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4 months ago
My 1000 words story. Eh, could've been better, but I'll use this as dialogue practice. I'm probably gonna need it.

[Insert title here]

“Huh, sure is hard trying to remember all these fiddly sticks and what they do.”
Harvey pointed at the dashboard, face filled with frustration.
“They don’t even let us touch it, much less than flying it in real life.”
“How am I supposed to do my test tomorrow, huh? Mother won’t ever let us out again!”

Ears full of his rambling, you step down from the pilot seat to get some fresh air. You hear a squelch as your boot lands on the smooth pavement. Lifting your foot, you find a mush of meat mixed with sand and pebbles.

“Probably a leftover lunch,” you mutter dejectedly. It had been days since the assignment of flight, yet you can’t remember a single thing from the classes. It’s all monotonous, you immersed in your own thoughts while time flies by.

The whirring of engines snaps you out of your daydreams, and you turn to see Harvey, his head sticking out the window, shouting:

“Hey! I got this thing to turn on! How about a little test!”

Eager for some excitement in your life, you climb into a seat, curiously looking at the control panels flickering to life. Your seat trembles lightly, a reminder of the powerful engine under you.

“You sure you know how to fly this thing?” You question, looking over at Harvey. He was too busy making “Brrr” sounds to reply. Looking confident, he grabbed the largest lever to the left, and gave it a pull. Liftoff was achieved quickly, the specialized motors really gave some power to the plaire.

“Make sure not to get too close to the radars, that would be less than ideal. Do you know the consequences of getting caught, 2 AM, piloting one of the most secretive and expensive planes there are?”

He tilted his head, chuckling. “Not a clue. Don’t worry about us getting found though, my skills are top notch.”

“Sure, since this is your first time flying this,” You poked back. Deciding to take a break, Harvey starts to pilot a descent. The plane went in a slow, controlled spiral downward, and softly landed in a patch of grass. Stepping down into the brush, you frowned at the sudden appearance of nature. It was told that the surrounding radius of 200 miles were cleared of any grass, that not a single blade was growing near the base. Yet here you are, standing in a patch of soft foliage, the sound of birds chirping around you. The pilot’s door creaks, and Harvey’s head pops out.

“Damn, what is this place? There’s no way we could’ve flown this far,” He lightly pats the grass underneath. “Been a while since I’ve seen some greenery.”

Cautiously looking around, you catch a glimpse of some wired fence and artificial light in the distance. It seems that there is a secluded area within the base, full of nature and life. Walking back to the plane, you hear sounds. No, not those made by Harvey, he was off in the distance, rolling in the grass. Instead, there was heavy breathing, primal panting, perhaps. Whatever is making that sound is well hidden, perhaps even watching right now.

Walking over, you give a light kick to Harvey’s side.

“Hey, let’s get outta here. I heard some weird stuff near the plane, might be some sort of animal,” you start dragging Harvey back to the plane while talking.

“Don’t fuss,” He says with a sly grin. “You see this? I snuck it from the instructor’s room.”

Looking down, you see a well polished pistol in his hand. Although still slightly paranoid, you let go of his arm. Walking back to the plane to get your cap, you hear that panting again. Shaking thoughts of danger from your head, you step up and grab the piece of felt on the seat. It might’ve just been you, but you could swear you heard a whimper as you put your weight onto the metal railing.

“Whaddaya suppose this place is used for?” You ask Harvey, who was walking back to the plane with a blade of grass in his mouth.

“Maybe it’s a place for the higher-ups to unwind, it’s quite nice here.”

“C’mon, let’s go,” you remind him, “since this is a place to unwind, I think we shouldn’t dilly dally here too long.”

The plane’s engine grumbles to life as he pulls back the lever, and prepares for lift off. Despite all the whirring, the plane refuses to budge. It tremors again, and this time you hear it. The panting, below. Looking down, you see some of the grass being shaken off from the plane’s movements, to reveal dark, scaly skin of sorts. You tremble at the sudden realization that you two may have landed into a death trap.

“Place to unwind my ass!” You shout, giving Harvey a good shove. “Get outta here! Whatever that thing is, it sure ain’t happy that a plane landed on it’s back!”

“You think I’m not trying to get this damn plane flying? It's lodged tight in something!”

Instead of lifting, the plane starts to sink into the ground. You peer down again only to see a dark, sinkhole like pit, the bottomless maw of a monster from ancient legends.

“Fuck this, I’m jumping!” You turn to see Harvey leap out of the plane, arms outstretched. He lands safely away from the thing swallowing you whole. Waving his arms, he beckons for you to join him. Just as you stretch your foot out to jump, you see him fall. A smaller hole had opened up underneath him. Never would you forget the look of pure horror on his face. Another jolt, and you come tumbling down too.

It burned. Wait. Burned? Your eyes open to see fire flickering in your face. Sitting up, you could see an endless sea of flames on crusted, dried land. You hear grunting to your left, and turn see Harvey beside you, face blackened from soot.

“Where’s this,” you mutter. “Hell?”


4 months ago
I guess this is also a glimpse at my writing for those of you who haven't seen it.
Feel free to leave constructive feedback, compliments, insults, mockery, I'll take it all.

EDIT: Damn, already found a missing word, oh well.


4 months ago
First, the disclaimers: this is my review. It is likely not like anyone else’s. In fact, you probably couldn’t find anyone else who completely agrees with what I write here. But it’s my opinion. I’m also writing this as I read through this for the first time. These are my first impressions as I read it. I’m not saying they’re right, just what I’m thinking. This is written in the spirit of helping you see how others (okay, me) see your story and to perhaps give you ideas for improvement, and not to be mean or anything else. Please don’t take it personally. This review is likely worth exactly what you paid for it. Finally, you did ask. Here we go: Okay, fiddly sticks. Whatever. But they’re on the dashboard, so points out Harvey. So I’m picturing a dashboard with popsicle sticks point up, about a dozen of them. But now they’re talking about a test and mother. Okay. So at this point my guess is that we have two aliens who are out for a joyride in mom’s stolen space ship that has popsicle sticks pointing around on the dashboard and the alien kids don’t know what any of them mean. So we might be just about out of gas, or about to crash into another planet, I’m not sure. We’ll see. Wait, now I’m there. I wasn’t there, but now not only am I there, I’m now the pilot of the stolen alien ship. Does this mean that I’m an alien, too? Am I in cahoots with the other alien kids out for a joyride? Do I know if the fiddly sticks mean I’m just about out of gas? Oh wait, I opened a window in my space ship, so I guess there’s oxygen here – or maybe not if I’m some kind of alien. But I have boots and I just stepped in something, or perhaps someone, since there’s aliens. Maybe I just stepped on one of the two guys talking in the beginning of this story. But now I’m talking to myself. Where in the hell did Harvey go? He was right next to me a minute ago. I really think I just stepped in Harvey and killed him, and apparently I’m totally unaware of that fact. Of course, now I’m wondering, since I thought it was lunch, if I’m aware of the aliens, and I often eat them for lunch; or if I’m utterly unaware of Harvey and the fact that I just squashed him. I also wonder if Harvey has any family. Or life insurance. But I’m apparently in sync with my character in the story, as time suddenly flies by while I’m standing there with goo on the bottom of my boot on maybe a runway for my stolen alien ship. Hey look! Harvey’s back from the dead! He may be in the cockpit of … the ship I just landed? And he’s impressed that he got the stolen alien ship to start up? I’m pretty sure he was with me when I landed here literally just a minute ago (though time passage is a little shaky right now, what with me killing aliens and time flying by). But hey, Ima jump right back into the ship I just got out of with Harvey, excited for a chance for excitement… in the ship I just landed a moment ago. So now I’m sitting next to Harvey who, instead of actually flying the stolen alien spacecraft, is just making the noise pretending to fly like a three-year old. Either that or he’s cold, I’m not completely sure here. But hey, he pulled the right lever and now we’re flying (again). But at least I’m worried about him getting caught by the radars (though not so much when I was flying). Oh wait, now we’re not in a stolen alien spacecraft, we’re in a stolen expensive plane and it’s 2AM. Why are we running around at 2AM? And there’s no security at all? Doesn’t sound like too expensive a plane. So we’ve been hovering a foot off the ground, staying under radar. Now Harvey wants to take a break. Maybe he’s tried from making all the flying noises with his mouth. But at least he took the plane down the one foot we’ve gone up with a nice spiral off the runway and into the grass. I’m not sure a plane in a spiral is a great place for a plane to go, but maybe it’s a special alien plane after all. I step on a bush, but then I’m ambushed by a tree! And a bird. I’m a few feet off the runway, but I’ve never noticed the grass, trees, and birds here. So maybe I’m not on the moon, I don’t know for sure. My good pal Harvey exits and I’m wondering why the door squeaks if this is such a new super-secret, super-expensive plane/alien ship, but maybe he was just making more noises with his mouth. And now he’s petting the grass. But at least I can see a moving fence. I mean, the fence must be moving because I’m looking around carefully, but I only caught a glimpse of the fence that’s made of wire. At least I can tell the difference between artificial light and normal light – especially since it’s 2 in the morning and I’m not sure if there’s normally lots of non-artificial light wherever I am (I’m still not convinced I’m on the moon with mom’s stolen alien spaceship). So now I hear a animal type noise from an animal hiding in the grass. How tall is this grass? Well, at least Harvey’s rolling around on the ground so I can kick him, even though he stole a gun. Because most instructors have guns in their room. Wait, are we student pilots? I’ll head back to the plane for my cap. Because I took that off earlier. I think. Was I wearing it while flying in the plane? I would think a helmet would be better when in a plane, but if it’s the stolen alien spaceship, I can see a cap. Is it a Trump MAGA cap? Wow, that is some seriously strong felt. Every time I’ve seen felt, it is soft and tears under the slightest pressure. But not my stolen alien spaceship felt on the seat. Oh wait, that’s it, isn’t it? It’s alien felt, which is clearly much stronger than human-made earth felt. Good thing, too, or I probably would have fallen back out of the stolen plane and landed on Harvey with his stolen gun. Then certainly the gun would have gone off and the panting animal hiding in the two-inch tall surprise grass surely would have been shot and killed. At least we’re leaving this scary place with… grass. I’m glad Harvey got to eat some before we left, since it’s clearly a rare commodity here on the moon. My logic skills are a little weird, since I think that if a place is a place where you go to unwind, then you shouldn’t be there long. Now certainly that’s true if you’re a wind-up car or a wind-up soldier, but otherwise unwinding is usually a good thing, not to be rushed. No matter, we’re going to pull the lever and take our vertical take-off helicopter/stolen plane/mom’s stolen alien spaceship back into the air (but staying under the radar, of course). Wait, it didn’t work. Maybe because Harvey didn’t make the noises with his mouth this time. Oh, we landed on a scaly creature that’s holding on to the bottom of the ship/plane/helicopter. And it’s a panting dog with scales. But hey, at least I shove Harvey, since that’s always useful when about to have your entire stolen alien spaceship be eaten by a massive dog lizard. And now we’re in a pit. Or a sinkhole. Or a giant, panting venus fly-trap maybe. Or a giant purple worm mouth. So then I watch Harvey jump out of the mouth of the thing eating the entire plane (man, Harvey can jump, amiright?). And then he gets eaten by a smaller one of the purple worm/sinkhole creatures. And then I fall out of the craft. But I don’t fall down, I apparently fall around the plane or across the plane, somehow ending up on the same side of the plane as Harvey. And then… I’m unconscious? I guess I hit my head when I fell, maybe. And now I’m on fire. And now all the grass, trees, birds, and monsters are suddenly and completely on fire. I’m pretty sure a nuclear blast just happened, but at least I was unconscious, so I wasn’t affect by it, because that’s how nuclear bombs work, I think. And now the thing that ate Harvey changed their mind and he’s fine, so there’s that. So that’s what I was thinking when I read that. Overall though, the writing itself feel solid. I didn’t see many disruptive punctuation or grammar errors, or anything like that that was really distracting. Tense and the like seemed fine, but that’s usually easier with dialogue. And it would probably help if I had read something before this to setup the scene because as you can see, I start out with no context or idea of what the heck is going on. TBF, I’m pretty easily confused as well. Keep writing and good luck with it!


4 months ago
Oh wow, that was a hilarious interpretation of my piece.
Clearing some things up:
1. Alien spaceship vs Secret plane
At the start, I mean for the ship to be an alien ship, but then I changed my mind half way through(I know, I know, I would've changed it in the beginning if I wasn't so forgetful).
2. The intro
Did I mention this was for an unhelling? IDK. I think I meant that the students snuck out in the middle of the night, fiddled around with the not alien plane. I don't think I landed the thing, but instead was sitting in the front row(at least that's how I pictured the plane) with Harvey, then stepped down from the pilot seat, stepping onto a piece of meat or whatever.
3. Flying
Well, I've never had any experience with actually piloting anything :P So I just wrote up whatever I thought it would go like.
4. Felt
Lmao, that was meant to be a felt hat, but I just forgot. I probably should've just said cloth cap or something.
5. Big scaly thing and Hell
Hm, the monster wasn't actually supposed to be a monster in my imagination, I just thought of it as a hole that's made of meat and alive. The two peeps were supposed to fall into the hole, land in Hell itself(cuz that's what the military base is there for, guarding hell), and do whatever. I probably should've mentioned the main character hitting his head, then falling into the pit, into hell.

Anyway, I had quite a good laugh at this, thank you for this review :)


4 months ago

Ogre's review is hilarious, but don't let this distract you from the point he got across so nicely: Writing is tough. You have a picture in your mind, a pattern of excitement in your neurons, and you want to get other people's brains to see the same picture, their neurons to be excited in the same way. To make it worse you have to do it by making marks on a piece of paper, or in this case, a computer screen.

After you wrote this you probably (hopefully) checked if the writing matched the picture, the pattern of excitation that was on your mind. However this is the wrong question, what you need to proofread for is if the words evoke the right picture in somebody who hasn't the picture in mind yet. Ogre has done a fantastic job at illustrating what may go on in the mind of the reader.

If you think about this writing can seem like an intimidating challenge. How could you ever put down words that cannot be misunderstood? The answer is that you couldn't if there wasn't something more to work with. This extra bit is our shared human experience. In a sense you are already using these shared experiences alot. When you write plane, you don't need to explain that it is a machine used for flying, every reader will roughly know what you are talking about, but only roughly. By dropping in some more words you can control whether the picture that pops up in the reader's mind is a rickety biplane whose canvas wings have been patched numerous times, the new XR155T with it's sleek black body that seems to absorb all light, or maybe the type-C support lifter which only technically becomes a plane once it has reached sufficient altitude to fold out it's wings and rotate thrusters to their horizontal position (see what I did here). Funnily, even stuff that is completely made up (XR155T) can evoke a certain image if you hit the right tone.

The real kicker though is that we actually have shared expectations that apply to every story. For example one such shared expectation is that the protagonist is introduced in the beginning. This is a way of telling the readers brain who to pay attention to. Quite a lot of such expectations exist and if you know them you can work with them to great effect, if you ignore them you will find that your stories fail to achieve the desired effect.

Here is another concrete example: On my first reading I entirely missed the twist in your story (that the base is guarding an entrance to hell). I only really understood it when you pointed it out explicitly in your reply to Ogre. So how can I miss the hole point. First the ending was too quick and too confusing, the story ended before I really had a chance to process. But, I think the deeper more important reason is that my brain wasn't watching for something like this. The reason is that you were not controlling expectations. Basically the first thing you want to make sure in writing is that the reader understands what genre you are in. The genre sets down the ground rules of what can happen and what can't. In a pirate movie people everybody can swing on ropes, in slapstick movie everybody fails when they try. In fantasy a dragon could be hiding behind the next corner, in historical drama not so much. The genre lays down the ground rules of the world, then you can put some more effort in to modify them. But, see what happened, Ogre reads the story as far-future SciFi, I read it as thriller, so we are reading it with completely different expectations. None of these expectations includes Hell, so we aren't watching for this at all, and when it appears it is so implausible that at least my brain decided to ignore the possibility completely.

So what can be done about this? Think what you want to achieve, then think carefully about what bits need to be established beforehand. In your case just describing the plane in more detail in the beginning will set the tone and fix the genre. You want to break the conventions of the genre a bit by having hell show up. This is great. Breaking rules is always good, but to get away with it, it needs to be set up right. So if you want to have hell appear you need to lay the groundwork for this at the start. Perhaps the narrator and Bruce can have a discussion about the afterlife, maybe the narrator is worried that stealing is a sin. Such a dialog has the added benefit of telling us alot about who the characters are.

There is at least one other thing you want to set up in the beginning, can you guess what it is?


4 months ago
I see....

I guess I have to work on it somewhat, I really appreciate the effort you put into these reviews :)

About the thing I want to set up in the beginning, hmmm....


4 months ago

You might have them wondering why there is a base there, or what it is guarding to plant the question in the readers mind. In that way it is less surprising but not totally unexpected when the answer hits.

Normally that's another thing that could work well in the beginning, but since you already need to signal the religious dimension in the beginning, it can't be there (a discussion about two topics seems disconnected and you can't connect them without giving the game away.)

So if I would write it they would have a somewhat religious discussion while looking at the plane. Then steal it, see something from the air that prompts a discussion about the purpose of the base. Then land get the big surprise and then end with a proper ending that picks up on the starting dialog.


4 months ago
Ah, I should’ve thought of that, normally I would try to hint at something, I think I just totally missed that this time :P


4 months ago
Lost my suspension of belief when two retards waltzed up to a plane and then stole it and flew it hundreds of miles without being shot down or crashing.

And then were mystified as to the physical appearance of the place they landed despite seeing it from the air and choosing to land there.

Your dialogue is fine however, no issues there.


4 months ago
Lol, I wrote this without paying much heed to plot, and more to he interaction between the 2. I wanted to make it seem that they are close friends, did I get that?


4 months ago
Yeah, that part was obvious.


4 months ago
Great. I always thought that my dialogue was awkward.


4 months ago
Have to admit that you lost me halfway through. The dialog itself is ok. It's typeset correctly, which is good, but I didn't feel there was a particular reason to read on, nothing particularly caught my interest. Moreover the text is unstructured: The dialog never really falls into a good rhythm because it keeps being disrupted by bits of exposition, and more generally it feels like a list of things that happened, rather than a story that is leading somewhere. Try getting some exposition out of the way before, then foreshadow the turn a bit, and generally build up to a climax. It's always good to ask how your protagonist was changed by the events, and then make the reader feel this change. Maybe he lost some of his recklessness, if so bring this out more strongly in the beginning and also make clear that he is a less reckless person in the end. The dialog itself appears flat because we don't 'see' the speakers. Occasionally, we see them pointing at things and so on, but there is no description of facial expressions or even general looks while they speak. The tense jumps in the middle. Moreover, in several places it feels like somebody hit the fast forward button and we just skipped some seconds or minutes of action.


4 months ago
Hmm, I'll consider these points, thanks!


4 months ago
A short piece is a great opportunity to improve. Try to polish it, see how good you can make it.