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The Restless discussion
#1
http://chud.com/stories/1601
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#2
Wow.

I wasn't expecting to see these posted again. It's funny how things happen. Just last night I pulled out all my material on these stories just to look them over - Nick had mentioned he was bringing CHUD stories back, and asked if I ever planned on working on this again, to which I said I was.

Anyway, I was looking them over and I realized...how bad they are, and how much I want to go back and - well, change everything. Maybe I'm being a little hard on myself. But, these stories - this concept - is a work in progress.

What is available now (six chapters) represents about 10% of the core idea I had for this story. The soldiers v. monsters angle is really a "hook" to what is really going on.

I plan on cleaning these things up, and making a lot of changes - primarily taking it out of first person (which unless you're writing pulp crime is just a bad way to write).

Anyway, I was shocked to see these up on the main site. Please, lay it on with the criticism - since a lot of this is going to change (especially if - God forbid - Nick does put these in a book!!)
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#3
Hey man, I love these things. I even emailed you back in the day to tell you (wydren@ignmail.com if you remember, an email address which has since fallen into disuse). I really wanted to hear more of this story. I even showed my brother, and he asks me every so often "Is that guy ever going to finish that Restless story about the military fighting the zombies and the monsters?" Good to see more work is being done on these, as I think they're an excellent zombie/monster tale. I for one want more.
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#4
Some good stuff in that first chapter. I mainly liked the visual of him standing on the airfield, smoking. I'll have to re-read the rest.

Glad to see this being brought back to life.
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#5
Just finished the first six and I want more. The pacing, the character developement, all real nice. Oh and the monsters fucking rock. Keep it up, looking forward to the rest.
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#6
Personally, I think the beach-landing is a bit too Private Ryan. The mini-mall conflict and the squid battle stand out on their own (i could've used more squid myself), but the beach and the sniper sequence seem too directly borrowed. Not that that's bad, I mean, there's only so many ways to write a beach landing and a sniper conflict. The resolution for the sniper bit is solid enough to stake it's own space, but the mechanics of the preceeding scene seem a bit formulaic.

IMHO, you should leverage where your story is unique.
E.g. For the beach landing, it isn't much of a trap to just send a bunch of zombies over a hill to stall a charge. I mean, that'll suck, but the human push will be broken enough that most of your victims will be pretty far away. Zombies lumbering as they do, no-one's going to expect it to work as anything other than a stalling tactic.

What I would do, is work the undeath angle, and leave the zombie surprise under the water. When the boats hit - every one of your readers will expect the machineguns to cut the initial charge in half. So don't do it. Let the first wave charge onto the shore, expecting the worst. And when they hit land and nothing happens for a few seconds. Let the zombies use the cue to start their march out of the north pacific.
Then as they start to break onto the beach - you have the machinegun nests open up. From a modestly higher elevation, they can lay lead into the beach without too many rounds taking out friendly zombies -- while the inexorable march of the undead doesn't even offer the good guys a slight reprieve should they manage to find cover.

As for the sniper scene, I'm not sure. Perhaps simply downplaying the 'that's where I'd be' routine. Maybe something as simple as the near-hit on the narrator blasting out a car window or tire.

One last minor note about the characterization: if it doesn't get used in the story - leave it out. I'm no prude mind you, but there's simply no point to mentioning one of your female characters is bisexual - unless you're going to use such a relationship for dramatic purposes later. In any case, the delivery just seemed a bit out of tone from the rest of the story.

I think it's a darn good work overall, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the lycanthropy, vampirism and demons.
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#7
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol

What I would do, is work the undeath angle, and leave the zombie surprise under the water. When the boats hit - every one of your readers will expect the machineguns to cut the initial charge in half. So don't do it. Let the first wave charge onto the shore, expecting the worst. And when they hit land and nothing happens for a few seconds. Let the zombies use the cue to start their march out of the north pacific.
Then as they start to break onto the beach - you have the machinegun nests open up. From a modestly higher elevation, they can lay lead into the beach without too many rounds taking out friendly zombies -- while the inexorable march of the undead doesn't even offer the good guys a slight reprieve should they manage to find cover.

While I loved the Restless' beach scene, this is an awesome idea. Also, I hope you never control a legion of the undead.
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#8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol

Personally, I think the beach-landing is a bit too Private Ryan. The mini-mall conflict and the squid battle stand out on their own (i could've used more squid myself), but the beach and the sniper sequence seem too directly borrowed. Not that that's bad, I mean, there's only so many ways to write a beach landing and a sniper conflict. The resolution for the sniper bit is solid enough to stake it's own space, but the mechanics of the preceeding scene seem a bit formulaic.

IMHO, you should leverage where your story is unique.
E.g. For the beach landing, it isn't much of a trap to just send a bunch of zombies over a hill to stall a charge. I mean, that'll suck, but the human push will be broken enough that most of your victims will be pretty far away. Zombies lumbering as they do, no-one's going to expect it to work as anything other than a stalling tactic.

What I would do, is work the undeath angle, and leave the zombie surprise under the water. When the boats hit - every one of your readers will expect the machineguns to cut the initial charge in half. So don't do it. Let the first wave charge onto the shore, expecting the worst. And when they hit land and nothing happens for a few seconds. Let the zombies use the cue to start their march out of the north pacific.
Then as they start to break onto the beach - you have the machinegun nests open up. From a modestly higher elevation, they can lay lead into the beach without too many rounds taking out friendly zombies -- while the inexorable march of the undead doesn't even offer the good guys a slight reprieve should they manage to find cover.

As for the sniper scene, I'm not sure. Perhaps simply downplaying the 'that's where I'd be' routine. Maybe something as simple as the near-hit on the narrator blasting out a car window or tire.

One last minor note about the characterization: if it doesn't get used in the story - leave it out. I'm no prude mind you, but there's simply no point to mentioning one of your female characters is bisexual - unless you're going to use such a relationship for dramatic purposes later. In any case, the delivery just seemed a bit out of tone from the rest of the story.

I think it's a darn good work overall, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the lycanthropy, vampirism and demons.

Those are some awesome comments thank you.

You're absolutely right. The beach and sniper scene are borrowed - a large part of the reason why I want to re-write these stories. These were written at a time when Creature Corner was doing "themed" stories and most of these stories were written the night before the deadline - so borrowing happened.

With respect to Marlene - her bi-sexuality (as I planned it) does come into play with respect to her interactions with another character.

If I ever get off my but the story (again as I planned it) is going to turn into something completely different - much more with the monsters, much less with the straight up military thing. I'm definately planning on trying to hit some of the more "unique" notes.

Thanks again for the comments.
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#9
Quote:

Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol

Personally, I think the beach-landing is a bit too Private Ryan. The mini-mall conflict and the squid battle stand out on their own (i could've used more squid myself), but the beach and the sniper sequence seem too directly borrowed. Not that that's bad, I mean, there's only so many ways to write a beach landing and a sniper conflict. The resolution for the sniper bit is solid enough to stake it's own space, but the mechanics of the preceeding scene seem a bit formulaic.

IMHO, you should leverage where your story is unique.
E.g. For the beach landing, it isn't much of a trap to just send a bunch of zombies over a hill to stall a charge. I mean, that'll suck, but the human push will be broken enough that most of your victims will be pretty far away. Zombies lumbering as they do, no-one's going to expect it to work as anything other than a stalling tactic.

What I would do, is work the undeath angle, and leave the zombie surprise under the water. When the boats hit - every one of your readers will expect the machineguns to cut the initial charge in half. So don't do it. Let the first wave charge onto the shore, expecting the worst. And when they hit land and nothing happens for a few seconds. Let the zombies use the cue to start their march out of the north pacific.
Then as they start to break onto the beach - you have the machinegun nests open up. From a modestly higher elevation, they can lay lead into the beach without too many rounds taking out friendly zombies -- while the inexorable march of the undead doesn't even offer the good guys a slight reprieve should they manage to find cover.

As for the sniper scene, I'm not sure. Perhaps simply downplaying the 'that's where I'd be' routine. Maybe something as simple as the near-hit on the narrator blasting out a car window or tire.

One last minor note about the characterization: if it doesn't get used in the story - leave it out. I'm no prude mind you, but there's simply no point to mentioning one of your female characters is bisexual - unless you're going to use such a relationship for dramatic purposes later. In any case, the delivery just seemed a bit out of tone from the rest of the story.

I think it's a darn good work overall, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the lycanthropy, vampirism and demons.

By the way - can I "use" your idea? It fucking awesome.
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#10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Sean Sparrow

By the way - can I "use" your idea? It fucking awesome

Hey man, go for it.
Ideas are free, it's the way you spell 'em out that makes it property.

As for the bi-sexual thing: you do set up quite a bit of character so I didn't figure the trait itself to be gratuitous. My point was more that until something does happen that is relevant to her sexuality - there's no point to bringing it up. The way it's written -- no offense here, just a nickle's worth of free critique -- is like a usenet response to a creepy a/s/l request, or a bad fanerotica opener.
The rest of the story is so much better than that, that it's really jarring.

Character traits in general - sexuality, race, education - you don't have another character point out matter-of-factly outside relevant context. I'm of the opinion that it's best to 'show' the reader/viewer what a character is like, rather than 'tell'. Even in the case where being crass is part of another character's personality, you try to 'show' what the target of their exposition is like, before you have the crass one spell it out.

Consider Hudson and Vasquez; she was certainly butch, and he was certainly crass. But we were shown that she was butch before Hicks started in. And what was more defining for her character was not that Hicks spelled it out; it was in the way she responded to it.
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