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  • #16
    The assemblage of companions experienced a blackout. When they regained consciousness they were passing through thick murky water that was streaked with a brown substance. They did not have windows on the crawlers, but they were able to install tiny video camera's behind a translucent polymer all over the craft so they could view the outside world from monitors inside the vessel.

    Swirls of green and blue mixed with the brown. They piloted the vehicles toward the surface,but they really did not need to do that since the crafts were buoyant. Both crawlers breached the surface and the team members spotted land. An outcropping of lavender rocks that smoothed out to become magenta hills and flatland. They moved across the liquid like a water moccasin. The crawlers reached the rocks and shimmied up until they were level with the flat purple soil. Andrew and Richard drove their crafts for about five-hundred feet inland creating impressions in the soft ground. The tracks looked like those left by a giant snake. The separate teams put on their space suits after checking the content of the atmosphere. There was sufficient oxygen, but they were not going to take any chances.
    The sky overhead was pink and crimson. The crews walked out the the crawlers after opening their side doors. Andrew waved to the other company and Richard returned the signal. The team members sunk down slightly into the strange purple earth. They looked at the vessels, they were still glowing silver. Globes of ocherous light floated over various dark spots in the landscape. There were black mountains in the distance. There appeared to be no vegetation. Mark began taking soil samples. Sal filled up some vials with water from a nearby lake. "I do not detect any poisonous gas or harmful chemicals, at least none that we know to be harmful to humans, in fact the air is much cleaner than that of Earth." said Pam as she studied her instruments. "No harmful bacterium." Paul started to video record everything they saw. Linda used a small digital camera to take some still photgraphs. Greg was recording audio, the wind was making a shrill sound. "A pity we did not bring a flag to plant." joked Richard. Andrew spotted some blue crystals of to their left. He walked over to them and said,"These are the same crystals that allow the crawlers to function. He then spotted a flat piece of metal lying in a patch of sand. He picked it up. "And this is the same metal, a definite link. This must be why the metal is so attracted to this realm. This is why it allowed us to travel to this plane and why it did not throw us into any one of the countless other dimensions."

    "Well, the voyage is a partial success Mr. Walder. Congratulations." said Paul.

    "Thank you Paul." said Andrew. "Thanks again to all of you. You all have exceeded all expectations."

    The team members all smiled and told of their gratitude to Andrew for allowing them to be part of such an important and exciting mission. Three of the spheres of yellow light came near them at that moment. Linda saw them and motioned to the group to look at them. They all stopped what they were working on and looked up. The globes began to shimmer and elongate. They started to take form and started to appear like humans. Soon the globes looked like living beings.

    The band recognized the spheres at one. They were the ghosts of Melinda,Karen and Rob.

    The party had astonished looks on their grim faces.

    "Andrew." said the spirit energy of Karen. "We are under attack."

    "There was an explosion." added the apparition of Rob.

    "Men with machine guns have killed us all." said the ethereal Melinda.

    The party looked on with horrified expressions.

    "I'm so sorry." cried Linda, "We did not know...."

    "What happened exactly." asked Andrew after he regained his wits.

    "It all was too fast, we saw you leave, then we all died painfully. The next thing we were aware of was that our consciousness was trapped in these spheres." said the ghost of Karen.

    "We must go, we will not find peace unless we go know, there is a hidden force tugging at our souls." said the ghost of Melinda.

    "The vision was real." added Rob's ghost.

    "Wait!" shouted Greg, but it was too late, the beings shifted back to gold coloured globes and instantly disappeared.

    "What are we going to do now?" asked Mark.

    "First we must come to expect such things as we are indeed in the spirit world." said Andrew.

    "Then we must discover what is the affliction that effects this world." added Greg.

    "That's right." said Andrew.

    "Wonderful." Sal said sarcastically.

    A single yellow globe floated over to them. This one has specks of black in it. The sphere frew over to Paul, then materialized into a human. The man looked like it was decaying. It was the phantasma
    of Paul's father, Paul Gregory Garand.

    "Dad!" Paul screamed as he began to cry.

    "Paul, listen to me." said the specter of Mr. P.G. Garand.

    "Dad, how is this possible? I love you so much, are you in pain?" asked Paul.

    "Death is not what you think son. I do not feel pain,only emotional distress. Now, no moe questions. I was not able to ascend to the higher plane. Something has prevented me from leaving this dimension. I am trapped in a limbo with millions of other souls. Hideous creatures, beasts with fur and scales, abominations to the entire universe in all it's myriad forms.They are stealing our vitality. All of life's energy is being transfered to feed the bloody monsters. The Earth is slowly dying, but soon the process will increase it's productivity and the planet will be destroyed. You must seek out the Cosmic Slavers and annihilate them to the last. The natural flow of existence will be perverted and ultimately crushed. I love you son. Goodbye." said the ghost of Garand.

    "Goodbye." Paul said as the spirit of his father vanished. Tears were streaming down his face inside the large astronaut helmet.



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

    Comment


    • #17
      The band entered their crawlers again and shut the portals. They removed their space suits and put on the HAZMAT outfits instead, in order to provide more maneuverability to the team. They drank some distilled water and ate some simple food rations. They stored all the samples in the front part of the craft. Next, they strapped themselves in the tall seats and began to pilot the vehicles toward the mountains. After traveling about sixty uneventful miles they came to the foothills.

      Greg started talking. He said, "I understand now. The way humankind treats it's own people is reflected on the entire universe. It makes us and the planet weak,if we are divided,for example. War and conflict yields a failure in the fibers of life itself. Extraterrestrial beings can see the flaw in our energy patterns and can take adavantage of us. Every time is there murder ,crime, hatred, oppession, terror, starvation when there is no aid to help those in need, or any other act of evil upon their fellow man, we as a planet and a race get weaker and begin to die."

      "That would seem to be the nature of reality." agreed Andrew.

      "I only know that there are alot of things that go on that should not. Some things are plain wrong, no matter how you view them." added Paul.

      "At least we know there are several more chapters to add to the book of science." said Mark.

      "Yes, but we still do not know the secrets to the universe. All we ever do is discover more questions." said Paul.

      "I agree, we still don't really know what happens to people when they die, we do know there is something that goes on, some energy transfer, but where that energy is supposed to go, who knows?" said Andrew.

      A similar conversation occurred in the second crawler. They were making about forty miles per hour in the strange vessels. In place of rain, grains of sand began to fall from green clouds. The sand covered the land in piles of dirt the colour of tree moss.

      "We must try not to get depressed. When we get overly sad, we start to lose are strength. If that happens, the enemy wins. They are out to crush our spirits. It is the same effect when a horse gets broken, they submit to their master, the same can happen to us just like it occurred in the past with the human slaves or even in a case of abusive spouses, one partner gives up hope and their spirit is broken." said Linda.

      "Ok, no chance of that with me, I'm ready to dish out some revenge!" shouted Pam.

      "Good, stay angry." said Richard, "it will re-enforce our mental fortitude."

      "I just hope we win, or by the sound of it, everyone is doomed." said Sal. What is worse, our destruction will not end by our mortal deaths."

      "We will win, damn it!" exclaimed Rich.

      "When will do achieve victory, we will have to return to Earth, tell the tale, and spread the word that we all need to make drastic changes or we will always be in great danger and under threat of cosmic obliteration." said Linda.

      "Here,here!" shouted Pam. "We will make it work."

      "Somehow." said Sal.

      "Even if we have to make crawlers for every man,woman and child so they can see for themselves."
      added Richard.

      "Yes, said Pam, we can start by giving the technology to our agents in Europe and Asia, from there they can spread it to everone on the planet."

      The crawlers pulled up side by side on top of a high hill. In the valley below them, they could see large dark spots on the ground and millions of the yellow spheres fastened to long crystal stalagmites made from huge amethyst gems. In the center of a large flat area, there was a stage made of some kind of foreign steel. On the circular platform a black hole manifested itself above five glowing rods of orange crystals. Inside the darkness of the portal, there were streaks of red,white and light green energy spinning violently around and around in circles. One at a time the yellow orbs were being sucked into the black portal from where they were tethered. They were vanishing at a rate of one every minute. There were many spheres out in the field that were decaying and turning brown and black like a rotten apple. There was a vaporous yellow mist enshrouding the stalagmites, it seemed to be sentient.

      A few feet away, there was what could be described as a flying ship or spacecraft. It had two angular wings on top with three fins at the bottom. The middle was a bulky triangle with a huge rectangular box. In the box a single door opened into a ramp. It was covered completely with the blue crystals. Gathered around the vessel there were four foot creatures, but they were different from the dreams. These had great manes around there conical heads and scaled torsos. They did indeed have teeth, several rows of them. They also had an extra mandible of sharp teeth and two tusks on each side of the orifice. Their legs were covered in black fur and the rest of their bodies were dark blue. They had long arms and hands the size of pancakes, with seven taloned fingers. They wrapped those digits around slender eight foot long staves, which have three tubes at the end.
      There were scores of them milling about by the mountain's edge.

      Andrew flipped on the radio to the second crawler and shouted, "Charge! Ram that metal platform!"

      The two crawlers whipped into action. They lunged forward at maximum speed, churning up green and purple clouds as they rapidly descended from the hill top. Some of the beasts saw the machines coming and ran in front of the crawlers. They frantically waved their staves at them to no avail. Gray luminous goo spurted forth from the creatures as the crawlers swung back and forth, crushing the invaders as they made their way to the metal stage.


      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
      - Michael Moorcock

      Comment


      • #18
        The living mist sent forth a telepathic message," No! You must not be permitted to stay here! You pitiful humans had your chance! Your cycle is over. I will kill you. How dare you enter this realm?"

        The crawlers crashed into the steel platform and they both rolled over it spinning to crush the orange crystal poles that were generating the black gateway into yet another dimension. The crystalline rods burst into a thousand shards and the energy dissipated into nothingness. White smoke rose from the twisted platform. The crawlers righted themselves. The platform collapsed completely. Andrew and Richard steered the vessels around in circles,breaking down the stalagmites that held the globes. The balls of light,once freed from their bonds, flew high into the sky and disappeared. The team made a few more passes at the amethyst stalagmites until each one was demolished. Meanwhile the blue and black monsters ran after the fast moving crafts pointing their staves at them. Copper coloured flames erupted from their tubes,shooting out destruction. The fire was burning everything in their path except the crawlers, including some of their own fellow race. The yellow mist also chased after the vessels and floated above them. It tried to force them away from the stalagmites by conjuring up a gust of wind. It only helped the chaotic movements of the crawlers by throwing them into more of the crystals and more of the creatures. A winged detachment of the beasts flew out of the spacecraft, which was really a transportation device for inter-realm teleportation.These were different, more intelligent looking, but there were only five of them. They swiftly dived down on top of a crawler that happened to be Andrew's. The beasts started punching and clawing at the glowing silver surface. It started to crack. Another series of blows split the top. It stopped glowing silver and reverted back to white,then red,then purple and finally blue. The beasts were relentless, they increased their attack.

        Andrew turned the crawler into a semi-circle just before the power gave out. Richard saw Walder's move and joined him. Richard turned about making sure all the stalagmites were crushed and they were in fact destroyed. He then brought the tip of his crawler to touch the aft section of the other craft. He maneuvered the tail so it touched Andrew's bow.

        The five winged monsters jumped to the second crawler to pound on it and the other blue creatures ,that were on the ground, scrambled to surround the disabled crawlers.

        Paul was first out of the starboard door,rifle in hand and ready to kill. He aimed at one of winged beasts and shot it directly in the head. It flapped to the green and purple ground and instantly died.

        Mark was out the next moment holding the shotgun and wearing a bandolier. He blasted at one of the beasts that was heading right at Paul. The third shot in it's chest finally took it down. A fourth shot tore it's head apart. Mark reloaded four shells into the tube of his pump shotgun.

        When Paul looked over his shoulder he saw Andrew and Greg storm out of the craft with their Thompson machine guns blazing. They each shot about fifteen rounds apiece into the attacking beasts, bringing two more of them down fast and hard.

        The last one swiped at Mark, tearing the plastic helmet from his suit. Paul spun and shot two rounds into the beasts neck and Greg finished it off with a quick burst. Greg and Andrew reloaded.

        Copper flames spashed against the outside wall of the crawlers' circle. Immediately, Richard and Sal ran out their starboard portal. They were armed with Thompsons. Linda followed holding the bolt-action rifle and Pam walked out from behind with the shotgun. They too had their HAZMAT suits on.

        "Good work team!" shouted Andrew.

        "They can't get to us in numbers like this." stated Richard.

        The mist floated above the crawlers just then and a gust of wind blew against the companions. It did not do much except stir up alot of green dust, but when it engulfed the group, Mark gagged as he breathed in the poisonous mist. He dropped dead in seconds. A globe of golden light emerged from Mark's body and it soared high into the air.

        "What do we do?" cried Linda.

        "I don't know." replied Rich.

        "We kill the other bastards." said Pam as she pointed the shotgun at a blue beast that was climbing over one of the crawlers. She fired the gun, it's deadly projectiles hit it full on in the face and it fell backwards.

        "Formation Five! Teams back to back!" shouted Greg who took aim at a creature that was sliding through the gap between the two vessels. He pumped six rounds into it. The gray goo flew everywhere.

        The unit formed a defensive posture. Paul,Andrew and Greg faced their crawler and Linda,Richard,Pam and Sal faced their crawler and began shooting every monster in sight that leaped over the vessels or crept under the crafts amidst the small gaps.

        Gray ooze mixed with the green dust. The yellow mist clung to the companions, weighing down their movements. The party resisted.

        "We can repair the crawlers later, we can at least make one work!" shouted Andrew over the loud sound of battle. "There are plenty of crystals in this realm for a fleet of vessels."

        "The metal!" Pam exclaimed.

        "What?" asked Richard.

        "The metal! The metal! it is unstable! We can rig it to explode!" screamed Pam.

        "Yes!, of course!" shouted Andrew. "An explosion would consume the mist!"

        More copper and orange flames streaked past them. The assembly continued to dodge. The flames had a limited range, that is why the beasts were attempting an all out rush. The group had killed at least thirty of the creatures by now and there were about fifty more to take their place, at least the band hoped their were only fifty more.

        "They are starting to adjust their strategy Andrew." stated Greg. "Once they learn how to use the crawlers as concealment and make a charge when we can't reload, we will be done for!" he shouted so the whole group could hear.

        "Paul! go get more ammo!" ordered Andrew. Paul obeyed and ran back inside the crawler. Andrew covered his retreat.

        "Pam!" shouted Linda. "I'll cover you, go get the spare metal and work your magic on it!"

        "Ok!" Pam shouted and ran inside her crawler, she shut the door behind her.



        "Damn it!" shouted Sal. "I should have brought grenades!"

        The Thompson machine guns were working miracles. Richard,Sal,Andrew and Greg kept switching
        new magazines that they kept loaded in rucksacks which they had slung over their shoulders. Paul,Pam and Linda had their extra ammo loose in belt pouches. The flames hit the ground at their feet, but the strange soil did not catch fire. One burst of flame almost hit Greg it the head,but he ducked just in time and Andrew shot that adversary for him.

        "Keep up the fire rate!" shouted Andrew. He then turned and sprayed and entire area as ten beasts jumped up as one above the crawler's edge.


        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #19
          Their heads started to pound as the yellow mist put all it's might into one last psychic attack.

          "Get out of our minds!" screamed Andrew. He fell to the ground unconscious.

          "Andy!" Greg bellowed. He was still shooting at the incoming creatures.

          Paul came out then with the ammunition for both teams. He placed more magazines with .45 rounds in them on the ground. He brought boxes of 30-06 for Linda and himself. He also brought some 12 guage shells for Pam,but she was still inside the crawler.

          "What happened to Andrew?" asked Paul.

          "The damn mist got him!" exclaimed Greg. "Pick up the Thompson!"

          Paul did so without hesitation as Greg alone was fending off the enemy hordes from that side.

          "Linda!" you have to drag Andrew back to Pam's crawler! Ok?"

          "Alright!" she squated down and began to haul Andrew over the strange soil.

          The mist suddenly turned a bright red, then it started to take on a human shape. It morphed into the man with long dark hair like in the shared nightmare.

          "Today is your Armageddon." the mist-man stated with the confidence of a black bear who is just about to catch a salmon.

          Pam opened the door right then to allow Linda and Andrew entry. Without any delay Pam rushed out and avoided two beams of flame. She held wires, detonater, a small ball of plastique and several containers of the rare shifting metal. She had it all wrapped together with black electrical tape.

          "The device is ready!" shouted Pam.

          'We need to retreat to the crawler!" screamed Sal as he gunned down more of the beasts.

          The dark-haired evil man grimaced at the makeshift bomb. He then used stolen energy to transform realm matter into a long double-edged sword. He laughed as he skewered Pam's HAZMAT helmet. He instantly turned back into the yellow mist which caused Pam to cough once then fall to the ground dead. A golden sphere rose up from her corpse. It flew high into the sky and vanished.

          There were shell casings and dead monsters laying all over the place. White smoke filled the air and stung the eyes of the beast raiders.

          Rich,Sal,Greg and Paul retreated in sections as the withdrew to the Crawler Linda and Andrew were already in. It was not saying much, being that they had to form sections of two and two, but it was effective nevertheless.

          Sal dived into the crawler, then went Rich, then went Greg who was covering for Paul, when Paul suddenly pushed Greg off his feet. Paul then bent low, avoiding a flame burst and manhandled the door shut. He then turned quickly and shot at the mist and the creatures whom at this point where all within the large circle on the side of Andrew's crawler across the way opposite him. The yellow mist concentrated on Paul's head. It sent forth mental attacks. It hovered directly over Paul the entire time.

          Flames singed both his legs and his left arm. He fired the machine gun until it was empty, then dropped it to retrieve the shotgun with unnatural speed.


          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
          - Michael Moorcock

          Comment


          • #20
            The yellow mist swired around creating high winds that actually turned out to help Paul and his team because the gusts dulled the effect of the flame tubes. The flames on his suit went out in a flash. The blue and black monsters were almost in melee range.

            Paul smiled into the mist and the attacking creatures. He sent a Psychic thought to the living mist-being. "You Lost for Eternity!"

            Paul pulled the trigger of the shotgun as he held it at point-blank range on top of the taped metal,plastic and wire explosive device.

            BOOM! Whooosh!

            The sound was almost deafening even inside the crawler which pitched over and flew through the air a hundred yards. Andrew regained his senses after the craft had settled. Linda, Rich,Sal and Greg sat in amazement as Andrew flicked on one of the monitors. They were suprised again to see a two-hundred foot crater in the ground where they had just been.

            Every single blue and black creature was dead and they did not turn into spheres of light. There
            was one platinum globe that rose high above the earth from where Paul was standing. The enemy craft was empty. The sentient mist was dead as well, or at least banished from the realm until the evil of mankind gets so horrible that beings like it can come into existence. The other crawler was several yards from the crater in the other direction. The other gold spheres have disappeared.

            "Paul saved us all." stated Linda to Andrew.

            "Paul saved the world! exclaimed Greg.

            "Not to mention the spirit world." said Richard.

            "Maybe a few other realms as well." stated Sal with a wink.

            "You are all heroes, living and dead. I thank all that is good and honorable that I found you all to perform this vital task. Now we must go home and tell the world of this place." said Andrew.

            "We will hold funeral services when we get back." said Greg.

            "I hope you don't mind that I did not video record the battle, we were all a bit busy." Linda said, trying to raise everyone's spirits.

            The team smiled warmly at her.

            "That's ok Lind.' " Richard said as he put a friendly hand on her shoulder.

            "Earth will never be the same again." offered Sal.

            "True." said Greg.

            "Earth has to change and soon. It has to change for our future. It has to change for the good of mankind so that we will never be weak again and we will never be this close to annihilation again."
            said Andrew.

            "We have alot of teaching ahead of us." stated Linda.

            "and learning." added Richard.

            "Let's get to work my friends." said Andrew.

            The team soon got their act together. They found out that this crawler was the one in the best condition. They righted the vessel and replaced all the damaged crystals. They also sealed the black ceramic and replaced the strange metal in the engine. They ran a system check and it was good. The dubbed the metal 'Nephelite' after Greg's last name, since he was the one to discover it. They all vowed to have a monument erected to those who fought and died in this battle over the fate of the world.

            The companions explored the alien craft and decided to leave it there until they could get more teams to remove it. They did not want to tamper with it and trigger something bad by mistake, such as a distress signal to their home plane or a boobytrap.

            The crew gathered up all the fragments of the rods and stalagmites and loaded them in the rear of the crawler. They made a checklist and did not forget anything, they even loaded the supplies from the other vessel. Unfortunately, there were no bodies to be taken back to the realm of the living, the explosion had incinerated them. The crew activated all systems by throwing the appropriate switches,levers,knobs and buttons. The crawler turned purple then black,then red,white and finally silver and it was as good as new.

            Andrew piloted the crawler back to the water where they entered the realm. He submerged the vessel and dived to the approximate coordinates. The craft was still glowing silver again from when they started it after all the repairs were complete. Andrew pulled the teleportation lever and they instantly found themselves back the bunker's tunnel. They checked the monitor for danger, then got out of the craft and removed their HAZMAT suits. They were all in need of a hot bath. They saw the reflective police tape and had a good idea of what transpired there in their absence.

            Linda, Richard,Andrew,Sal and Greg had survived an incredible ordeal. They made it down to the steel cube and out the escape tunnel. They eventually ran out to open air and Andrew and Rich got into the military truck. it started just fine, even after sitting there for a long time.

            "Let's go into the city." said Andrew.

            Richard called the Stardust and got a hold of Brian and Danny. Andrew had emergency cell phones in the vehicles. They all had alot of explaining to do. Andrew planned to contact Ben Yaveene, he was in a position to spread the news fast and to let everyone know that the group wasn't totally insane.

            Linda started the Jeep and Richard and Sal also climbed aboard. Greg and Andrew took the lead and headed back to Las Vegas. They were tired beyond any need for rest they had ever known.

            Danny and Brian ran out to greet them and the friends were united once more. Dr. Henry Laoch soon followed them out the rear glass doors. Kate,April and Edward shouted their greetings. What was left of the assembly embraced each other. They filled each other in on their separate adventures and wrote some official reports so future dimension voyagers will know what to expect.

            The assembly of companions celebrated their victory that night.


            ----------------- The End ---------------------------------------------------------

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #21
              Congrats on being the first of us to finish Lemec. Your story reads almost like a Cthulu Mythos tale with a scientific rationale for encountering the other dimensional beasties. All in all I found this an entertaining read with some interesting speculations and characters. It's quite an achievement dealing with such a large cast.

              Do I detect the influence of Call of Cthulu in how the fight at the end turns out? Sticks of dynamite and 15 round bursts on Thompson SMG's. :)

              Comment


              • #22
                Lemec doesn't need applause. As is the case for all of us, he requires helpful constructive criticism.

                After a quick read of the story, in my opinion, there are some technical problems with the text. Look at the first couple of pages and see if anyone can find what I'm talking about.

                A hint: does anyone find anything wrong with the following sentences from near the opening?

                The sun rose in the sky above the high mountain.

                Linda, an adorable young lady,pushed a wheelbarrow over the thick grass.
                There is a general problem (common enough in first drafts) with the precision and efficiency of the narrative. Anyone see what I'm talking about? The fewest words that accomplish the narrative task is your goal.

                I won't subject anyone's story to a close reading if they don't want me to do so. I will treat everyone's texts with respect, because I know this stuff is hard work. However, being respectful doesn't mean I'm soft. Perdix knows what my "critical" voice is like, so he can warn you guys if he chooses.

                LSN

                Comment


                • #23
                  I tend to read in auto-correct mode LSN, and comment on a story as if it's already gone through the drafting process. Unless authors are editors themselves, or pretty experienced, there are bound to be structural and textual issues that need picking up at the editorial level.

                  To be honest, as an amateur myself (Robo Prez is the first and only tale I've written in 15 years or more) I don't really feel qualified to comment on Lemec's text at this level, beyond my own 'instincts' or 'hunches,' which may not be the best guide.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Mouser,

                    You seem to be suggesting that lemec is going to do a substantial revision pass on the text. Perhaps that's true, in which case for me, *reading* it is a premature step. I don't like to read works-in-progress of other people unless they think they've gotten to a point where they need a critical reader. Since I'm doing some triage for Perdix, I don't want to prejudice my opinion of a story by looking at it too early.

                    If lemec doesn't want any commentary at this point, NBD. I'll sidestep reading the text until he declares it more-or-less "done."

                    The same for everyone else's stories.

                    As for "experience" doing this stuff, if you find a work effective and well-told, you'll know. If you find yourself adjusting the text as you read, or asking, "Was that really a good idea?" you can provide constructive critical input, even if it is in the form of a question about the writer's intent.

                    LSN

                    P.S. From personal experience acting as a technical editor, I have developed a certain skepticism about how well people can edit themselves. Early input can be helpful, I find, for many people.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                      P.S. From personal experience acting as a technical editor, I have developed a certain skepticism about how well people can edit themselves. Early input can be helpful, I find, for many people.
                      This is no doubt very true. Even Fritz Leiber, himself an editor, benefitted from the input of Unknown editor Campbell:

                      It is probably a good thing that Leiber launched these stories in UNKNOWN, where he benefitted from Campbell's seasoned writing experience and had to give his tales action adventure frameworks.
                      Let's see what Lemec says.

                      PS the above quote is possibly attributable to Leiber himself, writing under the pseudonym of Francis Lathrop

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Leiber, in the afterword to The Best of Fritz Leiber (see my review on Amazon.com ), wrote that the people who helped him most were Campbell (who "taught [him] more about plotting and motivation than any other individual"), and the troika of Lovecraft, Anthony Boucher, and Leiber's friend, Harry Otto Fischer (who "helped [him] more than any other person to give [his] stories style and literary polish").

                        The letters to Leiber from Lovecraft reprinted in the book from Wildside press make for very interesting reading. Lovecraft had a number of very astute suggestions about how the early Leiber work he read could be sharpened. Leiber followed a several of them. I seem to recall that one of the stories so treated was an early version of "Adept's Gambit."

                        LSN

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Lemec, do you know that every time I see your screen name, I automatically read it as "le mec" == "the guy" (in French).

                          Perhaps this was intentional.

                          LSN

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Hello LSN,


                            Thank you, I want to hear everything. I do need the help. It was the first story that I made an ending for. I do not have any experience in writing, but I want to learn.

                            Mostly, I just wanted to have a complete idea of what happens in the story. I figured I won't know until I give it a try. I knew there will be technical problems, but since I can't spot them on my own, this it seemed the best thing for me to do was post it and see what happens.

                            I really don't mind if someone says it is bad. I appreciate Mouser's encouragement, but I certainly don't expect everyone to say it is wonderful or anything like that.

                            If I can learn from this one, maybe I can try another story.

                            So, anyone out there who wants to pick it apart and show me how it really is supposed to link together, please do, I am all for it.

                            In other words, I am learning from what is said and yes, this is the final product. Some day I could go back and add filler to expand it into a full novel, but that was not my intention. This is how I imagined it, so I wrote it the best that I could without really knowing what I was doing.

                            I hope this comes across the way I think it does.


                            Also, I knew it was lacking something, but just could not put my finger on it. I just could not make it all work together as other stories do. :)

                            I am looking forward to reading more,


                            Thanks,


                            Lemec


                            P.S. I hope my mistakes become more clear to me, so please point them out.

                            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                            - Michael Moorcock

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              We should ALL want to help. You went to a lot of trouble to put this story together. This is the first draft. The difference between an experienced writer and an inexperienced one is knowing how to edit that first draft. Anyone who wants to learn can do so from a close reading of a text, where you ask, "What does this accomplish for the story?" and "Is it necessary?"

                              I want to urge others (hello, Mouser) to read each section closely, as if it were their own work, and ask whether they consider it effective.

                              I think you've got the start of a workable story here. The structure is okay. There are details about narrative we need to go over in detail. As many eyes as are willing.

                              Here's a brief explanation of why I singled out the particularly sentences above.

                              "The sun rose in the sky above the high mountain."

                              Is every word here important? Can the sun rise in something other than the sky? If not, is it sufficient to say, "The sun rose above the high mountain" ?

                              "Linda, an adorable young lady,pushed a wheelbarrow over the thick grass."

                              The objection here is the "an adorable young lady" part. This tells the reader not what she looks like, or who she is, but how he should feel about Linda. This is a no-no. Render the image precisely and succintly, and let the reader figure out whether she's adorable or not from the way you present images and events. Just a suggestion.

                              These particular suggestions encompass most of the suggestions I have about the technical end of things. Don't be redundant ("the sun rose in the sky"); don't tell the reader how to feel or think. Show them what you want them to see; let the characters reveal their qualities via their actions and dialogue.

                              Mouser? Do you want to take a quick look and make some comments?

                              (I doubt he'll do so. The Mouser is very astute, but he's even more polite than Perdix online. :lol:)

                              Quick question, lemec: are you a tough guy about criticism? Or does criticism make you feel uncomfortable? Remember, we aren't criticising YOU; we're examing your verbal artifact here!

                              LSN

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Hello LSN,


                                Now that you explained it, I understand it more. Yeah, I don't want to force the reader to my point of view. Another thing, they don't know what I am thinking so I do need to describe things more. From now on I can describe people and environment and let the reader decide.

                                I will try not to repeat like that either, obviously the sun is in the sky, it is not pulling a chair up for breakfast! haha I should have thought about that.

                                Fire away! I am not uncomfortable,



                                Lemec

                                "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                                - Michael Moorcock

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