Closed Poll: Need opinions for some writings, please!


#1
  • Bad Luck Charm -----------(Zombie horror)
  • The Bleak Tale of Jones --(Humorous insanity)
  • The Drifter --------------------(Psychological thriller)
  • Protector of the Fallen -----(Sci-fi war sorta thing)

Okay so here’s the deal - I’m seriously thinking about submitting something I’ve written to magazines to try and start my path to being a real published writer but I’m not sure which to pursue. So I ask you to please help me by voting on which of these you like best based on the excerpts I give. As a bonus, whichever one wins will be the one I start writing and submitting AND I’ll let you guys read it first for being great!

Your vote should be based solely on which you think is the best idea, not which one I’ve written best as some are from earlier in my life and some are recent.

Also, two of these are actually excerpts from unpublished novels I’ve written, but if you guys choose one of them then I really want to try and ‘squish’ the gist of it into a shorter, condensed one-shot.

Feel free to read them at your own pace, and I’ll give a full week starting today to vote! Thanks so much for reading! Some are long, and some are short, but I think they each have something to offer! Comments are appreciated and thank you so so much!

#Bad Luck Charm

“What is it now? Six months? Eight? Who knows anymore…” I sighed and lit up my last cigarette then threw the empty pack off the edge. I enjoyed it as though it’d be my last. Who knows, maybe it will be. I laid back on my chair and put my feet up on the ledge. Relaxing isn’t easy these days, but you take it where you get it. I started dozing off…

Darkness surrounded me as I went through a door. I felt around, looking for a light switch and eventually flipping it on. “Burned out. Figures.” A thick musty stench filled the air as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. It felt as though the gray walls were surrounding me, suffocating me. I bent over, closed my eyes, and slowly took in deep breaths as I composed myself.

I opened my eyes and they began adjusting to the light. The blood-soaked carpet looked familiar. I looked up and saw my old tv, still hanging on the wall. This was my apartment, exactly the same as when I left it. Suddenly I started walking towards the bedroom as though I was drawn to it. I felt the blood beneath my boots being displaced with each step I took. Closer and closer I got to the door until finally, there I was.

As I grasped the knob, a chill was sent up my spine. Something was behind this door and my body could sense the danger. “I need to go… I need to go now.” I said this to myself over and over. I could think of nothing except getting the hell out of here but my body resisted. My hand turned the knob. Leaving was no longer an option. The door slowly creaked open, I saw a figure - a dark silhouette of a woman. She stood in front of the bed, staring down at it.

I heard a name echoing in my head - Sara. “This is it,” I thought to myself, “this dream again…” Suddenly I had a sort of “out of body” experience. I saw myself as though I was just an observer as I flashed back to that day.

“Sara? Sara is that you? Come on we need to go, somethings wrong.” The woman remained motionless to his calls. “Honey, come on we need to go now!” he walked toward her and grabbed her by the arm. I watched as fear and apprehension took over his face. I still remember how cold she felt that night… He let go of her and took a step back, “Sara… you’re cold…” He kept walking backwards until he was at the door, “no… no… it can’t… Sara turn around…” A groan came from the woman, followed by a squishy plop. In front of the woman now laid the bloody and half eaten body of our son. She still chewed on his arm as he backed out of the room and closed the door.

A gunshot awoke me.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

#The Bleak Tale of Jones

“You idiot,” Hydra exclaimed as he turned around atop How’s head, “you’ve been walking for less than thirty seconds, and already you need a break? Didn’t you already have enough of a break spooning with the ugly man-girl dwarf in that cell? We should’ve just left you there to rot!”

“But… I broke out and saved you guys; you couldn’t leave me anywhere…” Jones replied with a puzzled and slightly hurt look.

“Yeah, but… still… we should have thrown you back in there!” Hydra didn’t enjoy the fact that he had just made a mistake, and even worse, he hated the fact that he made one whilst insulting Jones and was found out, so he promptly turned back around and went back to sleep.

How opened the map she had just gotten and started marking locations with a pen she’d taken from Jones’s pack earlier. “Jones, this is where we started out. Here.” She said as she backed up to where Jones was, making him blush and inch away. Slowly, but surely, How got closer and closer to Jones, and slowly, but surely, he got farther and farther away, until finally they were a reasonable three feet away and side by side. This was as close as she could get before he’d start inching away again. She pointed to a small, black circle she had drawn in Kumquat Forest on the southeastern corner of the map. “That was Char, the prison we escaped from.” Jones looked as best he could at the map and nodded even though he could barely see it, and worse, he didn’t know which direction southeast was. She tapped the page until finally Jones noticed she had a finger; he then noticed said finger was pointing to a big, black circle which must have been the prison. “That’s Char.” She then traced a line with her finger through Kumquat Forest to a small picture of a walled village. “This is where we-”

“Wait! Where’d your finger go?!” Jones panicked and yelled, nearly hyperventilating as he believed her finger to have disappeared and possibly fallen off.

“THIS,” How screamed at Jones as he worked on her last nerves, and pointed at the map frantically, “is where we just were, Karabula Village.” She put on a very fake smile that scared Jones and kept him quiet for once. “We’re going here next.” She took her pen and drew a small dotted line over a river and through the woods. Now I’ll give you time to sing that last part, out loud. I, the author, demand it of you, in fact, or I won’t write the next part. So don’t look at the rest of the book without singing it.

How continued drawing a short path past the end of the wooded area and into a mountainous area. Jones looked closely at the map and noticed something written in that area of the map. It read, “If you’re going here, then I suggest you go ahead and kill yourself now; it’ll save us from finding your body later. That means you, Jones.” Jones’s eyes got wide, and suddenly defenses one and three kicked in. As said before, Jones is a bad dancer, even when he’s only focusing on the dancing. Now Jones was both dancing and digging at the same time. He flipped onto his hands and tried to push the dirt down as his feet kicked and flopped in all different directions. How jumped back and stared, thinking Jones was possessed or possibly having some sort of seizure.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The Drifter

I took a few breaths as I stared up at the sky. I now knew that freedom would be mine once again, I just had to grab it. I rose to my feet, dusting off my knees as the two men carefully moved towards me. The younger man’s hands still wobbled with each step, his uncertainty and lack of skill was evident even in the way he moved so casually, tripping on the little cracks in the pavement as he stepped.

“All the little people just scurry away from you, don’t they? Must be tough for you to make friends like that.” I jeered at my old friend once more, a smile coming across my face seamlessly changing into a confident and devilishly devious smirk. My eyes shined narrowed as fate turned to my favor. In just a few seconds, all of the pieces would be in place.

“No…” The voice started up again from inside my head. “Don’t do it! No, please don’t!” It cried out to me. “Not in front of him… not in front of my son…”

Fear and cowardice welled up inside me along with regret, remorse, and a loathing hatred. This was no different from ever before, and these feelings changed nothing — they weren’t even mine. “Please! Please don’t! I’ll do anything, just let me go!” He begged, now screaming inside my head.”

“You want out?” I mumbled, taking a step back away from the men. “Fine, fine… I’ll let you out. Just stop with all the shouting. You’re making my head hurt.” I looked to Blue and raised my head high, straightening my back. Blue’s guard shifted just the tiniest as he lowered his weapon and eyed me carefully, noticing what was about to happen all too late.

“Nice seeing you again, Jay.” I ended, turning my head to the left as my thoughts rushed back to me.

I remembered, as the woman in black had run me down, just how lucky I was. Had she not, I may never have seen the bus coming down the street. My one chance; sometimes it pays to be lucky.

Blue, too, noticed the bus, but it was just too late. He made a full out dash towards me, baton in hand, while his partner fired his gun, eyes shut and so off target it actually hit a passerby that was trying to flee causing him to convulse in a pool of his own excrement and urine. Even had he aimed right, it would’ve been too slow, as I was already on my way. All it took was a leap.

I jumped from sidewalk to road just before Blue reached me. A powerful and bone crunching force slammed straight into my back. My sides crunched and twisted as I dropped to the pavement only to have my flesh torn away, stripped and discarded along the road as I was dragged some fifteen feet before it finally came to a bloody stop. The bus hit that powerless, heaving pile of meat, crumpling it and crushing bones, skull and all along the pavement and into it’s tires and windshield.

“Just keep walking, just keep walking.” I said to myself while taking a deep but subtle breath. I attempted to stay calm through the exhilarating rush and excitement of a change, but it wasn’t easy. I wanted to gloat, to rub it in Blue’s face as he cursed up a storm. I turned to look as Blue slammed his baton into the ground. Passengers exited the bus from both the front and the back, some even stepping on my remains as they retreated, screeched, and groaned till they reached the sidewalk. Blue’s partner relieved himself of his lunch right then and there, tears streaming down his cheeks as he pounded the ground with his fist, gun still in hand.

Another voice came into my head, my new head, that is. “Who… what happened? What am I… doing… Is this a dream?” Her thoughts were much softer, much more tolerable, and this body I could already feel was more flexible and fit. Even though it had only been newly acquired, I could tell it was incredibly different from the last. I wanted to test out my new accommodations, but I knew that’d raise too much suspicion, especially with Jay so close. I just has to keep walking along as though everything was perfectly fine.

I graced the feminine voice inside me with an answer, as I’d actually found this host to be much more tolerable than the last. “If I were to have a name, I would be called ‘Drifter’.” I replied, touching my lips and feeling the lipstick atop them then patting my suit jacket pockets. “Your body is mine now, and this is one I intent to keep for much longer than the last.”

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Protector of the Fallen

They came without need. They came without reason, without compassion, without anything but these weapons of theirs. Those ships from the skies, their weapons, their hate. They came to wipe us off the face of this world, of OUR world. Why? Maybe it’s because we look different, maybe it’s because we act different, speak different. Maybe it’s fear, who knows? They didn’t come to talk. No, they came for war. Simply to kill.

Five years ago they invaded. We thought maybe they would be friendly at first. Cautious optimism, I guess. It ended with our government wiped out, our cities destroyed, our very existence cut away from our own planet. Our home planet, and why? That’s the question we’re all asking down here. Why?

I stared onward toward the dark, sullied eyes of my comrades. We stare death in the face. It’s cold eyes never blink nor waver as it’s hand reaches closer to each of us, taking a friend, a lover, a child, every day. Famine, disease, even greed, all caused by this war. War… it’s not even a war, it’s just a slaughter. A massacre that will never end. We can’t stand up to their weapons, their technology… and we could never stand up to their depravity, their want, their need to obliterate, desecrate, to take everything from us. Their need to consume all around in fire and death until the last survivor is simply the last victim.

I look to my comrades, the ones that were left, thinking of the many I’d lost long ago. No one here was a soldier. No one here was a fighter. We were workers. Laborers. Those given tools and told to do a job, only now our tools were guns and our jobs were to protect. Fight for our survival as though surviving was the only thing left. We have no resistance against them. We have no tale to tell of a world we win back, we have only our lives and our last words to be passed on until they’re all spoken up.

If I could, I’d like to know why. Why they came to our world, why they had to do the things they’ve done. I stared at the lifeless husks of my comrades as I wrote my final note. This is no war, it’s a massacre from another world which has no love left inside. These things that came… these “humans” as they’re called… I just wonder why.

  • Anadu Delah-Paroof, First Protector of the Fallen.

I read the words in his journal, one of the few new books in this world we’ve lost so much to. My grandfather’s last words brought hope to so many. We have survived, we still live strong. The surface may be gone, but we have our lives. We’ve grown, and now it’s my turn to grow too.


#2

Just saw this as I am about to head out of work. I will bookmark this so that I can take a look at it later. That being said, which one do you enjoy writing about the most? I think that will work more in your favor than anything else, but like I said, let me read through and digest. Also, you can get lots of good advice and tips from http://www.hatrack.com/writers/index.shtml . It’s a website that houses lots of cool writers workshops and stuff.


#3

I like them all, that’s why I would love some opinion on it ^_^. I mean yeah I have a favorite myself, but people can definitely get tunnel vision at times and not realize ‘Oh wow… this is actually better!’. I wanna know what the general public thinks is most interesting though and what they like best since that’s who magazines are for :smile:

Thanks a lot for bookmarking it, though! It’s a good deal of content so you don’t at all have to read them all if you don’t want, and that goes for everyone else too. I appreciate it no matter what!


#4

I like the sci-fi one.


#5

Let me cut you off at the pass – don’t start with the story, start with the market.

Go here: http://ralan.com/ and find who’s looking for stories. Find some places you might like to submit to. Read their SUBMISSION GUIDELINES. PAY STRICT ATTENTION TO THEIR SUBMISSION GUIDELINES. Write your story according to their submission guidelines (are you sensing a theme here?). Submit your story.

DO NOT harrangue the editor with, “Have you read it yet?” Wait at least six weeks before you do a follow up inquiry, though most publications tell you how long you should expect for a reply. If so, then send an inquiry after that time frame.

In the meantime, find another market for which to write another story while you wait to hear back about your previous submission. Rinse, repeat, ad infinitum. That’s what a working writer looks like. :yum: Network: join a writer’s guild, go to writer conventions – there was a 14yo kid with a book deal at one of the horror writer conventions I attended years ago.

Don’t let rejection bring you down, work on your craft (get this book right now: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers), and the most important thing a writer has to do: read, in and out of your genre.

GO GET 'EM! :smiley:


#6

And I’ll add this – looking over your prose, you’ve got chops, so definitely keep the faith.


#7

Thanks a lot! I’ve found some places I’d like to submit to, many of which request fiction in any form simply with a word limit or a specific or two and so that’s the point of the poll. I want to see which of these is more interesting. What I make after won’t be an exact replica, but a similar world/look/feel.

A bit part of why I’m looking for more feedback is because a good many of these submissions take money, a thing I am quite short on at the moment, so I really want to make the most of it rather than just throw what I think is my best at them.

I shall indeed find the book and I’ve also got a few others I quite enjoyed. Thanks for all the info! I shall inspect that site thoroughly once I learn to better navigate it.

I also must ask, would that not make you a working writer considering you attended the workshops and know so much? I love meeting other writers and picking their brains.


#8

NEVER SUBMIT TO A MARKET THAT ASKS YOU TO PAY! That’s probably a contest, and usually a scam. The only thing you should be paying for is postage. :blush:

As for me, I’ve had a few stories published in my day. A ‘working writer’ is a person who writes, and I haven’t in about a decade, but I was pretty damn serious about it for 15 years. I was hot for about five minutes around 2000. The ‘why I don’t write anymore’ is a long, boring story, but I may get back to it one day. You, on the other hand, are young and hungry – feed the fire … give a shit, and do your best. Remember to kill your ego, and remember you’re an artist not a product. Remember you have a heartbeat. :smirk:


#9

A ton of them ask you pay, even writer’s digest makes you pay to submit. I mean it makes sense because people are taking time to read them and if you did happen to win, it’d be a huge boost to your status for a bit and would be something you could show off when submitting other works. I’ll try to find free ones or ones or even write articles for pay, but it’s definitely not easy!

Thanks for all the advice and I hope you find that fire again yourself! It may have been a while ago but I know that it’s never really gone. Those ashes still have a bit of burning left to do, you just need a little wind to get them to light up again!


#10

Writer’s Digest isn’t really a speculative fiction market, though. That’s weird. You know, it may have something to do with what’s happening with publishing, so maybe that standard’s changed. E-publishing is murdering print. Of course, that also means there are more options for writers, and self-publishing no longer has the same stigma it did ten years ago. Even still, there are lots of market listings – oh wait, this book too: 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. This is a more specific version of The Industry Book called The Writer’s Market. Last time I bought one of these it was almost $50. The linked version there focuses on fiction, but the big version lists everything.

And thanks for your well-wishing, you are correct. It’s always buzzing back there. I like to record music (guitar, bluesy alt-rock vibe), so that helps keep the embers burning, and on the occasions I write lyrics, that teases the muse. :blush:


#11

Got it :stuck_out_tongue: it’s massive… But I really should check through it again for any contests and such I’m interested in.

It’s pretty awesome when you can transform your means of creation and dabble in different things like that. I can’t draw, can’t do music, can’t sculpt or paint, so instead I just dabble in the different forms of writing from novels to short stories to poetry to the occasional stupid parody… one of which is just a horribly written parody of Celine Dion’s All By Myself, entitled All By My Shelf XD… oh how I should not write music ever…


#12

HA! That’s fun. :smile:

I’m of the opinion that almost anything can be learned. I have no inclination to play the piano, but it helps to be able to put together certain chords when writing music, so I learned a few basic things. I’m no virtuoso on the guitar, but I bust a mean power chord and can fumble my way through the pentatonic minor scale. Music’s great because it’s an instant connection to that part of you, so it’s all rampaging Id. I’m no Eric Clapton, but who gives a shit? I have fun.

Writing I took much more seriously because having real mastery over how to use language, especially when telling a story, is … a unique kind of power, heh.


#13

I really liked Bad Luck Charm. You got my interest with that one would totally read more if that was a novel! This coming from a guy who does not really like most Zombie horror anymore!


#14

All of them were great, but The Bleak Tale of Jones had me hooked. Jesus, that was so good it gave me seizures.
The other two were great, but I think Jones was most well written, and more importantly, it was unique, original. I’ve never read anything like it- and I read A LOT- and it was enthralling. I vote Jones.

Congratulations on pursuing your ambitions. Good luck, and may all your roads lead to home.


#15

Any of them choose you own adventure. I love those kind of books.


#16

I can’t believe they’re all even right now XD wow. I guess we all really do love different things, but this is pretty surprising to me still. If they’re still even (more or less) by the time I finish the poll then I’ll have to decide which one I could make into a 2000-5000 word story and I’ll show you all what I come up with after.

Thanks again for reading and I especially love all the comments and reading what it is you really enjoy about each of my works!


#17

This is all some great stuff. Really dark but I’m digging it.

Is this just a hobby of yours? You certainly have the making of a professional.


#18

Trying to make a profession of it :slight_smile: thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed it!


#19

Well- it would appear that all four options have been uqually voted in! Which one are you settling on? (Jonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjonesjones… I kid :wink: ).


#20

I think I’m going to settle on the first, zombie one because Drifter and Jones are full on novels already. I can send you the entirety of Jones if you’d like to read it. And anyone else interested.