Page 1 of "I am Alone"

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Mark.W.Carson
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Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » January 29th, 2012, 9:43 am

This is a dystopian political thriller. I am still working on my major pet WIP but I had an idea for this and wanted to see how it worked out.


I am Alone

Chapter 1
From the Distance



Just a little to the left. Move your head a little to the left. Jeremy moved deliberately --almost imperceptibly. The rags draped carefully over his head didn't even sway when he shoved the bolt closed. His eyes stayed open until they were strained, forcing himself not to blink, just in case he'd miss his one opportunity.

His right index finger slid into the trigger guard of the rifle and met the cold metal of the curved trigger. The two mated like they were part of one perfectly fitted machine. There! Now! He squeezed the trigger back in one fluid motion. The crack echoed in the small room of the abandoned building, and the birds on all the nearby rooftops and ledges flew off, distracting everybody below. His target stood for a moment, and then slumped over with a stream of red seeping into his clothes from his fresh and perfectly placed wound. The guard who had blocked Jeremy's shot had moved out of the way just for a second, but that was all he had needed.

Jeremy had set up here weeks ago. He knew all the exits, and had all the angles for all possible shots memorized. Nothing had been left to chance. Even the rifle he'd chosen was one that was common, except for the modifications he himself had performed. He would be able to toss it into the river behind the factory next door. A few days worth of corrosion and a swollen waterlogged stock would hide the fact that he had made any improvements to the action at all. After the shot, he ran a rasp down the barrel a few times. Now ballistics wouldn't match either.

gganate
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by gganate » February 22nd, 2012, 12:57 pm

This is a pretty tiny excerpt, but I like that you open up in media res, giving us action. I might draw out the description of the actual assassination, maybe give a little more detail as to the surroundings or delve into what the killer is thinking - why is this routine for him, does he ever get any doubts, etc...

Mark.W.Carson
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » February 23rd, 2012, 8:04 am

It will get more detail, as this was a draft, however the point is that there's a bit of suspense. I tend to work better with going back in time to tell the story of how we got to this point. It may be a crutch for now, but it works. It is quite literally supposed to be the first page of the story. I have shelved it for now as I am working to complete another story that is taking up a big portion of my time.

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Hillsy
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by Hillsy » May 1st, 2012, 8:47 am

It's a neat little start. There's a nice quantity of little details in there that lends veracity to the character and gives hints to the mindset he's in. The prose itself is very much one of adeptness, which is good, and being in the middle of the kill adds a nice amount of questions that people know will get answered later (as it's something theyll likely have read before) and so it allows you to move on without explaining the victim, why and what not.

Maybe it's intentional, but I just find the character just a bit too cold, which is at odds with the initial paragraph which has an air of intensity to it. Willing someone to move infers a bit of urgency, then he's regaling what he's done and is doing in an uber-professional way. I only think it needs line added showing.....some kind of reaction. just something to ground it back into Jeremy's headspace.

Hope that helps

Mark.W.Carson
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » May 12th, 2012, 9:56 am

This story is being shelved for now, and I've changed the name to "Sound Sickness." The first chapter will likely take on the name "I Am Alone."

The character is intentionally cold. Not to give everything away, but he's had lots of time to plan a lot of things, and he's working like a machine, suppressing any emotions he may have except anger that has been practiced so many times, it is nearly ritualistic now.

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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by lindsayB3462 » August 27th, 2012, 4:24 pm

I liked it! I liked the way the beginning drew me in wanting to know more about what was happening. I also was left wanting to know why, which is a good thing because that means I would have kept reading far beyond the excerpt. If you finish this one let me know.

LaurenNTaylor
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by LaurenNTaylor » August 28th, 2012, 6:07 pm

Yeah I really liked it too. I definitely wanted to keep reading. Nice work. :)

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LurkingVirologist
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by LurkingVirologist » August 29th, 2012, 2:04 am

Good start. I think the coldness of the character is appropriate, especially given his chosen method of killing and the patience, calm, and precision required for success.

One minor wording quip, which is the use of the word "trigger" twice in one sentence and then again one sentence later. I think you can eliminate at least one use of the word without compromising the description or creating the impression of a thesaurus attack.

Minor and potentially pedantic questions (please excuse if they are):
1. Is there a specific reason you have him close the bolt on his weapon in the second sentence? Given the short time-frame he knows he has to shoot in, I would assume he'd have the weapon chambered and ready to go from before he even got into his hide, let alone by the time he went on target.

2. Any reason not to give particulars on the gun? It seems like the audience for thrillers (especially dystopian/political thrillers that open with an assassination) is going to have a disproportionate fraction of gun enthusiasts, or at least those having (armchair) familiarity with common firearms. Not that you need to go into a Stephen Hunter-esque celebration of all things ballistic, but a couple basic details would probably add texture for any reader, and a bit of credibility with the subset of military buffs.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by CFraser » January 14th, 2013, 6:54 pm

My 2 cents:

1) I liked the quick sentencing; too the point, neat and short.
2) Rags? As in head and shoulders/ghillie suit? I thought he was in a building; ghillies aren't that good in urban areas and it'd be hard to get rid of them quickly. Ghillie suits are also heavy and hot as buggery; something a hitman wouldn't use if he wanted to blend into a crowd quickly.
3) Is he standing/sitting/prone? Talk more about the acquisition of the target, perhaps?
4) Is the weapon silenced? If not, why (target too far away etc.)

Sorry for nit picking, but overall, it's good. All the best.

Mark.W.Carson
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Re: Page 1 of "I am Alone"

Post by Mark.W.Carson » November 6th, 2013, 10:53 am

Thanks. It's been quite a while, and I have been focusing on my main project. I may come back to this, but my backlog has only grown in the meantime.

It was a blast from the past to read this (To answer the original question from way back, the rags were supposed to only cover the head from a window).

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