Sunday, March 12, 2017

6 Great Places to Get Feedback on Your Writing

I previously wrote about places to get feedback and give reviews to other writers in '5 Alternative Sites to Visit After Triggerstreet', after the Triggerstreet website was discontinued. However now some of those sites are no longer in operation.

Here are some other great places I have tapped into for reading our fellow writer's work and giving feedback, as well as places to submit our own work for peer review.

  • Talentville:Talentville is an online community specifically created to give a voice to screenwriters and playwrights everywhere who may lack insider connections but still share the dream of being produced. By bringing together writers from all over the world in a collaborative environment, by banding together as a whole to help each member be the best that they can be, they aim to create not just an online community but in fact a city of writers, where each member can work on their craft, gain valuable exposure and ultimately benefit from their own hard work.
  • Create50: Create50 is an initiative and creative process that platforms the work of emerging screenwriters, filmmakers, short story writers and allied artists. They want to get YOUR work out there and seen by the public AND the people who matter within creative industries. And they also want everyone to benefit from the collaborative process that Create50 offers so they can learn more about their art, craft and creative discipline.
  • NYC Midnight: Since 2002, NYC Midnight has hosted hundreds of inspiring competitions for storytellers around the world.  Participants are challenged to create original stories, screenplays, or films using assigned elements under time constraints. There is a section on the forum open for providing reviews of submitted work.
  • Amazon Studios: Amazon Studios is developing feature films and episodic series in a new way, one that's open to great ideas from creators—and audiences—around the world. You can review works that have been submitted through the Amazon Studios forum.
  • WeBook: They bring together tens of thousands of writers, published authors, avid readers and almost 100 established literary agents, to create an energetic hub of activity where talented writing is celebrated and undiscovered gems can be rooted out and polished into literary diamonds.  They do this because we want to give talented writers a genuine opportunity to be celebrated by readers who care, readers who love to help and readers who can encourage WEbook’s community to strive towards literary perfection.
  • Writers Cafe: is an online writing community where writers can post their work, get reviews, befriend other writers, and much more..

Also Christopher Felden put together a very comprehensive list of places to submit and share, as well as review, in his article 'Free Critiques'.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Flash Fiction - Gunslinger Ridge Experiment


More titles!
This time the titles were hand-picked based on how interesting they sounded.
I picked one 'Gunslinger Ridge Experiment' and below is the piece of short fiction that goes along with the title.

Target length: ~1500 words

The Gunslinger Ridge Experiment

Kent, sitting at his desk, held his head tight with his hands.
"Let's go, we'll be late," Crystal said.
She put down the tickets on the table, waiting a moment. She heard nothing.
"Kent? Kent!"
She ran up the stairs of the dormitory up to Kent's floor and knocked on the door. Still no response. She banged on the door. "Kent! KENT!"
She pounded but still nothing in response. Other people on the floor opened the doors to their rooms and looked around. They saw Crystal sitting down on the floor outside Kent's room. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She walked away and went downstairs, picking up the tickets from the entry room table. 

Hours later, Crystal came back and knocked at the door, slumping down to the floor to wait for an answer.
The door opened. Kent stuck his head out and peered down.
"Crystal?" he said, "are you ok?"
She looked up, shaking her head side to side.
"Weren't we supposed to go to the show?"
Crystal stood up and looked at Kent. "That was hours ago. I was banging on your door but you wouldn't come out. What the hell happened?"
Kent glanced at his watch. "Shit! It's 4 already! We had to be out of here by 1." Kent's hand went to his head and he rubbed his eyes. "I can't believe it."
Crystal pushed open the door to his room and went in and sat on his dorm bed. Kent sat down on the chair by the desk, turning on the lamp. "What was it a blank out again?"
"I think so," Kent said, scratching his head. "I was sitting here and wrote a note, then it hit me, like a load of bricks."
"Another migraine?"
"Yeah, my head was throbbing. I couldn't think of anything. I just sat here and rubbed my temple. I tried to make it go away. I guess I blanked out."
"Kent that show was important to me, I was supposed to write a report on the play for literature. This is the fifth time this has happened. We've missed movies, dinners and even just study time. I really want to help, but I don't feel like you realize how serious this is."
He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I know. I know. I'll work on it."
Crystal stood up. "You've said that you'll work on it so many times already. I think I've hit my limit," she walked to the door and turned back, "Kent, be well."
She walked out, firmly closing the door behind her.
Kent sat there shaking his head from side to side. Then he bolted up and threw open the door, running down the hall. By the time he came downstairs he just saw Crystal stepping onto the bus in front of his building. The bus drove away.
He walked back inside.
Opening the door he noticed a sign up on the door. The sign read 'Join the Gunslinger Ridge Experiment' and described the times for signing up for a campus-based psychology treatment. The fineprint emphasized that this was an entirely new treatment and was considered radically experimental. He grabbed the sign and ripped it off the door.

Two days later he called Crystal but didn't get through. He left a message. "Crystal I want you back. You'll see I can be my old self. I've signed up for The Gunslinger Ridge Experiment and will be going through with their treatment."

Kent found the offices for the experiment in the basement of Dexter Hall. A young researcher greeted him and brought him into their research room. She asked him basic questions like his name and contact details. Then she stopped and looked Kent.
"Have experienced any type of trauma, especially in childhood."
Kent paused.
The researcher held her pen down on her notebook, waiting for a response.
"Yes," said Kent, "I killed my mother."
"Well I think so," Kent said. "I was six years old and we were out in the field. We were target shooting at hay bales. I tried to load my gun, but it went off. She died."
The researcher wrote this down, asking him some more details about the event, but Kent said it was a blank.
"That's ok. Actually it will work very well for The Gunslinger Ridge Experiment. We have developed an extra-sensory device for breaking down walls to blocked memories. Kent, we can go back to that day and see exactly what happened, we'll revisit your exact memory."
"So you're ready."
Kent sat down in chair. It was designed like a dentist chair and he leaned his head back. The researcher explained to him to him to look up at screen positioned above the chair. A light dot bounced from side to side on the screen. She put tight, noise blocking earphones and turned on a white noise sound.
"Just relax and breathe deeply."
She applied a electrode to his arm, and watched a monitor for the reaction to his pulse.
"Now just watch the screen, and let your eyes follow the light," she said, "we're going to be busting through some walls."
After ten minutes, the images on the screen changed, now showing psychedelic  patterns of different colors.
Kent spoke, "I'm in 7th grade, I'm at lunch with my friend Alex. He just asked me what happened. 'Alex,' I am saying to him, 'I don't think I did it.' He just looks at me."
"Very good, Kent," said the researcher. "I'm right here with you in the lunchroom."
The patterns on the screens danced and swirled, moving faster.
"Okay Kent, what do you see?"
"I'm at my house. I must be about 6 years old. Haven't been there in years. I'm sitting on my father's lap. The sheriff is there. He asks me what happened. I can feel my father's hands holding me. My father leans down and speaks into my ear. 'Kent, boy,  just tell the Sheriff here what happened, tell him how the bullet flew out of your gun.'"
The colors changed from red to blue to orange and then to purple. Kent stared at the screen. The image changed to a vast ocean with clouds flying over. Everything was in a shade of purple. Kent started to shake.
"Take another breath Kent, we're making great progress."
He took in a deep breath. His eyes were vibrating wide open.
"I'm lying down on an old mattress. The hay bales are about 10 feet in front of us. A paper target is taped onto the mattress. My mother turns and looks at me. She smiles. She holds her gun and closes one eye, taking aim at the target. I just hold my gun. My mother pulls her trigger and air cracks. My mother falls down and blood flows."
"Did you pull the trigger on your gun Kent," asked the researcher.
"No no. I am just holding my gun. The wind is blowing. I look up and my father is standing over my mother."
"What is he doing?"
"He's looking down at my mother and he is ... he is holding his rifle. Smoke is coming out of the end of the gun. He puts the gun down on the mattress next to me and reaches out to pick me up. We run in the house and I look back at my mother just lying there on her mattress."
"Where did you go?"
"We went in the house. He is calling on the phone. He yells. 'I need help. My son shot my wife.' He yells some more in the phone."
"Can we keep going Kent?"
He nodded his head.
The researcher pushed some buttons on her keyboard. The seascape on the screen went from calm to waves and clouds flew by. The color shifted from purple to light blue.
"I see my father on the phone. He is yelling. 'This is an emergency! Yes I mean it. I need this policy approved today. I want to make sure my wife is covered. Get back to me with that approval'"
The screen changed to a wide lush forest shaded in red.
"My father is talking to my mother. She just shakes her head. 'Just sign it. We need to think about the kids. What if something happens to us. Taking out another insurance policy is the responsible thing to do.' He pushes the paper in front of her. She looks down and signs the paper."
The researcher pushes a few more buttons on the keyboard. The screen turned back to a bouncing light. Kent closed his eyes and slowly breathed out.
"Kent? Kent can you hear me," she asked.
"Yes," he said, "yes I can hear you." His eyes stayed closed. Tears flowed down his cheeks. "I can hear everything, everything now."
"You can get up now, Kent. The Gunslinger Ridge Experiment is over. You've been a tremendous subject and really helped us test our equipment. Thank you."
He stood up and straightened out his shirt. The researcher handed him a tissue. He walked out.

Kent stood in front of Crystal's door. He knocked softly. She opened and jumped into his arms. "I think I'm ok now. No more migraines."
"What happened? You look, you look so much lighter, like a load has been lifted off you."
"I'll tell you, well sometime. Not now. But yeah, I feel lighter, not to blame anymore."
She took his hand and they walked out toward the campus together.

A few weeks later Crystal was decorating Kent's dorm room. She blew up a balloon and taped it to the wall over his bed. She heard a knock on the door.
"Kent?" she said. "Is that you?"
There was no answer.
She opened the door and so a woman with grey hair standing in front of her. "Oh hello, can I help you?" Crystal asked.
"Yes I'm looking for my son."
"You're son?" Crystal said. "I'm not sure. Maybe one of the other rooms."
"Is this Kent's dorm room?"
"Yes it is but..."
"I'm Kent's mother. We've had a bit of a rocky relationship but Kent is not a well person. He suffers from a lot of delusions and has told people some pretty tall tales about me. What did he tell you, that I died in a car accident? Plenty of sympathy, I suppose."
"No," said Crystal, "he said, he said that he killed you."
The older woman shook her head, and walked into the door room. A balloon popped.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Guppy Must Die

Last week  three-word titles were submitted. Ten were  randomly chosen. I wrote a story using the title 'Guppy Must Die'.
Target Length: ~1000 words

Guppy went out on another delivery with high hopes. He had a teddy bear imposing figure, tall, chunky, but bumbling. He arrived at the Riverside Apartment complex and knocked at the door of apartment 17.
"Pizza," said Guppy, holding out the box to the man that opened the door. He handed Guppy a coupon.
Guppy looked over the coupon and looked up. "Uh sorry."
"What's the problem?"
"This is a coupon for Pizza Hat, but I'm from Pizza Dan. We have our own coupons, but I can't take this coupon. Sorry." Guppy looked down.
"Yeah, I ordered from Pizza Hat," said the man, leaning out the door.
Then another guy showed up behind Guppy.
"Pizza?" He was wearing a hat with the Pizza Hat logo.
Handing over the pizza, the driver took the coupon, and Guppy walked away.
Guppy looked at his printed order again, noticing that the address was for apartment 37, not 17.
He walked over to the other building and two guys come to the door.
"You're late!"
"Yeah," said Guppy, "I know, but I was just over there and..."
Guppy's phone shook and he looked down at the message.
'You're late again. Give them the pizza and come back.' It was Guppy's manager.
"Free pizza."
They took the box from Guppy.

Guppy sat down in Stan's office. Stan, the night manager, walked in. "Guppy this is the fifth free pizza this week. We can't continue like this. You gotta be on the ball."
"Yeah Stan, but this time it was different, I was right there, I..."
"Guppy I don't care. You were late. That's not good. I'm giving you one more chance. Make me proud man!"

A call came in for a new pizza delivery. Stan gave the order to Guppy.
Guppy drove into the neighborhood. There were several parked cars with broken windows on the street, covered in leaves. Guppy analyzed the order, making sure he had the right address. He looked up, seeing a dark house. He took a deep breath, and starting mumbling a mantra to himself. "I can do this. I can do this." He marched up to the front door of the house. There was no porchlight on, and he didn't hear anyone inside. Guppy lifted his hand up and knocked on the door. There was no answer.

From the side, Guppy was jumped on and knocked to the ground.
"Take his money!" One guy said.
"Get the pizza" Another guy yelled.
Guppy squirmed on the  ground, and tried to shield his face.
One guy held up a baseball bat.
"What's your name?"
"Guppy?! What the hell kind of name is that? Guppy must die!" He swung the bat down, beating Guppy all over his body.
Guppy yelled and passed out.

Waking  up in a hospital room, Guppy noticed that all was quiet. A single machine hummed next to his bed.
His arm was bandaged up.
An intern making rounds, came into his room.
"It says here you were in surgery for 7 hours. 47 stitches. You've suffered a lot of bruising and an injury to your right eye. The nerve inside is broken," the intern said, looking over a chart, "You're up for another surgery sometime tomorrow. They're trying to save your eye."
"Will I be able to see?"
“Hare do tell. It’s gonna be a long road to recovery,” she said. “You'll need extensive physiotherapy."
"At least I've got a good health plan." Guppy tried to break out a smile, but it hurt too much.

A nurse poked her head in, "Sir, you have some visitors."
Guppy perked up, looking toward the door.
Stan walked in. Guppy nodded his head. Stan's jaw dropped, seeing the full extent of Guppy's injuries, taking in a man covered in gauze and bandages.
"Guppy, uh, this is Ray from legal in Pizza Dan corporate, he wanted to talk to you."
A man wearing a dark suit walked into the room.
"Hello Glenn," said Ray.
Guppy looks surprised.
"Your name is Glenn Hampton, correct?"
Guppy nodded. "They call me Guppy."
"Ok," said the man in the dark suit, "I'd like to ask you about the attack."
Guppy nodded.
"How much money did you have on you?"
"I don't know," said Guppy, "maybe $20."
"According to a news report your attackers made off with $30, you also reported this in the police report."
"Yeah, Ok, $30."
"Are you aware of our company's policy, a policy that you signed and agreed to when you started working for our organization."
"Uh, not really."
"Ok, Glenn, well I'll remind you. Driver's are not to be driving around with more than $20 on them and should return to the store to empty the money on them. However, Glenn, you continued to drive around for your delivery."
"Yeah I thought I would get back after this one."
"Glenn, drivers are also required to conduct security calls before delivering to homes that they haven't delivered to before or customers that order online. Did you make any call?"
"No, uh, no I didn't, but I..."
"Glenn I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to recommend dismissal. You clearly violated corporate policy. Your health benefits are to be immediately terminated. Now, Glenn, if you'll just sign here."
Guppy looked up at the man, barely able to move his arm.
"I'm sorry Guppy," said Stan, "there's nothing I can do. This is up to corporate. You've got some pretty heavy medical expenses. They reviewed this pretty well already."
The man in the dark suit held out the form to Guppy. "Glenn this is just a standard form confirming you heard and understood everything I explained. There's nothing more to discuss."
He put a pen into Guppy's heavily bandaged arm, and Guppy scribbled. The man took the form and filed it away into his briefcase.
Stan looked at him, shaking his head. "Sorry Guppy."
The man in the dark suit turned to go to the door. Stan backed out and departed as well.
Guppy, unable to move, looked up and started screaming.

Friday, February 3, 2017


Rebecca looked at her wrist and picked up her books. She pushed the books into her backup and pulled it up on to her shoulder. A girl came up behind her.

"Hey Becca," the girl said.
Rebecca turned around.
"What time is it, Bec?" she asked, smiling.
Rebecca shrugged.
"Huh, got the time?"
"Come on Aubrey, cut it out."
"Oh come on Bec, can't take a little joke, a little ribbing."
Rebecca just looked at her classmate and sighed, turning away.

Rebecca pushed her way out into the crowded hallway of her high school. She moved upstream against the flow of people, struggling to get to her next class. A boy bumped into her and looked up.

"Excuse me," he said. He smiled. "Got the time?"
Rebecca just shook her head and trudged forward.

Rebecca got to the classroom and sat down next to a red-haired girl.
"Hey Monica."
The red-haired girl smiled. "What's goin on, why the frown."
"Let's talk after."
The teacher stood up at the front of the class and cleared her throat.
Monica reached over and squeezed Rebecca's arm.
The teacher turned to the chalkboard and wrote on the board 'Bill Budd'. Rebecca sighed.

In the lunchroom, Rebecca sipped her carton of milk through a small straw.
Monica looked at her across the table.
"So why not just dump the watch already, if its causing so much trouble."
Rebecca looked down at her wrist and shook her head.

"Come on, Monica, my mother bought me this watch."
"But Becca it doesn't even work!"
"That's not the point! You still don't know, uh, what my mother went through to get me this watch. She has, well she has, I guess an attachment to things."
"It's just a watch, how'll she'll know?"
"Monica, she will be personally insulted not seeing her daugher wearing the watch she gave her, even if it is useless."
"I don't know, doesn't seem worth it. Why not just stuff it in your bag?"
"I could forget it, who knows it..."
"It could get broken?"

Rebecca walked home from school. She went through a path off the main road. She kept looking over at her watch, looking at the little minute and hour hands spin around completely loose on the watch face. 

'Why do I have to  look like a freak?' she thought to herself. She grabbed the watch and pulled it off her wrist and put the watch in her bag. She put it down softly on top of her books. She stepped off the path and walked up the street. A car stopped next to her, and the driver rolled down the window.

"Want a ride Rebecca?" the older woman asked.
"Sure," said Rebecca, opening the passenger door. She held her bag in her lap.
"How's school?" the woman said.
"Are you up for another babysitter gig? I got a call from a friend asking."
"Sure Mrs. Abbey, but maybe I check with my mom first."
Mrs. Abbey honked at the car in front of her. "Rebecca I want to tell you that I'm really impressed and proud of you."
Rebecca turned and looked at her, making a strange face.
Mrs. Abbey stopped in front of Rebecca's house. "Wow I'm thirsty, can I come in for a glass of water."
"I can bring you, just wait here."
"It's no problem, Rebecca, I'm not in a hurry, I can park on the street."
"No, my mom might be sleeping now, don't want to disturb her."
"Ok, I don't want to cause any problems."
Rebecca got out of the car, and Mrs. Abbey drove off.

Rebecca watches Mrs Abbey go down the street and turn the corner. She opened the front door to her house, confronted by boxes and a heavy dust in the air. Fresh laundry detergent, video tapes, and pens lined the front hallway. Rebecca tiptoed down the hall and peered into her mother's bedroom. She saw her mother on the bed, fast asleep. Clothing and old newspapers littered the floor.

Reaching her room, Rebecca closed the door behind her. She poured out her backpack onto her bed. The watch tumbled out on top of the books. She grabbed the watch and held it up. She attempted to throw the watch away in her trash. Then she stepped back and reached into the trash to dig it up. She looked at the watch, dangling it in front of her face. She put it back on her wrist, shaking her head.

The next day in class, Monica looked over at Rebecca, squeezing her arm, just above the watch. The teacher finishes writing on the chalkboard. "Ok, why does Billy still bless the captain after her has sentenced him to be hanged?"
Rebecca sat upright.
"Monica?" asked the teacher.
Monica just shook her head.
Rebeca raised her arm.
"Yes Rebecca."
"He believed that he had their best interests in mind."
"Ok that's a good direction."

At her locker, Rebecca  looks down again at her watch. Monica taps her on the shoulder.
They sat at their usual table.
"Monica, I think I've realized something."
"About literature class?"
"No its just that all my attempts with the watch are really to keep my mother happy but this actually makes me miserable."
"So what you gonna do?"
Rebecca took off the watch she threw the watch to the big garbage at the end of the table.

When Rebecca came home,  her mother focused on her arm, noticing the missing watch.
"Where's your watch, Rebecca?"
Rebecca looked down.
"Rebecca, where's your watch, where is it?"
"I, uh,"
"I threw it away."
"What? You did what?"
"Come on, it's just a stupid old watch."
"You have no idea, what you've done."
"It's just a watch."
"No, it's not. It's a protection. Rebecca you're not safe without your protection?"
"Protection, what are you talking about?"
"We're are hunted, there are creatures that will take us down in the middle of the night. You need to have your protection."
Rebecca looked up at her mother. A door slammed in a another room, and her mother turned suddenly.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

How to Write a Short Story

Getting started in Flash Fiction and writing prompts, I often get bogged down in ... getting started. I start writing, like a pantser, and find myself unfocused and concerned that the narrative is not developing. So I've brought together some good suggestions for how to get started on a short story.

How To Outline A Short Story - For Beginners

Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps

7 Steps to Write a Short Story

How to Properly Outline a Short Story

How to Write a Short Story

Friday, October 7, 2016

Flash Fiction Challenge: A Scary Story, Part One

Daniel wandered off from his family. They stayed at the beach and Daniel climbed the rocks away from waves, looking for shells. Daniel was already 12 and felt like he could explore on his own and didn't need to drag along his sister with him.

The waves were loud. He couldn't hear his father calling for him.  Daniel found a pretty, shiny shell and picked it up and put it in his pocket. He heard a slight chirping not far off, and climbed up on the rocks.

Above the rocks, a black car was parked in the field. The door opened and a man stepped out. Daniel stood up on the rocks and turned, looking back and seeing his family far away up the beach. The man walked away from his car and looked at Daniel, gesturing to him to come toward him. A woman opened the door on the driver's side and looked at her watch.

Daniel reached into his pocket and felt the shell. It was smooth, with a sharp jagged edge. He looked around but saw nobody else. The old man by the car shrugged and pointed at Daniel. "Boy!" he yelled. 

Daniel stepped forward and approached the old man who was a dark suit and black tie. The man smelled dingy, like mold. He reached out and touched Daniel on the shoulder. Daniel flinched but didn't pull away. "Your next."

Daniel stared up at him. Up close, he looked very old. His skin overlapped in thin flaps. His eyes were glossed over. His frizzy white hair was sparse. His hand shook and dug into Daniel's shoulder. Daniel reached up to push away the man's hand. The old man had a tight grip.

"Don't touch him," yelled the woman from the driver's side. Both Daniel and the old man turned to look at her. Daniel stepped back away from the distracted old man.

"Boy!" called out the old man.
"Come back!" said the woman.

Daniel ran back towards the rocks. He stopped for a moment and looked back. The car door closed and the engine revved up. Daniel breathed hard. He felt his shoulder where the man had gripped him. It was wet. He looked at his hand and it was covered in green goo.

The car tore across the field. Daniel reached the rocks and jumped onto the highest rock. He looked down and saw the rocky embankment below, uneven and jagged. To the other side was a steep drop off to the beach below. "Come here," said the woman again, "you touched him!"

Daniel looked over his shoulder at the woman, the car was just a few feet behind him. She closed her door and came closer to Daniel. He closed his eyes and jumped off the rock to the beach. The fine sand cushioned his landing. The woman looked down from above as Daniel squirmed on his back like a trapped turtle. The waves crashed up on the shore.

Daniel screeched. A sharp pain shot up his leg and he curled up his knee to his chin. He saw the gash from the rock up the length of his shin. Blood surged. He spread the green goo all over his knee. Tears welled up in his eyes and he screamed. "Wait! Wait there!" the woman said. Daniel pushed himself back up against the rock and propped himself up. He reached into his pocket and threw the shell up at the woman. He took a breath, and looked down. His leg was clean. No blood.

He ran. Daniel didn't look back. He thought he heard the woman calling his name. He stumbled over the sand and lurched over a rock. Then he heard his father calling out. His father noticed him and pointed to Daniel. Almost out of breath, Daniel came to a stop by his father and mother and sister.

"Where were you?" his father yelled, "crap we were worried sick about you. Don't ever just wander off like that. This is our special vacation." His mother hugged him. His sister tugged at his hand.
"Yuck what is this?" she said, rubbing the green goo off her hands. Daniel pushed her back.

"Nothing," Daniel said, "let's go." The family got into their minivan and drove off.

Later in the evening, they came to the boardwalk. The lights were ablaze. A ferris wheel stood tall over the crowd and entertainment. Daniel walked with his sister and parents. "The roller coaster," his sister said, and ran over. His parents bought tickets. The roller coaster raced past. Daniel watched the light zip back and forth. Daniel and his sister got into line. She pushed Daniel. "I wanna sit in the front!"

"We'll sit where ever we get."

"I wanna sit in the front." She hit Daniel.
The line moved slowly forward. His sister folded her arms and stood in place. Daniel jabbed her, urging her forward.  She remained rooted in place, and other kids in line slowly pushed ahead.  Daniel grabbed her and yanked her.
"Hey!" she said, "stop."
"Come on, just move."
They shuffled forward in the line. Finally they reached the front gate. Daniel and his sister took a step forward. A woman's arm came down, cutting off their progress. The gate to the ride closed. Daniel looked up. The woman smiled at him, nodding her head. Daniel looked at her, and clenched his teeth. He looked around. At the gate stood the old man in his dark suite. The roller coaster made its full round on the track, and flew back into the loading station.

Daniel grabbed his sister's hand, pulling her back.
"Daniel let's go, we're in front!"

Daniel shook his head. The woman pushed them forward.

The old man looked down at Daniel. "Your next."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Subtext - A new Insight

Heard some good insights that helped me to grasp subtext better.

Subtext is the act of setting up to strong points and then leaving the reader to fill in the information from their imagination.

This could be like showing a guy punching another guy, then we go to the next chapter. The next chapter starts a few months later, showing the two guys sitting in suits in a corporate boardroom together.

Those are the two strong points
 - punching a guy for unknown reasons
 - sitting together in a corporate boardroom

The writer hasn't described or explained any of the events that happened between these two points or what lead up to the points. This creates the subtext for the reader to conjecture. This creates the suspense for the writer to reveal elements down the road.