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glenn84
December 8th, 2013, 08:37 PM
delete

Tbird0000
December 10th, 2013, 06:59 AM
Very interesting concept. Sounded familar for some reason but I cant place my finger on it. Kind of like when Agent Smith took over the body of that guy in the Matrix 2 so he could escape the Matrix. But I do like it.

glenn84
December 10th, 2013, 09:38 AM
Glad you liked it. Yes! I do remember that from the Matrix. Agent Smith took the guy's body over so he could kill Neo. It was short lived on his part, however. Good find.

Robdemanc
December 10th, 2013, 03:42 PM
Compelling story and some very good dialogue, especially between Kyle and his wife.

I am not sure what happened to Kyle at the end and am assuming Ray somehow closed him into the virtual world. There is also the implication this will happen in many other homes. I am also wondering if Ray has given Kyles wife a baby???

One issue - the wife and the girlfriends were shopping like a pack of hungry wolves???? This made me laugh. Do you intend such an extreme comparison?

Another issue I had - Grinning ear to ear - sounds too cliche and does not give anything to the ending. I wonder if you want the ending to be somehow sinister? Perhaps use a different term for his grin, or smile at the end.

glenn84
December 10th, 2013, 09:12 PM
Thanks for reading, and I'm thrilled you found it engrossing, Rob.

As for the fate of Kyle and how Margaret ended up pregnant, I wanted to leave those two things unanswered, so that the reader could decide for themselves what really happened. I give some clues towards the end as to what those answers may be, but never elaborate on them.

The whole thing with the wife and girlfriends shopping like a pack of hungry wolves--yes, I intended it that way, to show the reader how fed up the MC is with her wife and her mundane lifestyle.

I agree with you on the cliche phrase 100 %, so I changed it to "smiling the night away."

Again, thanks for taking the time to read my story and for providing much needed input.

Robdemanc
December 10th, 2013, 10:08 PM
I would just use the word "smiling" and forget the "night away" bit. It depends what you intend of it, I somehow think you want to give a sinister ending so the reader is left wondering why Ray/Kyle, whoever it is, is smiling. What have they done? What are they planning?

It is almost like the virtual world intends to take over the real world. And that is a very good premise.

The story as a whole flows very well and I did find it engrossing. The "pack of wolves" bit makes sense in that its the husbands attitude. Great stuff.

glenn84
December 10th, 2013, 10:25 PM
How does "smirking in the darkness" sound to you?

Elvenswordsman
December 10th, 2013, 10:26 PM
Sounds pretty good.

glenn84
December 10th, 2013, 10:29 PM
Thanks! :nevreness:

Robdemanc
December 11th, 2013, 10:43 AM
Smirking implies he is up to something for sure. I like it, but I would leave it at that and not include "in the darkness".

glenn84
December 11th, 2013, 06:33 PM
You know what, you're right. I've read it about a thousand times already with just "smirking," and it seems to hold more weight by itself. Unbelievable, how one sentence can take up so much of one's time. Thanks Rob.

Robdemanc
December 11th, 2013, 06:48 PM
Yeah, that sounds really sinister. Less is more.

glenn84
December 11th, 2013, 11:21 PM
Rob, do you think this phrase "ONCE YOU BOOT IN YOU WON’T WANT TO BOOT OUT" gives away the ending in any way?

Robdemanc
December 12th, 2013, 11:21 AM
Not really. It is typical of what is written on products/adverts. I think early on in the story I had an idea the game was somehow going to take over Kyle but I didn't imagine Ray was going to replace him in the real world.

I think you should send it to an online magazine and see if they'd like to publish. I reckon its good enough.

glenn84
December 12th, 2013, 08:08 PM
Thanks for your honest feedback Rob, I'm gonna go ahead and do just that!

glenn84
December 18th, 2013, 08:16 PM
Went ahead and made some alterations to the story. I feel it's a bit more fleshed out and the conflict between the MC and the antagonist is resolved in more detail. Let me know what you guys think!

Robdemanc
December 19th, 2013, 04:00 PM
"And with a wave of his hand and a snap of his fingers Ray was gone, never to return to the screams, the horrifying sights and sounds that would make their new home in the Virtual World."

This line got me. What is meant by the screams, the horrifying sights etc.?

Other than that it is spot on.

glenn84
December 19th, 2013, 10:06 PM
You're right, maybe I should take that line out. Too vague. You know how Kyle recalls the line of men at the electronics store waiting to buy the game? Well, the horrifying sights and sounds will be all those men that get stuck in the virtual world. And instead of nice places, it will turn into a nightmare of sorts. No more happy AI, just miserable men.

Badhorses Mare
December 20th, 2013, 04:16 AM
I'm a fan! I like the concept of switching for the greater good of humanity and machines. As well as point you make (or at least as I read it) about doing onto others. Relationships take a lot of work and if you slack it will cause problems. You have to take the initiative and put in effort.

glenn84
December 20th, 2013, 04:53 PM
That's exactly what I was going for! You hit it on the nail. Bravo, Bravo. :-D

Foxee
December 20th, 2013, 05:53 PM
Hey, glenn, I stopped by a couple days ago and read this. I enjoyed the premise quite a bit.

I wasn't sure what an 'ice cream suit' was exactly.

It was difficult to like Margaret though that actually kind of worked. If she'd been a super nice person I might have had a lot more sympathy for her that her husband had been swapped out. As it is, the joke is kind of on her but will she ever really notice? Probably not.

The writing could use some tightening and smoothing. For instance, you'll give a simile, we get it, and then you'll also explain it:

He cradled the box in his hands like a mother would hold her newborn baby: not too tight but not too careless either.

...everything just collapsed, like someone removing that one pivotal card from a house of cards; the one that sends the entire thing crashing down to the ground. Hours upon hours of stacking each card up, perfectly, artful like, only to have all that hard work undone by one clumsy move.
Fifty words in this quoted portion in order to explain the idea of collapsing. The pivotal card removed from the house of cards is enough by itself. "Everything just collapsed." is enough by itself, don't belabor the point unless you are trying to do so for effect.

Be careful with body parts, they can take on a life of their own:

Her blue eyes gazed down on him, then, seeming thoroughly convinced by his explanation, moved towards him, hands in front, head turned sideways, as if to keep this imaginary sickness from jumping onto her like some poisonous spider.
This is a wordy way of saying that she was convinced and that she moved toward him without wanting to catch his flu. It's even awkward as far as letting us know she has blue eyes.
First, the eye thing. What you are going for here, is expressing that she is convinced and he can tell. Telling us that she has blue eyes is a detail that isn't totally necessary unless it's suddenly significant to him. And eyes (or any body part) shouldn't do things on their own, it's creepy. The rest of the sentence is striving to show her body language. Having her come toward him doesn't make a ton of sense if she's showing that she's afraid of the germs. Possibly simplify the whole thing something like this.

He tried to look pathetic as possible until she stepped back, out of range of imaginary germs.

Sorry, don't have time for a line-by-line crit but I hope that this helps you out. The same ideas I have put here could be applied to the rest of the story as well.

Robdemanc
December 20th, 2013, 06:41 PM
You're right, maybe I should take that line out. Too vague. You know how Kyle recalls the line of men at the electronics store waiting to buy the game? Well, the horrifying sights and sounds will be all those men that get stuck in the virtual world. And instead of nice places, it will turn into a nightmare of sorts. No more happy AI, just miserable men.

Yeah I figured it would end up with the VR world full of other men like Kyle, but I wondered why suddenly it would be horrific. Maybe it would be ok, especially if they could create some VR babes for themselves....

glenn84
December 20th, 2013, 07:08 PM
Hey, glenn, I stopped by a couple days ago and read this. I enjoyed the premise quite a bit.

I wasn't sure what an 'ice cream suit' was exactly.

It was difficult to like Margaret though that actually kind of worked. If she'd been a super nice person I might have had a lot more sympathy for her that her husband had been swapped out. As it is, the joke is kind of on her but will she ever really notice? Probably not.

The writing could use some tightening and smoothing. For instance, you'll give a simile, we get it, and then you'll also explain it:


Fifty words in this quoted portion in order to explain the idea of collapsing. The pivotal card removed from the house of cards is enough by itself. "Everything just collapsed." is enough by itself, don't belabor the point unless you are trying to do so for effect.

Be careful with body parts, they can take on a life of their own:

This is a wordy way of saying that she was convinced and that she moved toward him without wanting to catch his flu. It's even awkward as far as letting us know she has blue eyes.
First, the eye thing. What you are going for here, is expressing that she is convinced and he can tell. Telling us that she has blue eyes is a detail that isn't totally necessary unless it's suddenly significant to him. And eyes (or any body part) shouldn't do things on their own, it's creepy. The rest of the sentence is striving to show her body language. Having her come toward him doesn't make a ton of sense if she's showing that she's afraid of the germs. Possibly simplify the whole thing something like this.

He tried to look pathetic as possible until she stepped back, out of range of imaginary germs.

Sorry, don't have time for a line-by-line crit but I hope that this helps you out. The same ideas I have put here could be applied to the rest of the story as well.

Thank you for reading Foxee and for all the wonderful feedback you've provided. Definitely will be cutting back on the word count.

glenn84
December 20th, 2013, 07:09 PM
Yeah I figured it would end up with the VR world full of other men like Kyle, but I wondered why suddenly it would be horrific. Maybe it would be ok, especially if they could create some VR babes for themselves....

Ha! Now there's an idea for a story! ;-)

MyloAyjack
December 20th, 2013, 10:12 PM
Entertaining concept. There's moral to this story, I see. I like the fresh take on an old adage.

glenn84
January 1st, 2014, 08:07 AM
OK, I think I've finally finished this story. I've gotten a lot of great feedback on the confrontation at the end with the MC and the A.I. Most readers have said that they wanted a fight between the two. So I added it at the end. Let me know if it's to your liking.