1. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    Need help when to reveal the big reveal.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aguywhotypes, Apr 2, 2015.

    short story
    The premise is this:

    When a giant earthworm wreaks havoc on a small town the local monster hunter team steps in to eliminate the threat.

    But upon further investigation they find that the company upstream of the lake (where the worm emerges) have been dumping toxic chemicals into a little river that feeds in to the main large lake. These chemicals caused the earthworms to grow very large and into a killing beast.

    Now my problem is I want the reader to think its just about the giant earthworms but when they finally get eradicated they find out about the toxic chemicals.

    Where do I put this info?

    I thought of putting this in a small first opening scene of workers dumping toxic chem. into the river then the second scene two boys are out early morning at sunrise in the lake in their boat they see something very large in the water...and were off!

    The problem with that is it would be to obvious of a foreshadow. I also thought that once the monster hunting team gets the big worms they get sent back into the lab for testing and that is when they find traces of this chemical and then trace it back to this company and what they are doing.

    any ideas?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A few thoughts. First, the boys observing the toxic chemical dump don't have to recognize what it is...what's happening. Or maybe one of their uncles works at a oil change place and has been known to dump the oil down the sewer drain, etc. Everybody does it.

    Also, if there are 'monster hunter teams' then unusual creatures must be somewhat commonplace or known to exist. It'd make sense to seek the origin of the worms (just like other creatures). Right? So sending pieces of the specimen off to the lab. As an aside, might not a leech be a better water predator/creature than an earthworm? Of course a mutated worm can be pretty nasty...ie the movie Tremors.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I agree with @TWErvin2 that whatever you do with the story, "if there are 'monster hunter teams'", they have to make sense. What other kinds of monsters have they discovered?

    Also, you might want something fresh rather than just toxins, like genetically modified organisms in the waste. So the kids could see the waste dumping but later near the end it is revealed that the waste is more than just polluting, it poses risks having escaped into the environment.

    Monster hunter: "I don't get it, that stuffs been dumped in rivers before and there has never been anything like this."​
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's the main source of conflict in your story? Is it a story about fighting monsters, or about investigating monsters?

    If the focus is on fighting, then, sure, let the reader know near the start. But if the focus is on investigating, obviously you should wait until closer to the end.
     
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  5. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps the monster hunting team tries to use the same/similar toxic chemicals in an effort to kill the beast only to find it strengthens it. There is always a local monster hunting team, young guys with beer and guns usually, so I have no problem with their existence.
     
  6. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    I wanted a worm over a leach because a worm bores holes. This sucker is huge like almost 3 feet in diameter and 40' long. It plows up houses and wreaks the plumbing, electrical and sewage, water and everything else that is underground. Maybe it creates sinkholes; whole houses drop down.

    I researched a little about earthworms and they have to maintain moisture/water content on their 'skin' because they absorb oxygen through the water. So they way to kill them is to dry them out. I think a flamethrower should work!

    The story is about the hunt for and then the big battle trying to kill it.
    ***
    I love the idea of genetically modified organisms being dumped into the water.
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Somehow, toxic chemicals being dumped illegally doesn't qualify as a "big reveal" from my point of view. It's happened for years (though not as much as it used to), it's lousy, it's short-range cheap but long-range counterproductive, but it's not something that's going to surprise or shock or amaze anyone. Nor would it particularly shock anyone (in your story world) if the dumping caused the humongous worms. In fact, it's almost too convenient an explanation.

    If by "big reveal" ("revelation," damn it, "revelation") you're referring to "The REAL Threat," I'd suggest starting with people noticing extra-large worms (which don't normally hang out in lakes and don't have much swimming ability when they get in water), twice or three times the normal size. Then they get bigger, then eventually have the citizens find out about the chemical dumping--- and the big revelation comes when a handful of really colossal worms start undermining foundations and generally making compost of the entire community.

    But if you're referring to the revelation of the cause, try having the illegal chemicals (which [I suggest] have not been dumped in the water all this time; maybe only since a certain cost-cutting manager was hired) turn out to combine in a bizarre way with some mineral native to the soil/rock underlying the community. The soil is changed, the earthworms grow outsized, and aaaaiiiiiieeee! But that soil/rock is what the town is built on, and they can't get rid of it. What will they dooooooo??????? :supershock:
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  8. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    yeah big reveal not the correct term. I meant the real big threat behind it all kind of thing.
     
  9. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I think I'd have the boy fishing, and putting worms on hooks in the opening scene, but maybe not catching anything as dead fish wash up on shore. It gives the reader an idea that something is up, and introduces worms as the insignificant creepy crawly we know and love.

    If you wanted a twist, you could have a predator, like a bird eating worms out of the ground, and later a giant bird attacking. :p
     
  10. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    yeah I kind of like that.

    Maybe the boys go dig up some earthworms to go out fishing and when the do they realize there a LOT larger than normal but still not 'monstrous' size yet.

    Most earthworms are in the quarter inch diameter by three to seven inches long. Maybe they dig ones up an inch in diam. and maybe two feet long but ... ahhh. they're teens so they would just think that they dug up a snake and probably freak out and run.
     
  11. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    Oh, remember the short lived TV series Surface?
    The big bad creature as it turned out was part of a science lab experiment IIRC
    I remember when the one scientist was having an interview with the company asked why are you doing this? Their response was because we can.
    I thought that was a bit weak but then I said, yeah why not.

    I wanted some sort of a 'scientific' reason for their mutation.
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why would the fish wash up dead? They're a lot tougher than they look - after all, what other lifeform spends its life in a dilute solution of its own excreta?
     
  13. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I wouldn't put anything to do with chemicals/toxic waste/big companies anywhere near the beginning as the reader will two and two together and come up with four. The only way you will get away with that, is if you come up with some completely different explanation for the huge worms.

    As for where to put your reveal, that's up to you. If you don't have anything to tell after the reveal, then put it right at the end. If you want to tell more story after the reveal, make sure it's something the reader will be interested in, maybe even leave a small cliffhanger in the form of the characters thinking they've killed all the worms but then ... then ... OMG ONE SURVIVED ... etc

    Good luck
     
  14. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    LOL, the two boys are fishing on their boat out into the lake pretty far. They see this huge dark shadow circling and poof their fishing poles get pulled down and are gone. They just stare at each other for a while before they realize that whatever this thing is start to go around the lake faster and faster and creates a 'blender' type of funnel effect. The two boys barely get out in time to turn around and see the lake being turned into one giant 'blender' sucking boats and ripping docks off the land and 'flushing' them down.

    I don't know, why but that just cracks me up!
     
  15. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    I'm about ready to forget the why. I just thought I'd have to have one.

    I mean even if a 'monster hunter' team comes into 'eliminate' the threat they would eventually want to find out what was going on or where it came from.

    Maybe it came from outer space or a meteorite landed there years ago and that is what formed the lake then as the meteorite began to breakdown it contained some DNA from some aliens that were experimenting with using meteorites to store their eggs.

    Oh, I think I need a breather!
     
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  16. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hope the boys are champion rowers, or they wouldn't get off the lake alive, if the docks are being ripped off and flushed away!
     
  17. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again, you'll have to explain why earthworms are suddenly such great swimmers. They can survive in fresh water, but they just sort of hang out. They don't swim worth a damn.

    Some water snake that suddenly got big?

    Earthworms are great miners of the earth . . .
     
  18. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If I remember right, the movie Tremors didn't bother explaining the origin of the monsters.

    Also, who is the MC? The monster hunter? One (or both) of the boys? Someone else - perhaps a scientist who gets to the bottom of things?
     
  19. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    My thoughts are you have a person who works at the plant and monitors these things early on in the story , have it that he knows about it and hides it. only to have him killed by the worm .
    I read a few books where the author tried to hide such facts until the end and I do not think it works.
     
  20. rincewind31
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    rincewind31 Member

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    If there isnt a scene where a birds eating worms out of the soil, until a giant worm pops up and swallows the bird i'll be very disappointed.
     

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