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Thread: Ambush (Short)

  1. #21
    People are still commenting! I'm tempted to rewrite this into a proper short, after almost a year of writing progression.

  2. #22
    This is really choppy. I think that a better use of commas would be really nice (there is almost none), rather than the sentence fragments you currently have.

  3. #23
    The way this piece is written reminds me of a journalist on a "ride along" with a convoy of troops moving into a possible "hotspot" in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's choppy, yes and grammatical style is almost nonexistent, but that seems to me the way a journalist might try to scribble down his descriptive thoughts of this attack in the hope, if he survives, to flesh out the story once safely back in the "green zone" or base camp. You have constructed your framework, now, if you have plans for this storyline, is the time to flesh out the characters, the sights, sounds, smells, etc. Writing is about creating a visual in the mind of the reader. Use all your senses, they are the tools that involve your audience. You're on the right track and I would say full steam ahead. rainyman76

  4. #24
    Member Laughing Duck 137z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brarca View Post
    This is really choppy. I think that a better use of commas would be really nice (there is almost none), rather than the sentence fragments you currently have.
    He did say he wrote it at 2 in the morning. Plus in my perspective when I write something, I immediately read over it twice and think I've got it right. When I look at it two weeks later I see all it's flaws.

  5. #25
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    Oh, yes, BobtailCon. I can equate. I sometimes rode shotgun on such convoys way back in Vietnam. I was never in an actual ambush in that duty but was sniped at more than once. I recall one time:
    We'd just arrived at a small base up by the DMZ, when a private jumped up the running board of my still moving five-ton truck.
    "Seen action, uh, Sarge?"
    I shook my head. "Nope."
    When we finally backed into a supply bunker, he called me out to show me a bullet hole in the passenger door. If I'd been in one of the lighter deuce and a half trucks, it would have gone right through, into my side.

    As you can figure, I was plenty nervous during the rest of that mission.

    My first tour there was in, I think, 1964. We were instructed that if ambushed, to stop the convoy and head for the ditches. Then to form a defensive position and return fire.

    Bull. When troops tried that, they were surprised to find the ditches mined and bristling with punji sticks. The enemy would plant them earlier, then leave a man or two behind to fire when we reached that point. Then those few would vamoose after firing a few shots and before air support arrived.

    After that, orders changed to run like hell, picking up the crews of stricken vehicles.


  6. #26
    Hey BobtailCon,

    I know I may repeat a few of the same things that have been said, but will repeat them anyways just so you can get my authentic take. I enjoyed the piece, short and sweet! But I do think a little bit more detail would do the piece really well. You do a good job of capturing the mayhem, confusion, and shock of the situation. I

    n my opinion, due to the name of the piece you kind of know where the story is going, which is fine, but I think some more scene building and some conversation you could really build a suspenseful piece. Its like reading a time bomb without a timer, you know what is coming but you don't know when.

    As you said, this was done quite some time ago and you have developed your skills, I think it would be fantastic to see a revamped version! Keep on writing, I will definitely keep my eyes open for your stuff.


  7. #27
    Member JamesR's Avatar
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    I liked it but I think that it would benefit if you devoted more time to developing the protagonist's thoughts and fears in order to build up suspense. Don't just delve into action; lead into it so that it's something that's built up. Do it through exploring the thoughts of someone involved in order to make it seem so much realer like the reader is really there.

  8. #28
    First off, the only hummer I have seen 'purr' was in a cartoon. If the hummer is part cat, then go all out on the purring hummer. That would actually be cute but traumatic at the end...poor thing.

    If you replaced scorching with unbearable, it would fit better. There is next to no shade in a desert and I am pretty sure someone would prefer being in a cabin in the Rockies then out in a wide open desert in a Humvee, especially in that region of the world.

    "Interior Cabin" implies that the area he is in is inside the cab of the Humvee. That must be an awfully tight spot for him. I suggest taking out "interior" and shortening "cabin" to just "cab" even if you are going for a set number of words.

    I do not think anyone will not try to stop their own bleeding regardless of how trivial it would be. I suggest changing one of the "into" to through such as ...through the windshield... or if you're going for through and through gunshot wounds to make it more messy... through his body.

    Using convoy to describe the soldiers is incorrect terminology. Think of a convoy as a caravan. You wouldn't call the merchants in a caravan as caravan.

    "Soldiers fell as bullets peppered them." should be "Soldiers fall as bullets peppered them."

    And thus, no more story... You should have started earlier where he has a conversation with his CO, expressing his concerns about this mission.

    Overall, I do find it enjoyable, but there are certain words and terms you could have changed to make it a smoother read and more understandable to people who are not familiar with things.

  9. #29
    Cole sits in the backseat of the HM(((WHAT IS A HM))). Listening to the purr of the engine as the Humvee makes
    its way down the Tajikistan freeway.

    The heat of the sun in the Middle East is scorching. But it beats sitting at home in the Rockies.
    Cole ponders.(((COLE PONDERS WHAT))) He decides to take note of it and scribbles chicken scratch into his tattered notepad he had gotten from his CO back on base.

    He just finishes writing when someone yells and small arms fire rings out(((SEEMS LIKE IT SHOULD BE BIGGER MOMENT SMALL ARMS FIRE TEARS THRU THE AIR>.

    Figures appear to rise from the sand and open fire on the line of trucks. The driver cries out as
    bullets pound through the frame and fly(((WOULD USE SOMTHING DIFFERENT THAN FLY ITS SOUNDS SILLY TRY RIP into his legs.

    (((BULLETTS WORK THEIR WAY UP THE HUMVEE))) The line of bullets goes up the Humvee and towards the interior cabin.

    The driver looks up after attempting to stop the bleeding in his legs. His scream is cut short as
    bullets plow(USE STRONGER WORD LIKE Shatter into the windshield and rip into his body.

    By that time the convoy were out of their vehicles and returning fire.

    More and more shadows rise all around them. Soldiers fell as bullets peppered them.

    Cole feels a weight in his stomach. His fears were correct. The intel they had received was wrong.
    He was caught right in the middle of it.

    An ambush

    Seems to need to be fleshed out and have some stronger images added

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