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  1. #James

    #James New Member

    Jan 25, 2013
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    Can Someone Review my Story Please?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by #James, Jan 25, 2013.

    Hi, I'm a graphic art student, and I'm currently writing a graphic novel and publishing a magazine. I've been looking into story ideas for this book for about two years now, and have literally thousands of pages of storyboards piled up in my room. I finally managed to single out my favorite idea, and I'm writing it out in novel format before I start drawing it. I have plenty of storyboards for it, but I'm still writing it out. I need some help judging my work, and seeing as I have just finished the first chapter, I figured I should put it online to get some feedback, before I get too committed. I don't need any grammar or punctuation suggestions, it's just the actual story and the layout that I need help with. So here it is, the first chapter of my novel:

    I’m not sure how many years have passed since I arrived here. I wouldn’t say it’s been a short while, but I’m a far cry from the age of an OAP. My life was already hanging on a thread, but now I feel like my nose is half a centimetre off the ground, after having base jumped from the stratosphere. And the ground is covered in mines. And there’s an army of invading aliens, all training their massive laser guns at me. And my parachute is on fire. And I’m the only human left alive.
    But in reality, it’s not like that at all. I know it could be worse. I still have a roof over my head, some food every once in a while and a bed to sleep in- albeit a very spider infested bed. I come up with petty excuses to make my situation seem worse than it really is. My house isn’t that terrible. Yeah, it may only be 3x3, have a concrete floor, thin chipboard walls, a corrugated tin foil roof with a hole in it, all stuck together with pritt stick and some staples. And it may have been built by me, under a noisy motorway, next to a smelly river in a hotspot for unconscious drunks… But it does have a great view of the city at night! You do have to watch it through the space where the door should be, but you get used to the cold after a few months…
    Ok, I lied. I hate it. I’d rather live in a mud hut in Africa than live like this! You have no idea what kind of horrific stuff I have to go through every day! The river, the motorway, the drunks, the rats, the chipmunks and worst of all… Those bloody raccoons! They steal my precious food. They take all the good stuff from the garbage cans before I can get there. They even stole my newly salvaged desk lamp last week! OK, I didn’t have any electrical outputs to use it with, but it was a very nice ornament!
    Have you ever imagined what life would be like if you were a king, but then one day all your people turn on you and throw you into a dungeon with a fire breathing dragon chasing after you for all eternity? Well I dream of a life like that. I wish I was so lucky. But no, instead I have to put up with things like finding ways to pass the time, and rallying small groups of street children to fight against demonic tyrants, in the form of smelly, rabid raccoons.
    But there is a very good reason why I’m here. In all honesty, I chose this life over another. I could’ve been a well off business man with a stable job and a nice house. I could’ve gone to Cambridge University, if I really wanted. I had the qualifications, so you might ask, “Why?”
    Well, I am what you call ‘unique’- In a bad way. In middle school, I thought it was weird to have more than two friends. I thought that if you ever got less than 90% in a test, you were to be considered a brain dead chimpanzee with no capacity for intelligence, which has lumps of soggy concrete for brain cells. I believed that I was normal, with my perfect scores and my one friend (an imaginary soup ladle), and everyone else was weird, with their friendship groups and their average C’s. Other people spent their free time with friends, or in skate parks. Most of my spare time was spent either studying, or –for some reason- deeply resenting the fact that I wasn’t a Norse god.
    I went through high school in much the same fashion. I did become a bit more normal, in that I didn’t want to become a god anymore. ‘Sanity’, if that’s what you’d call it, was sort of finding its way into my head. But I never planned to get a job in a company or become a corporate overlord, mega super genius, master scientist, or some other form of professional intelligent person. I always favoured the life of an urban hermit over the life of a rich genius. It just seemed so much more interesting. My way of thinking has never changed, but my idealisation of the life of a hobo has. Drastically.
    I didn’t think I’d be forming a resistance to fight against large gangs of bully raccoons. I never imagined I would be constructing my own bed, using some bin liners and clipboards I found in a bloody church. I never imagined that I’d have to put genuine effort into things. I thought I could just sit and watch the world go by, as I played a tuneful blues song on my harmonica. That life worked for a few days, but then the raccoons stole my harmonica, and with it, any optimism left in me.
    And now, I’m at the end of the world. Life has finally given up on me. I was just out fetching things from the garbage, like orange peel and broken glass to throw at the drunks who pester me when I’m trying to sleep. But when I got back, everything was gone. My home was gone. That beautiful piece of paper- thin chipboard that I called home was gone. GONE! My precious foil roof, my hard earned pile of mouldy garbage, my precious supply of homemade raccoon repellent (piss and river water)… It was all gone. God knows how long I lived in that hut. Five years? Five hundred years- I don’t know! But that was my home, and there was some man with an important looking hat and a black suit standing there with a construction worker and a van, just taking it all away.
    In the back of the van was my home, folded up and thrown in, like a piece of flat-packed furniture made out of cheap chipboard and masking tape. I ran over to the space where my home had been, a look of intense sadness on my face, and stood next to the man.
    He was old- about 40 years older than me- and he wore a permanent, undying frown on his face. He was tall and thin, and looked down his nose at everything- including the bridge above him, somehow.
    “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing to my home!?” I shouted. He turned on his heels to face me, and then scoffed.
    “Your Home?” He said, raising his thin eyebrows. “This is not a ‘home’ as you call it; it is a waste of materials!”
    “No it isn’t! I’ve lived in that thing for years, why the hell are you taking it away now!?” I shouted, with a very upset tone to my voice. “And who in the bloody hell are you, anyway?” He lowered his head, and peered over his tiny, semi-circle glasses.
    “You look more like you’ve been living in a cave than in that pile of garbage.” He said, bluntly, ignoring my last question. “If it were up to me, people like you would be in prison. As would all those bloody footballers, complaining about their hair and their salaries. What? A few hundred grand a week not good enough for you!?” He raised his voice to a shout. After rambling on about footballers for several minutes, he took a moment to calm down, taking several deep breaths. He counted to ten, and then turned back to face me.
    I looked at him for a moment, and considered kicking him in the balls. But I decided that I’d rather not be at the mercy of the brawny construction man behind him, who’d now finished packing the last crate of my raccoon repellent into the van. My eyes darted from left to right, looking for something I could use to knock him out. I saw a few tin cans, and a heap of banana skins by the river to the left, and a few glass milk bottles on the right, about two yards away, where my home used to be. I thought for a moment, and then started edging towards them.
    “Why are you taking my home, anyway?” I asked, still edging towards the milk bottles.
    “Well isn’t it obvious? The thing you call ‘home’ is what I call ‘free chipboard’.” He put it in an insultingly hurtful way, which made my eyelid twitch.
    “And what if I said I didn’t want you stealing my house?” I asked, on the brink of tears, now a few feet from the milk bottles.
    “Then I’ll have to have Bull here change your mind.” He gestured to the large builder behind him. I stopped for a moment, and thought about what might happen if the milk bottles weren’t enough to knock Bull out. I dismissed the thoughts of having my remaining teeth knocked out, and my frail arms snapped in half, and continued towards the milk bottles.
    I was now a few inches from them. My eyes darted towards them, and I dropped, grabbing two of them, and hurling them both towards Bull.
    His skull was apparently thicker than I had first thought. The bottles shattered over his hairless head, but he made absolutely no signs of noticing them. He simply stood there like an Easter Island statue. Any emotions he may have once had were gone. But that version of Bull only lasted until Mr Black Suit extended a long, bony finger at me and said “Break his legs.” Moments later, I was lying in a pile on the floor, knocked senseless by a lightning fast barrage of pro boxing moves. I blacked out.
    I woke in an unfamiliar environment. Bright lights, white walls, and there was no wind rattling the roof every ten seconds. Must be heaven, I thought. Beep, beep, beep, came a sound from above me. Oh, my mistake… I tried to sit up, but my body was suspiciously unresponsive. Beep, beep, beep, beep. I heard coming from around me. There were people wearing white masks and green aprons everywhere. A blindingly bright overhead light flicked on. I attempted to verbalise my displeasure towards whoever turned that bloody light on, but I instead wound up communicating in a gargled tongue, reminiscent to that of a mindless, flesh eating zombie.
    The green- aproned people jumped at my fruitless attempt to speak. They all raced to work stations, and a few of them loomed over me, pointing flashlights in my eyes, for some stupid reason. I was already half blinded by the massive overhead light, but now I felt like my eyes were about to burst out of my head, or melt. I could still hear the green- aproned people talking and panicking, but the beeping sound was getting louder. Slowly, the beeping got louder and louder. It rang through my head, causing me to lose touch with my senses. Now, the beeping was all there was. Beep, beep, beep, beeeeeeeee-.
    A vision planted itself in my mind. A vast plain of burning hot white desert was easing its way into my head, like an artist painting a picture. I soared across a colossal void of white sand, flying high above the burning ground. I took in my surroundings, and saw what looked like a small town to my left. I looked back towards the desert, and saw a body, lying in the angel-like sands. It was bleeding from its legs, and a gruesome red stain marked the static body on the endless mass of dry sand. I flew in for a closer look, and stopped dead. I stared at the body. The body stared back, no emotions present on its face. He wore a tattered shirt, which looked like it hadn’t been washed for at least three years. He had some dull grey rags on his legs for trousers, or at least they would’ve been grey, had it not been for the rich scarlet stains on them.
    He was young, maybe in his mid-twenties, although his complexion was more like that of a fifty year old man. He clearly hadn’t had anything reminiscent of a haircut in recent years, as his hair dropped down to below his shoulders. He had a gruff beard, with more knots in it than there are in the Christmas tree lights when you get them out. He was me.
    My dull expression glared at me, without saying a word. I extended an ethereal limb towards my body. I touched myself on my forehead, and instantly my view switched from looking down at my body, to looking up, from my body.
    The first thing I noticed was the pain. My legs had been sheared in half, and were letting out pints of blood faster than a thirsty Irishman can drink pints of Guinness. I wanted to let out a scream, but I was too busy losing my muscle control to give a damn. I blacked out. Again…
  2. JJ_Maxx

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Oct 8, 2012
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    Welcome to the forum!

    I would suggest you read this thread:

    Welcome, New Member: Please Read!

    This will let you know that we have some basic requirements before posting your writing.

    I would also suggest heading over to the New Members Introduction forum and introducing yourself properly!

    ~ J. J.
  3. Dante Dases

    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

    Sep 25, 2008
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    West Yorkshire, England
    JJ, report the post to us if you see that it's contravening the rules of the forum.

    However, what I was going to say has been said. I can only add that we have particular rules regarding who can post asking for feedback. Thread closed.
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