – which was about cracking up. So the sentence should have read
Inversely the other half didn’t. or Inversely the other half didn’tcrack up.

Segrotlo
December 30th, 2012, 04:05 PM
To Dolphinlee: I think I know what was meant -- so if I may I would like to give my opinion.


"I have no idea what “crucible intertwining smelted fates” means."

Catrer is portrayed as an American patriot so I think it fair to say he is making a reference to the idea that America (being a country composed of many cultures) was called at one time a "melting pot". It seems evident from our modern culture that we have adopted music, food, language, among other things from the peoples that have integrated into our society. The crucible is in reference to the common hardships we shared which in many ways gave us identity. Much like a group of strangers trapped in an elevator for a day would feel some bond with each other after they all escaped.

So, I think he means that the fire of freedom and the struggle of the people -- wove our lives together as well as "melded" us into one blended culture, hence, we now share a common "fate". IMO

dolphinlee
December 30th, 2012, 05:41 PM
Segrotlo you may certainly give your opinion. I will allow anyone who uses the word may, instead of can, anything they want.

Thank you. You have put the ideas into words very clearly. Actually I did eventually twig to the melting pot idea. However, it took time to tease the meaning out of the words Zico used. As I tried to explain in my post I think that he used the words incorrectly. As such they do not convey the meaning he intended TO ME. When I read the words I was jolted out of the story and that was why I commented on them.

Zico Cozier
December 30th, 2012, 06:58 PM
I really like the idea of this story. It was new to me and I wanted more. I liked your characterisation. I particularly liked the ending. It gave me goose bumps. Before you read the comments below know that I would give your story 9/10.

Like some others I found the unusual language made it more difficult to read. The last part, where the language became simpler, was a pleasure toread.

I do find some ofthe words ‘unsuitable’ for the scenes they are describing - which are about young people at school.

I also have problems with how you are using some words.



I have no idea what “crucible intertwining smelted fates” means.

Do you mean crucible’s?

To smelt is to extract a metal from its ore the first part of which is melting. So I also have difficulty having something intertwining something that is melted.


An aneurism is a blood filled bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Even when one bursts there may be no effect on the person.


If you are going to use inversely, and I am assuming that you are using it in terms of ‘direct opposite,’ it must be followed by the direct opposite of the previous statement – which was about cracking up. So the sentence should have read
Inversely the other half didn’t. or Inversely the other half didn’tcrack up.

Thank you for the critique. You are right about the technical meaning of the word aneurism and in fact I did doublecheck its meaning before using it. Thing is where I'm from, people use it sometimes to describe getting very very angry but obviously someone can't "look" like they are having an aneurism. I'll rework this.

Which words are unstuitable for describing these kids? i need to know, because I will add meaning to a lot of these things as the story progresses. Some of what I stated however may stand as is.

As for the poem at the start. It is quite vague and I think it's fine that way since poems are often like that. The opening line about white power should pique people's curiousity enough that they should continue even if they don't quite follow the poem's chai of thought. What's important though, is did youat least pick up from the poem why it would potentially be offensive? (apart from the obvious fact that white pride doesn't exist in our current era)

Noctis
December 30th, 2012, 11:58 PM
This is a very well done story, I like the theme and how you portrayed certain aspects in it. When I read "“Global warming or the rapture?” He asked dryly." it made me wonder how it happened and when it did. It is great how you made it the kind of story where it makes you keep wondering what is going to happen or how something happened in it. I really hope to see more from you and maybe more from this story.

Ovaraptor
January 7th, 2013, 12:41 AM
I really don't have much to say other than I am hooked. Yeah.

dolphinlee
January 7th, 2013, 01:25 AM
Which words are unstuitable for describing these kids? i need to know, because I will add meaning to a lot of these things as the story progresses. Some of what I stated however may stand as is.


“And from the crucible emerged the iron branding of freedom, the grooves in its handle sung to a white man’s palm. From —” Carter continued only to be interrupted by a loud screeching noise. The entire class spun around to look at Andrew who’d just sprung out of his seat pushing his desk forward. It made sense: Andrew was the only black guy in class — blacks tended to have less patience for this type of thing. His face, contorted in rage, hinted his imminent fulmination. Just then, Jenna shot to his side and set her hand on his shoulder. Silence reigned as the entire class including Mr. Davis gawked in trance-like anticipation.

Andrew exhaled loudly, then stormed out of the classroom with Jenna at his heels shooting back nasty glares at Carter. Carter feigned nonplused innocence ensnaring a visibly flustered Mr. Davis in his inquisitive stare.


Now this paragraph (below) is just perfect - simple everyday words that are easy to read and draw the reader along.

White issues, are touchy issues in brown America. Lately I feel like everyone around me has gotten super sensitive; so adamant about their beliefs; so worked up about things that just make no sense. I really miss the times when everyone was more easygoing. But, these days, they’re all on edge. I wonder if it’s just that I’m sixteen — and only now starting to notice it, or if today’s doom and gloom simply brings out this side in people.



As for the poem at the start. It is quite vague and I think it's fine that way since poems are often like that. The opening line about white power should pique people's curiousity enough that they should continue even if they don't quite follow the poem's chai of thought. What's important though, is did you at least pick up from the poem why it would potentially be offensive? (apart from the obvious fact that white pride doesn't exist in our current era.

“I — like the few remaining traditional Americans — am proud to be white,”


Oh yes I got it straight away. You managed to put the idea across in a very few words. EXCELLENT!

goreus
January 7th, 2013, 05:36 PM
Hi Zico
There is nothing I can add that has not already been touched upon but to say itwas a fantastic opener for story.
Your style of writing is easy flowing and joy to read
Keep up the good work

Capulet
January 8th, 2013, 07:22 PM
Well written. I read all the way through the section, and it held my attention. I didn't gloss over any paragraphs on my way to the end, as I'm likely to do when things get tedious or bloated.

I actually liked the level this was written at, but like most everyone on here I'm sure my reading level is higher than what will put your story on the best seller's list. If this is going to be a novel, I'd say take the advice given above about word selection. If this is going to be short fiction submitted to something like Analog or OnSpec or similar, I wouldn't dumb it down too much. Readers of dedicated speculative fiction periodicals generally have big vocabularies too, and you can dial it up a bit for them.

The only thing that really stuck with me as a potential issue is the line about global warming or the rapture. Did the rapture actually happen? If not, will it be clear very quickly that this wasn't the case? I ask because it wasn't super-clear it was purely a joke if it was, and those that infer it might actually have happened in the story will be filling in a whole lot of blanks you might (or did!) not have intended.

Please let me know if you publish/post a full version of this. I'm truly curious where this goes.

Cheers

Silen
January 9th, 2013, 11:02 AM
Looking like a good interesting read.
Held attention well.

Any more? :D