View Full Version : Drive Out to Eden (language, drugs, 455 words)

Jeff C
October 14th, 2014, 04:41 AM
Had an idea for a new story and possibly might make this my first attempt at a novel. The general concept is there's a teenage boy who's about to graduate high school. He's 18 and has been in the drug game since his freshman year. He pretty much controls the drug traffic in his city and continues to want more power and control, quite ambitious for such a young guy. He has it all, what could possibly go wrong? Just one more year until he can branch out, leave his parent's house and move out on his own. But how will the rest of the world see this new comer? He stands with no equal in his rural city, but there's always a bigger fish.

I really need opinions on the dialogue and of course the story idea as well. And if I'm doing anything weird with my tenses? The first two lines would be a prologue of sorts. Do you need to put quotations around internal dialogue?

The truth?...I don’t know why we did it.

Maybe it was an inner desire to be recognized, to not die a loser...I never thought it would get this out of control. I never thought it’d end like this...

“Wake up!”

“I’m awake you ass, stop poking me.”

I rubbed my eyes trying to regain some sense of what was happening.

“Don’t speak to me like that. You need to be paying attention to this, we all need to be taking notes; this could really help us all out.”

It was our high school’s annual Drug Awareness Week. I’ve sat through this shit 3 times...3 years...I’m a senior, come on...How many times do they really need to keep on repeating the same statistics? Over and over and over...really? You think if we wanted to change, we would, ya know? But no, let’s bring in police officers to speak about how we’re going to get arrested and how us “pretty boys” aren’t going to like jail. Give me a break.

All this week really does is give me some better insight on how to get around these so called “officers of the law”. I have a quarter of the police force on payroll and they still want to come into my school and act as though they’re trying to protect us and win the war on drugs...Well then.

“You can sit back down. I’m taking some notes.”

Mr. Geleskie stood sternly looking over me. He hated the way I talked to him.

He glanced back at the officer at the front of the room.

“Sorry for the interruption Officer Brady, continue.”

“No problem at all. Now as I was saying. Criminals have come up with some very ingenious ways to conceal drugs.”

I couldn’t help but think to myself, no shit Sherlock.

“They create secret compartments in their vehicles. I’ve even seen marijuana stuffed inside acoustic guitars...”

I zoned out at this point. What was I saying about hearing this same lecture 3 years in a row? Pointless.

The first time I ever sat through the lecture, I scribbled away, taking notes; really just writing down what the officer said verbatim. I wanted to know anything that would help to stay one step ahead of the police. Even after hearing that first lecture I couldn’t help but think, what idiot would be stupid enough to have drugs on him at any point. There’s a reason these criminals end up in prison...They’re stupid. Then you look at the Cartel and other places around the world. Their leaders aren’t just drug lords; they’re politicians, mercenaries, they have the influence and power to manipulate the playing field to better fit their needs. That’s what I wanted.

October 14th, 2014, 05:15 AM
I think it has potential. The main character started to be interesting to me in the last paragraph.

The important question is if this idea inspires you to write more.

October 14th, 2014, 06:21 AM
I would like to read more of this. I didn't have any issues with the dialogue or your tenses. I will definitely watch for a follow up.

Jeff C
October 14th, 2014, 02:27 PM
I think it has potential. The main character started to be interesting to me in the last paragraph.

The important question is if this idea inspires you to write more.

It does! This is an unedited version of course, but I just sat down and wrote that in about 10 minutes. Then went back and made a plot outline to give myself some direction after that. If it took you until the last paragraph to want to keep going though, I probably need to come up with a better hook of some sort.

And thanks Clepto!

This would definitely be targeted towards a young adult/teen. Probably not something an older crowd would be interested in reading. The Outsiders is honestly what inspired me, this would just be more modern and more "criminal" if you will. Similar themes of love, loss, and a feeling of desperation, with a different storyline.

October 14th, 2014, 11:37 PM
I enjoyed The Outsiders immensely. Honestly though sometimes I don't decide whether or not I want to continue reading something until the end of the first chapter.

Trying to force a hook in earlier may just end up badly for you, the writer, and us, the readers.

October 15th, 2014, 12:28 AM
Hi Jeff

Interesting idea! Only thing I would say is that the line
Don’t speak to me like that. You need to be paying attention to this, we all need to be taking notes; this could really help us all out. sounds like its coming from a student rather than a teacher. If you make it "you should all be taking notes, this could really help you out" it would sound more like its coming from a position of authority.

Really looking forward to seeing where this goes ^^

Jeff C
October 15th, 2014, 07:22 PM
You are very right MousePot, thank you for catching that. I have a nasty habit of doing things like that, hopefully as I write more those kind of mistakes will subside.

I started work on finishing the first chapter last night, those interested in doing a read through, let me know! I can PM or email you a copy to read through this weekend or maybe early next week depending on when I finish. I will definitely not be posting the whole thing on here :lol:

October 15th, 2014, 09:04 PM
I had a problem with the line

I have a quarter of the police force on payroll and they still want to come into my school and act as though they’re trying to protect us and win the war on drugs...Well then.

I can picture a kid wanting to make his own way, but being from a rural town, that has had its share of meth. Cops would never trust a young kid when it came to taking a bribe or lets just say a gift. I would run with the idea that they always under estimated him or because he was clean cut, or cut him a brake because he came from the right family. Here if your dad is an important person and your a star player on the football team you will get away with more than you could in any other fashion.

Just a thought, the best written story has to be believable ...Bob

October 16th, 2014, 03:15 AM
Bob: It struck me as more of a comment on the police themselves acting like they were trying to keep people off drugs with one hand while taking bribes from a drug organization with the other.

If you really wanted to change it you could always have the kid sending his henchmen/lieutenants/trusted criminal buddies to these hand offs. I don't know. If I were to create a large drug cartel I would never be the one close to the drugs or the money hand offs.

October 16th, 2014, 03:26 AM
There is appetizing potential to this idea that I would rather focus on it than the prose for now.

One thing I want you to understand (if you do not already) is that you have set the stage for a protagonist with moral ambiguity. I do not see this often enough in popular culture--- and there are reasons for that I could get into; the hills and valleys through which such a character can steer the plot--- if you allow him--- can make your story unpredictable and unforgettable.

Also note, but I'm sure you have, that this individual is still in a developmental phase of his life (full self-awareness does not generally set in until the age of 20 or 21, but there are exceptions) and character growth is something readers will be expecting (though I acknowledge that you do not seem to be pushing for a "coming of age" piece).

Meeting this character makes me wonder, as I often do of the ambitious: what does he ultimately want--- power over others, security within himself? Is he a sociopath? Would he put his ambitions before all whom he loves?

I think this is the kind of story where the desires (and mistakes) of the protagonist(s) should be what drives the plot. I would spend some time writing about this guy, get to know him--- don't worry about in what part of the story said writing ends up or if it ends up there at all.

As for the opener, I'd say it's a good place to begin his journey. Aside from being ironic, there is space for smooth exposition and interaction between the main character and the important characters for the time: his friends, love interest perhaps, his teachers and the law. The prose needs work, but that's far from important at this stage of the game. Brainstorming is what you need.

October 16th, 2014, 02:35 PM
I like the idea, as far as you've explained here. It's what I'd call a maverick story, one that might even annoy some readers. GOOD! Annoy them, he-he. First, though, I'd test the waters with a short story rather than putting all that effort into a novel.

Personally, I don't trust statistics. They're too easy to adjust to fit your personal mold. If General Motors wanted to see how a new vehicle would be accepted, they'd try for an honest reaction. After all, billions of dollars would be involved. They'd want the truth. However, many statistical studies are made to prove a point. Those are always suspect. Among those are the ones on tobacco and other drugs.

Personally, I've known many "users" of what I'd call traditional drugs, meaning pot, cocaine, and opium and its derivatives. Many of them have -- or had -- used those drugs for many years and were still fully functional members of society with no wish to quit. Those were also the ones who could afford their habits. There's a difference between a casual user and a habitual addict.

I'm not trying to argue, but if you're really intending it as a "maverick" story, I think you should add something about those millions of satisfied "users" rather than only "addicts" and losers. There is and will always be people who misuse any substance that gives pleasure. No way around that. I believe a lot of our illegal drug problems are caused more by cost than deliberate misuse.

Oh, and my disclaimer. Can't forget that. The last illegal drug I've used was one joint of marijuana about forty or forty-five years ago. Also, I'm not in that scene any longer and not in any way acquainted with the newer drugs.

That would help stir things up, he-he.