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 Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story

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Whigworld
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PostSubject: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:45 am

Use this thread to critique Moon's story once posted on Box.net
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:14 pm

My story Gus, Unseen is now on box.net. Critique away -- you are the first to see it, since my husband is still at work and hasn't looked at it yet!

I have some thoughts of what I might want to do, but let me know what you think. I need to do some paid work for a bit and then I'll come in and work on reading and critiquing the others, which I've been DYING to do but knew I had to post mine first or it'd never get done. Smile

-moon
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:24 pm

Very interesting idea moon, very much like the Twilght Zone. I have to say it didn't feel very satisfying when I got to the end, which I realize not all stories do.

1) Whats with the "Help Me" note? Why is it invisible?
2) If GUs has the keys with him, does that mean no one else will follow.
3) If the Prinicpal picked up the bottle and the note, how did it get back in the safe for Gus?

The emotion of the main character is very well develped and I had no problem falling right into the scenes as you described them, which I do enjoy feeling like I'm there than being "told" a story.

Thats it for now, I may let it gel a bit and comment more.

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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:46 pm

Exclamation Exclamation Very Happy Arrow You were right. This does deffinately have the Twilight Zone feel to it and I loved the creepy otherworld type of emotions it insighted within me as I read it. Good job!

I only have a few questions/suggestions:

Is the brown bag a satchel, a carpet bag, a duffel bag or perhaps a bag that resembles a Dr.'s bag? What is it made out of? Brown leather? I had a hard time invisioning it in my mind's eye.

Page 5 paragraph 6 ( I think ): Take out the "just then" after he hits his toe.
and the last sentence might might flow better if it read:
"He wondered if he was dreaming, or dead!"

Page 6:

"They completely ignored him, which was not that unusual. But still, Gus wondered whether he was invisible to them. Had the mirror been telling the truth, or was this a wierd hallucination brought on by drinking the mysterious sugar-water."

Page 7 paragraph 3: Did you mean:
"...and please don't say anything to the students if you find him."

Paragraph 4:
"...sat just a few feet away."

and at the end of page 7 see if this flows a bit better:

Principal Zimmer entered silently, but quickly, followed by Vice-Principal Ruiz and a man who looked like a concernd parent, but whom they referred to as Officer Michaels.

"It's happened again." Principal Zimmer whispered, as he shut the door carefully behing them, giving his companions a nervous look.

"What's happened again?" Asked Officer Michaels.

---- ( leave in next sentence as is, then )

" At least 20 years." Nodded the Vice Principal as she gave Officer Michaels a serious look.

Page 10:

This isn't the end is it?? I want more. It seems like it ends so abruptly, so I am assuming there is more coming from you, right?

I felt it needs a "catch" to Gus' predicument or a real resolution. It needs more closure.

Perhaps Gus decides to stay invisible and has to put the duffle/Dr.'s bag, the sugar-water vile, and a note back in the cubby and leave the keys on the desk in his "office" for the next janitor in order for him to stay perminately invisible. Only to find there is a horrendous side effect invovlved or a terrible consequence he has to live with through out eternity...something bone chilling that traps him forever ....

My two cents...take it or leave it. Very Happy

I loved this read...reminds me of the end of the Twilight Zone episode where the guy winds up in a great place like Vegas where he can never loose and gets bored out of his mind, then finds he has to relive the whole thing over and over forever!...goosebumps.
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:15 am

My critique

I love the title of "Gus Unseen." It's just...awesome. The story was very interesting too...but I have to agree with the others, it seemed unfinished. You built up a little mystery, and then gave us no pay off.

Things I liked: The style was great. It was a very good flow, an easy read. It felt very natural. I liked the character of Gus. I think you've done well at getting his inner thoughts out in very little space. The whole setup is great, and it kept me interested throwout (nothing boring here!) The fact that Gus is not the first janitor to disappear is great as well.

Things that need work: I felt like the story was lopsided - all build up and no payoff. We have to find out why the door was there, what the note was about, and how the whole thing got started and ended. I'm all for Twilight Zone mysteriousness, but you can't leave everything in the dark or the reader will feel slighted.

Overall, this story was well-written and the style, flow, dialouge and character development were on target. You just need to fill out the ending (much) more. Great job!
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:11 pm

thanks guys, I have all of about 2 minutes on the computer today but I wanted to say thank you. I'm not happy at all with my first draft and I'm glad it's a first draft!

More later... darn, car pulling up, that means it was more like 30 seconds... oh well, back soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:31 am

My two cents ...

As a hardcore Twilight Zone fan, I liked this story a lot. The title, as Shranny put it, rules. A few tweaks come to mind ...

I might cut down on the dialogue Gus has with himself. I think it might be a more interesting read if Gus is portrayed as invisible and silent until Billy shows up. Maybe convert the spoken dialogue to inner thoughts.

If you do keep the dlalogue as is, on page 8 it says УNow, you wait just a minute,Ф Gus stood and shouted angrily. You should add an exclamation point after "minute." For the shouting.

The conversation with Billy seems too rushed and to the point. I think it should be less of a reveal. Have Gus try to puzzle it out rather than have Billy connect all the dots for him in a tidy package.

Obviously we need a payoff, but everyone has said that, so I won't. ;-)

Great job!
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:54 pm

I really enjoyed your story too (and love the title!). I also agree with the feedback above regarding the payoff, and Trib's comments re: dialogue. I didn't understand the "help me" note either. It seems like the story would work without it, and it just makes me wonder what was up with it. Also, I may need to go back and re-read, but I'm not sure I understand why he can't open doors. Being invisible/intangible is a very common sci-fi concept, but they never explain why they still stand on the floor if they can no longer touch things (this always bothered me on the TNG ep where Geordi and Ro become intangible--the Romulan got shoved through the wall into space, and yet somehow they don't sink through the floor and meet the same fate).

Otherwise, I just have some nit-picky things because I've been a teacher for so long, but I don't know if they matter in a story meant for the general public. I think you really nailed the life of a custodian (we NEVER call them janitors, by the way, very un-PC) for the most part. At the schools I've worked at, he wouldn't need to hide a small black-and-white TV, he'd just turn on one of the giant color ones we have in every classroom and kick back there (and, in my room, probably grab a drink out of my fridge). Also, it may be different at some schools, but we don't call the principal by their title and last name. The teachers are on a first-name basis with the principal and the assistants.

Like I said, that's just insider stuff and probably doesn't matter. Great job overall, though!

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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:21 pm

Exclamation I think she should leave out your 'INSIDER' stuff...as it will take away from the old B & W Twilight Zone feel of her story. I think the readers will really enjoy the fact she has taken them a few steps back in time and the atmosphere she has created is great!
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:02 pm

I agree that the atmosphere is great, and much more important than those individual details. Plus, I don't remember the story being set in any particular time other than at a point where the Twilight Zone would be in repeats and portable b&w TVs were available, which could be anywhere between the '70s and now.

It's just hard for me to know stuff and not share it. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:40 am

I really liked the writing in your short story, Moon. The pacing and rhythm felt great and the mood was perfect. I got all a-tingle when Gus discovered the note that said "Help Me." With the way it's written, as CV suggested, you may not need the note. But I think it would be cool if you revealed the mystery behind the note.

Here's a suggestion ... What if Gus had a crush on one of the teachers, and he's been eavesdropping on her while he's invisible? And at the point where he has to make the decision of whether he should stay or go back to being tangible, this teacher says the most wonderful things about him at the press conference. So now Gus wants to go back ... only to find that the teacher said those things to be nice. He becomes invisible once again. Or worse he becomes visible to everyone and humiliated.

Or something like that. (Just throwing ideas out there).

I feel like this is the kind of story that teaches the main character a lesson. Either he gets what he wants (and has a happy ending) or he painfully realizes that getting what he wants is the worst thing in the world.

Overall, though, "Gus, Unseen" feels very strong, very well-written.
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:57 pm

Arrow Very Happy Arrow Taking "Help Me" out might be a good idea, as it does not tie in with anything else in the story. Or you could leave it in, but be sure the reason it is there is included in your story someplace so that it has relevance to the reader.

I loved this story and it is near perfect!
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:20 pm

cheers cheers cheers

Three cheers for Moon! I think her story just needs a nip and tuck here and there and we can print it! What do you guys say? SHE'S IN!! This story is so near perfect, that we can't let her bow out now!!

STAY MOONBEAM, STAY!!

...sticking with us is THE KEY! mysterious
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:55 pm

Hi everybody!

I've made the revisions to Moon's story.

The first half remained virtually unchanged, but because the rules of his invisibility weren't working, I changed them a little and incorporated as much of the original storyline as possible. And then I put in a bully scene, which Moon wanted, and gave it an end.

Praise and bashing are equally welcome (especially from you, Moon!). It's in the Second Draft folder.
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:46 pm

cheers TRIBBLE EARNS A KA_ZILLION TATERS for his great contribution to G10!! Way to go...er...write!!

mysterious mysterious mysterious mysterious
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:21 pm

I love you bounce bounce I just needed to add that this story done by two of our best writers is so full and rich! It has the perfect beginning, middle and end for the reader and the message is just right for a December offering to the public, and at the same time could come off well at any time of year!

Tribble, you have done a fantastic job of polishing this wonderful piece and Moon should be so greatful as to have such a wonderful giving friend to get her through !!

BRAVO to both of you!!

mysterious santa mysterious santa mysterious
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:40 pm

Thank you, Trib. It's absolutely perfect. There's nothing more to say. Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:39 pm

moonunit wrote:
Thank you, Trib. It's absolutely perfect. There's nothing more to say. Thank you.

Aw, shucks. Anything for you, kid.
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:54 pm

I think you did great! Both of you! You can't even tell it had two writers... SEAMLESS! And the ending was great...it gives some closure, but leaves it open as well!

I have a minor suggestion...one sentence niggles at my mind:

"Gus wondered whether he was dreaming, or really, really high, or dead."

It doesn't seem to have the right impact. What if you did this:
"Gus wondered whether he was dreaming. Or really, really high. Or dead."

Just a thought.

Great job, both of you! Thanks for stepping up, Trib, and for not bowing out, Moon! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:06 pm

affraid EVEN BETTER:

"Gus wondered whther he was dreaming, or high, or worse...if he were dead!"
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PostSubject: Re: Moonunit's (Carolee's) Story   Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:47 am

thedreamcontinued wrote:
affraid EVEN BETTER:

"Gus wondered whther he was dreaming, or high, or worse...if he were dead!"

Or how about:

"Gus wondered whether he was dreaming, or high, or worse ... Dead."
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