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TheRedSharpie
June 4th, 2016, 08:42 PM
I'd lost count of the times I'd stared death in the face. fortunately, it didn't seem to like the look of me.
At least, that was before I met Luke Runner.

For starters, there was no chance I could forget the last time I’d been on an aeroplane.
Our throats was hoarse from screaming, I remember that: a hideous sensation, as though somebody as stuffed dry leaves down my oesophagus until I couldn’t breathe any more, let alone make a sound.
The men and women had been on the plane from the beginning. One of them brushed against me as I sat down, their medical uniform rubbing against my skin. God knows why they wore those – if they were going to kiss us better, it would be with the muzzle of a rifle. Cold iron against the side of my head, the rim of the gun stroking around my ear. It’s not a feeling one forgets.
They worked their way up the aisle almost methodically, as if this whole thing had been carefully planned, which I suppose in a way it had. One bullet per passenger was obviously their scheme, and maybe a couple extra for the pilots, to make sure they weren’t flying anything any time soon. Every single one of those men and women carried a gun clenched in their white fingers, though some seemed more hesitant to shoot than others, and some of them looked as terrified as I was, which was pretty damn terrified. They were about ten metres from where Dad and Gerry and I were. We couldn’t move, trapped in our little row of seats. There was nowhere to run.
Then, with force that flung us from our seats, the plane suddenly tilted downwards to a soundtrack of gunshots from the main cabin. It was a sharp nosedive that brought fresh terror, and unguarded fear along with it, and it was then I started screaming like I’d never screamed before, when I looked out of the window and instead of fields and trees and lakes I could just see sky sky sky. I was yelling out for Dad, and for the mother I never knew, and maybe even just a little bit for my brother.
And the men were getting closer. I ducked down behind my seat, scraping against the cheap leather, and looked through the gap – sickened, but unable to turn away. And then, quite suddenly, I was pulled up by my coat along with Dad and my brother.
I screamed again, the noise rattling in my throat, as cold metal pressed against the side of my head. “Somebody help me!”
“Phew, you’re not one of them. For God’s sake, shut up!” said a female voice loudly, warm breath in my ear, and the gun was removed.
“Don’t kill me, please don’t kill me…” I pleaded, unable to see her from my position, “Just don’t, please…”
“Let me go!” I heard Gerry yelling angrily, and I recall Dad struggling beside me.
The woman swore. “I’m trying to help you! Quick, or they’ll see what we’re doing!” I was yanked round into a standing position, and looked up to see the small, dark-haired woman who’d been sitting next to me looking absolutely exasperated. She suddenly passed all of us what looked strangely like rucksacks. “This a parachute. I’ve got one, too.”
“Oh my God, oh my God, I can’t…” I muttered, but Dad and Gerry were already strapping theirs on.
“Come on, Tally!” Dad yelled at me over everybody else’s shouts.
She pressed the parachute into my hands firmly. “You can, you can. Okay, I’m going to open that door and we’re going to jump. You pull that toggle when you need the parachute to open. Just do it.”
And she ran to the other side of the plane, somehow without the terrorists seeing her and shooting her down, and pulled open the door. The cabin filled with noise, and with the terrorists distracted by the disturbance, we hurried across the aisle after the woman. She looked at me, and smiled suddenly. “I’ll see you down there.” And she jumped. Just like that. Like there was nothing to it.
“You too.” I said to the empty air, and followed suit, with Dad and Gerry close behind.
I never saw her again.

afk4life
June 5th, 2016, 04:12 PM
Your opening sentence works really well. The writing in the rest is really good, but I'm rather confused about why he (I'm guessing it's a he?) was on the airplane in the first place. That's basically the only major problem I see with the storytelling, you're very good with descriptions and I like your style of writing a lot, but as for context, you've lost me a bit. One factual problem: it's physically impossible to open a plane at cruising altitude. Not just mechanical locks that are in place, but the cabin's pressurized which makes it impossible.

Minor grammar issue:


Our throats was hoarse from screaming

should be were hoarse.

TheRedSharpie
June 5th, 2016, 08:34 PM
Your opening sentence works really well. The writing in the rest is really good, but I'm rather confused about why he (I'm guessing it's a he?) was on the airplane in the first place. That's basically the only major problem I see with the storytelling, you're very good with descriptions and I like your style of writing a lot, but as for context, you've lost me a bit. One factual problem: it's physically impossible to open a plane at cruising altitude. Not just mechanical locks that are in place, but the cabin's pressurized which makes it impossible.

Minor grammar issue:



should be were hoarse.

Thanks for your feedback. Actually, it's a she - how can I make this clearer?

DruidPeter
June 5th, 2016, 10:55 PM
Hello, The Red Sharpie! My comments are in Red. :D

* * *
I'd lost count of the times I'd stared death in the face. fortunately, it didn't seem to like the look of me. It's strange to have the opening paragraph of your first chapter be so short

At least, that was before I met Luke Runner. This sentence would work better as part of your first paragraph.

For starters, there was no chance I could forget the last time I’d been on an aeroplane. Hmm... this paragraph works as a transition, but I'm not sure I like the feel of it. You could remove the first two words, and simply have "There was no chance...", etc, or simply delete this paragraph entirely.

Our throats was hoarse from screaming(This is probably where you should really begin your chapter. This sentence works as an extremely effective hook.), I remember that:(Unusual place for a colon. It's not incorrect, but would probably flow better if you keep this as one sentence with two verbs.)a hideous sensation, as though somebody as stuffed dry leaves down my oesophagus until I couldn’t breathe any more, let alone make a sound. A very graphic feeling. But it doesn't seem like you make much use of this "hideous sensation," elsewhere in the story. Why tell us, then?

The men and women had been on the plane from the beginning. One of them brushed against me as I sat down, their medical uniform(Medical Uniform? I'm intrigued.) rubbing against my skin. God knows why they wore those – if they were going to kiss us better, it would be with the muzzle of a rifle(??!?). Cold iron against the side of my head, the rim of the gun stroking around my ear. It’s not a feeling one forgets. Again, you end your paragraph strong, with a solid and haunting image, but it doesn't seem connected with the rest of the story. At what point in this chapter does your main character *actually* have a gun to their head? You don't mention or take this into account ever again in the rest of the chapter.

They worked their way up the aisle almost methodically, as if this whole thing had been carefully planned, which I suppose in a way it had.(Expanding this sentence into several paragraphs, detailing just how the hijackers are able to pull all of this off without mass panic, would help the reader better grasp this situation. Right now, it's difficult to place just where everything is.) One bullet per passenger was obviously their scheme(Obviously? This sounds like something someone with only Hollywood experience of Hijackings would say. It would make sense, since your main character seems to be a kid, but you as the author should have full knowledge of when your narrator is inaccurate or not, and I'm not sure you do in this case.) , and maybe a couple extra for the pilots, to make sure they weren’t flying anything any time soon. (Again, doesn't seem realistic. Especially if these hijackers are professionals. And are they all wearing nurses uniforms?) Every single one of those men and women carried a gun clenched in their white fingers(A very strong image, but it doesn't seem appropriate here. Why would every one of them "clench" their gun in their fingers? Clenching indicates a high level of frustration or stress. That is, the "clenching" is a sort of body language that tells that the person is struggling to maintain control. It usually wouldn't happen in large groups at the same time, and thus doesn't seem appropriate here.) , though some seemed more hesitant to shoot than others, and some of them looked as terrified as I was(Oh? Interesting...), which was pretty damn terrified. They were about ten metres from where Dad and Gerry and I were. We couldn’t move, trapped in our little row of seats. There was nowhere to run.

Then, with force that flung us from our seats, the plane suddenly tilted downwards to a soundtrack of gunshots from the main cabin. It was a sharp nosedive that brought fresh terror, and unguarded fear along with it, and it was then I started screaming like I’d never screamed before, when I looked out of the window and instead of fields and trees and lakes I could just see sky sky sky. I was yelling out for Dad, and for the mother I never knew, and maybe even just a little bit for my brother. They not only killed the pilots, but also disabled the autopilot? Oh my...


And the men were getting closer. I ducked down behind my seat, scraping against the cheap leather, and looked through the gap – sickened, but unable to turn away. And then, quite suddenly, I was pulled up by my coat along with Dad and my brother. Very nerve wracking. You keep the tension up pretty high in these later paragraphs. Excellent.

I screamed again, the noise rattling in my throat, as cold metal pressed against the side of my head. “Somebody help me!” You could probably combine this paragraph and the previous one.

“Phew, you’re not one of them. For God’s sake, shut up!” said a female voice loudly, warm breath in my ear, and the gun was removed. "Not one of them?" The plot thickens... is this woman part of the hijackers? It doesn't seem like she would be a regular passenger, as the hijackers would already easily recognizable as having guns. Then again, this woman doesn't seem to have a gun. Also, it's unlikely anyone would mistake a kid crying underneath his seat as an Hijacker... which means when she says, "you're not one of them", something else is going on... Maybe this "hijacking" isn't a "hijacking" at all?


“Don’t kill me, please don’t kill me…” I pleaded, unable to see her from my position, “Just don’t, please…”
“Let me go!” I heard Gerry yelling angrily, and I recall Dad struggling beside me.
The woman swore. “I’m trying to help you! Quick, or they’ll see what we’re doing!”(Oh. So she *is* a passenger. Why would she mistake the main character as possibly being one of them? It's difficult to say without knowing the positioning of everything better.) I was yanked round into a standing position, and looked up to see the small, dark-haired woman who’d been sitting next to me looking absolutely exasperated.(Exasperated? That's an odd emotion for someone to display during a plane Hijacking, unless she's actually the mastermind of the operation, and is pissed off that her men aren't doing things right, or something...) She suddenly passed all of us what looked strangely like rucksacks. “This a parachute. I’ve got one, too.”

“Oh my God, oh my God, I can’t…” I muttered, but Dad and Gerry were already strapping theirs on.

“Come on, Tally!” Dad yelled at me over everybody else’s shouts.

She pressed the parachute into my hands firmly. “You can, you can. Okay, I’m going to open that door and we’re going to jump. You pull that toggle when you need the parachute to open. Just do it.” Stranger by the minute. She's not part of the hijackers, or else she is, but is about to abandon ship. She's brought some parachutes on board, multiple parachutes, in fact. Why save the lives of three random people? Did she know that she was looking for three people to save? She's very calm. Interesting...

And she ran to the other side of the plane, somehow without the terrorists seeing her and shooting her down, and pulled open the door. The cabin filled with noise, and with the terrorists distracted by the disturbance, we hurried across the aisle after the woman. She looked at me, and smiled suddenly. “I’ll see you down there.” And she jumped. Just like that. Like there was nothing to it. (Aha! Obviously, this woman is the next Laura Croft! :D Ok, bad joke. Seems this is the climax of the chapter. We're almost done.)


“You too.” I said to the empty air, and followed suit, with Dad and Gerry close behind.
I never saw her again. Dun, Dun, DUNNNN... :D


General Remarks

I suspect that you may be having trouble with this story, TheRedSharpie. The details of this particular scene are fairly action packed, and also raise a lot of questions, which in general is very good in a story. However, the manner in which you've written this, the particular way in which the questions arise, lends an air of uncertainty as to whether the author really knows where they are going with the narrative. In other words, it doesn't feel like these are questions to which the author already knows the answer, and as a result, the reader is unsure of whether to trust that you know what you're doing.

And I think that is the largest problem, here. You're very strong in maintaining a consistent thread of narrative. You have strong images, and are quite capable of presenting an intriguing, interesting, and compelling narrative within a single scene. What I feel is lacking, however, is that your abilities don't seem like the mature result of a carefully crafted narrative. Instead, it feels like you wrote an action scene for the sake of writing an action scene, and have decided to figure out how it fits within a larger narrative later on down the road.

I'm not sure how t put it... it just doesn't feel like you yourself know who this woman is, or why this airplane is being hijacked, or why you included the main character's father and brother in this action yet gave them so little to do. It may be, however, that you do know all the answers to these questions, and have put forth a lot of forethought into how you will be revealing the long thread of your story. In which case, please correct me.

Nevertheless, it doesn't feel like it, at least not to me as a reader. You're an excellent writer. You're particularly good at pacing and at conveying a series of actions, but maybe haven't quite mastered other elements of story telling. I apologize if any of this seems mean or brusque to you. I assure you, that isn't my intention. In any case, I would nevertheless encourage you to continue on with this story, to see if you can take this scene and turn something definite out of it.

Despite my hesitance to trust the narrator, I will admit that I am intrigued to find out just how this situation came about, who the woman was that saved the main character's life, and where this story is going to go from here.

afk4life
June 5th, 2016, 10:57 PM
That's probably just my assumption, but you could have her do something make it more clear. Like claw at one of them or think about clawing their eyes out maybe?


Thanks for your feedback. Actually, it's a she - how can I make this clearer?

Bard_Daniel
June 6th, 2016, 09:02 PM
I think that you're having trouble with the story as well-- I think it shows. DruidPeter has offered some great suggestions here to improve your story. I think you maybe tried to rush forward and put too much too suddenly. There seems to be the spark of something interesting and good here but I think you need to look at what you want to accomplish and take it a little slower if you want to maximize the potential of your scene. Also, it's REALLY important to draw your reader in for your first chapter.

Just my two cents! Keep on writing!