literature

The Colonial Wars: DeVitt PT.1

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anyman82's avatar
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Literature Text

The explosions couldn’t be more than a mile outside the city. A woman stared out a third-story apartment window at the distant flashes against the clouds. A Soft rain tapped the glass between tremors. A man entered the room, covered in mud and sweat. “Come on, Harry! They’ll be here within the hour at this rate. We have to move!” The woman adjusted the top of her moth-eaten, outdated uniform before turning away from the window. “Heretic left ten minutes ago, Santos. As I recall I gave you the same order.” The man straightened up as she spoke. “I’m sorry, Miss DeVitt. I just didn’t want to leave the front. Things are bad out there and-” The women raised her hand. Santos clammed up, gulping nervously. “I understand that you wish to help, but you must realize the battle is already lost. Those men and women out there are only fighting to give the civilians here one last chance to escape. Now please, Santos:” DeVitt’s expression softened a little as she placed the raised hand on her comrade’s shoulder, “Get to your plane before the shells reach the airstrip.”

As if to punctuate her statement another blast even closer now shook the building. Santos flinched as the ceiling cracked and rained dust on the pair. The man recovered quickly though and turned for the door. He paused on his way out to look back at the woman. “Wait, what about you?” He inquired, genuine concern filtering through his fear. The beginnings of a smile crept over DeVitt’s face. “Don’t worry about me, Santos. Remember Cabinda. I’ll be fine.” Santos gave a small chuckle and nodded. “See you on the other side, Commander.” he saluted as he left the room. The woman closed her eyes for a moment before turning to the desk in the corner. It was an ugly brown metal thing, obviously made with nothing but utility in mind. Out of the top drawer she pulled a revolver. An old .38 bulldog of the kind detectives wore in her home city. DeVitt raised the weapon to her lips and kissed it. A whisper left her mouth. A statement of something warm, and of times past.

The weapon was tucked under her belt when she left the apartments. The sounds of battle were closer than ever, and the soldiers in the street paid little mind to the woman in the old uniform as they ran towards the distant cacophony. She was dissonant with the chaos around her. There was a peace in her quiet smile that was beyond words. A profound comfort known only to her. The smell of smoke and the shrill cry of sirens flowed through the air. Like the wailing of mourners they spoke of a death that had already arrived. But the woman had heard that same cry too many times to be moved.

Many minutes passed and the shells were landing within the limits of the city. DeVitt had procured a troop lorry, now devoid of passengers. As she drove the smell of smoke began to fade, and the distant thuds of the explosions were slowly muffled by the rain on her windshield. After an hour she turned off onto a hill. The woman stepped out onto the wet grass. The city was visible in the far distance, made more so by the plumes of smoke now rising from it. She glanced at her watch, took one last long look, and turned away.

Somewhere in the city, in an office on the third floor of an apartment building, there was a click.

The sky was fire.
I might explore this a little more sometime. As it is it just kinda popped into my head and I wrote it down as it came. I think there might be some potential here, though.
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saltwaterlungs's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Impact

Hello, mhy name's Hannah, I'm a writer, and I am here today to give you a critique on this most recent piece of yours. Oh, and just because it's really long doesn't mean you suck! I'm sorry if it comes off that way in the end, but my intentiosn are kind.

Let's start with the title: Fire. This title doesn't really compell the reader click and read. Titles have to make the reader wonder, "Hey, what's this about?" In this title you give it away instantly: Fire. Now, we've all seen fire before, so we assume this is a story about saving a kitten from a fire, but really, this story is much more than that! It's about a female soldier (not very common, and very impressive) leading her men through a bombed city with a plan that will destroy everything the oncomers thought they knew about it! You have a really exciting story, now all you need is an exciting title to match. How about Here Comes The Boom? It uses a favorite song of mien (heheh), draws them in, and clues into what's going on in your story.

The very first thing I noticed here was that it's raining, but people are setting off bombs. I'm no expert on anything having to do with war, but it just doesn't make sense to send bomb when it's raining! Please explain that tactic further so people like me can understand better, and so you can develop a better grip on what's going on. Another question for you: why are people bombing the city? Who are bombing the city? You have developed great protagonists here, but who are the antagonists, the people or things causing the problem! Is this set in World War II? Is this set the future when aliens attack? We don't know! So that's for you to decide.

A note about dialogue: Whenever someone else starts talking, skip a line. Always. Right now, it's pretty confusing about how's talking when, even though you do say the names. Seperating the conversation into one set of quotation marks per lines helps the readers read it better, and it helps it look clean and organized.

Another question: Who's Harry or Heretic? You mention him in the first paragraph, but I have no idea who they are, and I am never given any clues. Include him more! Now I'm all curious about this guy, but he's never mentioned further. Why is Santos so worried about this guy? Is he Santos' gay lover? Is he Santos' best friend? Is he Santos' relative? I will never know why Santos is so worried about him, and that makes me sad, because that could be a cool dynamic plot point.

How does Santos enter? You say that he enters, but I want to know HOW he enters? Is he sprinting to find Harry, staggering because his leg is falling off, or tap dancing because he has dance fever? Tell me!

Who/what is Cabinda? Is that a person? Is it a strategy plan? You need to tell me more! I'm dying to know!

And enough mean notes; I have a nice one. I love the paragraph abou tthe revolver. It's great imagery, bit about the revolver. It has great information about it, background to it, and imagery. I especially like these sentence. "DeVitt raised the weapon to her lips and kissed it. A whisper left her mouth. A statement of something warm, and of times past." It's great imagery, and carries wonderful emotion and tension. Great job!

I also really like tha paragraph following the revolver sentences! It paints a perfect image in my mind of what's going on. I can hear, smell, see, feel, even taste everything that's going on. Great job using sensory language!

I also adore the ending to this. Very dramatic, and full of emotion. I could also picture this very well. It's ncie how you give teh readers clues as to what happen, and don;t directly tell them. I am, however, a little hesitant about the last line. Part of me is screaming, "No!" but aprt of me is screaming, "Yes!" It could be a metaphor, but it still sounds weird inmy mind because most times we say on fir. This is your call; whicehever sound better in your mind.


Overall, you had a rough beginning mostly with development on plot and characters, but in the end you succeeded with greta imagery and emotional build-up!
anyman82's avatar
Wow! Some really good advice here! A lot of the stuff that I left out I did so because I didn't think it was really important to this story. I agree there were a couple points that could have used some clarification, mostly the smaller stuff like better descriptions of actions the characters take. Some of those questions will probably be answered later in the story, which I have decided to continue. Okay, now for the rest:

I changed the title because good lord you're right.

Artillery works just fine in the rain. The invading army was using long range pieces to soften up resistance ahead of their troops.

I took your advice about dialogue when I wrote the next part.

Cabinda is a place. This place: [link]

Thanks so much for all the love! It always gives me warm fuzzies when people care enough to give me advice like this. Hugs! :glomp:
saltwaterlungs's avatar
You're very welcome! I'm so glad you took it well. I've had people yell at me and get very defensive with their work, but you accepted my advice adn changed it for teh better! i read through it again, and the first paragprah is a lotbetter. It gives me a lot more information, and it's easier to understand now! I can't wait to read the next part!
anyman82's avatar
Of course I took it well! It's not like you were being unfair or anything. It's obvious you like writing a lot and you want to help people (me, in this instance) get better at it!

Oh, and if you can't wait, don't wait! [link]
Maiden-Chynna's avatar
I would give an official critique, but I don't know enough terms of writing and things to fill 100 words.

It's really interesting and descriptive!

Only I don't understand the second to last line. I don't understand if it was the woman (who I assume shot herself?), or if we're not suppose to know who or what it was. but that could just be me.

It sounds really neat!
anyman82's avatar
Huh, that is a really interesting interpretation! I know what it was, but I think I'm just gonna keep it to myself now. =P

Either way I'm glad you liked it!
Maiden-Chynna's avatar
Cursed secret! Now I'll have to wait for who knows how long!

Write more!
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