MemberMay 18, 2021 at 5:31 am
Here is the first draft of one of my stories. Please be brutal or be nice. Either way is cool. Just be honest.
Consequences of Journalism and the Changing Times..
By Glen T. Gottilla
It’s was once called the Lil’ Ale’ Inn, but now it will be known as the Time Inn. This happened because the new owners loved time travel movies and hated aliens. The regulars knew this and everyone else didn’t care. Noah, looked at this sign then entered the dive bar expecting to see UFO nerds, bikers, and desert trash. This was Nevada after all. Everyone looked at Noah with shock as he walked slowly, looking for his friend. “Hey Dr. Zayas, over here big guy!” a familiar voiced call to him.
Noah sighed and then looked over at middle aged biker who was staring. Noah make eye contact with him and said “What! you never say a Sasquatch sigh before?”
The semi-shocked biker replied “Nope.”
Noah lifted his hairy arm and said “Get out of here”
He lumber to the bar and found his friend. Noah spoke “Aaron, I thought I told you not to call me that! Would you like it if I called you Elv-“
A thin arm in a yellow jacket reached up and a hand covered the Sasquatch’s mouth. “Don’t you dare call me that. I am just his clone” Arron replied.
The bartender a redheaded twenty something smiled then said “I thought you looked like an Elvis impersonator”
Aaron snapped his head over to her, giving her a good look at his pouty lips, black hair and icy blue eyes.
“Clone” he corrected her.
Noah, the Bigfoot sat next to Aaron and introduced himself “Sorry my friend is sensitive. But, he is actually the Clone of Elvis Presley and I am Bigfoot”
He held a hand out to the bartender “pleasure to meet you?”
“Jane, I am Jane. Would you like a drink?”
Jane tried to shake Noah’s hand. It was much bigger than hers. “No, well not yet” Noah replied, “We’re waiting for a friend,”
“Barry, he was also known as the Wambat kid” Noah said
“Kid my ass, he is 32” Aaron interjected.
A four-foot-tall round figure wearing jeans and hoodie walked up to Aaron just to push him into the bar. “why do you have to be such a dick (or jerk) Aaron”
“Easy buddy I am teasing” Aaron replied.
The figure flipped back the hood to reveal a face that was a perfect combination of a bear and groundhog.
“You must be the Wombat Kid” Janes said with amusement in her voice.
“Please call me Barry” said the Wombat Kid said as he handed her his license. “Beer please” Jane looked at his id, “Wow you are 32” she mused.
“Wombat Man, makes me sound like a superhero” he patted his sides and confessed “and I am not built like one”
Jane handed him back his license and went to get him a beer
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re pretty cute” Jane said while she worked the tap.
“See Aaron, I am pretty cute!” Barry said triumphantly.
Jane finished up pouring Barry’s beer then asked all three one question “So why are you guys all here? Because this feels like a bad joke.”
All three of them gave her the annoyed side eye, if this was joke none of them found it funny.
Jane gave Barry his beer then said “Or not”
Noah looked at the bartender and then explained “The Truth is we were all at one point the biggest tabloid stars on Earth”
“and then we weren’t and now it sucks” Barry finished.
Aaron chimed in with “Me and Noah over here hated it, we got no peace from this entire episode. Barry on the other hand loved it.”
“It’s been a decade and we were no longer gracing the covers of these rags and we want to know why?” Noah continued.
Jane looking at them and then asked “What will that accomplish?”
“Someone to blame and sue for the royalties” Aaron chimed in then said “..and now we have a name. J. Nolan Kirkland, he was the ‘journalist’ who stalked us all.”
“We heard he haunts this place and we are here waiting for him” Barry said as he slammed the glass on to bar.
“Haunts, funny word guys” said a sullen looking middle aged man with pale skin, brown eyes and graying mustache. The trio looked at him and Aaron said “It’s him!”
Kirkland shrugged his shoulder and then said solemnly “Yes it’s me, and sorry I stalked you guys. I should have contacted you guys and made it legal. But it won’t matter the tabloid is out of business and then I had my heart attack”
Noah said “I am sorry”
Arron also said “Hey man I am sorry too.”
Barry looked at Kirkland and asked “Really, I thought they’re making money off celebrities?”
“No” Kirkland sadly said, “Haven’t you boys heard, Print is dead.”
He reached for Barry’s glass only to have his hand pass through it. “Yeah print is dead and so am I,” He sobbed.
ModeratorMay 24, 2021 at 7:53 pm
I really like the twist at the end. It’s a good one-twist plot construction, and an interesting concept throughout.
My main suggestion here is to revisit your dialogue tags. You use a lot of “ly” adverbs. Consider showing and not telling. Describe the look on someone’s face rather than using “triumphantly” for example. This will also help break up the dialogue, and give some variety to your prose.
In comics, you don’t need to worry about description or action as much because your artist does a lot of that work for you, but in prose, the reader relies on your words for that description. Right now, you have a wall of dialogue without much description in there. Consider adding small actions by the character or descriptions of relative setting–even some internal monologue to break up the description.
That said, I think you have the framework of the excellent story here. It’s well-plotted, as I mentioned above.
MemberMay 24, 2021 at 11:17 pm
Thanks for the feed back, I remember that wall of dialogue and it reminded of one my comic scripts, So I will work on that tonight. I am wondering about the accompanying art work. does it do some of the showing parts of the story or should my prose be able to stand up by itself?
ModeratorMay 27, 2021 at 6:48 pm
In general, I would say the work should stand on its own. The illustration enhances and illuminates, kind of like a book cover. The idea was to imitate the old serial pulp scifi magazines, or the illustrations that accompany the Bradbury stories in The October Country.
ModeratorJune 5, 2021 at 6:38 am
I really liked the story. I agree with Ari about the showing and not telling for the character’s interactions (I too, have to redo some of my descriptions to add the effect). One of the things I really liked is the “3 guys walk into a bar” kinda story that actually reads as if you’re telling a joke, and then with the end the way it is, it lands an earned “punchline” with the twist, so I really appreciated that. Overall a fun little tale.
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