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QuentinJW
August 23rd, 2016, 11:49 PM
Frank Sanderson was a rich alcoholic.
Of course, his name wasn't really Frank Sanderson, but he's had to change it so many times no one actually knew what his real name was anymore.
Frank was 32, at the climactic point in his life during which he wasn't quite old buy wasn't quite young. He was rich because he gambled and won every time. He was an alcoholic because he hated that he won every time.
Frank was a good man, don't get me wrong. He started out as a fresh young boy in the rolling farm hills of Jersey, matriculating through average schools at average rates, never sticking out but never under the radar. All in all, Frank was an innocent and unassuming boy. He worked laborious jobs in high school to help pay for his college tuition, and he had aspirations of becoming a lawyer. But poor Frank would never become a lawyer. In fact, Frank would never become anything.

Frank liked magic tricks. It was what got him through the boredom and depression of life- he could do just about any sleigh of hand. He sat in his room, filling the empty hours with card tricks and flying coins. Frank eventually found out about gambling. His family never had enough money, and they always had to ration something or another. So Frank took his magic tricks to a casino to win it big. Here, he became a man of chance.
Frank won every hand in every game. He always matched all the slots in every machine. The dice rolled to the exact numbers he would need to win. Frank never lost.
Frank was curious- beginners luck? But beginners luck would have run out. And the realization hit him, like a truck going full blast- he could manipulate chance. If he wanted, the coin would land on heads. The dice rolled a perfect seven. The cards turned out to be a royal flush. He could win every game of chance, and not with sleight of hand- with his own power.
Frank never quite figured it out. It remained a black mystery to him, an enigmatic thing that would never be understood. Perhaps it was a gift from God, or perhaps a curse. Maybe it was magic, or some primordial force was dicking around in Frank's life. Whatever the reason, Frank never knew.
So he tested his ability- he learned that cards were somehow a broken thing in reality-that was as best as he could explain it- and were never set in stone until they were revealed. Coins were never certain until the flipper removed his hand and showed the coin.
And Frank went on, making thousands in winnings. He could pay for his tuition, help with his parents as they aged into oblivion, but fancy gifts for his short-lived girlfriend. He felt invincible, as though no one could stop him. He was superior to all those he knew, and it gave him immense pleasure to know that he was the containment vessel for such an enigma.
However, Frank's victories would not last. People were angry that he won so much, and they suspected him of somehow breaking the gambling system and stealing their money unfairly. The few angered patrons of the casino turned to a group, then a veritable mob, then a frightening army of angry 30-somethings who wanted their Goddamned money that was swindled from them. Frank feared for the consequences of his chance-altering spree, and his fear spread from him to his family and even his close friends. Alcoholics and drugees frequented casinos, and Frank wasn't sure they had a limit as to what they would do to get their money back. Frank, in a whirlwind of panic, fled from Jersey, never to return. He hit the road for months that passed by without counting, living in libraries and showing at gyms and eating fast food, laying low and hiding from the drugees. There was no where safe left, so Frank decided to take a chance- chances were what he was good at.
He hit Vegas.
He changed his name innumerable times, and he took the fortunes of hundreds, whilst he accumulated millions. He was a lord of the casinos, and indulged greatly. It was now that he became an alcoholic.
Frank would return to his sprawling mansion at midnight, his body slowly coming off cocaine or ecstasy or LSD, then slept with thousand-dollar prostitutes. By morning, the previous nights' girls would be gone, Frank would have a brain-numbing hangover, and he would grab a drink and go out to dick around with more millionaire casino-goers. Afterward, the events would repeat endlessly. It was only until he reached that peak of life, 32, that Frank stopped frequenting casinos. He had accumulated enough wealth to last him the rest of his life. His enigmatic chance-altering abilities were only used for his entertainment, and soon not even that. Frank settled on the name Frank, as it was a safe enough name to continue on with, and lived in the giant house for the rest of his depressed, alcoholic life. There were only 2 things he kept throughout his existence- a pack of cards and a single quarter from Jersey.
He dicked around in depression and alcohol for 30 more years until he died of both self-loathing and numerous complications from ingesting huge amounts of alcohol daily. He lived a reasonably fulfilling life, and up to his last coughing, hacking moments, he was the greatest man of chance the would would ever know.

Jay Greenstein
August 24th, 2016, 02:03 AM
Okay, now you know what kind of person he is, so you have what you need to maintain his character consistency in the story, when you write it.

So write it.

QuentinJW
August 24th, 2016, 02:09 AM
Okay, now you know what kind of person he is, so you have what you need to maintain his character consistency in the story, when you write it.

So write it.

Thanks, I really tried to familiarize the character here but I did however make it a little short, but I did that on purpose even though it rushed the plot.

Tbird0000
August 24th, 2016, 03:24 AM
This is definitely short story material. Might be able to get 20,000-50,000 words out of this guy. There's obviously a lot that can happen in 30 years after swindling some of the biggest casinos in the world. I imagine like a Jason Bourne character but one who is obviously not good at fighting. Maybe he uses his chance to help him get out of situations. But even then, there has to be a problem that even his power might not be able to help him with. Like human factor. He can control cards and coins and money, but what about people? Can he jam the bullet in a gun if its about to shoot someone he loves? Can he stop a car from crashing with his sidekick/best friend behind the wheel. Yes, he has a gift but even the best of powers have their limits.

QuentinJW
August 24th, 2016, 03:29 AM
This is definitely short story material. Might be able to get 20,000-50,000 words out of this guy. There's obviously a lot that can happen in 30 years after swindling some of the biggest casinos in the world. I imagine like a Jason Bourne character but one who is obviously not good at fighting. Maybe he uses his chance to help him get out of situations. But even then, there has to be a problem that even his power might not be able to help him with. Like human factor. He can control cards and coins and money, but what about people? Can he jam the bullet in a gun if its about to shoot someone he loves? Can he stop a car from crashing with his sidekick/best friend behind the wheel. Yes, he has a gift but even the best of powers have their limits.

I was thinking about that too, and I think he could only affect chance to be in his favor, not anyone else's. Like if someone were to, say, assassinate him via sniper, he would suddenly see a dollar on the street and bend over to pick it up, thus the bullet goes by him and he is unscathed. However, if his best friend were to get into a car crash, it would only help if Frank were also in the car or something. That way, it's still useful as crap but not super powerful.

Tbird0000
August 24th, 2016, 03:37 AM
My thoughts exactly. There could be a lot of tragedy and hurt in the story because he spent so many years screwing the wrong people over. You could either end up with a lonely man who dies alone. Or you could end up with a man who somehow beat the odds completely and overcame all the bad guys somehow. Know what I mean?

Either way, this story is too short for what its worth and there's a lot to be done here. Keep working on it if you feel so inclined :)

MrTickle
August 24th, 2016, 02:30 PM
I find this piece interesting. I like the way this story has a twist on the gambling addict, because you always see the gambler lose and become depressed. They always hope one day they will win and become happy. But in your story, the gambler always wins, and he is still unhappy. I think it concludes gambling is corrosive no matter win or lose.

Now I always hate to give writers advice as to where to make their story head to next, but it would be interesting if this piece explored the unfulfilling/unhappiness Frank feels when he wins.

Anyway, good luck with your writing, I look forward to reading more!

QuentinJW
August 24th, 2016, 02:55 PM
My thoughts exactly. There could be a lot of tragedy and hurt in the story because he spent so many years screwing the wrong people over. You could either end up with a lonely man who dies alone. Or you could end up with a man who somehow beat the odds completely and overcame all the bad guys somehow. Know what I mean?

Either way, this story is too short for what its worth and there's a lot to be done here. Keep working on it if you feel so inclined :)

Yeah, I'm writing a longer and more involved story in a notebook at the moment and I'll probably post that when I finish it. I think that yes, there is a lot of tragedy to be had. For example, he could never have love because of how many people hate him, and he can't go out anymore because just about everyone that there is to possibly rob had been robbed by Frank. He'd probably end up with some kind of post-traumatic stress, so I think I've given myself a lot of stuff to work with.

QuentinJW
August 24th, 2016, 03:16 PM
I find this piece interesting. I like the way this story has a twist on the gambling addict, because you always see the gambler lose and become depressed. They always hope one day they will win and become happy. But in your story, the gambler always wins, and he is still unhappy. I think it concludes gambling is corrosive no matter win or lose.

Now I always hate to give writers advice as to where to make their story head to next, but it would be interesting if this piece explored the unfulfilling/unhappiness Frank feels when he wins.

Anyway, good luck with your writing, I look forward to reading more!

Thanks for the feedback, though I'm not sure if it would fit with the general theme of the story- it's not necessarily the gambling that is making him depressed, it's the fact that the consequences of what he is doing is depressing. Though the thought that gambling itself is a corrosive thing for him IS a good idea and totally could be used, in this instance it's not the thing itself, it's the aftermath that affects him. Thanks though, I might include that in my revised version.

Bard_Daniel
August 25th, 2016, 01:25 AM
Hey Quentin!

You have the basic essentials to a good story here. Two little nitpicks were in the first paragraph you used "he" in succession a little too quickly and in one of your paragraphs you used "but fancy gifts for his short-lived girlfriend," when you meant buy. A bigger gripe is that this story seems to tell everything, albeit well, when you could be showing it. There is a lot of potential here. You came up with a great concept and I think it would be good, and/or better, if you expand your idea. The diagram for the story is there, you just need to work it.

Just my opinion. Thanks for sharing!

wainscottbl
August 26th, 2016, 02:06 AM
So far, I like it. It's charming. It's not repetitive, even though it is. It's a good repetitive. But the formatting. Can you fix that? If you pasted from Word, use the little Word icon at the top of the box (you may have to "go advanced") to do it, and then make so you have proper space between paragraphs (one empty space). I like it, but the formatting really distracts.

Quality wise, the voice is excellent. It engages. Frank was this, Frank was that, Frank was, Frank was...but that's good. I like Frank.I say keep going with this.

QuentinJW
August 26th, 2016, 02:09 AM
So far, I like it. It's charming. It's not repetitive, even though it is. It's a good repetitive. But the formatting. Can you fix that? If you pasted from Word, use the little Word icon at the top of the box (you may have to "go advanced") to do it, and then make so you have proper space between paragraphs (one empty space). I like it, but the formatting really distracts.

Quality wise, the voice is excellent. It engages. Frank was this, Frank was that, Frank was, Frank was...but that's good. I like Frank.I say keep going with this.

Sorry about the formatting, I write everything on my phone and it gets pretty jammed up, so I guess it messes with formats. Anyways, thanks for the feedback, always appreciate it :)