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Mr. Thyman Green- Story in Progress

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Mr. Thyman Green- Story in Progress

Postby InvisibleRabbit » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:51 pm

Thyman Green is a well known author that lives in the quiet little town of Van Etten. It has a population of about 1,518. It’s not a very big town, but he loves it there because of the quietness and the quaint little houses. On a normal day he gets up, around 7:00 without an alarm, goes to the bathroom at exactly 7:04, washes his hands, makes himself a breakfast of ham, eggs, bacon, and milk, goes into his recently built study, turns his computer on and writes for the rest of the day.
Some people would say that he lives a boring life. There are even people that say he is Frankenstein’s Monster. Others would say that he is the heir to Adolph Hitler. Most think that he just likes the peace and quiet of his little New York town. Thyman knows however, that he is not just an author, but a very adroit murderer. He writes about the murders that he has committed. It is not always murders that he has committed though, but murders he is planning. Every last one of his murders was very brutal. But in every case thus far, not a single drop of blood was left anywhere. Not a single person knows, or even thinks, that Thyman has ever even thought about killing a fly let alone a human being.
But, in one case he got sloppy. Thyman left one of his victims alive. I am that victim. This is my story as well as his.
My name is Illien; I’m twenty-three. Thyman made the mistake of not finishing his task on October 31, 1993. I was twelve at the time. I hadn’t even done anything wrong.
When I was a young boy I lived in Timnath, Colorado, on Delozier Street, just east of Roselawn Cemetery. Timnath is a small town with only 223 people. Thyman lived there as well, he did at least until he tried to kill me.
When he kidnapped me, I was at the Roselawn Cemetery, riding bikes with my friends. I had just wrecked my bicycle and my friends hadn’t noticed yet, and as I was getting up, he grabbed me. I couldn’t even scream. I was scared. Not just scared, but petrified. He turned me around and sprayed some liquid in my face. It burnt my nose and stung my lungs. That’s when I stopped breathing, not because he was suffocating me but because I did not want to pass out. He put his arm around my back and tried to pick me up. I tried to bite him but when I did, I got a mouthful of the putrid liquid. I knew then that I stood no chance. That’s the last thing that I could remember until I woke up.
Still slightly disoriented, I opened my eyes and all I saw was the book To Kill a Mockingbird sitting on a workbench in front of me, then succumbed to the darkness of my mind. When I woke up a second time I noticed that I was sitting in a metal folding chair, my hands taped up behind my back as well as to the chair; my feet were also taped together and to the legs of the chair.
It was cold and dark, and wherever we were, it must have been wet, because there was a faint smell of mildew in the air. To Kill a Mockingbird was still sitting on the workbench.
I tried to get my hands undone when I heard the faint echoing of footsteps from behind me. I didn’t want to upset the kidnapper, so I stopped struggling to get free and just sat there until the freak got to me. Then, the noise just stopped, completely. The room was then quietest it could have gotten when all of a sudden the kidnapper appeared in front of me. I could tell that it was a man just from the looks. Broad shoulders, thick neck, large arms. He sported all white clothes and a ski mask which was white as well.
When he appeared in front of me, I wasn’t scared at first, that is, I wasn’t scared of him. I was scared in the fact that I didn’t know where I was, or what was going to happen to me, but if I were to be un-tapped, I would stand up for myself; at least I would have until he took off the mask.
He had a scar covering most of his face. It wasn’t just a regular scar, but a scar that looked as if it were from a burn. It was bumped out and red.
He reached out and touched my face with a gloved hand and I flinched. When the glove came in contact with my face, I tried to scream. It was wet, but with what, I’m not sure. I turned my face and he grabbed under my chin and turned my head so we were face to face. Then he said “no one is innocent.”
That didn’t scare me though, because I already knew what was going to happen to me. He probably thought that he was scaring me. Not anymore. Before he said anything to me, I was too blinded by fear to realize that he was going to kill me.
So I looked into his eyes and all I saw was the hate he had for me. I still can not figure out why he hated me. I was a child, and I had never done anything to him, so I just figured he had something against my parents.
He then clubbed me on the side of the, right behind my right ear. I, all of a sudden, felt cold, like I was in a pool of ice. The room started spinning and I couldn’t catch my breath. I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t even remember what was happening to me. There was so much pain, yet I couldn’t feel anything.
Then just as soon, it felt like, that I was thrown into the pool of ice, I felt hot. I was sweating and everything was going black. I could feel my heartbeat in my mind, and I could feel it beating. It wasn’t beating fast, but slower than it should have.
Then I could feel pain again. There was a small amount of pressure in my neck. It felt as if there were a syringe being stabbed into my neck over and over again. Then, it just stopped and I felt cold again. By then, everything was black. I was passing out again. This time, I fought it; I wanted to be awake so I knew what was going to happen. Nothing ever did happen though.
The next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance heading to McKee Medical Center in Fort Collins. I knew this because I heard the driver say it.
I tried to open my eyes but it felt like they were sewn shut. Everything about me hurt. I could feel that I was strapped down. I went back to sleep to escape the pain. When I woke up again, I was in a hospital bed. I could open my eyes now, but my eyelids hurt profusely. I could barely see, and what little I could see was quite dim. I could tell that there was nobody else in my room and it was dark outside. There were no people in my room with me. I thought to myself that maybe it was past visiting hours. Just as I was about to go back to sleep, a nurse walked in. She rushed over to me and started bombarding me with questions.
“Are you okay? Do your eyes still hurt? Do you want me to get a doctor,” and she kept asking if my eyes still hurt. I wasn’t sure why though.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I said, “my eyes hurt a little bit, but not enough for you to get a doctor…why? Why would I need a doctor because my eyes hurt? What happened? Why am I here?”
“Well, your eyes were sewn shut. We think it was because the person that did this to you didn’t want you to see again. Though, we’re not sure why. It seemed as though he was…” just then a doctor walked in and the nurse stopped talking.
“Illien, you’re lucky to have survived. The police caught the man trying to kill you by surprise. He was getting ready to inject oxygen into your bloodstream. He first stabbed you several times with the syringe,” the doctor said, “he also sprayed your face with chloroform. We think that’s how he subdued you.”
“Are my eyes ever going to completely heal? How about my vision? Am I going to need glasses or is the blurriness just temporary,” I asked the doctor.
“Yes, your eyes will heal. About the vision though, we aren’t sure about that. It will just take time. We think that it will clear up within the next two weeks though. So you should be just fine.”
“What about my parents? Where are they at,” I asked.
“Follow me please,” the doctor whispered.
We went down several long corridors, all of which were completely empty of everything. We came to the end of one of the corridors and went into the waiting room where several people were waiting. Three of them were police officers. Two of them were sleeping and when I walked in with the doctor, the one that wasn’t sleeping woke the other two, stood up, and walked over to me.
“I am Lieutenant Ericsson. I was one of the men that found you. The one to my right is…”
“Tiffany Whistle*, but you can call me Squeak*, for short.”
“And the one to my left is…”
“Damien Beelz*. Pleased to meet you Illien.”
“…What happened to my parents? Why aren’t they here? Where are they?!” I was hysterical. I was more scared then than when the man had hit me.
“Your parents were found dead right after we found you. We aren’t sure yet what killed them, but we think it was the man trying to kill you. You are very lucky to be alive right now son,” said Ericsson.
I let my mind wonder. I couldn’t even cry. I knew at that moment that things would never go my way again. I was right.
Now, eleven years later, still, nothing has gone right. It’s not that everything hasn’t been going right, but everything has been going badly.
I dated a girl for two years and on the anniversary of our second year dating, I proposed. She said yes then dumped me two days before the marriage date. I got over that though. Why worry about the past when the future is already here, right?
Now,

*- To be changed at a later Date.

I am willing to hear different names for the characters with the asterix (*) beside them.
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Postby InvisibleRabbit » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:58 pm

I only really want feedback on what you think, and how I could change it for the better. It is not done, and I am still working on it. It is going to be published, and I already have it copyrighted. If you have good names for the characters mentioned before, I am glad to hear your opinions. The names so far, are just filler names.
I do NOT want anybody to post continuations to this. I only put it here because I do not know where else to put it. It is not a short story, but a novel. It is just incomplete.
What it is about, is NOT up for discussion. The plot is of my own imagination.
Dean Koontz inspired me to write, and I give credit of this to him. He, however, will recieve no money from me when it does get published. He will be in there as a person that I thank.
If anybody helps me out, you may recieve SOME compensation. That is, if I choose what you say and put it in the book. You also may not recieve compensation but instead, just a thank you in the front cover. I am not new to writing, and I am not easily hurt. Say anything at all that you want about this story.
I will greatly appreciate everything that everybody says.
Thank you,
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Postby Bmat » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:27 pm

I have read through the first three paragraphs so far. So far, I find the use of present tense distracting and a bit uncomfortable to read.

It is a good idea in formal writing to not use abbreviations.


When referring to a person, "who" might be better than "that."

"it" is not a very strong word, you may want to combine the first two sentences into one and avoid the use of "it" in this instance. Regardless, if you leave the "it" in, you have used it twice in close proximity.

I'm not sure about the comma after author and before but. If you leave the comma in, you will need a subject for the second sentence.

I'd suggest "murders that he is planning."

The first three paragraphs come across as an outline or summary, not part of a written story.

I read a bit more and discovered that the reason for the present tense and for the listing of events was that we are getting a summary from the first person point of view of a victim. Now it makes more sense to me. I wonder if it might be a good idea to make it clear from the beginning in order to avoid the confusion that I felt. For example, Life is something precious for me, not so for.... etc. Also, making it clear from the beginning would explain the use of abbreviations- that we are in the mind of the speaker, this may also explain the style of writing.

I like the peaceful setting of the opening of the story and the description of the seemingly peaceful person who actually writes about his own crimes.

Here is another idea: As a prelude, use the first paragraphs, past tense, I think, although not necessarily, and end with something like, Except for one. I am the one. This is my story. Then go on to chapter 1.

---------
This is in the wrong forum for critique and advice, so I'll move it to the critque and advice forum.
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Postby Chaeronia » Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:06 am

Invisible Rabbit,

First off, a word of warning: if this is going to be a published piece then I'm not so sure you should be posting it on this website. I'm no expert in the ways of publishing, but it is often a taboo amongst publishers to accept work that has previously been in the public domain. Exclusivity is a big deal, and so it might be in your best interests to take this extract off the site. Perhaps someone with more knowledge than myself could throw some light on the subject.

As for the story itself, well, in the name of frank honesty I must say I found it to be vapid. It seemed to lack any descriptive verve: the prose felt very two-dimensional and the characters were simply nondescript.

In terms of the plot, it's hard to comment as yet, although obvious questions spring to mind: how does the narrator know what Thyman Green has for breakfast? How has the murderer managed to cover up his crimes so well (especially as the narrator talks about his crimes at the beginning as if they are still going on, eleven years after he was kidnapped...)? Why does Thyman not kill Illien when he's so clearly at his mercy?

These things aren't explained, but I presume they will be later on in the story. Right?

I found two main areas of contention throughout your piece. The first is redundancy. Much of what you write is not necessary, or rather, it's not explained well enough to become necessary:

There are even people that say he is Frankenstein's Monster. Others would say that he is the heir to Adolph Hitler. Most think that he just likes the peace and quiet of his little New York town.

Why do people think that of him? Does it help the reader in any way to think of him as either Adolph Hitler's heir, Frankenstein's monster or just a normal person? Does it advance the story? If it doesn't offer any kind of characterisation (which it doesn't) and if it doesn't move the plot along (which it doesn't), then is it necessary? And why do people have such contrasting opinions of him anyway? You don't explain why, so it's up to the readers to guess. It just raises questions for the reader, questions that seem to have no answer.

Thyman knows however, that he is not just an author, but a very adroit murderer. He writes about the murders that he has committed. It is not always murders that he has committed though, but murders he is planning. Every last one of his murders was very brutal. But in every case thus far, not a single drop of blood was left anywhere. Not a single person knows, or even thinks, that Thyman has ever even thought about killing a fly let alone a human being.

This is all irrelevant for me. Why? Because it's dull. It's the perfect example of telling and not showing; we're being spoon fed this information. Also, it seems contradictory. If 'not a single person knows' of Thyman's industrious killing spree, then how is the narrator so clued up about it? Either no one knows, in which case you need to shift perspective (i.e. de-personalise the narrative), or no one but the narrator knows!
And if no one suspects that Thyman has ever even thought about killing a fly, why would anyone equate him to being like Frankenstein's monster in the first place?

Sometimes expository writing is important, and can be done in an interesting, artistic, manner, but, for me, you haven't managed it here.

The second major problem I see is that of pacing. Put simply, up to this point it's too short, way too short. You tell us all we seemingly need to know about Thyman, the obviously crucial kidnapping, the realisation of his parents' murder and then a synopsis of his failed relationship - all in 1,800 words! That's just six or seven standard pages of a paperback. And the really worrying thing is that probably half of what you write is superfluous.

A really good story is one that involves the reader in its characters, even if it's plot-led (maybe especially so). A plot only really comes to life with the reader if they care about who is involved in it, and because of the bare-bones, breakneck speed of your writing, I simply don't care. No characters = no plot.

Throughout the story there are a raft of small things that grated with me.

That's when I stopped breathing, not because he was suffocating me but because I did not want to pass out.

A perfect example of redundancy. You don't need to explain why he passed out - a face full of chloroform tells its own story!

When he appeared in front of me, I wasn't scared at first, that is, I wasn't scared of him. I was scared in the fact that I didn't know where I was, or what was going to happen to me, but if I were to be un-tap(p)ed, I would stand up for myself; at least I would have until he took off the mask.

This is very clunky prose, with disjointed sentence structure (too many commas) and an over elaborate explanation of why he was scared.

When the glove came in contact with my face, I tried to scream.

He only tried? Why did he not succeed? You don't mention that he was gagged or that Thyman stifled his mouth.

That didn't scare me though, because I already knew what was going to happen to me. He probably thought that he was scaring me. Not anymore. Before he said anything to me, I was too blinded by fear to realize that he was going to kill me.

You use the adjective 'scare/d' far too much (seven times during the short kidnapping scene). And again, this seems contradictory: 'he probably thought that he was scaring me. Not any more... I was too blinded by fear to realise he was going to kill me.'

So is he scared or not? Considering how much you use the word I did find myself confused as to his frightened status!

So I looked into his eyes and all I saw was the hate he had for me. I still cannot figure out why he hated me. I was a child, and I had never done anything to him, so I just figured he had something against my parents.

This seems too obvious. I'm not sure why he should make such a leap in his mind to equate all of this to his parents, but it's clear that you're using this as a device as a hint of what has befallen his mother and father.

The next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance heading to McKee Medical Center in Fort Collins. I knew this because I heard the driver say it.

No need for 'I knew this...' We'll take it as being true.

The dialogue at the end is also problematic.

“Tiffany Whistle*, but you can call me Squeak*, for short.”

Would a professional police officer really say that? Maybe, maybe not, but it felt unrealistic to me.

“…What happened to my parents? Why aren’t they here? Where are they?!” I was hysterical. I was more scared then than when the man had hit me.

“Your parents were found dead right after we found you. We aren’t sure yet what killed them, but we think it was the man trying to kill you. You are very lucky to be alive right now son,” said Ericsson.


This is a somewhat harsh way to break the news to the young boy that his parents had died, no? Talk about using a sledgehammer to crack an egg. Surely Ericsson would have been a little more sensitive in breaking the news?


Look, you get the idea, IR. I've gone to town on this one, I know, and I'm sorry for my brutal honesty, but there are just so many problems with this piece.

You talk as if this is definitely going to be published. Have you struck a deal with a company, or are you going down the self-publishing route? I ask, because I can't help but feel this needs a lot of work done to it before it reaches the bookshelves, and any decent publisher or editor would have gone over this with you.

Good luck with it, anyway. I wish you all the best. Please feel free in telling me what I can do to myself in response, but you did ask for a truthful appraisal, and that is what I have given.

Chaeronia
Last edited by Chaeronia on Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
'There's a vampire, dad. It's trying to get me.'
'I know, son,' he said softly. 'I saw it.'
'You saw it?'
'Yeah. I broke its bloody neck. I won't have no vampires in my house.'
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Postby Grand Evander » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:31 am

Chaeronia is correct about posting work that is eventually going to be pubilshed on the internet. If you post a piece on the internet (public domain), then you run the risk of forfeiting first serial rights and can only sell the right to reprint to a publisher. I'm not sure if this includes novel excerpts, but I would proceed with caution.
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I like it...

Postby drizzt808 » Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:36 pm

its good, even though it is posted on the Internet and everything, but one thing i do not understand is this sentence: "He then clubbed me on the side of the, right behind my right ear." I think you just forgot to put "head" after "...side of the..." but at first i didn't notice that. Otherwise it seems like you were writing this as if it were to have happened to yourself, very well written.
And almost everything else i noticed was covered by the others!
Good Luck with everything,
Best of luck
nick
(p.s. can you please comment on my chapter, it is called "a chapter that needs rating : )" and like i say in the post i take no offense if you say it was a piece of junk)
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Postby Bmat » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:52 pm

· These days, almost all things are copyrighted the moment they are written, and no copyright notice is required. · Copyright is still violated whether you charged money or not, only damages are affected by that. · Postings to the net are not granted to the public domain, and don't grant you any permission to do further copying except perhaps the sort of copying the poster might have expected in the ordinary flow of the net. · Fair use is a complex doctrine meant to allow certain valuable social purposes. Ask yourself why you are republishing what you are posting and why you couldn't have just rewritten it in your own words. · Copyright is not lost because you don't defend it; that's a concept from trademark law. The ownership of names is also from trademark law, so don't say somebody has a name copyrighted. · Fan fiction and other work derived from copyrighted works is a copyright violation.
This is an extract from a page on abizwhiz.com. I don't know about issues with a publisher. Perhaps an agent could be consulted, or a publisher? If anyone has information on this subject, please post it here at SV.
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Postby thegreentick » Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:56 pm

I would have written a much longer review than this, but Chaeronia covered pretty much everything I thought of saying.

To sum it up: Regardless of whether you can publish it right now or not, I would choose the route of not. It is far from the quality that it should be to go on the bookshelf. (I say should because rubbish is published frequently.) This needs a LOT of work. Also, you shouldn't tell us that the plot is non-negotiable. If the plot sucks, one should be open-minded to changes. My comment about the plot is this: It seems to be the type of story that has been used and re-used countless times. I hope it carries traces of originality at a later point.

My apologies if I came across as a jerk. I suppose I am just feeling a little nasty this evening. :P
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Postby jerico » Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:25 pm

Will you compensate me if I say, "Find a new hobby"? I think that's the only way I can help.

I haven't been here long, but it's obvious to me that anyone who claims their work is going to be published yet is on an amateur site looking for critique is just plain delusional.

My recomondation is that you re-register under a new name, re-write your "novel" and start over by asking for critique and advice before you start spouting professionalism because yes, your writing style is BAD and you need practice.
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Postby clknaps » Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:59 am

*wince*
Ouch, jerico, I think that even stung me a bit.

To invisible rabbit, I was going to cut and paste your work into my message like I usually do, but I decided against it. The other posters here have said what has needed to be said.
I would never tell anyone to stop writing, no matter how "bad" they may seem at the time. Your writing will improve with time and knowledge, as will everyone's.
Please be more open to advice, no one is here trying to steal your work or be just plain mean, we are here to help. CLK
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Postby Bmat » Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:56 pm

Adding on to what clknaps said about Jerico's comment, I see nothing wrong with seeking help on an amateur site. Why not use whatever resources are available!? and free is good, too!

Amateurs are readers, too, and (even though this comment is cliché,) they know what they like, down on a basic level. Since amateurs are close to the basics themselves, they can sometimes help with basics.
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