Jon paul Janze Jon paul Janze
Recommendations: 10

First Paragraph. I think you would have something more 'powerful' with a fewer words. Let the reader 'fill in the blanks' more. For example - the first sentence would read more smoothly restructured something like this: "A tall lanky man stands upright, his receding hairline disguising his youth." maybe not exatly that, but you get the idea. I like the graphic qualities of the story, but as I say, a readers imagination only needs to be lead in a direction and will fill in a tonne of details for you if you let them :)

Daniel Sintos Daniel Sintos
Recommendations: 16

I've noticed there seems to be a tendency to use a "verb to verb" formula, especially in the early parts (e.g., begins to slow"). Although this is fine in small quantities, repetition of the formula tends to slow the pace of the story and could hurt the prose in general. Try switching it with something like: "... a battery-powered circular saw groans as its blades slow to a stop." You could also try showing the reader instead of telling them the details (e.g., The forefront of the lanky man's hairline had fallen with more following suit. "I'm too young for this," he grunted.)

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - Blankly blinking, the man looks at the back of his left hand before flipping his palm upwards, taking in the amount of blood that soaks him, his clothes and his power tool. An eerie silence fills the cinderblock room that he stands in. All around him, piles of lifeless bodies. And the blood, a placid puddle that he stands ankle deep in. - " When describing a scene where many actions are followed - or conjoined by many descriptive words - try to keep it simple and fluid so your readers can conjure images immediately without having to work through the speed bumps that too many words and actions produce.

Jon paul Janze Jon paul Janze
Recommendations: 10

I like the time shifting here. It was the right amount of scene setting above and then at just the right moment, you gave the backstory. So good transition here.

Daniel Sintos Daniel Sintos
Recommendations: 16

Like Jon Paul, I do enjoy the switch here. We get to hear a more personal account of what's going on -- kind of like watching a WWII documentary then getting to sit down with an actual veteran. Great shift.

Daniel Sintos Daniel Sintos
Recommendations: 16

I do suggest tightening the prose, however. Cut off any words that, when removed, won't harm the sentence. For example, taking out "reality" in "... it was even a possible reality" would tighten the prose while delivering the same thought.

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David Anderson David Anderson
Recommendations: 2

= A Day At A Time = Part One


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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

      A tall, lanky man in his early twenties, though, when considering his already beginning to recede hairline, he looked a few years older, stands upright. Panting heavily, he tries to catch his breath as he looks down at his blood soaked t-shirt before raising his hands. Gripped tightly in his right hand, still dripping blood, a battery powered circular saw with the safety features removed from it begins to slow its motor and hums to a stop. Blankly blinking, the man looks at the back of his left hand before flipping his palm upwards, taking in the amount of blood that soaks him, his clothes and his power tool. An eerie silence fills the cinderblock room that he stands in. All around him, piles of lifeless bodies. And the blood, a placid puddle that he stands ankle deep in.
       With the adrenaline still coursing through his veins, the man’s eyes are red, puffy and begin to slightly water. His hands tremble. His bottom lip quivers. His heart pounds against his ribcage. The sound of soft footsteps is heard walking up behind him as a small, feminine hand is placed on his right shoulder.
       “Is that the last of them?” Asks a delicate, angelic voice from behind him.
       Lowering his hands slowly, the man closes his eyes tightly as he takes a deep, long inhale, holding the air in his lungs before harshly exhaling through his nose. “For now…” Responds the man as he turns around to face the angelic voice.
       Facing him, holding a couple month old child, a woman with black hair looks at him. Her eyes are an ice blue and in an unexplainable way, when the man looks into her eyes, he finds comfort, calming his trembling exterior. As he feels his nerves begin to relax, he gives a half-hearted smile which the woman returns as she adjusts the weight of the baby in her arms, causing the baby to wake up and to blink it’s eyes as it adjusts it to the light in the room.
       “Are you two okay?” The man asks as he takes his attention from off of the beautiful woman in front of him and looks down at the child, placing the palm of his left hand on the back of the child’s head.
       “We are…” The woman replies as she rotates her neck in a circular fashion before continuing, “ … But it seems like more and more come each day.” The man nods in agreement as he looks over his shoulder towards the pile of lifeless bodies on the floor and glancing pass towards the open door just beyond the mound.
       Uneasy about the door being broken, the man looks back at the woman, “Maybe you should try to get some sleep for a little bit. We are going to have to leave before long. Without a doubt… We are going to have a rough next couple of days.”
       “What about you?” Asks the woman. “You are going to need some sleep as well. You haven’t slept in days.”
       Smiling, the man takes his left hand from off of the baby’s head and places it on the woman’s cheek. “I’ll be fine.” The man removes his hand from her cheek and turns around. Walking up to the door, the man continues, “Plus, I need to keep look out.”
       “But…” The woman goes to interject but a quick, sharp look from the man lets her know that any rebuttal would be useless. Biting her bottom lip, she turns, finds a nice corner in the back of the cinderblock room and squats down, leaning her back against the corner. Pulling out her right breast, she begins to feed the baby.
       The man turns his head around and looks to the left and to the right down the hall that leads to the room that he and the woman is in as he leans against the door’s jam. Taking in, yet, another deep inhale, the man slings the circular saw in his right hand upwards, resting the saw’s small table against his right shoulder as he stands guard. 3 comments


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“It didn’t happen too long ago. Not even a week ago. One morning, like every other morning, families, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters… Sons and daughters, were getting ready for school and for work, eating their breakfasts, talking about… God knows what. And all across the radio stations, news stations, anything that can get the word out, comes a warning, telling everyone to stay in doors and to….. And that is when it stopped. A five second spiff… That’s all we got as a warning.
       Not knowing what to make of the warning, most, if not all families sent their loved ones to school, to work and went on with their day-to-day lives, not knowing that would be the last time any of them enjoyed the comfortable serenity of normal life.
       For me, 10:05 AM on a Tuesday morning was when I knew that my ‘normal’ life was over and that I went from playing one ‘sport’ to playing an entirely different game with entirely different rules. Nobody knows exactly how it started or where it came from. Nobody ever thought that it was even a possible reality. We were all fools. Luckily for me, even if I was going through a literal hell, at least I had my wife Ashley and my son Todd. At least I have them. At least I got that much. 3 comments


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