The Jump


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: The Jump

  1. #1

    The Jump

    This may look familiar to some of you. I posted this chapter here several months back and I just recently revised the hell out of it. I do have to say that I am quite pleased with results so far (it's not finished yet, so I do apologize for the hanging ending). Tell me what you think. If it flows well, if anything seems jarring, etc. Also, I've been told numerous times in the past that I have a tendency to tell rather than show. I'm hoping that I've fixed that here. That's my main concern.











    Present





    Eric hurriedly strode down the cemented sidewalk, fists shoved into his hooded jacket as fireworks fired off behind him. Colors of blue, pink and gold lit up the starry night sky. It was the Harvest Festival finale and he was missing it. He gritted his teeth as a sheen of wetness formed on his forehead.

    He was supposed to be enjoying a relaxing day at the Harvest Festival with his friends. But his body had other plans. The sweat was a telltale sign of a jump coming on.

    He focused on the ground, brushing past the crowd of people surrounding him. He clenched his fists as a leaded sensation filled his stomach. Please, not now. He thought. Not in front of all these people.

    He quickened his pace as the sensation became more prominent. The fireworks that echoed in the sky had become nothing more than a dull ring in his ears. He grunted as he glanced down at his hand. It was already starting, he wasn’t going to make it.

    His eyes bounced hastily around, trying to find a place to hide, before resting on the porta-potties that lined the sidewalk. Eric grimaced. It wasn’t the most ideal of places, but it would do.

    He rushed inside, slamming the door shut behind him. His vision danced with stars as he slumped against the door. He hated this part. A vertigo sensation flooded through his body. He felt like he was on a boat, swaying back and forth. His stomach lurched forward followed by nausea. Damp wetness formed on his forehead as his breathing quickened. He dug his nails into the palm of his hands, trying to ground himself. It seemed to help as of lately. But this jump showed no signs of stopping.

    Just as quickly as it had begun, it stopped. The porta-potty he was in was long gone. His back was pressed firmly against cool, dry earthy terrain. The warm soft golden rays of sunlight beat lightly against his skin as he slowly rose from the ground, dusting his backside off. A breath of air faintly escaped his lips.

    This place again, huh? He thought. He had been to this place several times. Even still, the sight of it always amazed him.

    Flying cars zoomed over his head, weaving through the golden arches that loomed towards the pink and orange sky. Bridges of glass connected silver metallic buildings splotched throughout the area. He trailed along the cobblestone sidewalk, waving at the robotic patrons crossing the street.

    He heard a whoosh next to him and whipped his head around. His reflection was captured in a reflective oval elevator. Robotic patrons boarded the elevator next to him before shooting upwards with haste. Now that was new.

    “Wow.” He muttered under his breath. Through the corner of his eyes, a shimmery glow captured his attention. He averted his gaze to a grand golden structure resting a few feet away from him. Glass capsules filled with paper, small objects, and boxes were being transported to and from the golden building.

    He walked towards the large brown and beige marble door, placing his hand on it. It was smooth and cold to the touch.

    In all of his jumps he had never gotten this far before. He bit his lip, hesitant to open the large door. What would he find behind it? What if he didn’t like what he saw? Or worse what if it were a trap? There was only one way to find out. Eric inhaled a deep shaky breath as he stepped towards the door, his legs trembling.

    But before he could push the door open a loud shrieking alarm sounded. It bounced off the metal buildings and wailed in his eardrums, sending echoing vibrations throughout his body. And just as suddenly his ears were filled with sharp screams and shouts. He quickly covered his ears, his eyes darted around frantically.

    The once smiling robotic people had fear etched into their half metal faces. Their heavy bronze feet clanked against the pavement as they hurriedly grabbed their friends and loved ones to sprint away.

    Before Eric had the chance to decipher what was going on the alarms grew louder. The shrieking noise was now replaced with a low sweeping fire alarm. In the distance, buildings began to crumble and fall leaving behind a giant plume of dust in their wake. The once beautiful glass elevators, one by one began to shatter. Screams of terror echoed around him.

    Then he felt it. A light tug on his body pulling him away. He hurriedly pushed against the marble door, but his hands had already disintegrated. No, I must save them. He thought to himself. He couldn’t leave these people, not like this. Something had to be done.

    However, it was too late. His body softly lifted into the air and as he was pulled back into the cold darkness, floating until gravity hit. He knew he was coming back to himself. But this time something was wrong. The alarms were still going off.

    Eric groaned as he rolled over, the shrill alarm still echoing in his ears. He squinted at the bright red numbers that stared back at him and groaned once more. His hand slapped the top of the black plastic box to silence the annoying sound.

    If there were anything more in the world he hated it was being awakened from a good dream especially on a Monday.

    Eric closed his eyes and inhaled a deep breath through his nostrils, letting it out slowly he reluctantly lowered himself out of his warm bed. He flinched as his feet hit the cold pale wooden floors. One of these days I am going to buy myself a pair of slippers he thought as he rubbed his eyes.

    He walked past his mirror and caught a glimpse of himself. His jaw clenched at the dark raccoon eyes staring back at him. His short black hair was disheveled. The normally sparkling blue eyes he had lost their luster. The once 4’o’clock shadow he had now looked like a biker’s beard. He never did understand why his facial hair grew that fast nor that long. No other 17-year-old boy had a beard like his at school. “it’s from your fathers’ genes.” the voice of his mother echoed in his head.

    Eric shook his head. If he didn’t get ready now, he would be late for school. After he bathed and clothed himself, he flew down the stairs, pressing his lips against his mother’s cheek.

    “Well good morning to you too. You’re running a bit behind hurry up and eat. I don’t want you missing that bus.”

    Eric rolled his eyes. “Mom.” He whined. “I’m not running late. I’ll be fine, I promise.” His lips curled upwards revealing a nice set of straight, pearly whites.
    She narrowed her blue eyes at him and shook her head. The loose tendrils of honey blonde hair bounced against her smooth pale sun-kissed skin. “Mhm, I heard that one before. Now finish up.”

    Eric reached for the fruit bowl to grab a shiny green apple. His favorite. He pressed his lips to his mother’s cheek once more. “Sorry, mom but I’m eating light today. Not feeling too good.” He grabbed his black hoody and bookbag dangling from the coat rack and headed for the door.

    “Now you’re not gonna leave without saying goodbye to your old pops now are ya kid?” His tall dark father leaned against the door jam, crossing his long gangly arms across his chest.

    “Sorry, dad I’ve got to run. Don’t want to be late.” Eric said as he rushed out the door.

    Eric bit into the juicy green fruit. The tangy tart juice tingled his tongue and the back of his throat. It made his mouth water. He loved that about the Granny Smith apples. His pops was the one who got him to eat them in the first place.

    When he was little, his pops would sauté the apples and let Eric sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on them. It was his favorite treat. He smiled fondly at the memory.
    But now things had changed. His pops had Dementia. Some days were good. Some days were bad. Today, his pops remembered he had a son. Eric frowned and gingerly touched his chest. A small dull ache had begun to take make its way into his heart. One day his pops would forget about him entirely and that was something Eric couldn’t deal with.
    “Hey E-Man!” a familiar deep voice shouted.

    Eric rolled his eyes. “Tyler I told you to never call me that again.”

    Tyler smiled smugly and shrugged his shoulders. “Can’t help it, dude. Once I make a nickname it tends to stick.”

    “Yea, unfortunately.” Eric muttered softly.

    The smile on Tyler’s face fell. “Dude, what’s wrong? You’re like extra angry today.”

    Eric gripped his book bag and continued to walk through the dew-covered grass towards the bus stop, Tyler matching his stride. He just wanted to be left alone.
    “C’mon man speak to me. You’ve been acting weird lately Eric. Why? Was it something I did?”

    Eric stopped in his tracks. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his pointy nose. He and Tyler had been best friends since 3rd grade. They used to do everything together. Even told each other everything. But that all changed when Tyler had taken the one girl Eric had ever loved away from him. What made it worse was that Tyler knew he loved her. Ever since then he had been trying to avoid him.

    “C’mon man, are you still mad about Jessica? I told you I was sorry.”

    Eric gritted his teeth. He could feel his eyes turning a deep blue, the heat of rage began to spread inside him like an intense fire. “Listen Tyler, I have a lot going on. Weird dreams, my pops has Dementia, and you stole the only one girl I loved. So, forgive me if I’m not excited to see you. Honestly, I wish you would just leave me alone.”

    The minute he’d uttered those words he regretted it. The look on Tyler’s face wasn’t worth it. He looked like his puppy had been run over.
    “I’m sorry T- “

    “Nah. It’s cool Eric. At least you told me how you feel.”

    Eric watched his best friend walk off. He ran his hands through his hair, firmly kicking a lone pebble on the ground. Who needed him anyway?
    A loud horn blared behind him. His body jerked reflexively.

    “Aye, ya gettin’ on the bus kid er not?”

    Eric stared at the pudgy bald man that was his bus driver and shook his head. His eyes flicked back to Tyler who was halfway up the street already. Maybe it was time to end their friendship.

    Another loud honk made Eric jump again.

    “Alright, alright I’m coming! Damn.” He put his headphones on and sat down on the grey cracked leather seat. He closed his eyes, letting his shoulders relax. The memories of last night's dream danced in his vision. But…it felt so real. There was no way that could have been a dream, right?

    He glanced down at the palm of his hands. Little crescent moon shaped indentations curved neatly along the palms. Maybe it was real. He furrowed his bushy black eyebrows. But if it was real, how did he end up back home in his bed?

    The more he thought about it, the more questions he had. He had been having this dream now for two weeks. Always about the same thing. And when he would wake up, he would have nail marks in the palms of his hands. Why was he having this dream and what did it mean?

    Eric slouched in his seat, the peeling leather creaking under his weight. He wrinkled his nose. He hated the sound of his body rubbing against leather. His mind was a whirlwind of chaos. Nothing was making sense.

    The high pitched screech of bad breaks interrupted his thoughts. His body lurched forward as the bus came to a stop in front of their school.

    Eric boarded off the bus and sighed. His eyes wandered over the once beige and white bricks that had now been taken over with murals and graffiti. The right of the building was undergoing a complete renovation. Thin plastic yellow caution tape outlined the whole right side of the building.

    The contrast between the left and right side of the building was astonishing. A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips. The right side of the building had smashed in windows. toilet paper littered the bushes and grass while slime and egg yolks decorated the lion statue.

    Must have been a senior back to school prank. The contractors and principle would have a field day.

    Eric made his way up the pale cemented staircase to the main entrance. His eyes shifted to the people around him. A sense of sadness filled him as he brushed passed the small crowd of rowdy teens.
    Last edited by ScarletM.Sinclaire; October 4th, 2019 at 03:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    In a far-distant otherworld.
    Posts
    3,594
    Blog Entries
    4
    Hi,

    The writing style is not bad. There are just a couple of things I would pay attention to though:

    1) "It was all a dream."
    Personally I don't mond this opening gambit too much but some people consider it a bit of a cliche or think it's a bit of a cheat, to lead the reader one way and then suddenly take the rug iut from under them. Why not simply state outright that it is a dream before plunging in. Then you can try writing in a more dreamlike style for that bit.

    2) Start in the "right place". By this I mean the most narratively interesting moment. What about the first time Eric jumps? That concept is pretty interesting, but in this instance it seems like something he is aware of, and then we're back in a very normal sort of day.

    3) POV: Take us inside Eric's mind a bit more. Intersperse the test a little more with his direct perceptions of things, otherwise it can read a little too "He did this. He did that. His hands were doing the other."

    4) Pay attention to your punctuation., especially around dialogue and inner monologue; eg:

    Please, not now. He thought. Not in front of all these people.
    should be

    Please, not now, he thought. Not in front of all these people.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  3. #3
    Thanks for that BD. I read this again and I did feel that it was way too "He did this and that and felt this", etc. It is a lot of Him, He, and His everywhere. I definitely need to fix that up as it's bugging the crap out of me lol.

    As for the dream bit I'm a little hesitant on that (SPOILER ALERT). Mainly because he really IS jumping to another time/place. But he just doesn't realize it yet because every time he comes back, he's back in his bed (Or at least for now, I'm still playing with it). My thinking is that I would like the readers to question or think "Maybe this was real. Maybe it wasn't" I want my readers to draw their own conclusions whether they are right or wrong. I feel like it makes for a good twist and gets the reader thinking. But I'm not sure if I'm conveying that in a proper manner.

    And thank you for the punctuation tip. :]
    Last edited by ScarletM.Sinclaire; October 4th, 2019 at 06:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    In a far-distant otherworld.
    Posts
    3,594
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletM.Sinclaire View Post
    Thanks for that BD. I read this again and I did feel that it was way too "He did this and that and felt this", etc. It is a lot of Him, He, and His everywhere. I definitely need to fix that up as it's bugging the crap out of me lol.

    As for the dream bit I'm a little hesitant on that (SPOILER ALERT). Mainly because he really IS jumping to another time/place. But he just doesn't realize it yet because every time he comes back, he's back in his bed (Or at least for now). My thinking is that I would like the readers to question or think "Maybe this was real. Maybe it wasn't" I want my readers to draw their own conclusions whether they are right or wrong. I feel like it makes for a good twist and gets the reader thinking. But I'm not sure if I'm conveying that in a properly.

    And thank you for the punctuation tip. :]
    OK, but if you are going to write for that sort of uncertainty, maybe start with the less interesting thing first. Otherwise the general structure of this chapter, for me, is:

    1) cool stuff happening as Eric jumps about it time. I'm interested. Tell me more.
    2) Well it turns out that it's just a normal day. I'm less interested now because what's so good about normal days.

    As well as being a very tried and tested device, that can generate feelings of disappointment and frustration in the reader, which you don't want. Why not start with the normal day, and have him fall asleep, perhaps tired and cranky but looking forward to these amazing dreams, but on this day the chapter can end when he discovers that these jumps are actually happening. This way you can lace the normal day bit with little bits of foreshadowing - something is out of place, not impossibly so but just so much so that warrants a mention. Such devices are fantastic for seeding tension in readers and that's what drives us to read on, to resolve that tension. Have, oh, I dunno, some class swot be absent that day. It's not impossible, but it's unusual enough that people gossip about it, that it sets the day off on just enough of a wonky angle. And then lo and behold that gives you a whole other plot to explore because ... maybe, in the middle of the story you can reveal that class swot is a jumper too. Their absence can be a continued theme. Maybe a teacher goes missing too. Or what about those renovations. Something's definitely up with those. Those can be foreshadows too.
    Last edited by bdcharles; October 4th, 2019 at 06:22 AM.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  5. #5
    Hi Scarlet. I'm currently still in bed and the battery in my laptop won't last much longer, so I'll postpone my detailed comments until sometime later. I read your other thread about how the story came to you and it is reminiscent of what happened to me back in 2011. The startling thing for me was that I subsequently discovered that my mind apparently really had jumped into my own future to get the inspiration for my story, the climax closely paralleling things that happened to me on a day in 2017 as it predicted, but that's another story.

    I have read your piece as far as the point where Eric wakes up and stopped there as I had already accumulated many remarks to make. I feel that you tend to embellish the text with an excess of adjectives and adverbs where maybe choosing more appropriate nouns and verbs might make this unnecessary, but it is just a personal observation. Also it appears that during your substantial revision you may have introduced some discontinuities. It is all too easy to rewrite a portion of the text not realising that as a result it no longer fits in with the text around it, so reading back the whole thing after such a revision is really important, otherwise your attempts to improve it may actually make it worse.

    I agree with bdcharles about rearranging the order of presentation of events, but then I am clearly biased about that. If you have the time, read the first chapter of my own novel HERE and you will see that I did the sort of thing that he suggests there with my own opening dream sequence. As with your story, the girl in mine is unconvinced that her experience is actually real and assumes that she is dreaming while it is happening. I often have this experience nowadays, knowing that I am dreaming but going along with it purely out of curiosity. I have even returned to continue a dream on a subsequent night. It can be a bit odd, telling someone in a dream that you have to leave because you need to wake up, but sometimes I even do that. I'm just being polite I suppose.

    Speaking of that, the red light on my laptop has come on, so I need to leave now to recharge my battery and get on with my real life. As Arnie said, I'll be back, not that a terminator ever needed to recharge his battery. Meanwhile keep up the writing.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  6. #6
    Very interesting piece of work. Sounds almost like the flipside of The Time Traveler's Wife.

    You do a good job of painting the scene, but lighten up on the adjectives. More than a few times they felt almost obligatory. Use prose to describe the world, and less adjectives. I try to use no more than 1 per sentence. Here is an example of overuse:

    Eric hurriedly strode down the cemented sidewalk, fists shoved into his hooded jacket as fireworks fired off behind him. Colors of blue, pink and gold lit up the starry night sky. It was the Harvest Festival finale and he was missing it. He gritted his teeth as a sheen of wetness formed on his forehead...

  7. #7
    Hi Scarlet,

    I thought that the prose was strong. You do a nice job at writing scenes filled with quick pace and tension. I felt after the dream, the energy kind of dissipated a bit. In fact, it felt like I was reading an entirely different story altogether. I wonder if these two passages shouldn't be separate chapters, because it's quite an abrupt shift from tone and setting. Just something to think about maybe.

    As far as the second part of the story, I like the tension you set up immediately with the Eric, his pops, and Tyler. You're setting up a character with a lot at stake, and you're doing all of it in a single chapter. You've got the basics of storytelling down.

    I added a few notes below:

    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletM.Sinclaire View Post
    Eric hurriedly strode down the cemented sidewalk, fists shoved into his hooded jacket as fireworks fired off behind him. Colors of blue, pink and gold lit up the starry night sky. It was the Harvest Festival finale and he was missing it. He gritted his teeth as a sheen of wetness formed on his forehead.

    He was supposed to be enjoying a relaxing day at the Harvest Festival with his friends. But his body had other plans. The sweat was a telltale sign of a jump coming on.
    I'm curious why you didn't open with the second sentence. It's much-more engaging and peaks my interest.

    He focused on the ground, brushing past the crowd of people surrounding him. He clenched his fists as a leaded sensation filled his stomach. Please, not now. He thought. Not in front of all these people.
    I'm not quite sure what you meant here by leaded-sensation.

    He rushed inside, slamming the door shut behind him. His vision danced with stars as he slumped against the door. He hated this part. A vertigo sensation flooded through his body. He felt like he was on a boat, swaying back and forth. His stomach lurched forward followed by nausea. Damp wetness formed on his forehead as his breathing quickened. He dug his nails into the palm of his hands, trying to ground himself. It seemed to help as of lately. But this jump showed no signs of stopping.
    I like this paragraph a lot. You utilize imagery extremely well.

    “Wow.” He muttered under his breath. Through the corner of his eyes, a shimmery glow captured his attention. He averted his gaze to a grand golden structure resting a few feet away from him. Glass capsules filled with paper, small objects, and boxes were being transported to and from the golden building.
    By whom / what?

    But before he could push the door open a loud shrieking alarm sounded. It bounced off the metal buildings and wailed in his eardrums, sending echoing vibrations throughout his body. And just as suddenly his ears were filled with sharp screams and shouts. He quickly covered his ear; his eyes darted around frantically.
    Just a minor comma splice.
    Last edited by J.T. Chris; October 4th, 2019 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Formatting
    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" - W.B. Yeats
    Stories: Hidden Content l Hidden Content Hidden Content

    Projects:
    Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Thank you J.T at least I'm doing something right. I feel I'm getting closer to my goal.

    I might go ahead and steal that opening scene suggestion (if you don't mind). I actually really like that, flows a little better.

    As for the leaded-sensation. I wasn't sure how to put the feeling into words. For me personally, I get fainting spells from time to time if I don't eat or drink enough liquids through-out the day. Just before I get one of those spells I always get this weird sensation in the pit of my stomach. I'm not sure how to explain it other than that my stomach feels heavy and knotted and that really doesn't define the sensation at all. But it's as close as I can get.

    So I was trying to correlate that feeling into the book. It sounded weird to say his stomach felt heavy or that it had knots in it because to me one implies fear and the other implies nervousness neither of which Eric was feeling. So, I went with leaded-sensation. (If you have any suggestions for that, please feel free to tell me).

    But thank you so much for the rest of your input. It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to look at things.

  9. #9
    Thank you Ralph, I appreciate the feedback. I honestly love that book and the movie. It's one of my favorites. I didn't realize how alike the two sounded until you mentioned it lol.

    I apologize for the overuse of adjectives. I honestly thought I was being more descriptive. I wanted you guys to see exactly what I was seeing as I wrote the scene. Didn't know it was a bit excessive.

  10. #10
    You've had some good responses on this but I said that I'd come back with my detailed remarks so here they are. Please appreciate that I wouldn't take so much trouble about your writing if I didn't think that your efforts merited it, but I do. Also please note that my remarks often mention your choice of words. Having a choice of words to express the same idea makes for more varied and hence enthralling writing. You don't have to have quite the repertoire of a poet but certainly think about whether there could be a better word to use in a situation, if only to avoid using the same word too often.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletM.Sinclaire View Post
    Eric hurriedly strode down the cemented sidewalk, fists shoved into his hooded jacket as fireworks fired off behind him. Colors of blue, pink and gold lit up the starry night sky. It was the Harvest Festival finale and he was missing it. He gritted his teeth as a sheen of wetness formed on his forehead.
    "hurriedly strode" is unnecessarily doubling up on the action verbs. Write "hurried" or "strode" but not both or else avoid the extra verbal adverb by writing something like "strode briskly". "fists shoved into his hooded jacket" suggests that they may actually be shoved into the hood. Why else would you have mentioned it, I ask myself as a reader. The fact that his jacket is hooded is irrelevant to where his fists are. Perhaps add "the pockets of" to avoid this image. You use "wetness" more than once in the piece. Perhaps here "moisture" would be more appropriate if it came from within his skin rather than out of that starry sky.

    He was supposed to be enjoying a relaxing day at the Harvest Festival with his friends. But his body had other plans. The sweat was a telltale sign of a jump coming on.
    Ah, it's sweat now. That's good. Aren't all signs telltale though, so is that adjective necessary?

    He focused on the ground, brushing past the crowd of people surrounding him. He clenched his fists as a leaded sensation filled his stomach. Please, not now. He thought. Not in front of all these people.
    Just call it a crowd. The reader will assume that it is a crowd of people and you confirm this at the end of the paragraph, so avoid the word "people" appearing twice.

    He quickened his pace as the sensation became more prominent. The fireworks that echoed in the sky had become nothing more than a dull ring in his ears. He grunted as he glanced down at his hand. It was already starting, he wasn’t going to make it.
    Pop "so" into that last sentence to avoid the run on.

    His eyes bounced hastily around, trying to find a place to hide, before resting on the porta-potties that lined the sidewalk. Eric grimaced. It wasn’t the most ideal of places, but it would do.
    My fickle mind sees his eyes bouncing erratically on that concrete sidewalk. Sorry about that; I've evidently been watching too many cartoons. Perhaps "rolled" would be better ... and can eyes do anything "hastily" given that all eye movements are so swift? The haste is surely a thought in his mind rather than in the movement of his eyes, so he could hastily look around, this being a mental process.

    He rushed inside, slamming the door shut behind him. His vision danced with stars as he slumped against the door. He hated this part. A vertigo sensation flooded through his body. He felt like he was on a boat, swaying back and forth. His stomach lurched forward followed by nausea. Damp wetness formed on his forehead as his breathing quickened. He dug his nails into the palm of his hands, trying to ground himself. It seemed to help as of lately. But this jump showed no signs of stopping.
    Isn't vertigo always a sensation? If so then the word "sensation" is superfluous. I would write this more economically as "Vertigo overwhelmed his body." Using fewer words itself gives more of an impression of fast action without the need for words, maybe even extra words, to express it specifically. That makes sense if the reader is reading at a constant speed. More words to read must mean slower action in the reader's mind, mustn't it?

    Just as quickly as it had begun, it stopped. The porta-potty he was in was long gone. His back was pressed firmly against cool, dry earthy terrain. The warm soft golden rays of sunlight beat lightly against his skin as he slowly rose from the ground, dusting his backside off. A breath of air faintly escaped his lips.
    Your writing gives clear signals that you are writing from Eric's point of view, but you don't explain how the porta-potty vanished and his view changed, which is the thing that I really want to know at this point. You don't mention him closing his eyes, so what did he see during the transition, if anything? Was it instant or gradual for example or did everything look wibbly-wobbly like it does in films? Did he get that falling-through-a-wormhole experience maybe? Give the reader a clue or two because this is a good place to employ all those adjectives you enjoy using.

    "warm soft golden rays of sunlight" is too much embellishment at the wrong point. You missed that opportunity during the transition itself. If a golden (!) rule of writing is not to describe sunrises and sunsets then not describing sunshine must be close to that as well. "beat" and "lightly" seem to cancel each other out as well. Describing the prior jump, something that the reader has no personal experience of, is far more relevant. Also why did he rise slowly? Was he doing it carefully or weakly, for example? If so say so. The last sentence really just adds "and gasping a little" to the end of the previous one, but you are embellishing again.

    This place again, huh? He thought. He had been to this place several times. Even still, the sight of it always amazed him.

    Flying cars zoomed over his head, weaving through the golden arches that loomed towards the pink and orange sky. Bridges of glass connected silver metallic buildings splotched throughout the area. He trailed along the cobblestone sidewalk, waving at the robotic patrons crossing the street.
    I have no image of a "flying car" in my mind. Is that a vehicle with wheels underneath that nevertheless is in mid-air? If it doesn't have wheels, visible or otherwise, then does the word "car" best describe it to a reader who hasn't encountered the view several times before like Eric? Is "splotched" the right word to use about buildings? Would "dotted" be better? "splotched" suggests that their edges are irregular or ill-defined, which is unusual for a building. Traditional cobblestones seem out of place in such a futuristic setting as well, if those are what you mean. I don't understand "robotic patrons" at all. With golden arches having been mentioned earlier I imagine that they are patrons of MacDonald's, lured there robotically by persistent advertising. "robotic" suggests robot-like rather than actual robots. "robot patrons" would indicate that they were actually robots but I still don't know what meaning you place in the word "patrons" here.

    He heard a whoosh next to him and whipped his head around. His reflection was captured in a reflective oval elevator. Robotic patrons boarded the elevator next to him before shooting upwards with haste. Now that was new.
    Eric does nothing at normal speed apparently. Why couldn't he just turn his head around? You don't actually mention that he boards the elevator himself, so surely he boards next to, or better along with, the robots rather than the other way around. Surely it's the elevator that shoots upwards as well as its occupants, unless it's one of those tubular anti-gravity devices, so why not just write "before it shoots upwards", the haste also being implied by the shooting?

    “Wow.” He muttered under his breath. Through the corner of his eyes, a shimmery glow captured his attention. He averted his gaze to a grand golden structure resting a few feet away from him. Glass capsules filled with paper, small objects, and boxes were being transported to and from the golden building.
    There are several punctuation errors here. If he "averted" his gaze then that would be away from the glow that captured his attention, wouldn't it? Didn't he just turn his gaze or better still just look? Does a building rest, as you write, or stand, as I think? (I just ask questions in every such case because it is up to you to decide which words you prefer. It's your story.) How were the objects being transported? I can't form an image of the scene without this information.

    He walked towards the large brown and beige marble door, placing his hand on it. It was smooth and cold to the touch.
    As you haven't mentioned the door before it should be introduced to the reader as a door rather than the door. After that you can call it the door. Also he can't walk towards the door (that I've already mentioned here!) while placing his hand on it at the same time, so surely it should read "and placed" to get the sequence of events right.

    In all of his jumps he had never gotten this far before. He bit his lip, hesitant to open the large door. What would he find behind it? What if he didn’t like what he saw? Or worse what if it were a trap? There was only one way to find out. Eric inhaled a deep shaky breath as he stepped towards the door, his legs trembling.
    He can't step towards the door because he is already standing with his hand against it. Perhaps you edited here during your revision and left this discontinuity in the action as a result. It is normally breath that is inhaled, so there are too many words here again. Whether you keep the depth and shakiness of the inhalation is up to you though.

    But before he could push the door open a loud shrieking alarm sounded. It bounced off the metal buildings and wailed in his eardrums, sending echoing vibrations throughout his body. And just as suddenly his ears were filled with sharp screams and shouts. He quickly covered his ears, his eyes darted around frantically.
    I'm not keen on sentences, let alone paragraphs, starting with "But" and "And". Can a shrieking alarm be anything but loud normally? He's doing things quickly again and his eyes are off on their travels again. Do they ever stay in his head for long? Excuse my jocularity, but it's just what I think as I read.

    The once smiling robotic people had fear etched into their half metal faces. Their heavy bronze feet clanked against the pavement as they hurriedly grabbed their friends and loved ones to sprint away.
    Did you mention that the robotic people smiled earlier? I don't recollect that. The "half metal faces" are only half a clue as to what they look like. Is it that the material is partially metallic or that the other halves of their faces are something else? Their bronze feet have nothing to do with the grabbing unless they are grabbing with their feet, which seems highly unlikely. I suggest that the latter part of the sentence should read "hurried to grab their friends and loved ones and sprint away" because their clanking feet are involved in the hurrying and sprinting.

    Before Eric had the chance to decipher what was going on the alarms grew louder. The shrieking noise was now replaced with a low sweeping fire alarm. In the distance, buildings began to crumble and fall leaving behind a giant plume of dust in their wake. The once beautiful glass elevators, one by one began to shatter. Screams of terror echoed around him.
    I can't imagine what the "low sweeping fire alarm" sounds like, so your adjectives are wasted on me here, and the fact that Eric knows that it is specifically a fire alarm (everything so far apparently being from his personal POV) suggests that it isn't the first time that he has encountered such an emergency in this place. which in itself merits an explanation. Alternatively he doesn't know that and you have slipped into an omniscient point of view without any warning to the reader. Does a falling building have a wake if it crumbles and comes straight down? Perhaps the plume of dust should just be left in the air.


    Then he felt it. A light tug on his body pulling him away. He hurriedly pushed against the marble door, but his hands had already disintegrated. No, I must save them. He thought to himself. He couldn’t leave these people, not like this. Something had to be done.
    So he tried to push against the door then, but didn't actually push if his hands had already disintegrated rather than were already disintegrating. Get the precise order of events correct or it may not feel right in the reader's mind and they won't get that desired idea of being there in the midst of the action. He's hurrying again as well, but he always does.

    However, it was too late. His body softly lifted into the air and as he was pulled back into the cold darkness, floating until gravity hit. He knew he was coming back to himself. But this time something was wrong. The alarms were still going off.
    I'm unsure about "softly lifted". For some reason I'd feel easier with "gently". Also, did it just feel as though his body lifted rather than actually moving up through the scene with the door in it? Also you can't have both "and" and "as" together in that sentence for the syntax to be correct.

    Eric groaned as he rolled over, the shrill alarm still echoing in his ears. He squinted at the bright red numbers that stared back at him and groaned once more. His hand slapped the top of the black plastic box to silence the annoying sound.

    If there were anything more in the world he hated it was being awakened from a good dream especially on a Monday.
    That's as far as I read and you are probably relieved at that. Don't be put off by my comments as I am a pedantic literal reader, but if you can think about the sort of details that I do when I am both reading and writing then you'll have a better chance of keeping a large proportion of your readers happy with your style. You don't know exactly which aspects will niggle any particular reader but if you try to spot as many as possible that might then your overall success may well improve. The key thing is to bear all our comments, even the more extreme ones, in mind when writing and decide how you intend to tackle them. Ultimately your style is yours alone, so stick at developing it.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.