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 Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story

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Whigworld
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PostSubject: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:36 am

Use this thread to critique Trib's story once it's posted
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:27 am

I'll put this here for feedback.

Everyone seemed to like my idea for the last line, and I love the first line of this, which is an homage to Little Shop of Horrors. But from that point, I just hate it. Suggestions?

It began, as such things often do, on a Wednesday.
I imagine most people remember exactly where they were on that otherwise uneventful morning when they heard that we were officially no longer alone in the universe. I was sitting on my couch, eating cookie dough and watching some daytime television show too embarrassingly awful to identify when the local news anchors cut in, grim-faced and serious, to announce that a ship of heretofore unknown origin and design had crash-landed in Times Square. Now, when a ship of unknown origin and design crash-lands in the middle of the Nevada desert, covering it up is reasonably simple. But in the heart of New York City? No weather balloons or swamp gas in this case, folks. This was the real goddamn deal.
The ship was, in fact, from a very far-off world, but of course no one knew that for sure at the time. The circus that built up around it shortly after it crashed rivaled the most lavish super bowl halftime special, with a little Cirqe du Soleil thrown in, multiplied by a factor of ten. You had the people assuming it was a new terrorist weapon and running for their lives. You had the jaded sci-fi types who were convinced it was either part of a movie, or a viral marketing campaign for a movie, and ran home to blog about it and try to find out the deal with it. And of course, those who believed that Jesus had finally returned in a rocket ship to pass judgment on those who were unworthy to pass through the gates of heaven. They were my favorite. They made the best signs.
What was truly astonishing was the lack of preparedness that became evident in the wake of the crash. LetТs face it Ц every generation since the baby boomers has had some sort of book, movie, or television show to prepare them for what happens when aliens arrive on earth. But there were so many questions that cropped up right away, and no one seemed to have the answers. Should the President go immediately to the crash site in case aliens emerged and wanted to speak to someone in charge? What if there was a danger from the aliens? Should it be the Vice President? An Army general? The Joint Chiefs of Staff? Should the NYPD handle it, or the Marines? Was this considered a national matter or an international one? Should the leaders of all the countries on the planet converge on the ship? What if there were no aliens inside? What then? An endless litany of questions.
The media, of course, immediately set up camp around the ship, and shots of it were all you could see for days on TV, online, in magazines, the newspapers, everywhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:14 pm

Actually what you have is a great start and a good hook, I want to know what happens...so

1) Where does the main character fit in? Is he a specialist that comes in later, or a layman that figures out what the aliens are after?
2) What are the consequences of the aliens visit? Whats their end game? Are they just being obnoxious or are they distracting us from something bigger?
3) When the main character finds out whats happening do the people around him believe him or no? Does the government want to stop him from telling what the aliens are up to?

I see a lot of potential for a good story here, just stick with it because I think in the end *t w*ll be worth *t.

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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:52 pm

I love the way this starts and I would not change the opening line at all! In fact, this story could very easily be the lead story right off the bat, as just the beginning lures the reader in and it begs NOT TO BE put down!!

The only thing I would change right now is this one line:

those who believed that Jesus had finally returned in a rocket ship to pass judgment on those who were unworthy to pass through the gates of heaven. They were my favorite. They made the best signs.

to:

those who believed THE END IS NEAR and the supreme makers of the Universe had finally returned to pass judgment on those who had screwed up the planet ! Those ney sayers were my favorites. They made the best signs!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:20 pm

I like where this is going, as well.

Actually, I also have an opinion on the paragraph:

"those who believed that Jesus had finally returned in a rocket ship to pass judgment on those who were unworthy to pass through the gates of heaven. They were my favorite. They made the best signs."

I like the use of religious zealots here. Almost every great disaster/sci-fi epic has some group of folks who believe the end is here and it is at the hand of the Almighty.

However, I personally would tweak it just a little...

"those who believed that God had finally returned in a rocket ship to pass judgement on those who were unworthy to pass through the Pearly Gates. They were my favorite. They made the best signs."

Here's my explanation: The original line is brilliant. It's visual and descriptive. However, the name "God" adds a more powerful, and, believe it or not, less offensive, tone than the name Jesus. "God" also covers several religions, and hits home with a wider base of people, whereas "Jesus" only rings a note with Christians.

"Pearly Gates", in my opinion, just sounds more fun than using "gates of heaven." It seems to flow with the rest of the characters dialogue.

That's my two cents.

Again, though...great line!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:35 pm

Thanks, you guys! I left it alone overnight and took a fresh look at it today, and I don't hate it any more.

DG, I haven't really decided what to do with the narrator. I think he's just going to relate the story from the beginning until the moment his "I" key is stolen. And as of now, the aliens are either just being pains in the ass or are convinced that without the letter I, the Earth will crumble and be ripe for the pickins. I might leave it a little ambiguous.

And Whig and TDC, your feedback is really good. I will make some tweaks to that section.
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:20 pm

Well get writing so I can find out what happens! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:45 pm

bounce Right, I'm with you DG...I wanna know how it all turns out too! Great writing Steve!!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:26 am

Okay, everyone. I've uploaded "The Eyes Have It" to box.net. Have at it! :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:28 pm

Eye enjoyed theyes story very much...

First I wouldn't give the President a last name, just my personal opinion, it makes the story fit anything in the modern era without tying to one person ficticious or not.

Second the middle was way to short to suit me, the end caps were great, needs a bit more meat in the middle.

I guess I didn't get the picture that the aliens had fingers to pry the "i" keys with, when you compared them to a teddy bear I guess I saw them that way after that, maybe you might want to change that to a "teddy bear like demenor" ? I don't know it could just be me.

I think the military gave up a bit soon, why not call in an airstrike? It would thicken the plot a bit more too.

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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:44 am

My critique:

"The Eyes Have t" s freak ng h lar ous! Loved t! Very Happy

Seriously, this was a super creative story and a really fun read. I think the aliens being adorable was great, the fact that no one could really do anything to stop them was wonderful, and the fact that they just stole the I's an did nothing else is fantastic. This was just such a great one-off, I don't know if I'd tell you to change anything.

The pace was perfect, the jokes were great, the scenes were nice. If you did want to beef the story up some, I would add more scenes like the one at Computour, to catch the reactions of others that are experiencing the alien's theivery. Also, you could add more of the writing without the I's. I think the reader would get a kick out of it.

This is just really good. I can't say much else about it. Your style was great, the flow was perfect, the dialouge seemed spot-on, it was funny and clever and just right. Fantastic job!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:28 pm

Thanks Shranny! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:58 pm

cheers I agree with Holly! Total wonderful writing! It would be a great start to our book or a fun humorous way to split other stories up which might be heavier.

Taking out the President's name might be a good idea...but not if you don't want to.

I love the ending!! alien
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:16 pm

Ha, this was such fun to read! I really enjoyed it and was having fun all along the way.

To answer an earlier critique (DG's I think) about why the military stopped fighting back, maybe it could be because the munitions go right through the aliens and their ship AND damage whatever was beyond it, causing all sorts of civilian injury and damage. That'd make them stop pretty abruptly...

My only suggestion, if you want to take it farther, would be that they don't just steal the letters off the keyboard but maybe even from the earthlings' ability to speak it or write it as well, somehow. I dunno, that might be overkill, just thinking that it would be a relatively easy thing to overcome just by stepping back a few decades. But that's thinking logically about a humor piece, probably not necessary. Plus it takes away from the "key" theme a bit.

Ah, never mind. It was really fun, reminded me of Douglas Adams impersonating Ray Bradbury. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:47 am

Hello, my G10 brothers and sisters. I've posted my rewrite of "The Eyes Have It" on box.net in the 2nd Draft folder. I've incorporated almost all of the suggestions, except for the idea of removing the President's name. Though I was in favor of the idea, I just couldn't make it work. (The scene just clunked along with "the president did this" and "the president did that" -- it was much too obvious that I was avoiding naming him.)

But overall, it's longer, more fleshed out, and I think, funnier. Enjoy!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:25 am

Very Happy Exclamation cheers Exclamation Exclamation Laughing Laughing Arrow Arrow

It is GREAT!! Since you now have added more characters experiencing the effects of the Eye Guys, including the president's name just rolls along and no longer is an issue.

I loved the inclusion of Zeb and all the rest of your characters! It makes it that much more colorful and funny!!

I was absolutely enchanted by this story!! It should be the FIRST ONE the readers come across in the book!

THIS IS A KEEPER!! I love you I love you jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:47 pm

Trib, I was about to read your story when I saw that you already had the second draft posted, so went ahead and reat that. I enjoyed it a LOT, and I think it's really funny. I had read your idea earlier, and it turned out great.

I do have one problem that I don't think can be worked out, but I'll mention it anyway. I tried to picture what I would think if I heard an alien make that noise, and I think I would assume it was saying "I" (as in the first person singular) rather than "eye." As I was reading, I was trying to imagine why everyone would assume they were saying "eye" rather than "I" and I couldn't really come up with a plausible reason myself. But, like I said, I don't think anything can be done about it since it's the crux of the story.

Then there a couple of very minor things:

If there was something going on in downtown LA that was bad enough to close down LAX, they'd probably close down other airports that are about as close, or just a little farther away, such as Burbank, Ontario, and John Wayne (not to mention the many smaller ones in the area). I don't know if you think it's worth changing or even taking that line out, but as someone who lives here I thought I'd mention it.

I've never been in the military so this is more of a question, but do generals usually give orders directly to sergeants? Most of what I know about military history comes from the American Revolution (since that's what I'm studying), but I know when I read specifics from back then, generals are giving orders to Colonels or Majors. I don't mean to nit-pick, I just thought it might be worth looking into.

As for the God returning thing, I have to respectfully disagree with Whig and TDC. It doesn't make any sense to me. I don't know of any religion that says that God is going to "return" (or even thinks God went anywhere), whereas there are millions of people around the world who are specifically expecting the return of Jesus. If the idea is not to offend people, then I'm not sure it's worth having in there to begin with. If you're trying to make a valid point about what many, many people would believe was happening under those circumstances, I think you'll need to be specific. That's just my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. Smile

Overall, it's a hilarious, well-written, fun story. Great job!

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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:17 pm

Thanks, Chris. Excellent feedback!

I guess I somehow got it in my head that the military would have come together so quickly that they wouldn't have every rank represented, and that's why a general would be dealing with a sergeant. But if they'd established a two-day encampment around the ship, there should be plenty of colonels and captains to bark orders to. Well spotted.

I might pull the line about shutting down LAX. LAX would know enough to shut itself down if need be. Maybe have the general tell someone to tip off the airports.

And I'll mull a little longer on the God/Jesus thing. I think it's a great line, and I think it would be a likely scenario in those circumstances, so I'll mull.

Thanks again!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:33 pm

Exclamation Idea I think you should keep the God reference in there, simply because of the joke you make at the end of the paragraph about liking their signs! I thought that was a hoot. Ha! Perhaps you could change a little part of the sentence to read:

"...go through them pearly gates..."

That might be more funny. And makes ya sound like you are copycatting a TV preacher who always gets a jib now and then. People will deffinately relate.

As far as the "eye" thing...it is FUNNY to write it that way. This is a FUNNY STORY people! We are not looking for accuracy...we're looking for laughs...am I not right, Tribble??

Keep the rest it is FUNNY...it reminds me of THE BLOB ( original film ) or any number of Men from Mars movies we love to giggle at.

Where's your sense of humor, Teach? I LIKE IT with the "eye" thing...why ruin the joke with "I"??
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:18 pm

I also like the reference and think it's funny, I just think he should change it back to the original version.

And I understand the eye thing is supposed to be funny (and it is), but even in a funny story, it's nice if things make sense. It's probably just me because I'm anal about grammar and language, but as soon as it happened, I thought, "Why would they assume he's saying 'eye'?"

I hope I didn't lose my sense of humor! Shocked

Although, with what's going on in my life right now, that could be. Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:13 pm

Oh yeas, forgot to address the "eye" thing.

I decided early on to spell it out phonetically, simply because when I wrote the aliens' dialogue as "I!I!I!" it just looked too weird. You dig?

Also, I forgot to give the little guys fingers, as DG had pointed out that if they have little hook hands it would be really hard to get a grip on the "I" keys.

Oh, and by the way ... did everyone get the IKEA joke? I wasn't sure if I was reaching too far for that one.
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:32 pm

Laughing Laughing The IKEA Joke was not missed by me. It was priceless!
You have nailed this fun story with humor and a great atmosphere. I felt I was in there with them all, had no problems with any of it!

Great job! ( You even wound up influencing my first idea for a Cover Design...go see on Boxnet!)

alien geek jocolor lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:49 pm

Wow, TDC. That's amazing!
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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:08 pm

Trib, that makes more sense to me now. The way I was reading it was that people were perceiving it as "eye," which didn't make sense to me. But if you were simply doing it that way to spell it out phonetically, then I don't see a problem with it. It also adds to the surprise at the end as to why they're there.

And I got and liked the IKEA joke.

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PostSubject: Re: Tribblemaker's (Steve's) Story   Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:58 am

Okay, I've uploaded the third draft of The Eyes Have It to box.net. I think this is my final draft.

There were only a few tweaks this time around. I changed God to Jesus (thanks, CV -- schedule a day for the arm wrestling match). I changed the sergeant at the scene to a major and took out the line about closing LAX. (There's still a sergeant and he has a great name.) I also discovered a spot where I referred to the landing as a crash (since it originally was a crash) so I fixed that. And I gave the little alien guys some fingers so they could go and yank some "I"s.
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